Dokidoki! PreCure Episode 6: Live by the Sword

The Blade of Courage, Cure Sword, joins the group.

The Blade of Courage, Cure Sword, joins the group.

The fourth and final PreCure to join the team in every 4-girl series prior to Dokidoki always involves a dramatic arc that results in that cure’s awakening or recruitment into the main group. In Fresh Pretty Cure!, Cure Passion’s recruitment is the result of an arc revolving Higashi Setsuna and her complicated relationship with both the PreCure and Labyrinth; in Heartcatch PreCure!, Cure Moonlight’s defeat is the basis for the first two girls becoming PreCure, but she joins later in the series after first acting like a mentor to the girls initially; in Suite PreCure!, Cure Muse remains a masked aloof ally throughout the series, but finally joins when Minor Land’s ruler, Mephisto, became involved. The precedent so far has been grand for the fourth PreCure’s arrival, but for Cure Sword, it was a simple episode that brought meaning that won’t be felt at full until her story is fully resolved.

Synopsis

Makoto has a television gig for a cooking show that is filmed at Mana’s family restaurant. She is put on the spot to prepare omelet rice, and to the dismay of onlookers Mana and Rikka, she shows complete culinary incompetence. The other three girls run into Makoto later on after filming and teach her how to cook. The second day of filming goes perfectly and Makoto successfully makes omelet rice for the four of them, but a Pig Selfish appears and starts eating everything in the restaurant, including parts of the restaurant itself. Mana and the others transform into PreCure, but are unable to stop the Pig’s monstrous growth. Makoto transforms into Cure Sword in front of the other three and vanquish the Selfish, officially joining the group afterwards. Beru interrupts their moment at the end and banishes them to another world.

As expected, Cure Sword manages to join the other PreCure just in time for All-Stars, which makes its box-office debut before episode 7. Piecing together details from episode 7’s preview, as well as certain lines spoken by Makoto during episode 6, my initial worry that Cure Sword might leave the group again (only joining for the sake of the All-Stars movie) is assuaged. Makoto mentions a specific person at whom she’s aiming her performances as an idol.

Songstress and Guardian, Cure Sword is what's left of the Trump Kingdom.

Songstress and Guardian, Cure Sword is what’s left of the Trump Kingdom.

The only insights that we have about her relationship with this person are from brief visual cues from her thoughts as she shares her omurice with the other girls. Her short flashback suggests that the relationship dates back to the Trump Kingdom before it was destroyed, and it also suggests that she was also a performer in the Trump Kingdom in addition to her guardian duties as a PreCure, which explains her ability to not only become an idol, but to keep up with the hectic lifestyle required of one.

This means that the “Goodbye, PreCure!” portion of episode 7’s title would refer to the relationship between Sword and this other person, who may also be the same princess of the Trump Kingdom that the Selfish are trying to find. What I love about the show so far is that all of the information about this particular arc is on a need-to-know basis, which makes for improved storytelling of the “show, don’t tell” adage. Too often, anime falls into the trap of dumping large amounts of exposition onto its audience, often in the form of a character who exists simply as a mouthpiece for said exposition.

"...what?"

“…what?”

In PreCure, this is most often a mascot character such as Pop from Smile, though information is mostly contextual, and only the minimum is provided in order for the younger audience to keep up with what’s going on. In Dokidoki, however, it’s been mostly just goals and actions. Sword wants to meet this important person again, and it’s because of the other three that she’s able to refocus; therefore, she joins the group. Instead of telling the other girls about the TrumpKingdom, episode 7 will essentially show them where Sword is coming from, and the situation that they will have to face, and that’s absolutely perfect.

Answering another question raised by last week’s episode, Our tsuntsun Makoto finally gets to show her dere side, and what I love the most about her decision to join the group is that the decision was entirely hers to make, and that she made one at all. Dragging the tsun- side of a character on for too long happens way too often in other shows, and when that character finally comes around, they often revert back to the status-quo.

"I-I'm not filming at your house because I like you or anything!"

“I-I’m not filming at your house because I like you or anything!”

I can appreciate tsundere as a single directional change, rather than a flip-flop that comes off as indecisive and even annoying. Characters can still show their aloofness here and there, as it is natural, but as long as they accept their new circumstances as a result of a dere action, then it works just as well. Makoto will definitely keep withdrawing herself from the others despite joining them in this episode, but her eventual developing relationship with the other girls will be more meaningful because of that distance.

That said, her initial connection to the group is through Mana, and how the dynamic plays out between her and Rikka and Alice are yet to be seen. We’ll probably see episodes that address this, as we’ve seen in episodes that examined Setsuna’s relationship with Miki and Inori in Fresh, and that of Yuri with Itsuki and Tsubomi in Heartcatch. Comparisons will definitely be made with regards to each other girl’s relationship with Mana (as we’ve seen already between Rikka and Alice), but straightforward dynamics between Makoto and the others could shed more insight on the overall story. For example, there’s potential in seeing how Alice’s abundant resources can further Mako’s investigation of the Trump Kingdom. Alternatively, we could see something that compares the extent of introversion displayed by both Makoto and Rikka. The cast in Dokidoki has wonderful balance for character exploration, which will serve well with its pretty good story so far.

Heart and the others reach out to Sword in support.

Heart and the others reach out to Sword in support.

Directly opposing the PreCure themselves is the Selfish Trio, who have their own interesting little hierarchy going on. Ira, Mamo, and Beru follow nicely with the jack-queen-king motif that coincides with the suits motif that the show is developing. Beru’s appearance at the end of this episode had shades of Joker at the end of Smile episode 31, in which he captures the PreCure banishes them into a Bad End illusion. There’s a wealth of differences between Joker and Beru from a personality standpoint, but their role in their respective rogues gallery is essentially the same.

It’s interesting how he would appear so early in the series compared to Joker, who didn’t show up until the tanabata episode at the end of episode 21. His appearance adds immediate urgency to the show, in the same vein as Dark PreCure in Heartcatch (even Dark PreCure didn’t appear in front of the others until episode 10). His larger stature is imposing, using size and strength to intimidate rather than the mental trickery that Joker uses.

Dokidoki! PreCure

Surprise!

Surprise!

Surprise!

What I love most about the Selfish trio, however, is their lair. There’s a laid-back, suave air to the bowling alley/bar, brought out by really awesome set design, smooth background music akin to the manor music in Futari wa Pretty Cure, and serving as a cherry on top of this cake of cool corruption, a neon logo hangs on the wall of the bar, reading GoGo! Jikochu. GoGo is a reference to the Yes 5 series, but serves no other purpose than being an awesome name for a bowling alley for baddies.

The dim lighting and thunderous booms of bowling balls thrown (into the gutter for good measure) accent the petty bickering between a henchmen trio, who, despite their appearance, are incapable of defeating a group of little girls. Other awesome thematic villain lairs include Nightmare Corporation’s staff boardroom in Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Eternal’s museum in the sequel series, and Dusk Zone’s mansion mentioned earlier. Doki’s bowling alley of avarice will probably find a place among these by the time the series is over.

Losing to the PreCure so much has left Ira's mind in the gutter.

Losing to the PreCure so much has left Ira’s mind in the gutter.

At only six episodes so far, so much has happened all at once in Dokidoki, and with the rush of All-Stars throwing things out of whack slightly, this show certainly has a whole lot more to show in the future. Without a halfway arc dedicated to adding an additional cure, pretty much anything can happen from this point forward. With all of the girls finally together, things can only get more intense from here. At least, intense as far as PreCure shows are concerned.

11 thoughts on “Dokidoki! PreCure Episode 6: Live by the Sword

  1. Nice write up on this episode Krizzly! I still need to throw a video together…

    Makoto is a interesting character and her whole tsun/dere sides are great and I thought it was nice to see that her manager gave her a small push to meet Mana, Alice and Rikka even though she used the cover of filming a TV cooking themed thing.

    Did you laugh as much as I did with the monster of the week? I died laughing when Mana, Alice and Rikka were talking to the monster like “You shouldn’t eat that! It will upset your stomach.” that was random and funny, but the best moment was with glasses bro aka Beru appeared to throw the girls for a loop. I think he sent the cures back in time or is that not the case? I could easily see that story because it would force Makoto to explain her background story, but you did mention that episode seven was about someone leaving the team? I’d guess Makoto! Maybe something happens that makes her decide to go back to solo fighting?

    1. Oh right, I was supposed to address that in the post. When I mean someone saying goodbye, it probably means Makoto saying goodbye to whoever it was she’s currently trying to look for! You make an interesting prediction that Beru sent them back in time to when the Trumps Kingdom fell, but I could also imagine that he just simply banished them back to the Trumps Kingdom proper, since it would be overrun with Selfish at the present.

      I certainly liked the monster of the week. Some might think that the pig would be a random monster to use when the episode was about omurice, but do remember that the restaurant is using a pig as part of the logo/sign, so it’s a fitting theme, albeit a little farfetched. I found it kind of hilarious that the circumstances wouldn’t allow the girls to fight the pig. They’re in very close quarters, which would make any sort of complicated combat impractical if not impossible.

      I really like the relationship between Dabby and Makoto, and I’m looking forward to see what kind of relationships exist between the other girls and their respective fairies. We saw a little bit of that with Lance and Alice, when Lance called out on her crap about not fighting alongside the precure (instead opting to drink tea, which is still hilarious just thinking about it). It makes me wonder what kind of human forms the other fairies would take, since it would make sense if all of them could transform. It thus makes me wonder if the skeevy guy who gave the precure their lovies is also actually just a fairy himself. You can’t trust people in PreCure because they might secretly be fairies, hahaha!

  2. If Joe turns out being King Selfish, I will stand up an applaud. Also, can we talk about the fact that it looks like New Stage 2 is going to have all the Cures talk again?

    I really feel Dokidoki has strong storytelling. Every episode bleeds right into the next and the whole thing feels more serial than ever before.

    1. Thank goodness all the cures will appear to have speaking roles again. I bet someone at Toei dropped the ball with New Stage 1 that led to this occurrence. Whether it was due to scheduling conflicts or simply a budget decision (inexcusable given how financially successful this franchise is), the mistake they made was regretful. In fairness, it’s difficult to adequately allot screentime to so many different characters, and it will probably reach a point where they can’t really afford to give everyone a chance to talk without disrupting the main “plot” of the show.

      That said, the plot in Dokidoki is definitely intriguing so far, and I can’t wait to see what else this show has in store.

  3. Your blog is always interesting and includes great guessing. I can simply enjoyed this episode that Makoto came to Mana’s house, recording the TV cooking show. Makoto’s cooking ckills was worse than I had expected and it was very funny, but she had a great talent of cooking like a sponge.
    What I was suprised most in this episode was that Makoto’s manager transformed into the fairy, Dabby! Is he like characters such as Coco and Nuts? I wonder what kinds of human-like characters would be if other faries transformed. I really agree with your guessing.

    1. There were some pretty good hints at the manager being Dabby from the previous episode, such as the letter she left for Mana and the others with the initials DB. Also, her appearance looks a lot like what Dabby would look like in human form, especially with the purple hair. If we are to use Dabby as the main pattern, then we can expect the other fairies to have the same human hair colour as their fairy colour. Whether or not they can only turn into adults is hard to guess, because even though Coco and Nuts turned into adults, Milk and Syrup turned into teenagers.

    1. Hey! I’m glad you’re blogging about PreCure too! We need more people talking about PreCure in blogs so that other fans have something to read when they’re not rewatching Heartcatch for the eight time (like me, hahaha!). I understand that English isn’t your first language, so writing a blog like that is something I have to give you plenty of respect for. Keep it up, and I hope you continue to hone in on your writing skills. Thanks for sharing, I loved the pictures! I can’t wait to see how All-Stars New Stage 2 turns out. I’m counting on you to write about it after you watch it!

    1. There’s one that is produced by a number of people on LiveJournal, but I forgot the URL. I guess if you look around the PreCure LJ a bit, you’ll probably find it.

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