Cure Blogger is back, and better than ever! Okay, maybe not better than ever, but it’s back! So much has happened in the world of Pretty Cure, particularly in Dokidoki that, despite the lengthy absence from the blog, the arrival of Christmas has provided the most wonderful little opportunity to catch up with the show by providing 12 days, 12 moments, 12 delicious drops of Dokidoki. It’s almost like I never left, right?
If I really wanted to, I could make this post series 12 Days of Cure Diamond. For all of Dokidoki’s unevenness throughout the show’s run, the consistent rock that provided the emotional core of the show has always been Rikka Hishikawa and her search for herself. Of all the characters in the main cast, she is perhaps the most mundane in her background. Where everyone else comes from popularity and capability (Mana), celebrity (Makoto), and fortune (Alice), Rikka is the girl who, even without her strong emotional character narrative, is naturally the most identifiable of the four. She doesn’t have any noticeable qualities or talents other than her studiousness, which provides the most room for her to grow as a character.
If anything, she is the penultimate blank slate character in PreCure; her identity is not apparent like other girls (i.e., Yayoi with her art, Honoka with her science, Komachi with her novels, etc.), and her character arc is that of discovery, rather than progression. We learn about Rikka alongside Rikka herself, and this plays into her identity and role as a PreCure as well. When tested by Cure Ace in episode 26, Diamond puts her allegiance on the line by assisting an injured Ira, not because of her duty as a PreCure but as a duty to herself and the person that she wants to become. It’s a wonderful sort of selfishness, acknowledged as a point of strength for her, that which has not been present from the start.
The best part, however, is not so much her decision to do it, but the support that she gets from her friends, namely Raquel. Despite her journey of self-discovery, she does not travel alone. PreCure is about friendship, and her friends rally around her defiance in perhaps the most touching manner throughout the series. She draws her strength from them for once, and becomes capable of doing the same in return when the series continues into the second half.