If there’s one thing that I will take away from watching Dokidoki PreCure, it’s that it certainly showcases a lot of qualities that make it PreCurian. As a nostalgia-based bottom-up production approach, a lot of those expected qualities stem from visual similarities, as well as simply having more similarities to precures past than others.
The challenge of designing a show based on nostalgia is the fine touch one has to put into making these nods to the past apparent without ripping it off entirely, and having an unoriginal show as a result. While the show spends a good chunk of its first half doing these shoutouts, it really comes to shine on its own in the second, with moments such as the song that Makoto sings in front of Regina in episode 40. Unsure as to how to snap Regina out of the control of King Selfish, Makoto takes matters into her own hands and sings a song for her; if she puts her heart into her song, then the feelings may reach Regina as a result.
During Makoto’s concert (a live event in which her new song would debut), the Selfish attack, and the PreCure are caught in a bind; Regina pins Cure Sword to the back wall of the stage while Heart and the others have their hands full with a monster of the week, Ira, and Mammo. Regina oversees the battle, on the opposite side of the field from Sword. Sword sees this as an opportunity to sing her song, and the PreCure hold off the enemy while an un-transformed Makoto slowly walks up to Regina, unharmed because of her friends’ defense.
The action is intense and continuous, contrasting with the deliberate pace of the ballad, leaving behind power in its melody and the lyrics that aim to save Regina (and by extension, the world).
PreCurian? More like Macrucian, am I right? This scene is PreCure’s version of Do You Remember Love, albeit not as grand of a scale. Makoto isn’t stopping a war with her song; she simply wants to rescue her friend. There’s no dramatic love triangle here, as Cure Sword has come a long way in reconciling her desire to save Princess Ange and the Trump Kingdom with Mana’s desire to save Regina from the Selfish. But she is an idol, and the way that Makoto uses her position as an idol reminds me a lot of the power that music plays in many of Shoji Kawamori’s works, including both Macross and even AKB0048.
When Makoto finally comes into musical kill range of Regina, she blocks the spear and transforms back into Sword, bringing the power of PreCure and music into one, perhaps in a more effective manner than Cures Melody, Rhythm, Beat, or Muse ever could.
Sorry, Suite, but despite your music-themed attacks and brilliant score from Yasuharu Takanashi don’t hold a candle to the power of music that Cure Sword displayed in this episode. It’s the musical magical girl that I’ve always dreamed of, save for Symphogear. Sometimes I wonder if Izumi Todo looked at how ridiculous Symphogear was and said to themselves, “yeah, if we want this to work, we have to make it as ridiculous as possible.”
Dokidoki’s second half was silly as all fuck, and I love them forever for it, but this one moment, as crazy as it was, hit all of the right notes.