In the midst of despair, you need a leader who can inspire you to will yourself back into fighting condition. The tradition of the PreCure’s “Pink” PreCure often provides characters who lead in different ways, but Cure Heart is perhaps the one leader who has seen her group fall to the most hopeless odds, yet manages to pull them right back up through her own emotional lead and example. Episode 31 is the strongest example of her leadership in action up to this point in the series, and it leads to the rebirth of the Magical Lovely Pad and the super awesome Lovely Straight Flush combination attack.
After Leva and Gula combine into a single monster entity and destroy the Magical Lovely Pad, they make quick work of the PreCure, weakening them to the point of despair and realization of the very real possibility of defeat. It’s at this point where Cure Heart also realizes the folly of her headstrong decision to join Cure Sword’s cause in reclaiming the Trump Kingdom.
She admits to finally understanding the pain of losing the world that she grew up in, losing all of the loved ones she’s spent her entire life around, and the failure to protect those who are closest to her. In finally coming closest to Sword’s feelings, she is the most distant physically from the others in the blocking of this desperate scene. Heart lets out her anguish and despair, crying out to the world that will soon come to ruin due to her inability to save it, and the others fall to the same low as her. All hope is lost.
And then Cure Heart smacks herself in the face, letting out a resounding echo into the world, almost as loud as her cry only a few moments before; a brief pause, and the physical shockwave spreading out from her face indicates that she let herself have it with as much PreCurian strength as she could. By giving herself a wake-up smack, she relieves herself of all the anguish that she’s built up in her heart as a result of her initial defeat to the Leva/Gula hybrid.
There’s a negative emotional connotation when it comes to crying as depicted in fictional media. Usually crying denotes loss, defeat, and shame; even when in a happy context, one is normally not expected to cry, and it’s viewed upon as a sort of novelty or sign of weakness. For Heart, it’s the precursor to her strength instead. When her heart is full and aching, the only way she knows how to deal with the sudden overflow of feelings is to let them out. Mana is perhaps the most freely expressive PreCure amongst her pink peers, and by extension, is probably one of the more emotionally balanced and emotionally intelligent to boot.
Heart recognizes that strong emotions lead to strong convictions, but it requires the ability to handle and sort out the feelings that arises within oneself at all times, whether they be happy or hopeless. The sudden clarity of emotion also allows her to clear the doubts that get in the way of her goals, which, combined with her pluckiness and utter refusal to give up, allows her to overcome her obstacles, as well as those that obstruct her PreCure team. She’s a bit of an odd one, but it’s through that uniqueness of character that inspires the others to rally around her in their own way, stamping their unique brand of togetherness and teamwork that makes them stand strong amongst the PreCures past.
Cure Heart may not be the most well-remembered or most-appreciated lead cure in history, but you can’t doubt her ability to lead the ragtag group that she has, even with her offbeat ideas and antics; regardless of whatever she comes up with, she’ll always have such a supportive team ready to follow. It makes her heart ready to burst at a moment’s notice, and she is always stronger for it.