To pass their next test, Riko and Mirai must open up their hearts to the ocean, the home of the Sapphire Linkle.
Much like the events in episode 3, the two girls once again find themselves in a new setting that symbolizes the power that is ultimately bestowed upon them. At the bottom of the ocean in the magical realm, the mermaids guard a sacred shell that houses the Sapphire Linkle, granted by prophecy to the Mermaids of Light. In proving their fealty to the ocean, Riko and Mirai in the process learn more about the land that holds their power, embraces both the tranquil sea and the honesty of their hearts.
To a blue PreCure, the task of opening their hearts is a difficult one. Governed primarily by their intellect, she faces a roadblock in her life that can’t be solved by logic or wisdom; they must follow their strong emotions. Unlike their red allies, feelings don’t come naturally to the blues; they have difficulties sorting through them and even defining them. By exploring their true selves and listening to their honest hearts, a blue PreCure grows and bolsters their formidable strengths.
Not only does PreCure do a fantastic job at fleshing out these characters beyond their obvious smarts, but the show also goes the extra mile in using the familiar ocean setting and the colour blue to communicate this idea.
Cure Aqua: A Pact With A Rose
“You’re always like this, Karen. No matter how much pain you’re in yourself, you always think about others first.”
The most intelligent girl at L’école des Cinq Lumieres, Karen Minazuki realizes her dream to become a doctor throughout Yes! PreCure 5’s first season. In the follow-up series, Yes! PreCure 5 GoGo!, Karen struggles to express her dreams to her parents in a letter. She suffers from her inability to put her thoughts into words, unlike her novelist friend and tranquil green PreCure, Komachi Akimoto.
In this spotlight episode, she is targeted by the villains from Eternal, sending her to an illusion world based on the Japanese tale of Urashima Taro. This folklore setting is the perfect stage for Karen’s struggles. Taking the role of the titular Urashima, she is brought out to sea after saving her mascot friend Milk, who plays the part of the turtle. With Milk’s help, she confronts her feelings. as well as the monster of the week. Unlike Urashima, Karen is not alone; her friends manage to follow her into the folktale world and help defeat the monster, inspiring Karen to reach out honestly to her parents about her dream to become a doctor.
Karen’s struggles are rooted in the fact that, in spite of knowing so much about others, she doesn’t truly know about herself. It’s what causes her to initially struggle to find her dream, as well as her inability to share her dreams with others. She has the support of her friends like Milk, and even the passionate Rin, whose ideals are often at odds with hers. In spite of her differences with others, Karen values the uniqueness of her friends, and by opening up to them, she can open up to others as well.
Cure Diamond: Lost in Thoughts, All Alone
Like a driven wave,
Dashed by fierce winds against a rock,
So am I: alone
And crushed upon the shore,
Remembering what has been.
Rikka Hishikawa’s PreCure name comes from the deck of cards motif, to go along with Cures Heart, Rosetta and Sword. In spite of a name that doesn’t resemble water at all, she remains as much a blue PreCure as others in the franchise. Even with no prior affinity to the ocean, Rikka finds herself on the beach when presented with the question of whether she truly wants to become a doctor like her mother. She is constantly reflecting on herself and navigating the tough balance between that dream and what she truly loves. She recalls the above poem from Hyakunin Isshu as a testament to her passion for karuta.
Confronted by Cure Ace, Rikka’s allegiance is tested when she reveals she has been tending to an injured (and suffering from amnesia) Ira, a servant of the King of Selfishness. She puts herself in the way between Ace’s readied attack and Ira’s defenseless position. In an urgent crisis, Rika puts her ideals on the line, declaring that she wants to help everyone in need, regardless of whether they are friend or foe. In doing so, she comes to recognize that she truly wants to become a doctor for her own personal reasons, rather than because she was following her mother.
Rikka’s life is filled with obstacles laid out in a meandering path. She always stops and thinks about where to go, not realizing that many of the things that she holds close in her heart – karuta, Mana, her family – already govern a lot of her instinctive actions as strongly as the actions that she takes after careful consideration and thought. In opening herself up to the world in front of her, not just the ocean that she visits for refuge, her choice becomes clear, and she grows more steadfast in her responsibilities with life as both Rikka and Cure Diamond.
Cure Mermaid: Requiem for a Dream
“I want to be free, like the grand sea itself.”
At the beginning of Go! Princess PreCure, Minami Kaido presents herself as a girl with a bright future planned out for her. She dreams to join her parent’s company, the Kaido Group, and contribute to the family business with her well-rounded talents. She believes strongly in her dream, which grants her power as Cure Mermaid. However, partway through the series, she meets Asuka Kitakaze, a marine biologist, veterinarian, and friend of the Kaido Group. Minami is drawn into the world of scientific research and exploring about the sea. Asuka declines Minami’s parent’s offers of employment, declaring that studying solo is her dream, granting ultimate freedom.
Not only does Minami develop a keen interest in Asuka’s passion, but Asuka notices this as well, offering Minami the opportunity to join her and her research. Minami initially declines, but doesn’t realize until late in the series that her dream of joining the Kaido Group has been compromised. Her heart wavers, and her power as Cure Mermaid wanes. It takes the support of her PreCure friends to encourage her to chase her new dream. Mermaid finally opens her heart to the ocean and receives its power in return, in the form of her penultimate attack, PreCure Coral Maelstrom.
OK SO THIS SHOT RIGHT
It's dominated by blue, but the other GoPri colours are on the horizon supporting from afar. pic.twitter.com/HDlES6EJCB
— Mahotsukai Krizzly (@CureBlogger) March 23, 2016
Throughout Minami’s spotlight episodes, moments of confrontation with this new dream are painted deep blue like the sea that beckons her. At the very moment leading up to her decision to dream of becoming a marine veterinarian, she ponders back to all of the moments that tied her to the sea, all of which are tinted blue. Along the way, her friends support her from a distance, communicated visually through the pink, red and yellow hues that line the horizon.
Maho Girls PreCure: The Mermaids of Light
“When light returns to our hearts, the Mermaids of Light shall return and lead us all over the world once more.”
Maho Girls does a fantastic job of bestowing the power of the sea to the PreCure, and they do so with a neat twist in the PreCure mythos. Instead of placing the task on the girls to open up their hearts, the show represents this value through the mermaid village itself. In attempting to pass their spellcasting test, Riko and Mirai come to learn bits and pieces of the mermaids and their history, and how they have retreated to the sea after previously living on the surface and flying through the skies. Now reclusive, the merfolk have closed their hearts to the outside world, like the dormant blue PreCure power they swore to protect.
The underwater world is shown as expansive in various shots of what seems to be a once-thriving city, now empty and scattered in ruins. Mermaids hide themselves. Riko and Mirai share their worlds, both magical and mundane, with the mer-children that they meet. The change here comes from the merfolk who put their trust in the PreCure who have come to save them from Gamets’ attack. Cure Magical and Cure Miracle both display their newly-opened friendship with each other in front of the underwater denizens, a show of the progression that they have already made leading up to this moment, and are thus conferred the power of the Sapphire Linkle.
The Maho Girls live up to the legend of the Mermaids of Light, similar to their embodiment of the legend of the Passion Flame. Like its Ruby counterpart, the Sapphire Linkle is supported by a rich history of blue PreCure who strive for the ideals that support their font of knowledge. They strive to be like Cure Marine, whose heart is as wide as the ocean itself.