A new Precure has made her entrance.
Her motif is very obvious.
There are more star images and references than you can possibly shake one stick at. You would need to go to the forest and pick up several spares. Mere air friction would wear out one stick with all the shaking long before you got to the end of the anime.
Ahem. I think I am exaggerating again, aren’t I? But there are a bigly lot of such references.
Starting with the Precure name itself: “Twinkle” (what song does everyone associate that with?)
Her civilian name is 天ノ川きらら Amanogawa Kirara. The Japanese version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is Kira Kira Boshi.
Amanogawa literally means “River of Heaven” but the term actually means the Milky Way galaxy. Stars appear everywhere. From her costume to starry sky backgrounds, shooting stars and the 星空 (Starry Sky) fashion show in which she is taking part.
What do stars signify? They can signify aspiration (follow your star). They can signify success (stardom). More traditionally they signify the Harmony of Heaven, the Music of the Spheres.
All these meanings are very important here.
As you know, the theme of the show – its fundamental conflict – is dreams vs despair. The villains attempt to imprison people’s dreams (dreams here in the sense of hopes and ambitions).
The monsters are called ゼツボーグ zetsubougu (katakana extender dash standing for the う). This is an interesting portmanteau name. 絶望 zetsubou means despair and 防具 bougu means armor, especially traditional samurai armor of the kind that is still used in modified form in kendo. So the name means something like armored despair.
These armored despair monsters are made from people’s imprisoned dreams, and when they are purified they return to their natural state, uttering the word “dreaming” (in katakana English).
Cure Twinkle is a dream‐chaser par excellence. Her every waking moment is devoted to her pursuit of modelling stardom. She thinks of nothing but her dream.
So it might seem that she is the perfect heroine for this series. But the truth is that she is far from perfect. She is rude. She is out of harmony. She is so rude that Haruka‐chan and the other girls are deeply shocked at her offhand impoliteness to the revered seito kaichou.
She has allowed her pursuit of her dream to override Harmony. And Harmony, as we know, is one of the most fundamental values of Precure as it is of Japanese culture as a whole.
Probably the three strongest Precure values are Ganbari (always doing your best), Love, and Harmony. Amanogawa Kirara is a ganbariyasan to the core, but she is letting that ganbari become the enemy of Love and Harmony.
This fault is so fundamental that it leads her to reject her destiny as a Precure.
Cure Twinkle is a shining star, but she is not yet a good star. Because stars do not only shine. The other very important thing about stars, as everyone familiar with traditional thought (and that includes Japanese‐educated people) is aware, is that they travel always in their appointed courses, dancing to the eternal Music of the Spheres.
And it is no accident that dance is a sub‐theme of this show.
The simple theme of the show is that dreams and ambitions are good and despair is bad. But the best Precure is never that simple. Dreams and ambitions also have dangers. They should be pursued tirelessly, but they should also be pursued with love and harmony.
This is the lesson Cure Twinkle has yet to learn.
It will be interesting to see how she learns it.