All posts by Cure Yasashiku

About Cure Yasashiku

I am an Intermediate student of Japanese, and I love Magic Girl Anime. I am also an astrologer, and my hobbies are knitting and crocheting. よろしくお願いします

The Ideal Princess

vlcsnap-2015-06-05-11h38m57s333 Episode 20 of Go! Princess Precure has recently aired, and the story is starting to unfold. In Episode 18, we met the author of the book that inspired Haruka-chan’s dream of becoming a princess. The protagonist of this book was the Princess of Flowers, who was loved by everyone. One day, a bird became jealous of her popularity and betrayed her to an evil magic user who held her prisoner. During her time of captivity, the princess never became angry or bitter, but instead remained sweet and kind. The bird regretted betraying the princess and helped her get free. The bird apologized to the princess, who forgave the bird, and they all became good friends.

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Not only did this story inspire Haruka-chan’s dream, but it also inspired the dream of her roommate, Yui-chan, who wants to become an author of children’s books. We find out that the author of the story was inspired to create a character based on who she wanted her daughter to grow up to be.

vlcsnap-2015-06-25-20h04m09s952Aside from the Cure Princesses, there is another Princess on the side of evil, Princess Twilight. We discover, at the end of episode 20, that Princess Twilight is likely Princess Towa, the younger sister of Prince Kanata. There was a time when she shared the same dream as the Princess Precure, to become a Grand Princess. In order to become a Grand Princess, the girls must become 強い tsuyosi (“strong”), 優しい yasashii (“gentle”), and 美しい utsukushii (“beautiful”).

We discover that Princess Towa had been missing for some time, and that without her the Hope Kingdom became unable to resist Dyspear. When Prince Kanata and the Princess Precure find her in episode 20, she does not recognize Prince Kanata and she believes herself to be the daughter of Dyspear.

As Princess Twilight, she sees herself as the 唯一無二 yuiitsumuni (“one and only”) Princess and she describes herself as 気高い, kedakai (“noble”), 尊い toutoi (“precious, valuable”), and 麗しい  uruwashii (“beautiful”). It is interesting because these traits do not seem bad in and of themselves. Indeed, my Japanese is not at the level yet where I can understand the difference in meaning or nuance between the two words for beautiful, 美しい utsukushii and 麗しい uruwashii, except that 美しい utsukushii is a much more common word, from what I can tell. I learned 美しい utsukushii quite early on my studies, and hear and read it all of the time. I think that I learned 麗しい uruwashii from this series, and I do not know if I have seen it anywhere else as of yet.

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Yet, judging from the other two ideals, that may very well be the important difference in the two words for beautiful. Strength and gentleness are used to support other people. Being noble and precious can be forms of setting oneself apart from others. Another clue is that she refers to herself as the “one and only” Princess.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. It is highly likely that Princess Twilight will return to her true self as Princess Towa. Aside from things of this nature being common in Precure, her apparent theme seems to be that of the butterfly, the symbol of transformation. It will also be interesting to discover the true nature of Dyspear. Is she truly Princess Towa’s mother and the Queen of Hope Kingdom under a spell of a larger force of Evil?

I am looking forward to the coming episodes!

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The Philosophy of Go! Princess Precure

久しぶりプリキャア!お帰りなさい。(“It has been a long time, Precure! Welcome back.”)

I have just watched the second episode of Go! Princess Precure.  I have to say at the very first episode, it was love at first sight, and after the second episode, I am truly enamored with this series.  As a part of my Japanese studies, I made myself get through Happiness Charge Precure, and I worried whether there would ever be a good Precure again.  (I actually found myself bored through the Happiness Charge finale, and I could not wait until it was over).  I am overjoyed that Go! Princess Precure seems to be the Precure that I know and love!

What is not to love….the clothes, the music, the dancing, the aisatsu* (“gokigenyou”), the Princess theme, the transformation scenes….even without deep meaning, I would be in love with this Precure!

Yet, to top it off, Go! Princess Precure does seem to have a deeper meaning, which was set forth by the second episode.  Interestingly enough, this apparent meaning is quite directly related to the very purpose of this blog.

vlcsnap-2015-02-10-12h27m12s152In the very first scene, we see Haruka-chan (who will be the Pink Precure of this series) being ridiculed for her dream of becoming a Princess.  This blog was written for girls such as her, who dream of beauty and innocence, but who are ridiculed by the Western world.  In the next scene, she meets Kanata-sama, who tells her never to give up on her dream.

As Cure Dolly  has previously written, the topic of this series was clearly set forth in the first episode…dreams and despair.  This is not a new topic for Precure.  Dreams and despair were previously addressed in Yes! Precure 5.  Interestingly enough, the Blue Precure of Go! Princess Precure, Cure Mermaid, is similar in type and temperament to the Blue Precure of Yes! Precure 5, Cure Aqua.  While the Pink Precure always represents the ganbari (doing one’s best, never giving up) of her particular sentai, the Blue (or White) Precure always represents its kangae (thinking and careful consideration).  In some groups, this Cure is stronger than others, but for the two centered on dreams, the Blue Precure is particularly strong and solid (not to mention kakkoii), the seitokaichou (Student Council President) and an ojousama (upper class daughter).  Like Cure Aqua, Cure Mermaid is also practical and down to earth, in contrast to Smile Precure’s Cure Beauty, who is intelligent, but not always very practical (she thinks the summit of Mount Fuji would make a fine Secret Base).

vlcsnap-2015-02-10-12h33m32s125In Precure, the side of Evil always turns either precious objects or people into monsters.  With the exception of Futari wa Precure, it is either precious objects or people, not both.  In Go! Princess Precure, the Evil side again uses people.  One of the difficulties with Happiness Charge Precure is that it was very unclear as to how the Evil Side was able to corrupt people and turn them into Saiaku.  At one point, I believe that Cure Fortune made a reference to a fault or a failure on the part of the victim, but what that fault or failure was was never clear.  From all appearances, the Evil Side could turn a person into a Saiaku willy-nilly, whenever it wanted to.  In contrast, in the sounder Precure, there was a clear “hook” for the Evil Side to use.  In Heartcatch Precure, the victim’s Heart Flower had withered, and in DokiDoki Precure, a seed of Selfishness had already begun to sprout.

In Go! Princess Precure, the Evil Side uses the victim’s dream.  This is quite interesting really, as dreaming in and of itself does not seem to be a fault.  Yet, Evil can twist even the purest of our traits to its own ends, as we saw in DokiDoki Precure.  When our dreams become locked or thwarted, they can become the source of deep despair, leading us to become cynical and bitter, turning us into Zetsubou (Hopelessnesses).  While all of this makes sense to me in my heart, I am afraid it would take someone wiser and more Enlightened than me to explain it in words.

Like Suite Precure, in this series the theme is directly related to its topic.  In Suite Precure, the theme was music, and it was an exploration of wa (the deeper harmony of the Spheres, society, and human relations) and fuwa (disharmony, chaos, and discord).  In Princess Precure, the theme of the Princess is directly related to Dreams and Despair.  In fairy tales and in metaphysics, the Princess represents the Axial Being, or the one with the power to choose between Good and Evil.  There have been several Precures (and fairies) who were Princesses, and each one of them has been central to the battle between Good and Evil on a very personal level.  Even in Happiness Charge Precure, it was Cure Princess that opened the box, Axial, and released the Evil that was rampaging the Blue Sky Kingdom and the Earth.  (With all of its problems, Happiness Charge Precure was not completely devoid of metaphysical wisdom).

In the second episode, we learn that the girls must become true Princesses in order to restore Hope Kingdom.  They are also the ones with the power to unlock the dreams of the victims.  How do they become true Princesses?  They must grow in tsuyosa (strength), yasashisa (gentleness/kindness), and utsukushisa (beauty).**  They must work towards good and beauty and work to become their best selves.  By doing this, they can restore the Hope Kingdom and unlock people’s dreams.  How perfect for us here at Musume Senshi!

Of course, it is still quite early to see if Go! Princess Precure will be another one of the great Precure, but it is off to a very promising start, I think.

Tanoshimi shimasu (I am looking forward to it).

________________

*the closest English translation for aisatsu is “greetings,” but aisatsu are the proper set phrases one says at the proper time.

**on a personal note, it seems rather magical that these are the names of two of us here, myself, Cure Yasashiku, and Cure Utsukushiku.

Happiness Charge Precure: A Lesson in Analyzing Media

I have to admit that I am a bit disappointed with Happiness Charge Precure.  I have just finished episode 7.  I am using the series as part of my Japanese studies, which means that I need to take a lot more time with each episode than I otherwise might.  I really had high hopes for the series, particularly as the last four series, Heartcatch, Suite, Smile, and DokiDoki just kept getting better and better!

On the other hand, I think that this series might be instructive for our readers to understand how we analyze media here at Musume Senshi.  We have been so enthusiastic in our praise of Precure, it might be helpful to discuss one of the series that we are not as impressed by in order to show our readers what we are looking for in media.  In that spirit, below is my analysis of Happiness Charge Precure after watching the first seven episodes:

Metaphysical “Rightness”

Before I begin this section, please note, that if we were discussing any Western media, this question would not even arise.  Here at Senshi, we can not recommend any Western media produced later than the 1960’s, except perhaps some of the movies produced by Disney.  Sadly, we can not even recommend the more recent Disney movies, which have slid into the cynicism of the post-Modern West.  Yet, even the best Western shows produced prior to the 1960’s are still rationalist in their outlook, and therefore, do not have much in the way of richness of metaphysical truth.  So, the fact that I can even discuss whether Happiness Charge Precure is metaphysically “right” speaks to the high quality of the larger series.

After watching episode 7, I admit I am not sure how this series will fare.  So far, I do not really see where the series is going with respect to metaphysical truth.  In contrast, in the four previous series, the metaphysical themes were present from the very beginning.   Cure Dolly discusses this at length in her article, Happiness Charge Precure Review – is it as good as the others.

It is possible that the theme will be develop over time, and that it is more actually more subtle than the previous seasons.  As of episode 7, it seems like the story may be developing into the traditional tale of the Wagamama (“selfish, spoiled”) Princess, which could be quite deep and could explain the surface visual attractiveness of the Side of Evil.

Going outside in pajamas is DAME!
Going outside in pajamas is DAME!

Innocence

For the most part, this series still promotes innocence, I think, and values such as friendship and harmony.  On the other hand, there are a few trouble spots, which may or may not be minor depending on how the series develops.  The theme of clothing and of the importance of clothing is of particular interest to us here at Senshi.   Hime-chan’s instruction of Megumi-chan regarding clothing is quite important.  Some examples have been Hime-chan’s statement in episode 3 that wearing pajamas outside was “dame.”  I found that particularly good and important as, where I live, I often see people wearing clothing that looks like pajamas.  I also liked when Hime-chan explained to Megumi-chan that wearing a jersey to the party made the party less special in episode 7.

vlcsnap-2014-04-05-15h26m08s110Of greater interest are the “magic clothes” that transform the girls into particular Functions, such as Policemaid or Nurse.   Aside from being a lot of fun, this really illustrates the importance of dress and clothing.  See The Philosophy of Dress.

At the same time, there are some dubious clothing choices even with the “magic clothes.”  In all of the various Precure series, the clothing of the girls has been one of the weakest elements in the series.  While, here on Senshi, we have overlooked this flaw because of the overall goodness of the show, this weakness becomes a larger problem when clothing is one of the main themes of the series.

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A step up from pajamas….I suppose…

Poisonous Elements

Another important part of any media analysis on Senshi is the determination of whether there are any poisonous elements to be cautious of or to be avoided completely.  So far, in the case of Happiness Charge Precure, there is nothing so poisonous as to avoid watching the show entirely, but, I think that there are a few points to be careful of.

vlcsnap-2014-04-05-15h29m30s177The biggest concern in this direction is the visual attractiveness of the Phantom Empire and the effects of the Saiaku.  There could be a good reason for this, which we may discover later, but, I think that this is still quite tricky.  In all of the previous series I have seen Good and Evil are quite clear.  Evil LOOKS like Evil!  This is very important.  Here on Senshi, we do not believe in “moral ambiguity.”  Good is Good, and Evil is Evil.  Axial Beings may experience difficult temptations…but Good and Evil is clear.  See DokiDoki Finale:  Love is Not a Crime and DokiDoki Precure 46: The Fundamental Questions of Existence.  It is possible that the visual attractiveness of Evil in Happiness Charge Precure is truly an illusion, and that its ugliness will be revealed later, but this is a real concern.

vlcsnap-2014-03-11-12h19m50s127Another concern is one of Cure Lovely’s attacks, which is a dance using deracinated clothing and music.  While all of the Precure series have had some questionable clothing and music choices, it becomes a much more serious matter when they are part of a purification attack against Evil.   Also, even though I very much LOVE Cure Princess’ Macadamia Hulu Dance, where the Evil Minions are brought into harmony and dance along, generally when Evil is brought into harmony, it becomes Good.  In this case, the harmony is a mere distraction to help defeat the Evil Minions with another attack.

Despite these criticisms, Happiness Charge is still a fun show, and as of yet, the problems are not so great as to suggest that the show be avoided.  On the other hand, it seemed good and important to explain what we look for in the media we suggest and recommend here on Musume Senshi.

DokiDoki Precure Finale: Love is Not a Crime

As the reader may recall, in episode 46 of DokiDoki Precure, we discover how the King of Trump Kingdom became King Selfish, or King Jikochou.  He unleashed a Primordial Evil when he took the Sacred Crown sealing it to save his daughter’s life.  See DokiDoki Precure 46: The Fundamental Questions of Existence.

Even as it was happening, one can not help but feel for the King.  Of course, it was wrong to unleash the Primordial Evil, but faced with the prospect of the death of his daughter, it seems like a rather difficult and harsh choice.  As the Precure worked to free the King’s soul, Cure Heart gave a speech about the importance of family love, and how love for one’s own family was not selfishness.  After that speech, King Jikochou and Cure Sword have the following dialogue:

vlcsnap-2014-03-03-11h00m54s7“King Jikochou:  Family love.  Ha!  Don’t make me laugh.  You really think the citizens of Trump Kingdom will forgive me after I wrecked their Kingdom to save my daughter?

Cure Sword: Love is not a crime.  You’re the one at fault here for using their love.”

This seems to be a bit of a riddle.  Was not the King’s love for his daughter the reason that he unleashed Evil upon his own Kingdom?

I think that the answer to this riddle can be found in episode 47.  Regina-san, who was born from the corrupted part of Princess Marie Ange’s heart, led the Precure in explaining the answer.

vlcsnap-2014-03-07-18h47m34s235After receiving love from Cure Heart, Regina-san joins the fight with the Precure against King Jikochou.  King Jikochou asks her why she has turned and is now fighting against him.  Regina-san answers:

“Love had been in my heart from the beginning, Papa. Because I love you, Papa.  But…But…You know…I love Mana, too.  As much as you, Papa.  So much that I can’t choose between you!  I love Mana!”

The minions from the Selfish Kingdom wonder if this is selfishness on Regina-san’s part.  Regina-san questioned whether her feelings were wrong.  The Precure answered her as follows:

Cure Rosetta:  “I don’t think so.  I love Mana-chan, too.  Rikka-chan, Makato-chan, Aguri-chan, Regina-san.  I love them all!”

Cure Sword:  “Me too.  I only saw the Princess before, but now everyone here is precious to me.”

King Jikochou answered: “Silence!  Regina!  You only need to look at me!”

To which, Cure Diamond replied: “I understand how you feel.  Because I remember having those same feelings.  But compared to hogging the person you love all to yourself, to have the person you love help you to love yourself…Just like that, the ring of love expands.  Isn’t that kind of better?”

After this, Cure Ace was able to talk to her father as well:  “Please stop.  What connects us all is love.  My fate as a warrior of love was not to defeat you, but love you!  I’ve finally realized.  And now I can do it.  Do you know why?  Because you’re still my father!

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At this point, the King saw his daughter in Cure Ace and began to become free of the Evil that had overtaken him.  It was his love for his daughter that saved him.

Why is this when the love for his daughter opened the door to Evil?

The answer to this is simple.  It was NOT the King’s love for his daughter that opened the door to Evil.  If you recall, in episode 46, the King said,

“If only Ange is saved, what happens to the world doesn’t matter!”

The answer is that he lost his love for the world.  He was told that the only way to save his daughter was to unleash Evil.  Was this true?  Maybe, but maybe not.  Evil is known for its trickery.  One of the ways Evil tricks us is by presenting us with false dilemmas.  The options in front of us seem to become limited, and we believe that we have no other choice but to follow the course of Evil.  In this case, the sickness that had overtaken the Princess seemed to have been from the Seed of the Evil itself, so it would seem likely that there would have been another way to save her.

But even if we are to take at face value that the King had no other choice, it was not love that prompted him to unleash the Evil.  When he tried to resist the Evil, he said,

“Ange won’t be happy if I bring forth Darkness to save her.”

Indeed, by opening the door to Evil, he not only brought forth the destruction of his own Kingdom, but he set the stage for his daughter to rip her own heart in two in torment.

It was not love for his daughter that caused him to unleash Evil, but Selfishness.  He was not doing what was best for his daughter.  He knew his daughter did not want to live at the expense of his Kingdom.  He did not want to experience the grief of possibly losing his daughter.  That is not the same thing as love.

vlcsnap-2014-03-07-19h40m28s167This is a bit tricky to see, because if the King did not love his daughter, he would not suffer grief at her loss.  Yet, love sometimes means to embrace suffering.  We see this in the pain that Regina-san suffers in her heart when she started to feel love throughout the series.  In his fear of feeling grief, the King lost his love for his Kingdom AND paradoxically enough, he lost his love for his daughter as well.  As he said before he gave in to Evil, “Ange’s death is the same as the end of the world.”  When he gave in to Evil, he lost sight of everyone else other than himself.  That is not love, but selfishness.

Throughout this series, DokiDoki Precure has explored many complicated matters surrounding things that look like love, but are not love.  Yet, in the end, we always find that these complexities are not really about love itself, but are really selfishness disguising itself as love.  As Cure Sword eloquently pointed out, love is not a crime.  Love is never a crime, and love is always the answer.  No matter how complicated the situation seems to be, it can always be resolved with love!  In the words of feminine Scripture, “Of all things, love is the simplest.”  I think that this is the overarching message of DokiDoki Precure.

With this article, I believe that my coverage of DokiDoki Precure is complete!  (Hee…although you never know, other authors may still have things to say about it!)  It really was quite a series, wasn’t it?  Thank you for following my articles and the articles of the other Senshi.

Cure Yasashiku signing out for now!

DokiDoki Precure Finale: Love, Selfishness, and Choice

Doki Doki Precure was quite an exciting series, and I thought that the finale was breathtaking.  For me, the scariest moment was when the Primordial Selfish was able to blacken and steal the Psyche of Cure Heart…at least momentarily.  Cure Heart had been so stalwart throughout the series, often being compared to the Happy Prince.  It was quite a surprise that the Primordial Selfish was able to corrupt even her.

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One of the things that is so impressive about Precure is the way that metaphysical themes are woven deeply into the story, and how their finales weave these themes together.  I have read some reviews of DokiDoki Precure by Western commentators, which complained that the stories of the individual characters seemed to be disjointed and disconnected.  What these commentators failed to understand is that this story is not character driven, but is a story in the truest sense of the word, a tale that illustrates spiritual and metaphysical realities.  The individual characters represent ideas and themes.

The primary theme of Doki Doki Precure is Love and Selfishness.  Throughout the series, we are taught that, as Axial Beings, we have the choice between Love and Selfishness.  This theme was manifest at the very beginning of the series and has been present throughout.  See The Philosophy of Doki Doki Precure: An Overview.

Throughout the series, we were shown how the choice between Love and Selfishness is a continuous one, with day to day choices having broad ramifications to the world and to the battle between good and evil.  Here at Senshi, we have discussed this at length.

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-12h57m10s110I have seen many, but not all, of the Precure series all the way through their finales, and there is an interesting difference in DokiDoki Precure.  In every other finale I have seen, the world was destroyed by Evil before it was rescued.  Yet, in Doki Doki Precure, the world is in danger, but it was not destroyed!  Why is that?

We are told the answer to this in episode 47.  Trump Kingdom was destroyed because the citizens themselves chose Selfishness when they were in danger, and they became Selfishnesses themselves.  Yet, the citizens of this world did not.  People started to become selfish, but then they chose to help one another and show love for each other instead.  The world was not destroyed!  In episode 48, the world cheers the Precure on, shouting “Precure Ganbare!”  The Precure, Regina-san, and Ai-chan were able to save the King of Trump Kingdom, and the world was apparently saved from Darkness and Selfishness.

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-13h24m30s150There was quite a surprise at the end of episode 48, though.  Bel-san, one of the minions of the Selfish Kingdom, made the choice to take into his own body the small bit of Darkness that remained after the King of Trump Kingdom was saved.  When Bel-san made that choice, he awakened the Primordial Selfishness.  This Selfishness fully enveloped him, which set the stage for a surprise episode 49.

Cure Heart's Psyche beginning to return
Cure Heart’s Psyche beginning to return

It was during this battle that Cure Heart’s Psyche was taken.  A black spot formed, which the Primordial Selfishness caused to grow.  Cure Heart tried to resist, but she was unable to.  Then her Psyche was stolen.  It followed the same pattern as every other time a Psyche was  used to create a Selfishness.  That was not the end of the story, however.  Just when we thought all would be lost, Cure Heart’s Psyche was restored, and she returned to fight back even stronger than before.  She was able to receive strength from the other Cures and the power of the Sacred Treasures to transform into Parthenon Mode, and she defeated the Primordial Selfishness.

Why did all of this happen?  Why was Cure Heart overtaken, and why was she restored?

As the Primordial Selfishness was being defeated, he had the following dialogue with Cure Heart:

vlcsnap-2014-02-11-13h51m51s167“Primordial Selfnessness (“PS”):  As long as humans possess selfish, egotistical hearts, I will always return.  Always, I tell you.

Cure Heart (“CH”):  I know.  Even I have a selfish heart.

PS:  What?

CH:  I have had times where I have been jealous or just wanted to run away.  But I think that the pain and struggling that come with it can make people stronger.  And even if I lose sight of my love, I have my friends!  As long as I have friends by my side, I’ll always stand up and fight back!”

After this exchange, the Primordial Selfishness was defeated, and many fluttering hearts were returned to their places.  This world and the Trump Kingdom were fully restored.

vlcsnap-2014-02-23-10h48m34s156Yes, each and every one of us has a selfish heart that can be corrupted.  That is a part of our nature.  In Filianic thealogy, each of us as a False Self.  While that is true, we also have the choice to resist our False Selves, or our selfish hearts, and choose love.  So long as we choose Love, Selfishness will always be defeated!

I believe that this is the message of DokiDoki Precure!

See also:

Regina-san and Free Will

Enryo and Love

Precure All Stars:  The Greatest Story Ever Retold

Doki Doki Precure: Princess Marie Ange

Princess Marie AngeThe finale to DokiDoki Precure just aired last Saturday.  I was fortunate enough to have the experience of watching it while it was airing.  I am a beginning student of Japanese, so I was not able to understand much while watching in Japanese except for what I could glean from the visuals.  Still, it was quite exciting to watch while it was airing.  It was particularly fun to see the Japanese commercials.

Luckily, the English subtitles came out rather quickly this week, so I did not have long to wait before I learned how this story would end.

There is a lot to discuss now that the series is complete, more than can be discussed in just one article.   Here on Senshi, we have covered the ongoing series extensively, so it seems fit to explore some of the many topics of the series.

Princess Marie Ange, and her descendants, are central to the story that was told in Doki Doki Precure.  Princesses in stories can represent Archetypal Maids, and I think that in this story, Princess Marie Ange represents humanity as a whole.  In episode 46, we learn what happened to the Princess, and how she broke her heart in two as a result of the painful knowledge that her father had opened the door to Evil in order to save her life.  I refer the reader back to Cure Tadashiku’s article, Doki Doki Precure 46: The Fundamental Questions of Existence.

The Two Halves Must Fight

Half of the Princess’ heart became Regina-san, who fell by her father.  As we recall, her father was possessed by Evil and became King Selfish.  The other half of her heart fell in the arms of a traditional grandmother and became Aguri-chan/Cure Ace.  The Princess’ empty shell became the baby, Ai-chan.

Chibi Regina-san In episode 46, we are told that Aguri-chan and Regina-san are the Light and Shadow sides of the Princess.  Indeed the part of the Princess’ heart that had become Regina-san had become dark and corrupt.  Yet, Regina-san was able to be purified.

The topic of Light and Shadow Selves, or True and False Selves, is a recurring theme in Precure.  In Heartcatch Precure, Cure Moonlight’s Shadow Self or False Self is represented by Dark Precure.  Cure Moonlight also had a father who had been corrupted by Evil, and her father created Dark Precure specifically to be her enemy.  In Heartcatch Precure, to defeat Dark Precure, Cure Moonlight had to embrace her, and when she did, Dark Precure dissolved, and Cure Moonlight’s broken heartseed became whole.

Why did this not happen the same way in Doki Doki Precure?

I think that the reason for this is that Regina-san was not really the Princess’ False Self.  When the Princess split her heart in two, she said that one half was the love she had for her father and the other half was the love to protect everyone’s smiles.  She was under the mistaken belief that conflict between these halves was inevitable.  Yet, before the King became corrupt, these two sides were united, and her whole heart was pure.

Saving the KingOn the opening page of the Daughters of Shining Harmony, there is a discussion of love, or Amity.  The article can be found here.   This article explains that there are two types of Amity, Menamity and Mayamity.  Menamity, or Little Amity, is the love that binds all people together, or “the love to protect everyone’s smile.”  Mayamity, or Great Amity, is deep personal love which may exist between family and close friends.  In the West, there is sometimes the mistaken notion that these types of love are in conflict with one another, and that deep personal love excludes a more general love for others.

This is exactly the lie that Bel-san told the Princess, that her love for her father, and the love that he had for her, was selfish, and that it excluded the love for their people.  The King believed that lie when he sacrificed the peace and well-being of his Kingdom to save his daughter, and then the Princess believed that lie, which caused half of her own heart to become corrupt as well.  She could not choose between Mayamity and Menamity, so she split her heart in two, believing that these parts of her heart would have to fight each other.

As the story progresses through the finale, we learn that the Princess was wrong.  Her love for her father, embodied in Regina-san, and the love to protect everyone’s smiles, embodied in Aguri-chan, did not have to fight at all.  Indeed, it was when they united that they were able to free their father from King Selfish, which also saved the world.

Two Hearts Becoming Whole

In the end, Regina-san learns Menamity, and Aguri-chan learns Mayamity.  Both halves of the Princess’ heart become whole again.  Regina-san helps save the world, and Aguri-chan learns to make friends.  The love for one’s family and the love to protect everyone’s smiles are indeed both love and they are in harmony with one another.

The Power of Song

DokiDoki Precure is really getting exciting, isn’t it?  I have just seen episode 40.  The girls have just tried to retrieve the Spear of Light and rescue Regina-san, but have failed.  She would not go along with them.  Isn’t it interesting, though?  Regina-san is the only one who could move the Spear of Light, one of the three Sacred Treasures.

In episode 30, the girls recover one of the Sacred Treasures, the Crystal Mirror.  In episode 31, the Minions of the Selfish Kingdom break the Crystal Mirror.  (I still shudder with anger at that scene, by the way.)  The girls keep fighting, and the five broken pieces become the Lovely Pad, which allows the girls to combine their powers.

Regina-san with SpearIn episode 39, we learn that the Spear of Light is hidden in the Selfish Kingdom’s headquarters.  It was stolen from the Princess of Trump Kingdom, who is still frozen.  When the girls try to recover it, they are unable to move it.  To everyone’s surprise, Regina-san was able to move it, and the Spear became Dark.  Cure Heart tries to reach Regina-san with her words and her feelings, but it does not work.

At the start of episode 40, the girls are in disagreement as to whether it is possible to reach Regina-san with love.  Aguri-chan says it is impossible, that she is King Selfish’s daughter and there is no love in her heart.  Mana-chan disagrees, and says that Regina-san loves her father, (see episode 22); therefore, she must have love in her heart.

We Will Steal Their Songs FirstMakoto-chan takes this to heart, and decides to write a song to reach her.  Soon, the rest of the girls join in to assist.  At the same time, Regina-san also decides to enter the battleground of song.  King Selfish has told her to go take over the world.  Regina-san tells him that humans are resilient, and they must weaken them first.  Regina-san decides that the way to weaken them is to steal their songs.

Songs are now the battlefield.  Why is that, and why are songs so powerful?  This past summer, Cure Tadashiku explained this to us in the article, Selfishness and Harmony.  Tadashiku-san taught us about the Japanese word, wa, which means harmony.  Wa is the harmony of music, but it is also the harmony of the heavens and the harmony of social relationships.  A previous series, Suite Precure, explored the the concept of wa in great depth.  In Suite Precure, we are shown that love is fundamental to harmony; Queen Aphrodite (Venus) is the Queen of Major Land.  In DokiDoki Precure, we are shown that harmony is fundamental to love.

As I was watching, I was very glad that, in episode 24, Makoto-chan made the decision to keep singing even after they found the Princess frozen.  Isn’t it exciting how all of the pieces are starting to come together?  I remember in that episode, Aguri-chan said that Makoto-chan’s songs would save the world, and now she is singing a song to directly fight a battle against the Selfish Kingdom.  This battle is for the heart of Regina-san and for the Spear of Light!

Regina-san vs MakoPi-chan

In the heat of the next battle, Makoto-chan sings her song.  It allows her to free herself from the clutches of the Selfishness that Regina-san created and to power up.  She does start to reach Regina-san, and Regina-san feels her heart ache again, as it did before, when Mana-chan’s love brought her around for a short while.  Although Regina-san gets away before the song can completely touch her, we know now that there is hope.

I wonder what will happen next?  Is Regina-san the Princess?  What about Ai-chan?  Remember, we learned in episode 34 and episode 38, that Ai-chan’s upbringing will determine whether she will be loving or selfish and that will determine the fate of the ultimate battle with the Selfish Kingdom.  What about Aguri-chan/Cure Ace?  Why does she have nostalgic feelings with respect to the Princess and Trump Kingdom?

See also:

Who Is Cure Ace?

Enryo and Love

Last week, Cure Kiyoku wrote about episode 37 of DokiDoki Precure, which explored the importance of appreciation for vegetables.  This lesson was very much in line with what we have learned about the importance of vegetables from Cure Dolly.  In Cure Dolly’s previous article, she also taught us about the Japanese virtue of enryo, or self-restraint.  Interestingly enough, the next episode of DokiDoki Precure, episode 38, is about enryo.

Ai-chan playing drumsAt the beginning of the episode, we see that Ai-chan is doing very well.  She is learning to be a very good girl.  She is throwing less and less tantrums.  We also see that being a good girl means practicing enryo.  Ai-chan is told that she can not eat too much or drink too much.  She accepts that without complaining, and because she is good, she gets the reward of playing with a drum.

Of course, the villains have to try to spoil all of this, and they kidnap Ai-chan to try to turn her into a Selfishness.  To do this, they give Ai-chan anything she wants, whenever she wants it.  They give her as much to eat and drink as she wants, and they let her do anything she wants without restraint!

Ai-chan being temptedFor a time, this works.  Ai-chan does become a Selfishness for a time.  This is very much like the temptation faced by Candy-chan in Smile Precure.  You can read about it in Cure Dolly’s article, The Philosophical Riddle of the Ball of Neglect.  In DokiDoki Precure, this temptation is even more virulent.  Ai-chan starts to become rather nasty.  She throws temper tantrums and even becomes a bit violent.

Ai-chan turned to SelfishnessIn Smile Precure, Candy-chan is able to resist the temptation by remembering a lesson from Miyuki-chan regarding the pleasures of shared treats.  In DokiDoki Precure, it is Cure Heart that rescues Ai-chan.  She is able to rescue her with love.  She tells Ai-chan how much she loves her, and how happy Ai-chan makes all of the girls.  She reminds Ai-chan of the fun that they have all had together.

Ai-chan and Cure HeartIn the modern world, this would seem to be a poor antidote for being able to have everything one wants whenever she wants it, yet, this frees Ai-chan from the Selfish Kingdom and restores her heart!

It seems that love and enryo are very much intertwined.

Ai-chan restored

Oh yes, from the previews it looks like Regina-san is back.  I am quite interested in seeing what will happen next.

A Mother’s Love

One of the scariest and most frustrating things that happens when taking care of a baby is when they cry and cry, and it seems like there is nothing that can stop the crying.  This is the situation that the girls face in the most recent episode of DokiDoki Precure, episode 34.  Ai-chan was in a bad mood, and she would not stop crying.  This situation was even worse, because when Ai-chan cried, it decreased all of the girls powers and increased the Powers of the minions of the Selfish Kingdom.

Ai-chan cryingThe girls try everything to make Ai-chan happy again, but nothing works.  When the girls were frustrated and exhausted Mana-chan’s mother and Rikka-chan’s mother come in and ask what is wrong.  We then hear stories of Mana-chan’s and Rikka-chan’s childhood.  By a strange bit of serendipity, this week there was a Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis about the exploration of traits and teachings that are past down through the generations.  The reason that this is a strange bit of serendipity is that this is a major theme in this episode.

Both Mana-chan and Rikka-chan learn things from their mothers that helps them handle Ai-chan’s crying.  This is Rikka-chan’s episode to power-up, however.  Of all of the characters, Rikka-chan most directly follows in the footsteps of her mother.

Rikka-chan and her mother

It seems to me that DokiDoki Precure has been an exploration of love, in its many different forms.  Each of the four beginning characters represents a material element, which corresponds with their card suit.  Cure Heart/Mana-chan is water, Cure Sword/MakoPi-chan is air, Cure Rosetta/Alice-chan is fire, and Cure Diamond/Rikka-chan is earth.  While water is the most obvious element representing love, each of the four initial characters also manifest love in the manner of their element.  Cure Heart/Mana-chan manifests love primarily through service (water), Cure Sword/MakoPi-chan manifest love through song (air), and Cure Rosetta/Alice-chan manifests love through protection (fire).

Rikka-chan comforting Ai-chanCure Diamond/Rikka-chan is earth, and she manifests love in very practical ways, and as I mentioned earlier, she directly follows in the footsteps of her earthly mother.  She wants to be a doctor, like her mother when she grows up, as I discussed in a previous article,  The Heart of a Healer.  In this episode, she learns from her own mother how to care for a baby, and how to understand the needs of a baby.  Clues from both her mother and Mana-chan’s mother helped Rikka-chan to understand that Ai-chan was frightened by the battles she was seeing.  Through her understanding, she was able to soothe Ai-chan, and she powered up with a new attack.

Over and over in this series, we are seeing how love is passed along.  We can only love when we have received love.  In Rikka-chan’s case, as earth, she learned love from her earthly mother, and she in turn, passes that love along to her patients and to Ai-chan in the form of earthly, practical care.

I wonder what will happen next.  We are left with the mystery of Ai-chan and with the question of why her crying powers up the side of evil.  When the girls ask this question, the Princess appears in the mirror.  Oh, yes, there is another thing I noticed.  Have you seen in the new opening sequence, Cure Ace and Regina-san appear together?  When we learned about Aguri-chan’s background, I had given up on Cure Kiyoku’s earlier theory about Cure Ace and Regina-san, as she wrote in her article, Who Is Cure Ace?  Yet, there does seem to be some connection with Ai-chan and the Princess.  I wonder how all of this is going to tie together.

Cure Ace and Regina-san

I Feel Pretty: Clothing and Manners

I have been rather fascinated by Lolita.  I do not have the money or the figure to buy the wonderful clothing out there.  My figure is not such that I would look good in a Lolita silhouette either.  I guess the style that I have been working towards is as close to otome as I can put together with clothing from the plus size resale store by my house.

Still, I just love to look at pictures of girls dressed in Lolita, and I do dream of someday having the money and figure for such a style.

Anyways, I recently read discussions regarding whether one needed to or even should adopt ladylike manners when dressing in Lolita.  One of the ideas was along the lines of whether it was phony when people acted differently when wearing Lolita.

Of course, I have never been a part of any Lolita community, so I do not really know much.  On the other hand, I am thinking of myself.  One of the things I realized is that I feel differently when I dress nicely.  When I am wearing pretty dresses, I feel pretty.  When I feel pretty, I naturally start behaving in a more ladylike fashion.

Now, I think I have rather good manners to begin with, although, I am far from perfect.  When I dress nicely, with a pretty dress and gloves, I find myself being more polite and gracious than I would ordinarily be.  I do not think it is putting on an act.  I think that the clothing we wear does transform us, if we let it.

I know that it works the other way too.  When I used to dress sloppily on occasion, I would feel rather sloppy, and my manners would often become sloppy to match.  It was not a conscious thing.  It just happened naturally.

I do not know if this happens just with clothing.  Once I had some family and friends over for breakfast.  I did not have a fancy meal, but I put out a pretty tablecloth and served breakfast on nice china.  The strangest thing happened.  Everyone naturally started being on their best behavior, and their manners improved a hundredfold.  Even my cat behaved better.  I have been working with my cat on not begging at the table (with limited success).  Yet, when we were all at the table, she sat nicely and waited for us all to be finished.  Of course, I gave her a nice treat and praised her for that.

Anyways, I do not know that I am saying anything profound or wise, but it was something I thought of that may be of interest.