All posts by Cure Yasashiku

About Cure Yasashiku

I am a student of Japanese, an astrologer and a housewife. I also knit, crochet, garden and study Swedish, Latin, and Classical Greek. My 正体 (shoutai) is Cynthia Thinnes and I write for the blog, Mormor's Backporch. はじめまして。占星術師や主婦です。趣味は編み物や庭いじりです。下手でも日本語が出来ます。スウェーデン語もラテン語も勉強しています。よろしくお願いします。

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.

The Happy Prince, Selflessness, and Ganbaru

I just watched episode 32 of DokiDoki Precure.  I know all of us here talk about how impressed we are with Precure, but I still am more and more amazed the more I watch.  These shows really present some complicated issues regarding innocence and love, and they give us such wonderful answers to these issues.

Mana-chan collapsesIn episode 32, we run into the dilemma of The Happy Prince.  A more familiar tale to the modern reader might be the Giving Tree.  The dilemma is one of selfless giving and whether there is a point where this can be taken too far.  In the episode, the school is having its cultural festival, and Mana-chan wears herself out to the point of getting sick working on the festival.  During the episode, it also becomes clear that the other students have likely been relying on Mana-chan too much.

After reading the story of The Happy Prince, Aguri-chan takes it upon herself to remedy the situation.  She orders Mana-chan to bed, and proceeds to do what she thinks is needed to bring everything in balance.  She takes it upon herself to chide the other students.  After she has done so, she accuses Mana-chan of pampering everyone, leaving them open to becoming Selfishnesses.  She says that they should all learn to stand up for themselves as individuals.

The Happy PrinceAguri-chan’s words are similar to Western conventional wisdom and notions of “tough love.”  Mana-chan had a very different answer to this problem.  She recognized that everyone did need to be as strong as they could be, but explained that everyone had things that they could and could not do.  Mana-chan also talked about the warm and exciting feeling of helping and being helped.

After this, we see that the other students took Aguri-chan’s words to heart.  They began to do their best, or ganbaru.  They work hard and solve problems themselves.  Aguri-chan sees all of this and learns a lesson herself, which is the lesson of what it means to love and to be loved.  With this lesson, she gains a new power as Cure Ace.  At the end of the episode, Mana-chan and Aguri-chan talk about a world where one can give selflessly safely, and Aguri-chan says that she would like a work towards such a world being possible.

This is a really complex issue, I think.  One of the reasons it is so complex in this day and age is that the concept of understood virtue and fault has been lost.  In the world today, particularly in the West, there is a utilitarian notion of right and wrong.  Right and wrong are often seen in a pragmatic light.  Things are good and bad depending on how they effect us, other people, and society.  This leads to some very strange practices, one of them being “blaming the victim.”  There is a belief that if one is being mistreated or taken advantage of, it is her job to stop it, and that if she allows it, she is “enabling” the other.  From a utilitarian standpoint, there may be truth to this, but it is quite topsy-turvy.  The reason I think we tend to blame the victim is that generally it is harder to get the wrongdoer to change her ways.

In a democratic society, there is also the notion of individual “rights,” and individuals are have the responsibility of protecting their own “rights.”   Taking this notion further creates the implication that if someone can not protect her “rights,” it is ok for others to trample upon her.

This episode has a much different analysis of this problem.  The issue is not about whether Mana-chan is “enabling” others, or whether she is giving more than everyone else.  The issue is one of virtue and fault.  Selfless giving is a virtue.  Not doing one’s best is a fault.  Aguri-chan takes on the role of Authority in pointing out the faults of the other students.  The students accept the reprimand from Aguri-chan, even though she is an elementary school student, and in general, she is not in a position to issue such a reprimand.  They accept the reprimand because they can see that she is speaking truth, and that she was pointing out a true fault of theirs.  They knew that they could not refute what she was saying.

Cheering the Precure onIn accepting the reprimand, the students were able to correct their fault, and they do ganbaru.  The answer was not Mana-chan holding back but was everyone else stepping up to the plate.  This is also the innocent answer to the problem of The Happy Prince, rather than the cynical one.  People can change.  People can respond to selfless love in a loving way, rather than in a selfish way.  This is the lesson that Aguri-chan learned, and it warmed her heart.

Make Dream RealityI think it is a lesson we can all learn as well.  Does this always happen?  No, of course not.  We all have faults, and we are all tempted by our False Self at times.  There are those from the Selfish Kingdom who will exploit those faults.  Yet, as Aguri-chan and Mana-chan said at the end of this episode, we can all work to create a world where it is safe to give and to love with all our hearts.  We do this by giving of ourselves, freely letting our virtues shine, and willingly accepting correction to help minimize our faults.  We can respond to love by loving in return.  This is what innocence is all about, I think.

 

The Seeds of Selfishness

I just watched the most recent DokiDoki Precure, which is episode 31, and I was very impressed with it.  Very impressed is quite the understatement actually.  This episode was as true a statement of the world we find ourselves in as I have ever seen.

Seed of SelfishnessIn the episode, minions of King Selfish launch a fearsome attempt to destroy the world.  They send out Seeds of Selfishness throughout the world.  These seeds worm their way into everyone’s hearts.  First the people become unconscious.  As the seeds spread and grow in their hearts, we learn that the people will turn into Selfishnesses and will destroy their own world.

That is quite a chilling image.  It is chilling in that this is exactly what this world is facing today.  The Seeds of Selfishness are an extremely accurate metaphor for the poisons of the Modern world, atomization, deracination, and deformation.  The term deracination can also be used to refer to all three of these poisons collective.  Deracination acts in the  exact manner as was depicted in this episode.  First, it render its victims unconscious.  While the Modern victims of deracination are not physically unconscious, they are psychically unconscious.  They do not know or understand what is happening to them for the most part.  In this unconscious state, the Seeds are sprouting, and the people are in danger of destroying their own world.

Happily Precure is not a post-Modern Western show, so the plans of the Selfish Kingdom fail.  The Precures are standing in their way.  Interestingly, two of the Precures, Cure Sword and Cure Ace are from different worlds, both of which were destroyed by King Selfish.  The manner in which the Precures prevail in this episode is truly fascinating as well.

Cure Heart picking up Lovely PadIn the previous episode, the girls retrieve a Lovely Pad.  This Pad is 10,000 years old, and has been guarded for all that time.  This Pad also holds the soul of the very first Precure, Cure Empress.  At first, the girls do not know what to do with the Lovely Pad, and none of the technology available to the girls through Alice-chan can help the girls in discovering what the Lovely Pad is or it can do.

During the battle with the minions of Evil, the 10,000 year old Lovely Pad is broken into 5 pieces.  This is an apt metaphor for deracination (the severing from our roots), I believe.  Cure Heart picks up the broken pieces while the Evil Minion taunts her about it.  Despite this, the girls are bullied to the point of what looks like sure defeat.  Cure Heart drops to the floor and cries, saying that she now understands the pain Cure Sword and Cure Ace went through when their own worlds were destroyed.

After a long and deep cry, Cure Heart gets back up on her feet and gets ready to fight again.  She begins with the Five Vows of the Precure, and each of the girls join in.  They realize that their feelings are strong enough to prevail no matter what.  As they get back up and decide to continue fighting, the broken pieces of the Ancient Pad form into a new Pad for each of the girls.  At this point, they can combine their powers, and they are able to defeat the Evil Minions.

All of this is a metaphor for the Senshi here, I believe.  We have decided that we will never give up or give in to the Forces of Darkness.  We know that we have a broken 10,000 year old Lovely Pad.  This is knowledge of Ancient Wisdom that has been lost to our world.  In our persistence and determination, we pick up these pieces and hold on to them, despite the taunts of the Modern World.  In our determination to keep fighting so long as we have breath, we give the broken pieces new life, and these give us the power to combine our forces to defeat the Minions of Darkness!

See also:

Previous Articles about DokiDoki Precure

Discussion about DokiDoki Precure on Senshi Forums

The Heart of a Healer

With each episode of DokiDoki Precure, I am more and more impressed by it.   This show has been exploring topics that confound Western scholars and theologians.

Do I Want to be a DoctorIn the previous episodes, each of the Precure have been tested one by one, and each has been challenged by Cure Ace.  First Cure Happy regarding her love for Regina-san, and next Cure Sword regarding her love for singing.  Last week, we explored the protective side of love with Cure Rosetta.  This week, in doki doki episode 26, it was Cure Diamond’s turn.

Rikka-chan (Cure Diamond’s civilian identity) has always wanted to be a doctor, like her mother.  Yet, this week, Rikka-chan must face the question of whether this is really her dream.

Rikka-chan and Ira-sanAs she was pondering this question, Ira-san, one of the villains from the Selfish Kingdom, appears before her wounded and without memory of who he was.  Almost without thinking, Rikka-chan takes him home and takes care of him.  Later, as Ira-san was healing, but still without memory, Cure Ace challenges Rikka-chan on her actions, and tries to defeat Ira-san.  Rikka-chan protects Ira-san against Cure Ace.

Next another villain arrives, Gula-san, and Rikka-chan continues to protect Ira-san.  Rikka-chan gains her new powers.  Ira-san does recover his memories, and then he does return to the Selfish Kingdom.  Despite the fact that Ira-san has returned to the Selfish Kingdom, Rikka-san smiles and is happy that he is healed.

Cure Diamond Powered UpThis is a really complex issue.  Rikka-san heals even her enemy, and she is happy he is healed even though this meant that he went back to being evil and her enemy.  I do not think that this is something we can really understand with logic or reason,  but I think that this is the mark of a true healer.  Her actions were right, though.  In the feminine Scripture, the Clew of Love says:

How shall the soul attain to Love?

Let her open herself to every creature in compassion and in care.

Let her seek to do no harm to any being.

Let her love extend even to those who do her hurt.

For perfect love is perfect knowledge and perfect knowledge is perfect love.

I also found interesting the Vow that Cure Ace taught Cure Diamond, “A Precure must trust herself and never regret her actions.”  This is the English translation.  As I am not one of the girls here who speaks Japanese, I do not know the actual Japanese.

Why does Cure Ace say that a Precure must always trust herself and never regret her actions?  It is a curious vow.  I think that the key for us to understand this is that when Cure Diamond protected Ira-san, she said that if she did not protect Ira-san while he was wounded, she would regret it later.

Cure Diamond standing up to Cure Ace

I do not think that Cure Ace was saying that Precures trust themselves as individuals, but that they trust the instincts of their Function as Precures.  In this case, Rikka-san was also trusting in her healer’s Heart.  She knew, deep in her Heart, that it was wrong to allow harm to a patient under her care, while he was under her care.

Ira-sanOnce he recovered his memories, Ira-san did return the favor and surreptitiously helped the girls in the next battle.  Still, Ira-san is still a part of the Selfish Kingdom, and Cure Ace wisely cautioned Cure Diamond to be careful of him in the future.

At the end, though, there was a hint in Ira-san’s eyes that Rikka-san’s act of mercy touched him in some way.

I wonder what is going to happen next?

Please join in the discussion of DokiDoki Precure on our Forum

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The Nature of Love

Aguri-sanDokiDoki Precure Episode 24 has aired, and Cure Ace is still a mystery.  We know now that her civilian identity is Madoka Aguri, and she is a fourth grader. Though she is younger than the other girls, she speaks to them with authority even from her non-Precure form. She has assumed the role of senpai with the other girls, and the other girls accepted her in that role.  As senpai, Cure Ace has been teaching the girls (and us) about the nature of love.

Last week, we learned something that was not love.  When Regina-san fell into despair over Regina-san returning to King Selfish, we were told that she had lost her love.  We were told that love meant continuing to work and to fight even though Regina-san was lost (at least temporarily), rather than to succumb to grief.

MakoPi-chan QuittingThis week, we learned a new lesson about love.  MakoPi-chan has decided to quit singing.  She had been singing in order to find the Princess, and she started to believe that her singing was now useless.  The Princess was found, but she was frozen inside of a crystal.  From this perspective, MakoPi-chan could not see the point of continuing to sing.

As MakoPi-chan was contemplating the announcement of her retirement, and as the other Precures were fighting another Selfishness, the Princess finds a way to reach MakoPi-chan, even though she is still frozen.

Sing for YourselfThe Princess tells MakoPi-chan that she could hear her singing even in a frozen state, and that MakoPi-chan’s singing helped bring her out of despair.  The Princess implores MakoPi-chan to continue to sing, and to sing for no other reason that her own love of singing.

I Love to SingAfter her talk with the Princess, MakoPi-chan is able to transform and to join in the fight with the other Precures.  Evil tried to tempt her again, telling her that it was selfish to sing for her own personal love of singing.  At this point, MakoPi-chan explained that her friends were cheering her on, and they all wanted to see her have fun while she was singing.  We also learn that doing things that you adore is the nature of love, and that when we do things we love, we spread that love to others.

The First OathWe also learn that the power of Precures comes from love.  Cure Ace again speaks of the Five Oaths of the Precure, and the first oath being to give people your love.  I am interested in learning what the other four oaths are.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject and your theories of the identity of Cure Ace.

The conversation continues:

DokiDoki Precure

Who is Cure Ace?

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Anime – Just for Children?

I ask for your indulgence for my intrusion on this wonderful site.

I have only recently discovered Anime, and I admit that I was reluctant at first.  I started watching on the recommendation of my friends (the other Senshi on this site).  I thought watching was a good way to re-claim my innocence and nurture my Inner Child.  Once I began watching, I found myself amazed at how deep these shows were on a metaphysical level, and I have been watching with even more interest as an adult.  I have found them extremely valuable in my studies.  

One might ask, what do animated children’s show have to offer in the study of metaphysics?  Should not one learn these important concepts through serious writers such as René Guénon or through books such as The Feminine Universe.  Should we not be studying Plato and Ptolemy to teach us these concepts?  Is that not a better way to learn metaphysics?

Miyuki finding Cinderella BookI am not suggesting replacing adult studies of these subjects with Anime, but I think that Anime provides an important supplement that teaches in a way that more cerebral studies can not.  The difficulty for Western adults is that we have been taught a doctrinally rationalist world view from early childhood.  When we study subjects such as metaphysics and astrology, we tend to do so as Modern Westerners.  We really have as much to unlearn as to learn.  There are basics that we have missed.  In learning these subjects on an adult level, we are trying to learn a language without having learned basic vocabulary and syntax.

Japan (and the East in general) did not go through the movement into rationalism that the  West did.  Of course, Western thought has found its way into the East and into Japan, but there is not hundreds (and thousands) of years of development of rationalist philosophy as there is in the West.  There are matters treated in these supposed children’s shows that confound even very learned Western scholars.

Primordial CinderellaAn example of this is contained in Episode 39 of Smile Precure.  In this episode, Miyuki-chan (Cure Happy) finds herself in the book which contains the Primordial Cinderella.  This is the Cinderella story from which all Cinderella stories are derived.

Cinderella Mishap Cure Happy (and the other girls) had to preserve the essential elements of the story: the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, the ball, dancing with the Prince, leaving at midnight, the glass slipper, and the glass slipper fitting the foot of Cinderella.  Other details of the story were changed due to interference by the Bad Enders and other mishaps.  The fact that the non-essential details of the story were changed did not cause any difficulties so long as the essential elements were preserved.

Glass SlipperOf course, having an adult understanding of these principles is good and helpful, but I also think that watching these shows helps to really reshape our thinking and to bring these concepts home on a very deep level.   They can help provide us the syntax and grammar that we did not get in a Western education.

So, please forgive me if I have introduced an overly serious element to this site.  It is perfectly good and acceptable to just watch Anime for fun.  For serious students of traditional sciences and metaphysics, however, Anime can also provide good, solid grounding in Traditional and Essentialist philosophy, which are valuable supplements for our studies.

Family Loyalty

In the last episode of DokiDoki Precure, episode 22, we saw Regina-san torn between loyalty to her friends, the Precure, and loyalty to her father, King Selfish.  I thought that it was likely that she would be the next Precure, but it turns out that she wasn’t.  (As an aside, I wonder who Cure Ace is?)

Fathers working for the side of evil seems to be a recurring theme in recent Precure.  Of the last four Precure series, this is the third with a main character whose father is working for evil.  In Heartcatch Precure, near the end of the series, we find out that Professor Sabaaku (the apparent leader of the Desert Apostles) is the father of Yuri-san/Cure Moonlight.  Throughout the series, we know that Yuri-san’s father, Professor Tsukikage, was missing.  He was researching the Heart Tree, and he disappeared.  Cure Flower tells the other girls to keep Cure Moonlight from fighting Professor Sabaaku.  We then learn that Professor Sabaaku is Yuri-san’s father.

Don't Have Sabaaku and Moonlight fight

Professor Tsukikage is redeemed by the Precures, and then he sacrifices himself in their defense.  Cure Moonlight must come to terms with her feelings and her grief surrounding her father before she can become completely whole.

Cure Muse Protecting King MephistoIn the next series, Suite Precure, we meet the mysterious Cure Muse.  When we first meet Cure Muse, she is dressed in a dark costume.  At times, she assists the other Precures, but she tells them repeatedly that she is not their ally.  She further insists that she is not anyone’s ally.  After she protects King Mephisto (the ruler of the Evil Minor Land) from the other Precures, we learn that she is the daughter of Queen Aphrodite (the ruler of the Good Major Land) and King Mephisto.  King Mephisto used to be good, and when he turned to evil, she received her Precure powers.  Caught in between the battle between her mother and her father, she helped the Precure at times, but she did not ally herself with them.   She had to be taught that true loyalty to her father was helping him return to his former good self.

Regina-san Tea PartyIn the last episode of DokiDoki, Regina-san was torn between loyalty to her father, King Selfish, and loyalty to her new found friends.  One of the interesting things is that Mana-san did not even consider that Regina-san would fight her father, and she completely understood Regina-san’s love for and loyalty to her father.  She also seemed to believe that Regina-san’s love and loyalty could transform King Selfish.  In both Heartcatch Precure and Suite Precure, this indeed did happen.  Cure Moonlight’s love redeemed Professor Sabaaku and Cure Muse’s love redeemed King Mephisto.

Neither Professor Sabaaku nor King Mephisto were the ultimate Evil Boss.  Instead, they were pawns of the true Evil Boss.  In Heartcatch Precure, the ultimate Evil Boss was Dune, and in Suite Precure, it was Noise.  So far, it seems that King Selfish is the ultimate Evil Boss.  Of course, we may find out otherwise as the season progresses.

The One I Love is Papa

Sadly, after the last episode, Regina-san did go back to her father and to the side of Evil.  She did not become the new Precure.  I am interested in seeing how this story progresses.

Regina-san and Free Will

I have just seen the most recent episode of DokiDoki Precure, and the story is getting fascinating.  For those who are not up-to-date with DokiDoki Precure, this article will contain some spoilers, I am afraid.  At the time of the writing of this article, DokiDoki Precure, Episode 20 has just aired and has left us with a bit of a cliffhanger.  Actually, that is quite the understatement, it has left us with a huge cliffhanger.  As has been discussed previously on this site, the main premise behind DokiDoki Precure is an exploration of selfless love and selfishness.  This premise is also intertwined with the premise of Free Will.  Until recently, in each episode, the victim has tried to resist her selfish thoughts before they were amplified by the Forces of Darkness.

Regina-sanThere has been a new character from the Selfish Kingdom, though, who seems to have the ability to steal people’s hearts without an obvious opening.  This is Regina-san.  Regina-san is King Selfish’s daughter.  She is quite interesting in that she started off almost unaware that there was any alternative to selfishness.  Her morality is almost at the level of a very little child, a child who has not yet learned  to distinguish between right and wrong.  She just knows what she wants. Regina-san with Crystals

Mana-san has taken her under her wing as her friend, but Mana-san’s real role seems to be that of a senpai or big sister.  Mana-san has taken it upon herself to teach Regina-san how to be part of a group or a community.  Up until the present episode, Regina-san has been a bit of a difficult student, to say the least.  She has tried to separate Mana-san from the other Precure girls in order to attempt to be Mana-san’s only friend.

She made her first true moral choice at the end of Episode 19, and she makes the wrong moral choice.  She breaks her promise and betrays her friendship with Mana-san.  Yet, then in Episode 20, she repents, apologizes, and corrects her previous misdeed!

Regina-san giving back crystals

It is interesting that King Selfish’s daughter, Regina-san, is the pivotal character in this analysis of Free Will.  In this story, Free Will is the power to make moral choices, and the right moral choice is a selfless act, not a selfish one.  This is in stark contrast to the Western understanding of Free Will, which tends to be a belief in the freedom to do whatever we want.  Yet, in this series, when people selfishly try do what they want without consideration of others, it leaves them open to be used and to be controlled by the villains.

We are left at the end with a trailer to Episode 21, and with the promise that a new Precure will manifest.  I wonder if Regina-san will emerge as this new Precure.  There is certainly precedent for a villain to become a Precure.  See Is Innocence Safe?  Sadly, we will have to wait until next week to find out.

Is Innocence Safe?

hummy-yes“I am naive, that is why I get hurt so much.”  I do not know about anyone else, but I have heard that a lot.  One of the biggest arguments against being innocent is that it not safe.  People tend to accept the belief that innocence and naivety equate with vulnerability as true, without even questioning this.  Is this really true though?  Suite Precure has an answer to this question.  That answer is: No! It is not true at all.  In fact, it is the opposite that is true.  It is cynicism, not innocence, which leaves a person vulnerable!

****For those of you who have not seen Suite Precure, you may want to wait to read this article.  This is a BIG, BIG, BIG SPOILER!  Just to let you know, I am writing about episode 21 of Suite Precure***

Hummy's like that

In Suite Precure, the fairy that helps the girls out is Hummy.  She is a sweet little cat and songstress.  She is also quite innocent and naive.

On the side of evil is another cat and songstress, Seiren.  We find out in the series that Seiren used to be good, and her and Hummy used to be good friends.  Seiren was smart and quite cynical.  In the first episode, Seiren calls Hummy an “airhead,” and Hummy told her, “thank you.”  Seiren’s reply was that this was NOT a compliment.

Hummy and AphroditeHummy never stops believing in their friendship though.  She believes in it so much that she ends up handing over a big victory to the side of evil, when Seiren tricks her into believing that she turned good, when she had not.

This was not the end of the story, though.  With the approval of Queen Aphrodite, the Queen of the good land, Major Land, Hummy keeps believing in her friendship with Seiren anyways!

Hummy Keeps Believing

She does not give up on it, even when Seiren is about to sing the Melody of Sorrow for the side of evil.

No Matter What

Seiren TearsThis belief and love starts to break through to Seiren, and the Evil King Mephisto says, “Friendship? Love? Trust? It’s all useless.”

See, this is a lie, though, and even the evil people know this.

Earlier in the episode, King Mephisto was told, “This friendship that Hummy believes in is really quite dangerous.”  Dangerous to evil, that is!

As it turned out, Hummy’s love and friendship really did get through to Seiren.  She not only turned good, but she became a PRECURE!  She became Cure Beat!

Hummy and Cure Beat

 So, which is REALLY the safer course, cynicism or innocence?

Smile Precure Review

Smile Precure is a lot of fun to watch, and at first glance, seems to be for a rather younger audience than some of the other Precure shows, like Heartcatch Precure and Suite Precure.  This is a bit deceptive though.  Like all of the Precure shows, it is rich in metaphysics and moral wisdom.  It is quite wonderful show to watch for those of us reclaiming our innocence.  candy-in-book

The show starts off with a Middle School transfer student, Hoshizora Miyuki, walking to new school.  On the way to her new school, she meets Candy, who comes flying out of story book at her.   We later learn that Candy is a fairy from Marchenland, which is the land of fairy tales.  We also learn that Miyuki-chan really loves fairy tales, and likes them in particular because they always have happy endings.

This turns into the premise for the show, in that the Forces of Darkness in this show are the Bad Enders, who are trying to turn the world towards a Bad Ending.  It is the job of the Precures to restore the world to a Happy Ending.

Black InkTo a Western cynical mind, this may seem like Smile Precure is “fluffy” and light.  To us here at Musume Senshi, this is a very profound and relevant theme.  To begin with, fairy tales have deep metaphysical meaning and speak to Universal Truth (see The Symbolism of Fairy Tales).  The Happy Endings that are a part of fairy tales do not just speak to the Universal Truth of ultimate reunion with the Divine, but they also speak to what we need to hold on to in order to maintain our innocence.  Happy Endings are real and are inevitable.  The Modern world tries to tell us otherwise.  It tells us that a belief in fairy tales is naive, and that we need to accept a loss of innocence as we grow up. mirror-akanbe

 Interestingly enough, this is just the lie that the Bad Enders in Smile Precure try to get everyone to believe.  The tactic of the Bad Enders is to smear black ink on the blank story book pages.  They then create an Akanbe out of a nearby object.  The word, Akanbe, in Japanese, is a rude face made by children, pulling down their eyes and sticking out their tongues….and this is exactly what the Akanbe look like.  This is also quite symbolic for what the Modern world teaches us to do, deface beautiful things and make rude faces!

When the Bad Ender smears black ink on the story book, all of the people around fall down and become depressed, thinking that there is no point to all of their good efforts.  Isn’t that just what happens when we become cynical.  It is that cynicism that creates the Bad Ending, and is what gives energy to the Forces of Darkness.

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In order to defeat the Akanbe, the Precures must first realize the value of the efforts that the Bad Enders are mocking!

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In addition to all of that, Smile Precure is quite bright and happy, with lively happy music at the beginning and end of the show.  This is a wonderful show to watch for us trying to restore our innocence.