Tag Archives: Selfishness

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!

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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.

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.

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.

 

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.