I’m gonna repeat a bit of what I’ve already said here so bear with me. I, for one, loved DokiPre. It was difficult, then, seeing so many people who absolutely hated it. I understand some of the complaints people had about it and my reason for liking it might be a bit biased.
After all, this was the first Precure I was able to watch to completion. Years and years ago around the time when Max Heart came out, I became familiar with Precure. But as time went on, I thought it was too childish and didn’t pay attention to it. Then, years later it was brought back to my attention.
I won’t get into my personal feelings about re-visiting precure since a lot of them contradict where I am today and don’t want to step on any toes. Lets jsut say that it was too hard and time consuming for me to get into any series. I tried to watch Smile as it aired but time was an issue and I quickly fell behind, much to my regret.
So even though when Doki was announced and I wasn’t that happy with the designs or the characters, I vowed to watch it. And I did. And I fell in love with the designs and the characters. Maybe that’ll happen with Hapcha because right now it’s all really underwhelming. Maybe I just miss DokiPre too much.
Well, alright, let’s actually talk about DokiPre. Since it’s so long I decided to talk about specific things rather than try to mush this all together. It’s a years worth of stuff, after all. I want to pay everything it’s due attention.
Cure Heart/Mana Aida
Cure Heart is probably one of my favourite Precure designs and handsdown my favourite leader by far. But looking back I can’t say her personality or anything really stood out amongst other leader Precures. She’s as bubbly, helpful and kind as any other. But I still loved her.
There were a few times where her happy-go-lucky facade broke and she either spent her time isolated and alone to grieve and angst or when she broke down and sobbed and sobbed over the loss of her friend. The second was a much more powerful moment despite the fact that she quickly picked herself up. No, it might have been more so because of her quick recovery. Because she was still sad and she had been for a very long time. Seeing it peek out just made her a better character in my eyes.
It was kind of disappointing we only got to see her last dorky power up for a little bit and that she was the only one who got one. It would have been more interesting if they put that work into making Regina a Cure at the last second instead. I mean, if Aguri could be one, why couldn’t Regina?
Well talking about Heart, you have to talk about Regina next. I have nothing against her, I guess. I rather liked her even if her flip flopping between sides was very tiring. It would have been nice if she could have been on the Precure’s side for longer or if she could have had more time to bond with Alice or Makopi. Their episodes where they tried to reach her were great and all (especially Sword’s) but they didn’t feel entirely genuine because it didn’t seem like they spent THAT much time together.
But her relationship with Heart was tops and it’ll be a damn shame if it doesn’t go down as one of the most solid Precure yuribait relationships alongside Hibikana. I don’t know why that one specifically but Hibikana is always popping up. Huh.
Cure Diamond and IraRitsu
Alright did anybody besides that one guy on Tumblr who freaks out about anything het in Precure not walk away shipping Ira/Rikka? It had some following before the episode where Ira lost his memory but after that well pixiv exploded with it. After that, they were kind of designated enemies and that kind of added fuel to the flame.
The last few episodes added to that with Ira saving Diamond because he had to be the one to defeat her. Then, when everything is over and wrapped up gazing at her (and the other Precures I guess) before disappearing with Mammo and Bel.
I had hoped SO MUCH that the epilogue would show them hanging around. Maybe not being evil bad guys but living normal lives or still just pestering the Precure because what else do they have to do now? But unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
Diamond herself was my favourite of the five girls. She was constantly playing the straight man and reacting appropriately to whatever crazy thing happened. Plus her specific episodes were pretty great. Her Karuta one and the one where Raquel falls in love (which was one of the best episodes in the series) come to mind immediately.
I don’t love her Precure design as much as Heart but I guess it kinda grew on me like the other girls did. Her civ form was pretty adorbs though.
Cure Sword and Cure Rosetta
Sword ended up being such a surprise! What a good character. She started off stoic and tense but eventually kind of just became a sweet lil dork. It seemed after Aguri appeared she became much more lighthearted and fun.
That didn’t mean she lost her importance or her resolve to find the Princess. She was still included in the big plot stuff near the end, even if she didn’t play a super big role in it.
And the scene at the end where the Princess tells them she can’t return and bids her farewell? Sword saying she has no reason to sing anymore and crying to the Princess was genuinely sad and made me tear up despite myself. It was kind of a testament to how good and underappreciated Sword was.
Rosetta got the least amount of focus, without a doubt. When she did was always pretty golden though. Such as the episode where they told the story of their childhood and Alice kicked a bunch of ass (that was one of the other best episodes) or when she was too afraid to become a Precure because she’d kick too much ass again. It was a shame that she didn’t get more chances to kick ass. I mean she was designated barrier maiden for that story reason (which was kinda cool and made her more of a badass).
But I see that as one of the complaints people had about the series. Most fights boiled down to Rosetta Wall winning them the fight in some way. And yeah, once that was pointed out to me, I noticed it as well. Shame since Rosetta showed that her barriers and shields also made excellent weapons. She just rarely got a chance to use them.
I hated Ace and Aguri less than other people, I guess?
Actually it was cool seeing RieKugi in another role like this because between this and Kyousougiga, my opinion of her has really changed.
The OP eventually grew on me until it was hard to skip past it. Right now the HapCha OP is a goddamn hot mess so hopefully that’ll grow on me too. Hopefully. Doubtful.
The EDs were both pretty fantastic though and are my favourite in the series. They’re so much fun to listen to and I often find myself dancing along to them. Again, Hapcha does not deliver on that front.
The OST itself isn’t that bad and a lot more pleasant than I would have expected from a magical girl show like this. There are some really heartfelt pieces (大切な気持ち or この空の向こう ～Heartful Instrumental～) and then some like 最後の守護者 which just has such a great range of emotion. Some tracks that display and make the overhwhelming despair of a situation much more poignant. I guess I actually really liked the OST from this when I really think about it.
I miss DokiPre a lot. It’ll have a special place in my heart as the first real Precure that I finished. I can recognize the things wrong with it: the wasted opportunities it had, the repetitiveness of the Regina arcs, the less than impressive fights.
Despite all of that, I loved each and every character. There have been shows where it’s positive and sunny outlook have disgusted me because I was at a bad point in my life (Kimi ni Todoke) or just having a bad day. But Doki Doki Precure was a show I could watch and I would easily forget about my troubles. For a little bit, it made my day and my life brighter. And occasionally, even now, I catch myself thinking something negative and bad and quickly reconcile it, imagining that my heart had almost been taken by selfishness.
If someone like me can think that and change, I wonder what effect these shows must have on their intended audience. Sure selling toys may be the primary goal but I’m sure there’s something more to be gained here. And that’s why I love not just DokiPre but the series as a whole.
There’s probably a lot more I could say about the show and a lot more I would have said as it was airing but I think I’ve gotten my overflowing love across.