The Trump Kingdom is a magical world where everyone's hearts live happily with the guidance of their ruler Princess Marie Ange. However one day, a evil force known as the Jikochuu attacked the Kingdom. But a warrior who served Marie Ange, known as Cure Sword, fended the Jikochuu by herself before being sent the human world with her fairy partner to find the missing princess. The Cure Sword also brought with her three other fairies who are to find three chosen girls to be her allies. One of the fairies, Charles, finds a girl named Mana Aida who is her school's student council president. Whilst visiting the Clover Tower's observatory during her school's orientation day, Mana encounters a Jikochuu who attempts to manipulate her heart but being found by Charles as he gives her the power to become Cure Heart. Joined by Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta and Cure Sword, the Dokidoki PreCure must fight to protect everyone's hearts from the Jikochuu.
The first review I did for Anime Planet was on Smile Precure, or better, the controversy between Smile and the western adaptation Glitter Force. I objected to the term 'bastardization,' arguing that both productions have merits, GF acting as a primer for the world of Pretty Cure, SP having the proper vision of the seeking the happiness of the good ending to the story. I spoke of the dropping of eight episodes in this modification of Smile to Glitter, 48 down to 40. This was explained by the difficulties of 'cultural translation.' All you need do is watch the eight programs in sub, learn a little Japanese on the side, and you catch on to the work of Toei Animation. A work of brilliance! I ended that review with the puzzlement of the next dubbed Precure, DokiDoki Precure. Saban also modified this series for Netflix, but only using 30 of the 49 episodes. I had wondered why so much was excluded in the western production, but reserved comment till I had a chance to view the entire set of forty-nine subbed episodes and try to figure out all the butchery involved in this adaptation. I've finally viewed all of DokiDoki Precure, and the results are ... I think I'll fudge here for a few moments. In my viewing of several series of Pretty Cure (Futari Wa, Max Heart, Splash Star, Fresh, HeartCatch, Happiness Charge, Hugtto, and watching Star Twinkle in real time), I've noted a regular catagorization of types of episodes: 1) Origin episodes. Here the individual girl with all the integrity to become a Precure receives a fairy and a transformation device. This could be as quick as a single episode. Smile Precure gained all five members in as many episodes. Some are more complicated, as that of Cure Passion and Cure Moonlight. Even the origin of Cures Black and White could be accomplished in a single show, but then bring up the issue of maintaining the Pretty Cures as they wrangle with diversity of personalities. 2) Individual personality studies of a single Pretty Cure. One of the girls on the team is featured, usually ending with a better understanding of that person's strengths and weaknesses as she matures into a better understanding of herself. 3) Power-up episodes. The opposition will get stronger and stronger, but in these episodes, new devices, new fairies, or an elevated understanding of the Precure mission advances the team's abilities to battle the forces of darkness. Usualy the real awesome episodes for animation. 4) 'Fun' episodes. The girls go shopping, hit a resort, go around the world, vacation, or take a break from the typical madness. Hey, the bad guys still show up and the girls still need to duke it out. 5) The 'darkening' episodes. The opposition make a final strike to defeat the Pretty Cures. It's the big build up for the final conclusion and usually begins in episodes 45 onward. 6) The final battle with resolution. Not necessarily the last episode. Heartcatch took the last three episodes to achieve this. When you have persistent enemies, they will need more care to purify or eliminate. Fudge time over. Now to get to my estimation of the DokiDoki series. There are times when viewing DokiDoki Precure that I thought Saban had it right with Glitter Force DokiDoki. There seemed to be an awful lot of episodes which I saw as pointless. In fact, Saban excised alot of episode from the thirties on, as if a good resolution to the whole plot could be managed after episode twenty-nine. I couldn't understand why Mana had this young boy for a disciple. I was confused about Rakeru falling in love with a friendly girl, only to realize that the fairy adores Rikka. This and the stories of the three fairies transforming to humans like Davi. Charles to a girl close in appearance to Mana, Raquel to a young boy slightly younger. Gender confusion issues were not well received in 2013. Then Ai growing up, getting cranky, teething. Aguri/Cure Ace not liking carrots. After a while, it seemed that the plotline was artificially being extended upto the point red-eyed Regina was ready to re-enter the story to have her final battle against the Precures who are out to regain those pretty baby-blues of a more loving daughter of King Selfish. Then the battle to reclaim the heart of the king of the Trump Kingdom (I'm still having reservations about the naming of the realm) in a scene resembling Fantastic Voyage. Then, when you felt the whole story could mercifully be done in episode 48, Bel comes along to prolong the agon ... the plot ONE MORE EPISODE!!!!!!! The whole plot seemed confused at times. I believe some of the episodes Saban axed, such as those dealing with the budding friendship of young Alice and Mana and Rikka and freedom from Alice's confining stay in her own home, should have been allowed to remain. To finally meet Alice's parents in the final episode in the GF format ... that was bizarre. If it wasn't for good old Sebastian (not a bad cure himself if you could figure out the similated Precure technology), Alice would have been a basket-case. Of all the leaders of the Pretty Cure teams, I found Mana the most annoying, a too-good-to-be-true character. And I have a preference for the blonde Precures! Overall, I found the DokiDoki series an exercise in suspended animation ... the plot stuck in neutral for what seemed an eternity. The vanishing of the princess Marie Ange seemed so much like the demise of the Queen (Euphoria) in Smile Precure. Both unsatisfactory disposals of characters, only that DokiDoki over-complicated the situation of the princess. Attaining the Royal Crystals only to move on to the acquisition of the three legendary weapons of the Precure. It was an act of imagination gone mad, without a course of action which seemed to be able to anchor the plot. On a positive note, I did enjoy the DokiDoki movie (Mana Married?), but it still had that sense of twisted profundity. I may never trust a clarinet again.
It was pretty good but it wasn't as good as the Glitter Force. But I suggest if you're babysitting a five-year-old put this anime on they'll love it.
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