DokiDoki! Precure is the tenth entry in the Pretty Cure franchise. It is currently airing as of February 3, 2013, and stars a four-girl team with a playing card motif.In the magical Trump Kingdom, everyone lived in harmony under the guidance of their ruler Princess Marie Ange. That was until the day that an evil force known as "Jikochuu"note translated as "Selfish" attacked the kingdom, corrupting the hearts of its people and defeating its sole protector, Cure Sword. Though Marie Ange managed to escape to Earth, she immediately went missing and her kingdom fell to the evil of Jikochuu.Mana Aida is the busybodyStudent Council President of Oogai Middle School who suffers from a serious case of Chronic Hero Syndrome. When the agents of Jikochuu descend upon Earth, she has a chance encounter with one of the fairies fleeing the Trump Kingdom, and transforms into one of the legendary warriors known as Pretty Cure.As Cure Heart, Mana is soon joined by three others: Rikka Hishikawa (Cure Diamond), her best friend and the put-upon Student Council Secretary; Alice Yotsuba (Cure Rosetta), a corporate heiress and their childhood friend; and Cure Sword, now going under the name "Makoto Kenzaki", whose prosperous idol career masks her pain and regret over her failure to protect her realm.In contrast to the preceding season, DokiDoki! Precure has a Myth Arc that runs throughout the series. As the story progresses, the Cures encounter mysterious shopkeeper Joe Okada, magical baby Ai-chan, amoral villainess Regina, and their enigmaticnew ally Cure Ace.
Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Episode 19. Regina wages the red Royal Crystal, while the Cures wage the rest of the Crystals. The Royal Crystals are the key to restoring Trump Kingdom. As expected, Team Selfish cheats like there is no tomorrow.
Animation Bump: Certain battles have these, but Cure Ace's Transformation stands out as having some of the best animation for a transformation sequence in the franchise to date, having practically a movie quality level to the animation. The episode she finally shows off her skills in, Episode 23, has a somewhat higher animation budget than did most of the previous episodes.
Kanako Miyamoto, Cure Sword's voice actress, had a minor voice role in Yes! Pretty Cure 5 (As Herself!) and performed music for the franchise. Now she's voicing a main character.
Rie Kugimiya, Cure Ace's seiyuu, had a previous stint as Dark Lemonade. Now she's voicing a real Pretty Cure.
Background Music Override: Whoa look, a rare non-video game example. During episode 20 as the Cures are setting off to find the Royal Crystals in a remote and dangerous mountain, their Transformation Sequence is overlaid by a particularly solemn background music that has been playing since the previous scene. The result is haunting. Has also been used a few times since then.
Bad Guy Bar: As the villains HQ. It even has a sleazy Film Noir saxophone musical motiff in its background.
Batman Gambit: Reina attempts one on Alice Yotsuba in episode 13. It doesn't work.
In episode 32, Bel has a shiny pair of BloodRings for Mammo and Ira, and he playfully teases them into putting them on. It works.
Bigger Stick: The Selfishes keep bringing new methods to create more powerful Monster of the Week. In turn, Ai-chan keeps granting the Cures new and interesting Lavies to allow them new finishers.
Episode 16: The Cure Laveads summons small sheeps jumping above a fence, similar to the Jikochuu in Episode 8.
Episode 18: Makoto drinks and holds her ice tea in a similar way like in the ice tea advertisement from Episode 1. There is even the advertisement poster in the background.
Episode 23: Mana scolding a Jikochuu is similar what she did in Episode 1. Cure Heart's backwards salto looks like a mirrored version of Cure Sword's from Episode 1, even the background music is the same. Two new villains, Leeva and Gula, are introduced and summon two Jikochuus, like Ira and Mamo did in Episode 1.
The idol who became a Jikochuu in Episode 5 reappears in Episode 40, where she gives Makoto a Eureka Moment.
Alice's rival Reina from Episode 13 returns in Episode 41.
Just one example is that Regina was successfully forced back into the villain team after having just defected, a stark contrast to previous Dark Magical Girl's in the franchise.
And then it's demonstrated in episode 31 that for the first time in several seasons, Anyone Can Die as far as the villain squad is concerned.
Darkest Hour: Episode 31 is the first one. Leva and Gula infect all of Oogai's citizens with their Jikochuu seeds and slowly turn them into Jikochuus. They beat the Cures down and break the Magical Lovely Pad. Even after the happy end, Leva and Gula are killed in a cruel way by Bel.
Dancing Theme: "Kono Sora no Mukou / Beyond The Sky". Beginning with Episode 27, "Love Link".
Demoted to Extra: The Selfish Trio usually get this when other villains are introduced. Even in the new opening, they are replaced by Aguri who transforms into Cure Ace and fights Regina.
They generally come back when said other villains leave.
Detect Evil: The fairies can detect the existence of Selfishes from quite a distance, allowing the Cures to speedily dispatch the monsters. The fairies lose this ability when they are in human form.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Episode 20. The way Mana ask Regina to resolve things with her father sounds like Mana is trying to propose a marriage to Regina. There are tears and hugs, it's as though the father will veto the 'marriage proposal'.
Downer Beginning: The anime begins with the complete loss of the Trump Kingdom and the total defeat of Cure Sword. Episode 7 later shows in detail what happened, and it's absolutely horrifying, particularly in a kids' show.
Dreadful Musician: Tip: In case Mana expressed a desire to sing, go run to the corner and cover your ears. You'll thank us later.
Expy: Makoto has a number of things in common with Yuri Tsukikage - both are Broken Birds who had their powers at the start of the show and initially play Aloof Ally to the initial trio. They even have similar theme colors, although Moonlight is technically considered a silver Cure.
Flashback: Episode 7 shows the fall of the Trump Kingdom. Similarly, about half of episode 18 is spent showing the life of Princess An, up to the destruction of Trump Kingdom from Jonathan's point of view.
Fusion Dance: The "Beast" modes of the Selfish Trio, essentially combining themselves with a Jikochuu.
Later, Leva and Gula do this with each other in their final battle.
Genre Savvy: In Episode 39, the Cures seem to fall for Bel's disguise as Joe...but then at the last minute they reveal they saw right through him, and for reasons even the viewers would have trouble noticing.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Episode 8 has Cure Heart and Cure Sword do it to each other when a Jikochuu tries putting them to sleep. Subsequently, Cure Diamond and Cure Rosetta pull each other's cheeks to get themselves awake.
In the manga version, Regina actually watches Makoto's Snow White performance like a good girl. She's not trying to crash it, mainly because she's having a good time watching it with Mana.
Good All Along: Reina during Episode 41. Despite making troubles all the time for Alice, Reina actually wants to be her friends. Furthermore, she genuinely loves the flowers and takes good care of them. She also helps the other Cures getting to the outer space to help Rosetta fight Regina.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Cure Lavies/Lovies/Loveads don't actually fit the trope as they're not really found; new ones are given out when needed. The Royal Crystals, first appearing in Episode 13, are a straight example.
Human Alien: Episode 7 reveals the Trump Kingdom's population was this - in the fantasy sense, not the science-fiction sense.
Hypocrite: Makopi's royal guards (i.e. her hardcore fans) say that they will protect Makopi's privacy at all cost. To this end, they are following Makopi everywhere to make sure that no one do anything funny to her, and one of them later turns Jikochu after he feels that his intent is "impure". Well young man, which part of being a creepy stalker is "pure"? It's hard to see this episode as anything but a Take That against wota.
Hypocritical Humor: In Episode 17, Makoto asks Mana not to tell Regina about their search for the princess or the Royal Crystals. Then Makoto blurts out that a statue looks just like the princess.
In the Name of the Moon: See the page quote. This trope is more present in this season than in other Pretty Cure series in that each Cure also has an additional two-line speech post-transformation (usually delegated to Cure Heart alone if multiple Cures are transforming together).
It seems like you've lost your love, oh sad Mr. <Monster of the Week>! I, Cure Heart, will set your heart racing again!
Jerkass: Reina from episode 13, though there's a one-off line before her heart is used by Mamo that she wants friends like Alice does but that's only her last line in the whole episode and it's not revisited afterwards.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-universe. Veteran actress Ohtori (the Evil Queen to Makopi's Snow White) seems to be mean at first, but it's mainly due to her dedication to her profession. She doesn't have enough Selfishness, as Regina can attest.
Midseason Upgrade: Episode 11 introduces the Love Heart Arrows (which are actually bows). Notably, only Cure Heart and Cure Sword actually use the Love Heart Arrows like bows in their attacks; Cure Diamond taps hers like a tambourine, while Cure Rosetta draws a circle with the bow to form her barrier.
Episode 15 gives another upgrade to the Love Heart Arrows, allowing the Precure to use their Combination Attack. (They all use the Arrows as bows for this attack.)
And in Episode 31 the Cures get the Magical Lovely Pads, which give them all new attacks.
The villains get one in #32, when Ira and Mamo get the Blood Rings.
In #38 they lose the Blood Rings, but then in #39 Regina gets the Miracle Dragon Glaive.
The Magical Lovely Harp in Episode 40, giving the Cures a new Finishing Move.
Minion Shipping: In episode 27 Leva suggests to Gula that they try using a team attack against the Cures, saying that he's curious about Gula's "wild side". Gula blushes and says he likes Leva's top hat. Later in the episode, they summon a Selfish while in a pose that resembles the Love-Love Tenkyoken.
Ira ships Mamo and Bel when the three of them are sitting in a park filled with couples in Episode 36.
The ordinary Jikochuus come back in Episode 15 thanks to Regina, who can make stronger Jikochuu even if the victim doesn't have any selfish feelings. (Although Regina claims all humans are selfish anyway). Those Jikochuus are even more stronger than the Beast Mode Jikochuus.
The ordinary ones summoned by Leva and Gula are summoned on the same way as the Selfish Trio does, but their Jikochuus seems to be on the same level as Regina's.
Episode 27 introduces a new type of Jikochuu which is summoned by two villains instead by a single one. It's much larger and stronger. They called it a "combined Jikochuu".
Episode 32 introduces another new type of Jikochuu summoned with the Blood Rings.
It's actually rare in the franchise that two Monsters of the Week appear in one episode (not counting the monster crowds and splitting), but two Jikochuus were summoned in Episodes 1, 2 note the second Jikochuu from the first episode appears here as the first one, 4, 9, 23, 25, 27, 34 and 43, respectively. Previous series have had less episodes with double summons. (Some of these episodes even had two monsters at the same time).
Mood Whiplash: The first episode starts with Cure Sword fighting a desperate battle against three Jikochuu. Then she watches as the kingdom falls with her in tears. Cut the upbeat opening theme.
In episode 31, the girls and their families have a heartwarming dinner together in Aida's restaurant, then the scenery changes to Leva and Gula's death. And then the upbeat ending theme starts.
Mundane Made Awesome: The games in episode 19 are like this. Precure finishers are used to play football, bowling, and dodge ball.
Myth Arc: It's notable that, 36 episodes in, there hasn't really been a pure Filler episode. Something always happens to continue the plot, even if it's a fairly minor event (such as Makoto transferring to Mana's school in episode 10, or Regina's first appearence in episode 12, or individual Power Ups.) It has its own page.
Still following that pattern, the Lovely Straight Flush is made of the four Aces of each suit and a fifth suitless Ace. Most certainly not a straight flush. Is, however, a five of a kind, which is in fact a higher hand in the variations of poker in which it is possible.
The Selfish Trio are slowly Put on a Bus. First Bel, then Mamo, and finally Ira.
The Bus Came Back: Bel comes back in Episode 31. He is first seen in the prologue when Leva and Gula are ready for their ultimate battle. He then appears at the episode's end and kills them off by absorbing their evil energy. Ira and Mamo come back in the following episode.
Regina is back in Episode 37.
Subverted with Joe in Episode 39. It's just Bel in disguise.
QUALITY: Episode 42 is the more glaring example. Shame, because it's one of the best episodes narrative-wise.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Regina's blue eyes turn red when she gains the red Royal Crystal. And then she becomes really evil.
The Blood Ring Jikochuus have red eyes instead of yellow.
Red Herring: Many fans speculated that Regina or Marie-Ange or Ai-chan being Cure Ace. It's neither of them.
Red Herring Twist: A blue bird is seen watching the Pretty Cure when they recover a Royal Crystal. Episode 18 quietly reveals the bird belongs to Joe.
Refusal of the Call: Subverted; Rikka initially refuses to take the Cure Lovies that the mysterious shop owner gives her, but he insists that the Lovies chose her. Ultimately, she accepts the Lovies, and becomes Cure Diamond as a result.
Retired Badass: The fairy Melan. In her own words, she "has lived enough", and it's time for a new age. The old lady can turn into a dragon that the Cures can't defeat!
Revive Kills Zombie: The Cures' finishers can be used to undo the magic of the Selfishes, such as reverting the petrification effect during episode 17.
What's heartbreaking is that Cure Heart is unable to use this function against Brainwashed and Crazy Regina, due to sheer shock she is experiencing.
Cure Ace attacks Regina with her purification attack, but Regina doesn't get better. Instead, she takes a lot of damage. So maybe there was a reason why Cure Heart didn't use her finisher on Regina.
Rich Bitch: Reina Itsutsuboshi from Episodes 13 and 41. She gets better in the latter.
Running Gag: Most of Ira's bowling throws are gutters. Interestingly, he threw only strikes when he was shown playing bowling for the first time.
Joe Okada appears out of nowhere, surprising the Precures. When the girls ask Joe about mysterious or specific things, he suddenly exclaims that he has other things to do and disappears.
Show, Don't Tell: There are several character traits that appear since early episodes and not outright stated as their habits, only for the fans to catch on through consistent use of such traits. Things like Mana always twists a small strand of her hair when lying, Rikka's liking for frog-themed items, Alice being a Kaiju fan, and Charle is a Well Done Partner Gal to Mana are always there through subtle animation.
Cure Batman Can Breathe in Space: Magic or not, it stretches suspension of disbelief that Cure Rosetta can go to outer space 1) using a very small shuttle, 2) only protected by her magic dress, 3) bringing a plant in a pot without it being destroyed.
Space Is Air: Her rival Reina then bring the other Cures with her... on a propelled airplane! And all the characters can speak with each others sans magic... as though their voice can go through vacuum!
Don't Give Me That Altitude: Keep in mind that Reina is a perfectly mundane human and her propelled airplane is also perfectly mundane! How is she not freezing to death or being hit by radiation up there?
It doesn't help that Mana has defeated twelve Jikochuus in the first fourteen episodes while Makoto has only three, Rikka has only one and Alice, in light of having no offensive attacks, has zero.
And then, the group finisher move Lovely Straight Flush features Cure Diamond, Cure Rosetta, Cure Sword and Cure Ace giving their powers to Cure Heart. And she's the only one who calls their group attack.
Regina is also this to the Selfish Trio. They haven't appeared as villains of the week since episode 15, aside from episode 19 where they only appear as Regina's fellows. They get better in Episode 20, but Regina is still in the centre. Later on, Regina is Put on a Bus, but the Trio gets replaced again by the new Selfish Duo.
And then the Duo is killed by Bel, bringing the Selfish Trio back in the spotlight. And then Regina comes back.
Stock Footage: Present, but there's an amusing subversion in episode 15. Regina yells "Cut!" during Cure Sword's attack animation, causing her to suddenly stop in shock.
Episode 35 has another subversion. The Cures do their team pose, but then find Cure Sword is missing.
And in Episode 36 Raquel interrupts Cure Diamond's attack.
Story Arc: While every episode so far contributes to the larger Myth Arc (even if only in a minor way), they also break down into smaller arcs.
The first ten episodes can be thought of as an introductory arc. The first four episodes introduce Mana, Rikka, and Alice. Episodes 5 through 7 revolve around Mana's attempts to befriend Makoto. Episodes 8 and 9 introduce Ai-chan, while episode 10 rounds out the arc when Makoto transfers to Mana's school.
Then, the end of episode 22 segues into the next arc with the appearance of Cure Ace. The next few episodes are about her attempts to "help" the other Cures. She joins the team formally in episode 27, and the arc concludes in episode 31 with the arrival of the Midseason Upgrades and the deaths of Arc Villains Leva and Gula.
The next arc (episode 32 - 38) introduces the new Precure attacks and the Blood Rings. It focuses on Ai-chan's growth and her new role in the story.
Take That: The Jikochu formed from an adult-male fan of Makopi (conforming to almost every negative stereotype of Idol-fans) could either be read as a less than friendly nudge from the show's Director on how pathetic the Idol Singer fan-community (IE. grown men Lolicon fawning over barely pubescent girls) really is...
Too Dumb to Live: The Rich Bitch Reina tries to make Alice angry, just so that Alice would be disqualified in the Rose Lady Contest, without thinking about the consequences... like her personal health. Inverted though, fortunately for Reina, Alice has been matured enough to not getting angry easily.
You Can't Go Home Again: The devastation of the Trump Kingdom have permanently displaced Makoto. Yuri, at the very least, still has a place to call home and a country to defend— Makoto doesn't even have that.