Anime: Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star
"Oh light of spirits! Oh glimmer of life!"
"Guide our two hearts towards hope!"
The third series in the Pretty Cure
Mai Mishou, a calm and sweet-hearted artist, is returning to her hometown after several years away. She goes to the large tree she used to visit as a child and runs into Saki Hyuuga, an outgoing softball player. Just as they both remember that they once met each other as children
in this precise spot, two fairies called Flappy and Choppy come out of nowhere and attach themselves to the girls.
The fairies are fleeing from the forces of Dark Fall, an otherworldly group seeking to capture the seven World Fountains
that feed the World Tree
. The last World Fountain is located somewhere on Earth, and Dark Fall will stop at nothing to find it. To defend themselves from the monsters of Dark Fall, Saki and Mai agree to use the fairies' power and transform into Cure Bloom and Cure Egret: the Legendary Warriors, Pretty Cure.Splash☆Star
starts as a near-Expy
of the original series
, as Toei clearly wanted to continue the Pretty Cure
franchise but were concerned about how fans would receive a series that did not include Nagisa and Honoka
. Complaints from Moral Guardians
had also caused many of the Seinen
elements synonymous with Pretty Cure
to be toned down: instead of the hard-hitting fisticuffs
of Black and White
, Bloom and Egret primarily used non-contact magical attacks
, flinging bolts of energy
around and flying all over the place
However, after time the show finds its feet and develops its own identity. Mai and Saki grow to distinguish their personalities from their predecessors and lookalikes. Bloom and Egret develop unique fighting styles, with Bloom focusing on ground attacks and brute strength
, while Egret specialises in agile aerial attacks
. The show later adds two Dark Magical Girls
, and a Mid-Season Upgrade
that gives a Super Mode
to Bloom and Egret, upgrading them to Cure Bright and Cure Windy respectively.
This program provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Saki manages to misremember Ms. Shitataare's name almost every time.
- Alternate Continuity: The first one.
- And You Were There: Moop and Fuup.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Mai gets like this around some works of art.
- Battle Aura: Noticeable in the flashes of light, absent in earlier seasons, that appear whenever the Cures land from high heights or are thrown against solid objects. Could possibly be a Don't Try This at Home measure.
- Big Bad: Gooyan.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Kenta ostensibly forms a Manzai duo with class representative Miyasako, but it's more of an outlet for his own pun-based humor.
- Boss Rush: Gooyan brings back the five defeated minions in the 40s episodes. All are dispatched with more ease than before.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Saki's younger sister, Minori.
- By the Power of Grayskull!
- Clark Kenting: Inverted in that some of the villains adopt various disguises and aren't recognized until they reveal themselves. Meanwhile, the villains discover the Cures' true identities without much effort at all.
- Complexity Addiction: Gooyan could have won instantly by just blowing the worlds up in random order, instead of bothering with creating Akudaikahn, creating the Dark Fall, and sending minions.
- Continuity Nod: Many. The show is actually very good at referencing past events and episodes.
- Dancing Theme: "Ganbalance de Dance"
- Darker and Edgier: Is it ever....
- Dark Is Not Evil: Michiru and Kaoru, who continue using their powers as warriors of the Dark Fall, even after their Heel-Face Turn.
- Dark Magical Girl: Michiru and Kaoru.
- Demoted to Extra (Michiru and Kaoru. Despite being the first Dark Magical Girl duo in the Pretty Cure franchise and fighting alongside Bloom and Egret in their own Pretty Cure forms in the final battle, they are Brought Down to Normal in the Pretty Cure All Stars movies and regulated to waving Miracle Lights with the rest of the background characters.
- Disney Death: Michiru and Kaoru.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: When Gooyan blows up the Earth.
- Elemental Powers: The five minions, aside from Michiru and Kaoru, have powers based on the five elements of Eastern tradition. The Uzainaa that they summon are also based on these elements. This provides foreshadowing, seeing as that Kaoru is wind and Michiru is the moon, neither fitting in with the theme.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Michiru and Kaoru inherit their own Cure Bright and Cure Windy form.
- Emotionless Girl: Kaoru, at first. Michiru is friendlier from the beginning, but even she has her moments.
- The End of the World as We Know It: The goal of the entagonists is to create an eternal world of ruin.
- Evolving Credits: The opening changes to include Cure Bright and Cure Windy, as well as Moop and Fuup.
- Expy: To the point where the Italian dub of the show marketed it as a sequel to Futari wa Pretty Cure, starring the "older" forms of Nagisa and Honoka!
- Feud Episode: Actually occurs in the Non-Serial Movie.
- Final Boss Preview: The confrontation with Akudaikaan in episode 23. Akudaikaan No Sells the Cures' attacks, claims that he's not even showing half his power and beats the Cures while never getting up from his throne. While the Cures did fight him again, it turns out Akudaikaan wasn't the final villain...
- Frills of Justice
- Gratuitous Spanish: Moerumba.
- Heel-Face Turn: Michiru and Kaoru, again.
- Heroic RROD: You can make a drinking game from how many times our heroes collapse from exhaustion and strain in this particular series. And in the finale, given the exact source of power the side of good is fighting with, even the entire planet collapses trying to get at the Big Bad.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The sea is the Fountain of the Sun all along. Several battles are fought near or on it, while the information of the Fountain's location is violently protected from and interrogated on.
- I Have the High Ground: Ms. Shitataare and Kintolesky do this before several battles. Michiru and Kaoru enjoy sitting on a rock that extends out of the ocean.
- In the Name of the Moon
- Island Base: Gooyan has one of these, even shaped like himself. He mistakenly believes it to be secret. Lampshaded by Ms. Shitataare: "I mean, the architecture alone is a dead giveaway."
- Jossed: The popular fan theory that Michiru and Kaoru "inherit" the forms of Cure Bright and Cure Windy beyond the series finale is nixed by the second All-Stars DX movie, where Saki and Mai get a combination of both their Egret/Windy and Bloom/Bright forms, respectively. On the other hand, the Crossover Compilation has outright defied TV canon on a number of major points, and Toei doesn't care about the twins, so of course they wouldn't let them fight — meaning that, in a purely-TV-canon world, they could still keep their powers.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Michiru and Kaoru fight with concentrated balls of the power of destruction pulled from their own bodies. Once they charge them up enough, the result is one of these.
- Kick the Dog: Pretty much every villain in this show, with the only exception of Kintolesky, does that at least once.
- Laughably Evil: The whole Quirky Miniboss Squad, Karehaan being the sole exception.
- Lucky Translation: Doubles as "Blind Idiot" Translation. The Italian dub managed to keep the Japanese opening by creatively changing the lyrics, which is a good thing - except that some of the new lyrics basically amount to "super-special-awesome!"
- Magical Girl
- Meaningful Name: Pretty Cure and the Kiryuu sisters all have names relating to their Cure personas. All these relations are expressed in sequence near the end of episode 48.
- Theme Naming: "Flower, bird, wind, moon" is a Japanese idiom that refers to experiencing the beauties of nature and using it to learn about one's self.
- Mega Neko: Korone, Saki's lazy and overlarge cat who actually has an important role later on. He's not bigger than normal cats by any orders of magnitude, though.
- Midseason Upgrade: The Spiral Rings, and later the transformations into Cure Bright and Cure Windy.
- Minion Shipping: Kintolesky and Shitataare.
- Morality Pet: Minori to Kaoru.
- Nature Spirit: The Cures draw their power from the various spirits.
- New Transfer Students: Kaoru and Michiru.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The final episode of Max Heart for the Italian dub gave the impression they were dubbing this series as a sequel to the previous. Luckily, it wasn't the case.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Poor Princess Filia. The first time she uses the Fairy Carafe Gooyan steals it while it still has the power of the Fountains, and the second time she uses it Gooyan knocks it into the water...which reveals that the oceans of Earth are the Fountain of the Sun.
- Non-Serial Movie: Subtitled Tick-Tock Crisis Hanging by a Thin Thread! While the events of the movie are never referenced in the show itself, nothing in it really contradicts canon.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Man Behind the Man is Gooyan, the fat slacker minion that even the other villains make fun of. He also destroys the world.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Lord Akudaikahn. Also, Gooyan wants to destroy the universe... because lifeforms are too noisy and irritate him.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Dorodoron, of all people, is on the brink of victory over Pretty Cure... until Michiru and Kaoru invoke this trope and intervene. Or at least, that's the excuse they give themselves.
- The Other Darrin: Kaoru's voice actor is replaced halfway through the show.
- Pummel Duel: Gooyan gets into two of them, once during his fight with Cure Bloom/Bright and Cure Bright/Windy, and another when fighting Michiru and Kaoru.
- Pungeon Master: Kenta Hoshino.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad
- Sadistic Choice
- A subtle one; against Michiru and Kaoru, the battle is fought near the Sky Tree. Kaoru aims a blast to Cure Egret when she stands in front of the tree, which is a bad thing as Egret's shield is used more as evasion maneuver. You can see Egret's eyes flicker to her back before she decides to take the blast. Bloom ends up disengaging from Michiru and taking the attack with her own shield.
- Tired of the Cures always denying him of his honorable fight, Kintolesky threatens to take the battle to the town. The Cures who no longer have the option of Sheathe Your Sword against him finally gives him his fight, and by proxy his death.
- The final battle's decision is basically boiled down to destroying Dark Fall and watching Michiru and Kaoru expire along with it, or letting Dark Fall destroy the world. Our heroines are hoping the spirits' power is enough to get them through this like before. The Big Bad ends up destroying the world anyway and the Kiryuu sisters are dying twice because of Heroic RROD from protecting Saki and Mai, and will permanently end that way if not for the fact they're right about the spirits.
- Save Both Worlds: The goal of the Cures.
- Screw Destiny: The Cures believe that you can fight fate and change it, unlike Michiru and Kaoru, who believed that You Can't Fight Fate.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Michiru and Kaoru. Also Kintolesky, if you count the second ending video.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Saki, though mostly later on. Not as bad as Nagisa, the girl she's an expy of, but it's there.
- Story Arc: The show mostly follows the format of "villain sends Monster of the Week after the Cures, Cures defeat all of the villain's monsters, Cures defeat villain, next villain appears, repeat", but there are two arcs of importance.
- Episode 14-23 introduces and develops the Kiryuu sisters, culminating in the mid-season finale. (This is despite Dorodoron being the designated villain for most of the arc.) Episode 24 acts as an epilogue, introducing the first Midseason Upgrade.
- Episodes 41-49 are the finale to the series.
- Taking You with Me: Gooyan channels the spirit of Andross in delivering a "taking you with me" line before his defeat. Not effective at all.
- Team Spirit
- Theme Tune Cameo: In the Non-Serial Movie, the song that plays for Saki and Mai in the karaoke contest is the show's second credits theme - which is later played in full for the movie's credits.
- Third-Person Person: Minori Hyuuga.
- This Is Unforgivable!
- Title Drop: "Precure Spiral Star Splash" and "Precure Spiral Heart Splash Star".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Saki and Mai.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kenta's feelings for Saki are implied to go beyond friendship at a few points, but she only has eyes for Mai's brother, Kazuya. In the end of the series, she still hasn't noticed Kenta, and he seems to turn his affection to one of her teammates on the softball team (who was quite clearly crushing on him throughout the series).
- The Unreveal: Why Akudaikahn doesn't outright destroy Michiru and Kaoru when they have their Heel-Face Turn? Gooyan claims that he doesn't know why and suspects there's must be some kind of plan for that, but then the final arc comes and it left unanswered with how everyone hold no punches in final battle.
- Verbal Tic: As usual for Pretty Cure series, the mascot characters add some variant of their names. One of Saki and Mai's friends, Hitomi, injects "maji" (really/seriously) into most of her sentences, although the subs don't necessarily represent this. (Sorry.)
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Like you wouldn't believe...
- Villains Out Shopping: All of the minions engage in some form of this. However, Kintolesky takes it Up to Eleven by repeatedly buying bread at Saki's family's store, giving Saki drawing advice, giving Kazuya Mishou kicking lessons, and stopping by the School Festival.
- Wonder Twin Powers: Like Nagisa and Honoka before them Saki and Mai can't transform if they are not together, and their finisher attacks also require them to be together. Near the end of the series Michiru and Kaoru can use their full power only when together.
- World Tree: The seven fountains protect a version of the World Tree in the mythological sense. Meanwhile, in town, the Sky Tree is a World Tree more in the sense of this trope, and is the location for many key events.
- Worthy Opponent: Kintolesky views the Cures as this.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Michiru and Kaoru believed so.