Anime: Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash☆Star aka: 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 franchise.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 as Foils, 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.