Following last week’s, somewhat expected and surprising, news that anime streamer Crunchyroll would begin streaming the seventeenth series in the long running ‘PreCure’ franchise, “Healin’ Good PreCure’. Fans much like myself wondered how CR would go about handing the series.
Following the series’ typical pace, ‘Healin’ Good PreCure’ began it’s Japanese broadcast in early February and the first twelve episodes aired until mid April. Due to Japan having placed a State of Emergency due to the ongoing events, production of the series temporarily was placed on a hiatus. It has only been recently since production has been able to resume and the thirteenth episode has been delivered to broadcasters this weekend.
With that knowledge at hand, and Crunchyroll not offering a comment on how they planned to handle the series. Slowly week by week add the first twelve episodes, or upload them all at once? As well as how fast their turn around would be for the new episodes might be.
Much to the fandom’s surprise and delight, CR released the thirteenth episode on their service within an hour of it having aired in Japan. (The normal turnaround time for simulcast.) With a note on their desktop side stating they would be adding the previous episodes.
Naturally, due to this going about doing the reviews- well, is slightly more troublesome than I had planned. I will be reviewing the previous episodes as they come up on Crunchyroll, and encourage anyone who has yet to view the series to please wait until they upload them in an effort to support the series. Yet, in order not to lose footing I will be reviewing the new episodes- possibly in stereo- as they release.
As this has already become a longer than planned side-bar, spoiler warnings below for the first dozen episodes and without more delay, episode thirteen!
“Quit or Not to Quit? What’s Bothering Hinata?”
Streaming now on Crunchyroll Sundays 1 a.m. EST. (Not kidding.)
PreCure isn’t like western series, then again anime as a whole isn’t developed like say ‘DuckTales’. Where the creative team more or less decides when a series will take a break and go and somewhat organize the plot to work with the time away. So this is not your typical cut-and-dry perfect reintro. Because there was never indeed to be one.
Following the previous episode, the series piggy-backs off Hinata’s growing insecurities and uncertainty from the last battle. With a new addition to the roster of villains, that even notably goes as far as to comment about the fighting being fun and warning things will get harder moving forward. New group power-up or not, the girls are finding themselves facing off against stronger and stronger monsters every single time they transform.
The sparkly allure of being a magical girl is losing a bit of shine as the reality of what they are facing basically hits Hinata over the head. It had already been established that Hinata, despite her bubbly and upbeat nature, we have seen instances that show even if she is smiling brightly she isn’t always feeling that strongly inside.
As her father finishes post-vet visit paperwork for Latte*, a spaced out Hinata is snapped back to reality by her friends and downheartedly admits she is thinking of resigning from being a PreCure. Despite Chiyu having constantly delivering some hilarious facial expressions, Latte’s wide eyes and bewildered look take the cake in the frame.
Naturally, such a comment isn’t quickly dismissed as the group gathers in her room to try and get a better understanding of Hinata’s reasoning for making such a comment. Between her delivery, and even choice of words it’s painted well that Hinata is uncertain about everything. That the frustration she feels for hers and her friends’ efforts seem lackluster. Thankfully, the other Cures and healing animals are very understanding of Hinata’s feelings and don’t go out of their way to try and convince her she’s wrong or anything. They understand, and show support. Yes, they need and want Hinata beside them and for her to keep being a Cure. Yet they all acknowledge that what they are doing is dangerous, and above all it’s not something to be forced.
Just this short moment alone is very refreshing and shows how good and organic the characters and their relationships are. Girls typically become Cures in a heat of a moment situation, there is no time to compel what they are doing and the choice made. Even though Nodoka has firmly set her resolve to fight and help until the end, no one else has. They are teenage girls who suddenly have Earth’s weight on their shoulders, naturally anyone would waiver.
Wanting to divert the conversation, Hinata asks her friends’ thoughts on the juice from her family’s cafe that are placed before them. Despite both Nodoka and Chiyu saying it was good- they point out that there is something a bit different than normal. Despite the innocence in the statement, this proves to be the last thing Hinata wanted to hear as we see another layer pulled away.
Upon admitting she herself made the juice she becomes quick to restore it being less-than in comparison to her sister. Going as far as to track back her childhood memories of things she viewed as failures in comparison to her older siblings otherwise successes. It’s not that she’s envious of what her older brother and sister have accomplished and their capabilities. But upset and frustrated with her own efforts not being viewed by herself as lesser. And recent battles seem to be the slow tipping point.
The conversion is halted as Latte starts to show symptoms of a megabyogen attack, and added into the mix the other mascots also seem to be affected by strange and sudden static electricity that sends all of their bangs straight up. Much to Hinata’s humor and Nyatoran’s dismay, a small fish shaped birthmark hidden under his bangs comes into sight. It proves embarrassing enough for Nyatoran to actually tap down his bangs to avoid the laughter and unwelcome remarks.
With the girls on a timeline affecting Latte’s health and the minute by minute growing strength of the byogen, the girls head into the town to try and locate the monster of the week. Despite citizens having issues with the static electricity and moderate electrical issues, there seems to be no visible signs of danger. Bar a few bursts of lighting- that is moving.
Once more the plot shifts to Hinata as she learns her sister has now been affected by the byogen. As a result she is locked into her van and unable to get out. Far from the most danger a family member of a Cure has been in, this did strike a nerve with Hinata. Despite her sister dismissing the severity of the situation, going as far as to say that if it was too bad she would have their father or brother come and get her out. We see another silent blow to Hinata’s confidence.
If not for Nodoka pulling aside her friend, it’s likely Hinata would lose her resolve. Thankfully the healing animals are able to locate the infected drone and with the help of social media, Hinata is about to get a general location of the megabyogen. And for once social media proves to have some merits,as they soon come face to face with a tag team of Guaiwaru and the newcomer Batetemoda.
The battle, though short, does show off just how great the girls work as a team and offer some great visuals. And with Hinata being in the main focus of the fight. In the end they are able to save the element spirit and Hinata receives the lighting element bottle. With a bit more confidence, Hinata resolved to continue to give her all as a Cure moving forward.
Though not the strongest episode, the series does a good job addressing some of the frustration that does come with a role like being a Cure. Giving your all constantly and not even scratching the surface is hard. And also does a really good job continuing to develop Hinata. Everyone has moments where they struggle like she does feeling less than in comparison to others. And being the youngest of the family like Hinata is understandable.
*In early merchandise, promos Latte was marked as being ‘Rate’. Or often having the two names altering.Since this is now technically the official English version of the series I guess ‘Rate’ is canon? Or is it Latte? Urghhhh….