“We don’t want them to regret anything because of us.”
-Ayumi Momozono, mother of Love Momozono, Fresh Pretty Cure! episode 45
The ending to Fresh Pretty Cure! is wonderfully weird. I would say that the series goes off the rails, so to speak, but that would be admitting that Fresh Pretty Cure! had strict rails to begin with. Instead, it bends, travelling to places both predictable and eccentric, but somehow, when the dust has settled, everything makes sense in the end. I attribute this to the fact that, in spite of its wackiness, Fresh Pretty Cure! never loses sight of the emotional story it wants to tell, specifically where its four leading ladies are concerned. It’s a series where donuts can save the world, your neighbor can be an international jack-of-all-trades, you can ride a tiger around a sinking cruise ship, and your father puts wigs on pets. Additionally, it knows when to be serious and is genuine in its emotional simplicity. One moment, two characters are having a heartfelt talk, the next they’re fighting a giant octopus, and its all brilliantly entertaining.
Episode 45 (of 50) is the quintessential last calm, before the storm of fighting the final threat occurs. Here, Fresh Pretty Cure!, through the character of Love Momozono/Cure Peach, makes the decision to reveal the precures’ identities to their families and friends. I had hardly seen this done in magical girl series – even within the Pretty Cure franchise itself – and the repercussions of this event struck me, resonating with a genuineness I had seen in the series previously. Ever a dutiful child, Love decides to allow those who mean most to her into her secret world of fighting evil, in spite of the fact that they may, and do for a short while, disapprove of her actions.
The parents’ disapproval stems from the fact that they do not want their daughters to die. Additionally, Love’s insistence that the precure reveal their identities bares an eerie similarity to an astronaut recording a video for their family upon the event of their death, or a soldier going off to war. She does not know what will happen to her in the future; however, she knows who she cares about and wishes to be honest with them. Therefore, Love goes about wrapping up all of her loose ends in order to, as her mother says above, live without regret. Prior to knowing that their parents have had a change of heart, all four precure decide to sneak off and fight regardless. Having been honest with their parents, they can go forth by being honest with themselves and fighting to save the world.
This culminates in a heartfelt scene between the precure and their loved ones, with both sides bidding goodbye to one another with respective promises to return and wait. Most importantly, neither side harbors any regrets.