[Four] Fresh Pretty Cure! and Living Without Regret

love momozono, ayumi momozono, fresh pretty cure!, fresh pretty cure! episode 45

“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.

5 comments

  1. It’s really interesting how those moments before the big arc play out. It’s a precure tradition to have that sort of moment take place during Christmas. In Futari wa, Nagisa and Honoka’s final henchman is defeated on that day, prior to their voyage into the Dark Zone. In Heartcatch, a Christmas miracle allows Cure Flower to temporarily return, only for Dune to capture her once her powers wane.In Suite, Minor Land turns everyone in Kanon Town to stone during the Christmas concert, and steals all of the notes from the Legendary Score, but Hibiki’s strong will allows her and her companions to transform once again; their secret base even becomes a flying fortress that transports the group to Major Land where the bad guys threaten to take over.

    There’s a sense of dread that looms and seeks to envellop the world in which each PreCure group lives, yet through the giving spirit of Christmas, they are able to will themselves to stand up and face that final challenge head-on against nearly impossible odds. For Fresh, that will was always there, as they’ve always fought as if from behind in the magic attack arms race. What pushes them over the edge is the support that they get from their respective families, and that’s what definitely makes this show stand out for me, as you’ve already eloquently said.

    Even the Daisuke thing was fantastic. I love his relationship with Love, and this episode is the best exemplar of it. Thanks for writing this, it certainly brought me back, even if I didn’t necessarily watch it in 2013.

    1. That Cure Flower episode is Heartcatch is also amazing.

      Daisuke is wonderful. I love how much his actions in the series show that he really watches Love a lot, and therefore knows a great deal about her as a person. He’s also made it clear that he will love her regardless of her response to him, and just wants her to be true to herself (as if Love could be anything else).

      Furthermore, I loved that the families were such a huge part in the precures’ story. All too often, the magical girl identity is something to be hidden, leaving the family members/friends as objects to be abducted by villains. Fresh does things a bit differently by showing how much each girl takes from, and cares about, their respective family members. This makes the two scenes in the park all the more enjoyable to watch.

      Additionally, as an aside, I love that, when the four girls are about to leave without parental permission the second time, Love says that their parents are going to be mad when they return. Setsuna of all people just smiles and says something to the effect of, “We’re just going to have to let them.” It’s so nuanced but says so much about how she’s grown as a person.

      Thank you for your continued support of me. ^ ^

      1. Ahaha don’t thank me just yet, don’t think I’ve let you off on such discussions regarding PreCure. I could talk to you forever about the show, and it certainly feels like I have already!

        About Setsuna and her growth in regards to her incorporation to the Momozono family, as well as your mention of how PreCure takes special care of the girls’ families, I really enjoy how Setsuna’s relationship with the family closely follows (and so carefully stems from) her relationship with Ayumi. You’ve mentioned about this particular relationship in another fantastic tumblr post that also talks about these characters talking with each other. Setsuna really takes after Ayumi, and this particular moment that you mentioned on tumblr has come full circle with the one that you mentioned in your comment. Isn’t Fresh just wonderful? ^ ^

  2. I definitely agree with the entry. Revealing your identity like this can be an incredibly powerful trope and Fresh did a great job with it. Near the end of Madoka (the series), when Madoka’s mother eventually gives in and lets her daughter run out into the storm, I still have a bit of trouble accepting her decision. Things would have been different if Madoka had (had time to) explained the situation, I guess. But as an adult, I put myself in those parents’ shoes and I really do wonder if I could make the same choice.

    1. Yeah, it’s a bit lazily done in Madoka, which is sad because Junko is such a great mother figure to Madoka up until that point. Perhaps she was so swayed by her daughter’s conviction and simply trusted her that much. Additionally, there’s the fact that there’s no way Junko would have known that Madoka was headed out to save the world, so to speak. Madoka wins their argument and Junko lets her go because Madoka throws Junko’s words back at her, saying that Junko raised her well and she knows how much she means to Junko and the family. It just works because it has to for the narrative, otherwise Madoka never becomes a magical girl. The series runs out of time, and additionally, unlike the Precure, the magical girls in Madoka are not seen by the public.

      Good point though. Thanks for this comment. ^ ^

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