Watching a reboot or sequel to a classic favorite is inevitably an awkward endeavor. I first experienced this in anime through Sailor Moon Crystal, a reboot of one of the properties that, among other highly personal things, gave me an initial push down the path of becoming a lifelong anime fan. Crystal was a homecoming at first, then a massive disappointment, then a fun return to a franchise that resonated with me unlike any other media property from elementary school through my own adolescence.
Even returning to Naruto through Boruto was accompanied by an odd feeling of time passing without me. I was never deeply immersed in the world of Naruto, or even too emotionally attached to any of the characters. Despite never finishing the Naruto anime itself, I enjoyed the time I spent watching it and my passive participation in the fandom consuming fanworks. Perhaps this is why Boruto initially registered as a fanwork itself, albeit an official one, in my mind.
Yet, Card Captor Sakura is neither Sailor Moon nor Naruto for me. Revisiting Card Captor Sakura is another, different experience and return to a beloved franchise.
“First, you imagine what kind of human you want to become, and then you wish really hard for it.”
-Davie, to the other three precure fairies on transformation, Dokidoki! Precure, episode 29
Dokidoki! Precure and I have had our share of ups and downs. I had found my attention waning away from this series thanks, in large part, to its inconsistencies in addition to time constraints that had recently cropped up in my own life thanks to a new job. Dokidoki! is a series that when it’s on, it’s the best at what it does, and when it’s off becomes near unwatchable.
While recently making the effort to catch up, I stumbled upon a gem of an episode, episode 29, titled “Sharuru’s Big Transformation.”
In trick-oriented playing card games, a suit is sometimes nominated as a trump suit, elevating those cards above the remainder of the playable deck. Technically, they still operate within the overall rules of the game; however, as they are markedly noted as superior, their actions outrank those of the plain suits below them.
Adhering to its playing card motif, Dokidoki! Precure offers us Cure Ace, “the trump card of love.”
A reliable constant in Japanese school children or young adults fighting off the forces of evil is the necessity to transform into something else. Something that is not quite one’s self, but also an extension of one’s self, escaping the certainty that one won’t be able to do something and entering the powerful realm of possibility that one can.