A pitfall I fell into during junior high school was making tenuous and superficial friendships based on my concentrated efforts to fit in with my classmates. This would come back to haunt me my second year when I missed nearly two months of school due to illness. Keeping up my studies by sending in homework and reading the textbooks at home, I did not fall too far behind in schoolwork. This was fortunate, as it meant that I could go back to school once I had wholly recovered instead of continuing to wander around the house, lonely.
The night before returning to school, I dreamed of how my reintroduction would go. I would command attention as soon as I walked into the classroom. Everyone would be concerned about my welfare, asking me where I’d been and if I was okay. In these delusions, I somehow forgot that I was a self-centered junior high school student who had not opened up to anyone prior to falling ill.
Watching Dokidoki! Precure is similar to revisiting Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars without the sepia-tinged glasses of nostalgia. When I was much younger and discovering anime through borrowing VHS tapes from a store in Boston, Sailor Stars was an experience. It was completely new to me and my friends – having only seen the North American dubbed seasons – and we ate it up. I often revisit Sailor Stars, in spite of its many issues and it’s place in my personal viewing history, as it has a lot to offer in the form of a magical girl template. A template that Dokidoki! was all too eager to follow.
By throwing in everything and anything, Dokidoki! diffuses a viewer’s focus enough to make them care about very little in the series, as there’s simply too much to care about. Additionally, it spins its wheels in the middling episodes, wasting the momentum gained from Cure Ace’s introduction along with pushing the character of Regina completely aside before reintroducing her as a key component of the series’ finale. I did struggle to watch at times, which naturally raises the question of why I bothered to finish it at all. Admittedly, much of this was driven by nostalgia, as one of my favorite series, Sailor Stars, drew a clear road map that Dokidoki! followed to both its benefit and detriment.
“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 light of recent themes addressed in Gatchaman Crowds, I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about heroes, superheroes, and their ilk, arriving at the realization that multiple anime series offer a specific personality drawn, quite literally, to dreams of being a superhero. A character who communicates more easily through visual arts than the spoken or written word all too often expresses themselves through dreams, and drawings, of heroism or saving others.
I personally love this idea – not coincidentally because it is near and dear to my heart – because it ties into ideas of how various people communicate in different ways. If one is unable to communicate properly through speaking or writing, they are often more likely to project their desires into visuals. It just so happens that, all too often, these visuals are ones of heroism or traditional superhero values. In asking the question, “Why?” it’s possible to set an interesting framework through which to view these more artistically-inclined personalities.