Aida Mana is a girl who is always eager to do things for the sake of others.
One day, when she was visiting the Clover Tower during her school's orientation program, an enemy who called themselves "Selfish" appeared suddenly, and tried to manipulate her inner heart! To fight this enemy, she borrowed power from a magical fairy Sharuru to transform into Pretty Cure!
To protect the peace of the world, other legendary Pretty Cure soon joined her in battle! A mysterious baby also appears, making each day a "Heartthrob" experience! The 4 Cures, always holding "love" in their hearts, are battling for the world's fate!
Doki Doki is the worst season of Pretty Cure in the franchise. It would already be a bad enough show on its own but also decides to tread on the spirit of Pretty Cure, be something it's not, and ends up as everything a season of Pretty Cure shouldn't be.
The show is much more plot focused than any other season and here is the first major problem. While heavy focus on the plot isn't inherently a bad thing, in Doki's case it unfortunately comes at the cost of developing the characters and their relationships with each other, especially in the first half of the
show. And despite the creators trying to make a more complex story they fall flat on their face and Doki ends up having numerous plot holes in addition to the ones you'd commonly see in any other season. It's a kids show built around selling merchandise and they simply tried to do to much with it and failed, there are numerous concepts and ideas brought up that never really get expanded on. The pacing in the show feels like they just tried to cram in as much stuff as possible without allowing for any breather room or for things to naturally develop. There are so many plot devices and power ups that come out of nowhere with no or very little build up or foreshadowing. Pretty Cure usually has this to some degree but Doki takes it to a completely new level.
The Cures themselves are mostly okay characters. The problem is what the show does with them. You'll never see a Cure more poorly treated and wasted than Cure Sword. She is a veteran warrior from the devastated Trump Kingdom but the show has no idea what to do with her or how to keep her relevant later on. Diamond and Rosetta similarly get the short end of the stick, especially in the first half once again.
The fairies are okay for the most part, Davi is in fact one of the better ones from the franchise I think, but they and their relationships with the Cures aren't well developed and for the longest time they don't really feel like friends or even partners with their Cure. Ai-chan unfortunately never stops feeling like she's a plot device more than a character.
When it comes to comedy the show is a little weird. At times it tries to emulate the wacky and silly style common in Fresh or Smile but with far less success. There's a lot of really out of place stuff poorly integrated into otherwise serious episodes and it kind of ruins the atmosphere or just comes across as dumb. It has plenty of fun moments and episodes still but a lot of stuff feels like it would've been better or fit in more in a different season.
The villains are the Jikochu. The minions in the show are boring. They follow a seven deadly sins theme but it never amounts to more than a one-note character trait at best or at worst having nothing to do with them at all. Bel is an okay villain but keeps going back and forth between comic relief and serious threat and excelling at neither. Anything set up with the minions never really amounts to anything good.
Regina starts off as the only entertaining villain the show has but what the show does with her quickly becomes repetitive, annoying, and boring. The main villain of the show is King Jikochu and he is surprisingly a pretty interesting and entertaining villain through the whole show. It would be too big of a spoiler but he's rather unique for a few reasons.
The monsters of the week are okay. Some of them have pretty interesting designs and gimmicks and are pretty funny. A lot unfortunately don't really get to shine and there are barely any remotely good fights against them.
The fighting in the show is on the whole very weak. Poor animation quality during the fights leave most of it unremarkable and without any impact. Doki does have quite a few silly and unusual fights to somewhat make up for it but it's never great at that. There is a lot of strategy used in some fights and the properties of what a Jikochu is made from sometimes factor into it. For instance a Jikochu made from a stereo runs out of batteries when it's not plugged in. But this happens less as the show goes on and it becomes more straight-forward action. Which is unfortunate because it still isn't good.
The general soundtrack is good, the opening and endings just okay.
The stock footage in the show is bland. All but one of the transformations are terrible. The one good one is so good it looks like it should be in a different show. The attacks are nothing special, some bad and some okay ones.
Possibly the biggest problem with Doki is its main character. Aida Mana, Cure Heart. The show completely revolves around her. Instead of it being about friendships and bonds between all the Cures it's all about how everyone loves Mana and that's why it's everything Pretty Cure shouldn't be. She's completely perfect from the beginning of the show and doesn't grow or learn anything at all. Any supposed lessons she learns are forgotten and repeated later. The show sets up things like how her amazing selflessness might cause problems for her but nothing ever comes of this. Everyone loves her and she never fails. She's completely uncompelling and unrealistic and even worse is a terrible role model for children. Even when she shouldn't be the center of attention or have something in the plot revolve around her it happens anyways because she's the creators favorite. Add to that she's also just a terribly written character as her intelligence and fighting ability fluctuate episode by episode. She is the worst Cure of the franchise because everything she's about spits on what it means to be a Cure.
The finale of the show is strange. It's not good by any means. It's hilarious in the same way a particularly bad movie is hilarious. There are some nice moments in it and some nice ideas are used but there is also plenty of dumb stuff, out of place comedy, terrible plot devices, a shoehorned in final fight that makes no sense, and generally poor animation quality and action that ruins it. The finale leaves one wondering where the animation budget went as despite there being some good moments it's really not that good looking and neither were the episodes leading up to it.
So Doki Doki is the worst season of the franchise. At most times mediocre, sometimes terrible, never that great, with boring villains, and with the worst lead Cure ever.
If you were to go back to the beginning of 2013 and asked a general Precure fan what the worst season was claimed to be, the chances are they would've said Suite, and usually for the universal reason that it wasn't the well-acclaimed Heartcatch season. If we're to go back to the present and you asked a general Precure fan what the worst season is, you'll probably hear them say DokiDoki, except for very, very good reasons.
DokiDoki Precure is a Precure season that not only fails to be a good show in general, but it fails to be a good show for this franchise in
general. When I say that, I mean that there are general things in Precure that makes the franchise very worthwhile, and DokiDoki fails at even delivering those.
While the plot of this season appears to be a simplistic one, the show is intent on continuing to expand upon the plot until many holes begin to to show up and many things are left both unexplained or are given improper care time. People praised DokiDoki in the beginning for being more plot-centric than past seasons, though DokiDoki ultimately suffers from this formula.
Since the plot and characters go hand in hand, let's discuss the characters too. The reason DokiDoki suffers from its plot-centric formula is because it shafts its characters, their development and their interactions in favor of things like a badly done plot point or more time for our main character. (whom I'll rant about later) There is one characters whose school uniform we don't get to see until episode 49. The last episode. That's how long it takes.
The show also made two instances of randomly introducing new characters into the plot in the middle of the show. First case was with a poorly-done character, Regina, who basically starts off as a bad guy, decides she's pretty much in love with our main girls, tries to become good, becomes bad again, becomes good again, then becomes brainwashed into being bad and we don't see her again for about 20 episodes since they decide to shoehorn in another character who we had no indication of appearing prior. This character is Madoka Aguri, Cure Ace.
Fun fact: There's a video up on YouTube where a 5 year old girl who watches the episode that Ace debuts is very confused and upset because of how random her appearance is. That's how bad it is. Ace is, essentially, an over-powered 10 year old who had no foreshadowing of appearing and is there to basically lecture the other girls into "getting stronger" and takes credit for a lot of their development episodes. She is bound by a time limit which the plot removes when they need it too, and is basically the second strongest character next to the over-overpowered main lead.
Speaking of this main lead... Mana Aida. In some seasons, there is definitely some leader bias, but never before has it been this bad. The worst part is that Mana is bland. She is bland, she is flawless according to the show, the show never acknowledges her flawed logic, and she is given everything. Mana has all the other Cures transfer THEIR power to HER. Teamwork? Who needs that, just give all the power to Mana! Most of their combo attacks revolve around giving Mana the power and her taking them out. She is loved by everyone. She is the student council president, has a bunch of friends, and when she outs her Cure identity everyone is okay with it.
Mana is also the only one who gets a leader upgrade at the end of the season. She single handedly takes out the big bad using everyone elses' power. She is the one who basically restores everything. All the Cures' and their resolves revolve around Mana. Their reason to fight? Mana. It's all about Mana and it's terrible, because this show has 5 other characters, 3 of which are already shafted as it is, that it could focus on and develop but it instead focuses on and DOESN'T develop the overpowered and generic main lead.
Other Cure leaders may have been some spotlight hogs, but at least they had some good interactions and growth with their friends. At least it somewhat made sense that Nagisa had a lot of attention since there WERE only two cures (eventually three) in that season. There is no excuse here, just bias, and it results in an extremely bland main character who gets everything without reason and sucks everything away from all the other characters who deserve it. When the show didn't focus too much on Mana, it focused too much on Reginas' shoddily written character arc that relied on shifting her sides when the plot demanded it, or too much on Ace, who bossed the Cures' around and took credit for their growth and served as a deus ex machina plot device.
The villains, honestly, the only one with actual character was probably Ira. He had one interaction episode with Rikka, one that had lots of great potential with her, only for that episode to end and for it to never be directly spoken about again. Its implied a few times in the finale, yes, but overall his time with her is wasted in favor of, you guessed it, more Mana.
Basically, the plot is a big mess that ends up shafting a bunch of characters in exchange of more Mana, Ace, Regina, or some other plot points that they feel like bringing up to expand things more that only result in everything becoming more confusing and unnecessarily complicated and stupid.
Art and sound are mediocre. The transformations, aside from Ace, are extremely average at best and are very dynamic and honestly pretty boring. The endings have some nice artwork and some catchy tunes, though nothing else really stood out besides that. There's quite a lot of QUALITY inducing scenes within the show, but the overall art isn't exactly that bad.
I mean, as someone who likes mahou shoujo, I enjoyed it.. to an extent. Sort of. Though honestly, there was nothing appealing in this season. A plot centric season? Yeah, a BADLY written plot-centric season. Character centric? Well, it was Mana centric, where none of the girls' interactions with Mana went outside of 'we need you.'
DokiDoki has nothing going for it, nothing at all. Not as a show in general, or as a Precure season. When it fails on both accounts, there's nothing really worth watching here. If you want to start Precure, go with any other season that isn't Max Heart or GoGo!. (They're sequels) Just don't start with this, there is nothing to gain from this season of Precure and let's just hope the next season succeeds in the things DokiDoki didn't.
There is a natural human tendency to be complacent and repeat the same formula over and over again. This includes the Precure franchise with the previous Smile Precure being nothing more than a rehashed Yes5, according to reliable sources. The inability to adapt to a changing world has been the cause of failure of governments, corporations and society. Dokidoki has shown that even a well-established franchise is able to change with the times and cater to Generation Z children who have evolving and different needs.
The first and foremost difference is that the Pink cure, Mana takes a far stronger leadership role in
this series compared to the past. In the run-up to Dokidoki, Japan has faced a leadership crisis, having 6 different Prime Ministers in as many years. Mana is a kind, but domineering character who knows no fear of attempting the impossible. Mana's ultimate dream of becoming a Prime Minister is no coincidence and her character is an inspiration to the children of Japan to take more risks, and get the job done in an otherwise risk-averse society.
Despite Mana's superb level of competancy in many things, one that children should aspire for through diligence and hard work, it is strongly emphasized that she is only human and is imperfect. At one point, Mana loses motivation and a new character, much like the political opposition takes over the leadership role for a while, developing Mana and the cast until Mana is well again. This really draws paralells with the second coming of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who after a weak first stint, has returned with strength, dominance and assertiveness not seen since the Koizumi era.
That said, governments are essentially a team who need excellent leaders and followers. The cast knows when to stand up and lead, and when to provide excellent support to Mana. Even the said opposition is able to accomplish both roles, a life skill that is necessary for everyone.
Dokidoki also takes a concept that is very relevant in life; selfishness. This relatability is a change from fantasy elements such as music, flowers and fairy tales. Almost every episode involves a person having selfish desires. Even the smallest selfish thought can escalate into something big, and Dokidoki shows how such thoughts can be suppressed, a crucial life skill that children need.
Each member of the cast faces their own relatable trials and challenges in life and is given time for growth and development. An excellent example of this is the exploration of the theme of conflicting friendships. Little girls have a tendency to become upset when their best friend decides to get to know a new person. They become lonely and jealous, resulting in petty arguments along the lines of "I'm her best friend, how dare you take her away from me?" Dokidoki recreates this situation and provides a viable resolution.
The theme of separation is also explored like never before in previous Precure seasons, something very relevant to the globalizing world. The Children of today are more likely to part ways and travel to far-flung places in their lives than ever before. The common reaction of sadness and depression is a strong theme and Dokidoki provides meaningful advice to children in the same situation in order to stand up, keep going, finding happy things in life and getting the job done.
Another big theme is brainwashing. In this information age, we have easy access to a wide range of different sources, including less reputable ones. Children are especially vulnerable when it comes to listening to an unreliable source. Dokidoki explores one character who faces such a situation and the amount of love and care that is needed in order to restore and rehabilitate such children who take the wrong path in life.
Last but not least, Dokidoki's plot has so many twists and turns that will put Code Geass to shame, catering perfectly to a generation that has ever-shortening attention spans. The wide range of themes that are covered, and the sudden changes in the predicament of the cures will put anyone at the edge of their seats. The transformation scenes are no-nonsense and different background music is substituted in to convey the mood of the situation, in what must be a first for the franchise and is rarely seen in the Mahou Shoujo genre. The endgame also takes a shocking twist which would leave the audience in awe.
Combined with a character design that is easy on the eyes, consistently high quality artwork, animation and effective use of music, Dokidoki is a series that has succesfully managed to move on and adapt with the times. This is evidenced by a YouTube reaction video of a 5 year old who is fully engaged with the series, and is shocked and awed by the attention-seeking techniques that Toei animation has used in order to keep today's audience glued to their screens.
The antithesis to Dokidoki is the "Aria the Animation" franchise. This series should never be watched as it was made for a previous generation born in the 1990s and is familiar with devices such as the VHS and the floppy disk. These devices are common in the fact that they are slow, and will sedate anyone from the 2000s generation into boredom and sleep.
Once upon a time when the topic of the worst Precure Season was brought up, I'd have no idea what to say. Even putting aside my lack of experience with the franchise, I had no idea what would drive me to think so negatively about a light hearted kid's show with healthy morals. Even when I went and watched past seasons that were looked upon unfavourably I still enjoyed them for what they were despite their flaws. And now we come to the present day. While I've still yet to make my way through every past season of the show, I can now confidently answer
the previous question of what the worst Precure season is. And despite what people would have said before Doki aired, it isn't Suite or Smile.
Despite the fact that I enjoy the Precure franchise in general, I will freely admit that the basic plot structure of each season is somewhat predictable. But when it comes down to it you can't really criticise the franchise for being predictable when you consider the target audience. So by that logic does that make DokiDoki bulletproof? Well, not quite. When it comes down to it the execution is what matters the most. Despite being aimed at a younger audience it hasn't stopped Precure from excelling in different areas and it doesn't stop DokiDoki from being great either. What stops DokiDoki from being great is DokiDoki itself.
With the initial character introductions the main cast comes off as likeable. However despite a good chunk of the show supposedly being devoted to character development the fruits of their labour are never really felt. While they gain a multitude of new powers and save the Earth from certain doom they're pretty much the exact same people they were 48 episodes before. Especially when it comes to Mana, Rikka and Alice who, while not particularly unlikeable, are privileged and flawless and about as far removed from relatable as you can get. Even when it comes to the characters that initially had a lot of potential they suffer greatly due to the lack of focus
When such flawed characters this leads to a lot of other problems. Monster of the week episodes which previous seasons used for character development are just mindless filler and nothing more. Whether the plot developments are hits or misses doesn't really matter because the characters will remain stagnant regardless. No matter how substantial, the moral lessons contained in each episode all feel hollow considering they rarely contribute to the character's development or the overall plot. Even putting aside the characters and plot the action scenes which take up at least half of each episode mainly consist of the characters spamming their bland magic attacks. No fisticuffs, no surprises, just repeated animation.
The animation budget seems to significantly lower than previous seasons with a plethora of QUALITY moments. The art isn't offensively bad but the animation is very sub par by modern standards. The transformation sequences are an integral part of magical girl anime and often quite well done but the ones in Doki had me clicking the fast forward button almost every time.
On the topic of sound, the OST isn't obnoxiously bad and has some nice songs but is often times repetitive and forgettable. The OP sequence used for the show is also somewhat forgettable but catchy enough to fulfil its purpose. And if it wasn't the boredom that made me want to see the end of an episode, it was the one of the two glorious CG ED themes by now series regular Hitomi Yoshida. The voice acting was also of a high standard with famous VAs such as Rie Kugimiya (Except this time not a tsundere), Mayumi Tanaka (Luffy from One Piece), Minako Kotobuki (Mugi from K-ON and member of idol group Sphere) among others.
I will say that I enjoyed DokiDoki for the basic reasons I enjoy the mahou shoujo genre in general. But that's about it. While I was somewhat entertained by the beginning and the ending a large portion of the show had me wishing I was watching something else. So overall, I guess I didn't really enjoy my time with DokiDoki even though it has the sentimental value of being the first Precure Season I watched as it aired. In fact, I'd go as far as saying the show is noticeably quite boring.
If you want a good magical girl series, DokiDoki doesn't deliver. If you want a nice kid's show that teaches healthy moral lessons about eating vitamins and saying prayers, you won't get that either. If you were expecting quality entertainment, then boy have you ever come to the wrong place. DokiDoki Precure is your typical mediocre and completely forgettable kid's show from a franchise that is anything but mediocre and forgettable. But hey, if this is the worst thing to happen to Precure than we can only hope it's all uphill from here.
Anime is popular for having loads of adorable characters. Anime baby boys and girls, in particular, have a special way of making people happy. Here are 15 of the cutest babies in anime, sure to brighten your day with their beautiful innocence.