The film's story is set in the Doll Kingdom where dolls reside. Happiness Charge PreCure are asked to help by a women named Tsumugi when the sudden appearance of Saiarks begin wrecking havoc upon the Kingdom. However all is not what it seems with the mysterious man Black Fang dwelling in the shadows.
It's time for the HappinessCharge girls to have a new adventure in a movie pretty similar to the Smile Precure one if you have watched it.
The story is focused on a girl called Tsugumi, who lost her ability to walk and therefore can't dance, the thing she loves the most. This makes her despair as wanted for the villain of this movie, Black Fang. Once the girls go to the Kingdom of Dolls after being invited by her, it's the start of a mix of wanting to have fun there and doubts about the current situation the place is in.
This movie handles pretty nicely the
drama of the story, and especially gives quite a lot of love to Megumi and Hime, with emotional protagonism to the first and lots of funny moments for the second, Iona and Yuuko sadly got the short end of the stick on that regard, and I don't even want to talk about poor Seiji and Blue. Together with Tsumugi there is also Prince Zeke, a character that cares a lot about her and that I liked quite a lot, which is nice especially considering the relatively short duration of this movie.
The animation and art quality of this movie was very good, with nice action scenes and well executed reactions from the characters to the events, definitely nothing to complain on that regard.
I'm satisfied with what I watched and I can recommend if you enjoyed the series or you just want to see more of Megumi and Hime.
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Happiness Charge Precure. Despite the fact that it has my all time favorite character in it (Hime), out of all the Precure series I've seen, HapiCha is the worst for me. I don't hate it, but its story was extremely flawed from the start. It left many subplots and plot threads completely unresolved, chucked previous ones in favor of new things that come right out of nowhere, and it had pretty much no sense of focus, especially during its filler episodes. I liked the plot related episodes, especially the Iona/Hime grudge arc, but other than that, HapiCha
never seemed to know what it wanted to do or be. It didn't help that other than Hime, it had bland, static, or utterly annoying characters that came off more like mouthpieces than actual people. Is it a bad thing that I like the movie for HapiCha way more than the TV series? Honestly, in my opinion, this is what Happiness Charge Precure should have been like!
The plot on the surface looks pretty simple. A girl named Tsumugi is coerced by an evil villain into taking the Pretty Cure into her imaginary world called the Doll Kingdom, and its residents are all sentient versions of all the dolls she has in her room. She's convinced the Pretty Cure want to destroy her perfect world and her happiness, but the girls know that the villain, Black Fang, is the one responsible for making her suffer. Seriously, I laud this movie for actually wanting to know what it wants to do and running with this premise to the end, because the show's lack of focus really turned me off. In fact, the story itself is simple in theory, but considering it's about a girl who wants nothing more than to stay in her own world, far away from reality and the people around her and the fact that it doesn't make her or others happy, it could symbolize a lot of things. For all I know the whole thing could be a gigantic metaphor/allegory on autism and what it's like, or it's deconstructing the concept of closing oneself away to the point of wanting to stay inside yourself forever. It gives off a really good message that people can relate to: closing yourself off from reality and running away won't make you or others happy, even if you think it will. Let people in. Let people help you. And don't listen to people who claim they'll give you happiness or make your dreams come true, because its a scam or a trick.
The animation is just sumptuous. I know HapiCha had a lot of animation problems in the series, and I didn't like how blurry the artstyle looked, but the animators really pulled out the stops on this one. Everything is flashy, colorful, fluid, and knows how to stimulate the senses in the best way possible. The music...yay! HapiCha has its own soundtrack and isn't ripping off DokiDoki for once! I liked the songs (except the OP and ED. Ugh! Too squeaky!) and the BGMs, but they're not particularly memorable. But that doesn't mean I hate it.
Let's talk about the movie characters first...and seriously, I LOVE the movie characters! Tsumugi, Dark Fang, Zeke, good God they're awesome! Especially the main villain, Black Fang! He is pretty much everything that Red isn't: an intimidating, kick-butt, monstrous, heartless demon who will do anything to achieve his goals, doesn't mess around, completely ruins a young girl's life and happiness for his own ends, uses her the whole time, wants to trap her in a fake utopia, and pretty much tries to destroy the world. This is how you make a good villain, writers! A good villain is intimidating, gets what he wants, will do anything to get it even if it means hurting innocent people, actually does something, and doesn't give a flying rat's hat about anything else! Seriously, I'll take him over whiny, pathetic, annoying Red any day of the week! Better yet, WHY CAN'T HE BE THE MAIN SERIES VILLAIN?! Sure, his motivation is kinda weak, but I can totally forgive it since Red's motivation was pathetic, incompetent, poorly executed, and terrible from the very start.
Unfortunately...the main girls suffer in the character department. Yuuko and Iona are just there to be suspicious, Hime falls head over heels over Zeke, and Megumi is her usual annoyingly sweet "shiawase happiness"-spouting main character who tries to help Tsumugi by being nosy and acting like she's an angel that can save Tsumugi from her suffering. Yeah, they're easily the worst part of the movie. Also, Deus Ex Machina power-up that never appears in the show, miracle lights save the day (though points for putting them in the movie in a way that actually makes sense!), everyone's all peppy happy blah blah blah. I don't think I need to go on here.
Not a great movie, but not a bad one either. But if you're looking for good characters, give it a miss, because it doesn't handle the main characters well one bit.