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Old 2013-12-21, 12:09   Link #784
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Monterrey, México
Age: 38
Episode 44. The Selfishness Trap! A Christmas without Mana!

A beautifully written episode that broke a few clichéd tropes established in previous Pretty Cure seasons. For starters, Cure Diamond shone the most appealing to Regina that they are connected to Mana even when being far away, and also for Regina to admit that, indeed, she loves Mana.
Normally, I would dislike the trope of appeasing then befriending the villain with words alone due not only it is clichéd to me but also comes as cheap that no effort was previously invested, and the villain becomes goody-goody in an instant just because he or she listened to the words of the heroine. This has not been the case in Doki Doki, because all girls have been previously acquainted at a personal level with Regina and made their individual efforts to reach her in the later episodes. The drama exchange was so tender and more so when Regina blushed out of embarrassment to admit that she loves Mana that I sobbed.
Moreover, the Cure proved to the Jikochuu that even when separated they're strong and self-reliant. Usually in the earlier PreCure seasons if at least one Cure got separated from the group then a significant drop in the other Cure's performance and power became noticeable, although their feelings for her missing comrade remain connected and strong. Thankfully, Doki Doki broke with that trope in this episode, and Cure Diamond & the others completely turnaround the tide without needing for Cure Heart to be present except when delivering their finisher move.
It also felt nice that Joe came to free Cure Heart from that cage, because it shows that Cure Heart needs as well a helping hand from time to time in order to get out of sticky situations, as well.

Another thing for me to take note about is that Regina clearly thought that strategy to separate Mana from the group through and through, covering even all little details. Why? The rest of the girls didn't know that the King of Student Council Speech Contest was just a fluke elaborated by Regina, until she and her henchmen told them about it when all engaged in battle at the plaza. They fell for the bait, because Regina was smart enough with the little details like making everyone know in town about the contest through flyers and propaganda. Had Regina only had the flyers handed to the girls, then eventually the girls would have found about the scam sooner by bringing casually the topic to their fellow classmates, and they would have reacted startled and surprised replying they never heard about such contest before.
Secondly, unlike Bel failing miserably to impersonate Joe six episodes back, both Marmo and Iras' disguises were very convincing that they had me fooled the first time they showed up at Mana's doorstep. It wasn't until she unsuspectingly went to the contest with them that immediately an epiphany struck me and figured out their identities.
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