There are some series that leave their climax for the final episode. There are others that put the climax in the penultimate episode so that they can use the final one for an epilogue. Heartcatch Precure… to be honest I’m not sure into what category it falls. This episode ends at the exact point where Dune gets pummeled by the ultimate Precure attack. At this point it’s not yet certain whether the creators intend the final episode to be the aftermath of that battle, or whether he still manages to pull some sort of trick out of his sleeve.
Either way, whichever case it may be, this episode was just awesome. The first half was entirely dedicated to Yuri, her father and Dark Precure. And I mean, Christ: people actually died in a kids’ show! The creators didn’t chicken out from this controversial topic, in which most kids’ show refuse to show anything in that direction thanks to censors. It’s awesome to see how much screentime Yuri has actually gotten in this finale: I mean, she really was the main character of the final few episodes of this series. That is just awesome. I know that this series’ fault is that it adheres to a ton of mahou shoujo cliches and all, but for every cliche it follows, it also excellently subverts one.
The creators here really set up the perfect prototype for the mahou shoujo of the new decade and I really hope that it inspires many more mahou shoujo to really put effort in its visuals, characters and stories, because it was really a genre that was about to die out before Heartcatch Precure aired (and this is coming from someone who at one point used to be a big fan of the mahou shoujo genre, and this series definitely reminded me again why).
The second half of the episode was the battle against Dune. It’s not like it got a better budget than usual, but dear god, the animation really was gorgeous, and the action was worthy of this series climax. The action was over the top, and yet not too crazy, and the art too was gorgeous during the busy parts (I love it when the creators sacrifice their character models in favor of fluidity and dynamics).
I do have one point of criticism here though: Dune. The next episode may prove me wrong, but unfortunately he remains a flat final villain who is just evil for the sake of being evil. I really would have loved to see the creators gave the same kind of depth to him that they gave to the other characters, but alas. The final fight against him also made him much weaker than what he once used to be, but I’ve seen much worse in this area.
Rating: *** (Awesome)