The last time I felt this emotionally drained while covering the last few episodes of a series was YGO ARC-V. If you followed my coverage for that, then should know just how much of a dumpster fire it was. Now you may be thinking I am comparing apple to oranges to the extreme, but when it comes to the emotional toll it had on me, they were pretty similar experiences, especially when it came down to my favourite characters being killed off.
I am not exaggerating when I say these past four weeks of Healin’ Good Precure really put me through the ringer because I am exhausted! So contrary to what I said a couple of months ago, I couldn’t be more ready to move onto something else to mend my broken heart.
It was painful because I honestly didn’t think this show would have such a lackluster and disappointing ending. The worst part about it was that these past few episodes were not fun for me to watch. It was a miserable, there’s no lighter way to put it. My problem with these past few episodes goes well beyond my gripes with how they killed Daruizen off. And frankly, ever since that travesty, everything just went downhill from there.
Frankly I already knew things were not looking good after watching Episode 43. And yet despite dropping all my expectations, unsurprisingly they still managed to disappoint me. That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to write up an entry last week on Episode 44. To sum up my entire mood in one picture, this would be it.
So Instead, I decided to spend that time reflecting on everything that happened and began the write up for the final review.
Now what about the finale?
Episode 45: A year and half passed since the trainees and Latte all returned home, and today the girls were invited visit Healing Gardens. Stuff happens that I don’t care to talk about because as much as I wanted to enjoy it, unfortunately I didn’t. Oh, and in case you were wondering: No, Daruizen and the rest did not reincarnate. Bummer I know, but I’m not surprised at this point because I just don’t care anymore. I guess you could say I am burned out.
If you were able to enjoy these past few episodes, that’s great, I’m happy for you because I wished I could feel the same. If you followed my coverage from the very beginning of this series, you should know how much I loved this show. That’s why it just breaks my heart that I feel this way.
Typically I have more to say about the final episode, but in all honesty I got nothing more to add. So instead we’re going to dive straight into my final thoughts on the series as a whole. I spent a lot to time sorting out my thoughts and putting together this final review because I really wanted to make sure I provided a fair assessment for this show.
Without further ado, let’s go over The Good, the Missed Opportunities and of course, The Bad.
The Lovable Trainees
The three trainees, Rabbirin, Nyatoran and Pegitan are hands down one of the best sidekicks I have seen in ages. They are charming, likable, flawed, all of the things that made each one of them memorable characters. Honestly this is how every sidekick/fairy should be treated in Precure. They are way more likeable if they have their own unique personalities.
This was hands down my favourite part in the first half of the series. One of the things I absolute loathe are passive antagonists. For for once, we actually got to see them behave intelligently, brazenly and the best part, adapt to the girl’s growth. This kept the playing field well balanced, making their fights a challenge and so much fun to watch. This is something I would like to see more of going forward, because not only does it make the antagonists more interesting, it really helps the story when it’s in that sluggish phase when not too much is happening.
Daruizen: The Best Antagonist
Ever have a character who you know you shouldn’t love, but love them anyways? Say hello to my ultimate Bias of 2020. Very early on, Daruizen intrigued me with his aloof yet incredibly intelligent character. I love it when we get to see antagonists grow and adapt as the protagonists do over the course of the series. Daruizen explored many things, and even made some ballsy moves such as attacking Nodoka in such a direct way that it caught a lot of us, myself included, off-guard. But that wasn’t all to Daruizen’s character. He wasn’t simply a ‘villain’ to me, but a Pathogerm who was unique among his circle. Unlike the others who valued love and greed, the most important thing to him was ironically, living. He wanted to protect it, and he would do whatever it takes to do so. On top of that, what made him such a fascinating character was how fleshed out he was. He was cheeky, shrewd, intelligent and best of all, unpredictable (that was my favourite quality)! So even though he was the antagonist and a little shit who done terrible things, it sure didn’t take long before he became my #1 favourite character in this show. I absolutely loved everything about him, flaws and all.
And lo and behold, I was way more interested to find out what was going through that head of his than the main protagonists. Whoops. Well what can you do, these things happens sometimes! So naturally, when they killed him off I ended up crying like a baby. But it wasn’t just because I loved his character, but I was mostly upset with how he met his demise, which I will elaborate further below. Ironically, in hindsight of this tragedy, I came to realize that Daruizen was a big reason why I was so invested in this show. Whelp.
(Having an antagonist as your favourite character rarely ends well, but this wouldn’t be the first time. So this isn’t new to me, hahaha… [SOBS])
The Bold Message Promoting Self-Care
Despite having my gripes about my bias being forsaken, even I understand and respect the bold and long overdue message of standing up for your own best interest first when dealing with someone who abuses/hurt you. The one who has been hurt (Nodoka) had no obligation or responsibility to save/help the one who made her and many others suffer. It is something that should be explored more in these types of shows directed to a younger audience instead of the outdated trend of the bad boy being “saved” by the good girl.
The Epic Fights
This is the reason why the final boss fight was so underwhelming. The fights in this series were absolutely AWESOME. THERE WERE SO MANY OF THEM! But the best part about them was the fact the Antagonists were strong, and we started to see them get engaged into the battles too as time went on. Even though Batetemoda was such a creepy character, he made such a great opponent for the girls to fight. That’s why it was actually a bit disappointing to see him be taken out so soon, but fortunately we got to see Daruizen start getting engaged, bringing about the epic battle that took place in Episode 33. Man, that was good stuff.
I’ve talked about this in other Precure series I have covered, but up until now, apart from Heartcatch and maybe another I’m forgetting, Precure’s soundtrack was never really present to me. However this time, right out of the gate, I was accutely aware of the music being played in the background, and that continued till the very end.
Frankly, I didn’t like how Nodoka was conveniently cured because Daruizen (who was her illness) was no longer in her body. The moment it was deemed she had “miraculously” recovered, I pretty much lost interest in her character. This didn’t really surprise me because while she was sweet and all, but to me she lost the thing that made her a unique heroine. When I first started watching this show, I thought it was an amazing and even beautiful thing to see Nodoka represent a demographic of those who endure any kind of sickness. I’m not saying Nodoka needed to be sick the entire show, but I think it would have had more impact if we saw her fighting to overcome her illness’ side-effects as she fought as a Precure, but also as an individual who despite their circumstances, is looking to continue living their life to their fullest. That’s why I feel like it was a missed opportunity to really create a memorable heroine. That being said, they still managed to make her a memorable one with the way she refused to help an antagonist who sought for help because they had hurt her because she didn’t want to.
Latte, 90% Passive Princess Pupper
Say what you want, but man it was a darn shame that Latte was limited to communicating strictly through the stethoscope. I get she was a baby and all, and we got to see her talk a BIT in the finale, but yeah, it’s too bad they set her up that way.
While did we get to see her undergo some form of character development, it was frustrating how she couldn’t contribute to conversations like the Trainees could, and it was sad how she often was forced to sit passively on the sidelines, only being able to do the bare minimum to help out because of her illness when a Pathogerm infects an Element. That being said, I am thankful she never turned into a Precure. Instead she got a role like the others did, being attached to the Precure’s weapon.
Playing with more Terra-Pathogerms and Parasites
This is probably the thing that I wished they had the time to expand on. This was arguably one of the most interesting and game changing development that could have contributed to the final battle. And yet, we only got to see this play out as a test subject two times, both cases being quickly resolved and swept under the rug to never be heard of again. It seems the only reason why this was introduced to us was for the purpose of “explaining” how Nodoka and Daruizen turned out to be connected in a way neither one of them expected to be. Frankly, given the King’s interest in it, I was surprised he didn’t push for more Terra-Pathogerms to be born, especially since he intended to consume them in order to become more powerful.
Add More Variety to the Precure’s Tool Kit
It is actually a shame we didn’t get to see more of this. I thought it was so cool when Nodoka made her rod a sword back in Episode 10. Much to my disappointment, we never got to see that again. That moment showed us they absolutely could have been a lot more creative with the way they use their rods, and I would have loved to see them explore that more. It also could have helped the girls find their individual strengths and use that to their advantage during the rare moments they are caught astray from the group.
The Curse of the 4th Precure
There is a good reason why a lot of us have become wary of the 4th or 5th addition to the team, and that’s because of the notorious track record that comes with them. I had my doubts about Asumi to begin with, and while I appreciate she is a nice character, unfortunately she is so bland that she is a cardboard cutout. Asumi’s sole existence in this show is to bail out the girls when they are in trouble, which turned out to be one of my biggest gripes. Seriously, far too many times I found myself thinking “TOO OP, PLEASE NERF!” I immensely disliked that because she was so powerful, it forced the original trio to act as supports. We saw this again in the finale, which was incredibly frustrating to watch. But what really bothered me about this was how we didn’t get the chance to really see the girls become stronger on their own. Additionally, a lot of time was wasted, and as per usual, the original set of friends suffered from the lack of development, which leads me to the next point.
The Neglected Mains
Man it’s always frustrating to see them neglect the original cast in favor for the new girl. Hinata and Chiyu lost out so much time to flesh out their characters. This sucks because I really liked these two, especially Hinata. In fact I would say I liked Hinata a lot more than Nodoka, mainly because I found her to be more relatable. I loved how Hinata’s insecurities about her failure and inability to perform wasn’t something that was resolved earlier on or in a couple of episodes. That kind of thing isn’t easy to overcome, so it stuck with her all the way till the end. She was able to overcome it thanks to the encouragement and support she received from Nyatoran and her friends. Additionally she is incredibly charming, so what is there not to like about her?
Then we have Chiyu, who is a cool girl and I really liked how she was the unofficial leader of the squad. She was a badass, but most importantly- I am SO GLAD THEY DIDN’T MAKE HER A FREAKING STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT! Instead she was an track and field athlete, and I loved that! However my biggest gripe is the way they quite literally dropped the dream of becoming a professional athlete out of thin air, because they did absolutely nothing to foreshadow her developing an interest for that career path. On top of that, the way they went about it was so weird- it came across as peer pressure. It was just jarring to watch when they had only been touching on her dream for taking over the family Inn up until that point. It feels like they couldn’t make up their mind and decided to make her pursue both.
Butchering the Villains
They all started out so promising, and then…it went all down the drain. Out of all the characters, Batetemoda and Guaiwaru probably had the most respectable finish because it their greed and ambition came back to bite them. As for Shindoine, good grief. What was the point of her character? All she had going for her was her and undying loyalty and infuation with the King. It didn’t help how they gave us a superficial and lazy explanation of how she “fell” for him.
And oh boy, don’t even get me started with how pathetically weak they made her! ARG! They had the audacity to make her a half-assed semi-final boss. Seriously, they give her a third evolution where she doesn’t go beserk and a fancy new outfit and she can’t even have a good fight of her own? COME ON, even Guaiwaru had a better showing than this when he fought the Precure in his third evolution! It makes absolute no sense to me how the girls who had been knocked out of their precure forms 21930812903812 times (IN JUST ONE DAY) could withstand fighting Shindoine in her third evolution without getting another buff up/upgrade of a sorts.
Actually now that I think about it… How the heck did they stay in one piece during Daruizen’s final fight? He was already super powerful to begin with to the point they struggled to keep up with him in his second evolution! How are we supposed to believe he was weaker in his beserk form? He absorbed a dozen fragments to heal himself!
God, just thinking back on them is making me realize these final fights were bloody awful compared to what we had seen much earlier on. I don’t know if it’s because production they ran out of time or they just gave up on it, but talk about disrespect to the antagonists. Especially Shindoine! Not once, they do anything to make Shindoine fights exciting, and even her demise was treated like an after-thought!
As for Daruizen’s case…it’s only natural that I am feeling super salty. As I mentioned earlier, he was the one who was the most fleshed out antagonist of the trio. He was so well written that he was brimming with potential! So when they ruthlessly killed him off, I was livid. What was the point of every encounter we have seen up until now? Was it simply supposed to be a clash of ideals? Why flesh him out if you’re not going to utilize his potential growth? Why make him powerful if you’re going to nerf him at the last second? Or after emphasizing how important it is for him to live, why couldn’t they let us see/hear him desperately fight to preserve his soul after he was absorbed into the Neo King?
The list goes on and it hurts to look back on it. I just can’t get over how they managed to chuck all of that out the window in a single episode.
As result of this tragedy, for the past few weeks I spent a lot of time on sorting out my feelings about the latest development. After reflecting on it, I realized I wasn’t angry about Nodoka not hearing him out. It makes perfect sense why she refused to, and we all can agree that she was in her right to. So what really upset me was the way the way they killed Daruizen off. This only clicked for me after I finished watching episode 44, and I will explain why.
Daruizen was an incredibly well written antagonist. They spent so much time fleshing him out, it is only natural that a lot of us would expect great things from him. As result, I think it is fair to say a lot of us were anticipating one of two outcomes for him.
1) Daruizen becoming the True Final Boss
I think this is what a lot of us initially expected, myself included.
Andl I got caught up in tunnel vision of hoping there would be a way to survive because I adored him so much, but I digress.
With how capable Daruizen was, frankly I am shocked that they didn’t bother making him the true final boss. He was the strongest and the smartest antagonist of the bunch. If there was anyone to pull it off, it would be him. Not to mention, I certainly wouldn’t be complaining about it because I’m here for their rivalry, and that would have been a lot more fitting end rather than this utterly pitiful and tragic demise he was subjected to. I can’t put into words how frustrating it was that we didn’t get to at least see Daruizen fight for his life within the Neo King. He was never a character who would resign to his fate. He tried his hardest until the very end– going as far to ask for help when he needed it most. That was also one of the many reasons why I immensely disliked the way Episode 44 panned out. He is an intelligent boy who didn’t care for the Neo King. So he absolutely could have deserted him completely to lay low and weather the storm until the Precure dealt with him. They didn’t have to make him go back with the others. After-all, he witnessed the King consuming Guaiwaru, that horrific scene is more than enough to justify running away and prepare for his next move.
After how everything played out, if I had to choose how I wanted Daruizen to go down, this would be it. Don’t want to make him remorseful for his actions? Make him the true final boss, and have him go out with a bang.
2) Daruizen Reflecting on his Actions
This is something that can be left up for debate since the outcome might not have changed much. But would have at least given us some reasonable closure, or at least that is what it would’ve done for me.
In this scenario, nobody can save him except himself.
This outcome actually involved taking everything Daruizen had learned through his encounters with Nodoka, putting him at a crossroad to decide how he wants to proceed. Almost every encounter between them, there were always a clash of ideals, but the most memorable one was in Episode 33.
I don’t know about you, but for me I felt like this episode marked as a potential turning point for Daruizen. And in a way, they did prove that it was because he sought Nodoka out for help after they had this spat:
“By working for others, what do you get? You’re better off thinking only of yourself!”
“Maybe you can’t understand. But we help and support each other. That’s how we live!”
That’s why I felt like, the moment he was forsaken by Nodoka, it could have been the perfect catalyst to set Daruizen up to properly reflect on his actions. Now you could argue that he already been there and done that, but my only gripe is that it Daruizen didn’t understand why Nodoka refused to help him until it was too late.
That was why I found it so remarkable that the moment Nodoka listed out the reasons why she didn’t want to, he froze– as though something finally clicked. The problem was that he was not in the position to start reflecting on his actions. It was a do or die, not only the King was out to kill him, but the Precure were too. That’s why it makes perfect sense for him to resume the fight.
So really, if this was to have ever been an option, it was something that needed to be done before he took the Mega Parts The ideal time would have been when Daruizen first sought out help from Nodoka on the street. Had she vented at him the way she did at the fight and then left him in the dust, at the very least Daruizen would have information to work with to reflect on.
This was a necessity because Daruizen needed to hear and come to understand why Nodoka refused to help him for this to even be an option. Had he been told sooner, the writers could have set it up for him reflect on the consequences of his actions while he was hiding in the sewers. They didn’t have to make it so we were watching Daruizen drowning in despair, coming to the conclusion the only way to survive is to take a chance with the Mega Parts.
By putting him at a crossroad, he now has two choices. He can either refuse to acknowledge his wrongdoings, and choose to absorb the Mega Parts in effort to save himself, or he could choose to apologize to Nodoka (because she deserves that much), and decide to help them take down the King without expecting to be forgiven or get anything in return. If they had they done that, then at the very least we can say he was given a fair shot. So then even if they made it so he still decided to resort to the Mega Parts, he reaps what he sows.
Honestly, that’s all I would have liked: The writers giving Daruizen the chance to make a decision that could change his fate. I hate how he was given such a pathetic ending when he was such a fantastic character. With the the way they killed him off just threw everything they built up out the window as if none of it mattered. So of course it hurts like a bitch.
…Also, straying a tad off topic, but I don’t know where else to plug this in: What the hell is the story behind the official merchandise of the Daruizen and Nodoka plushies?!?! (WHICH HAS VOICED LINES BY THE WAY). This was the first time I’ve actually been more engaged with fandom activity so I happened to come across them. (And they are very cute.) But now all I can think of now is dear god, what in the world were they thinking? They were freaking promoted together! I’m sorry, but you cannot tell me that isn’t going to give people a certain idea. If Nodoka was supposed to hate Daruizen then it makes absolutely NO SENSE to even make a product like this with lines that interact with each other! I can’t even wrap my head around it! Either they are trying to profit off of Daruizen’s popularity, the marketing team had an entirely different idea/didn’t get the memo, or the explanation that Daruizen’s tragic fate was all part of the original plan is bullshit, who knows!
Anticlimactic Boss Fight
Last but not least, the second biggest letdown of all: The final fight against the Pathogerm Neo King.
Man this was just frustrating to watch. I was appalled by how underwhelming and lackluster the final boss fight was.
Surely I wasn’t the only one who thought this fight paled in comparison to not just the other fights we have seen earlier on, but also comparison to other series. We wait so bloody long for the King to show up, and this was the best they could do? What a fucking disappointment.
This was probably the worst boss fight I’ve seen from Precure in a while. It just felt so blah. And are you seriously telling me that the girls were all fine and dandy while they were inside of the Neo King? Um excuse me? Weren’t they were supposed to be turned into his food for power, and you’re telling me that they didn’t even have to fight off any guck of a sorts to break free and all? You’re telling me Nodoka just laying there AND AND SOMEHOW THE FIRST ONE TO REGAIN CONSCIOUSNESS AND SHE JUST CHILLS THERE TALKING TO THE KING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Um, pardon me, but even though I had expressed worried about Asumi being the one to save the day- it makes absolute no sense that NODOKA was conscious before she was. Maybe if she had Daruizen inside her like Asumi did with Shindoine I would believe it, but NAH. They didn’t even do that or give them a power-up to provide a reason for it, so I’m sorry that just comes across as stupid and lazy to me. Gosh they didn’t even get a final new outfit. Just enhanced rods.
Also may I add how it the Healing Animals just stood there and basically do nothing apart from sending energy with the rest of the gang? It would have been nice to see them fight properly too. Hell, this whole final battle could have been so much more, and it’s a darn shame that it wasn’t.
Final Verdict: 6.5/10
(Edit Note: Tweaked the final score just a tad because I’m split between and I feel better about it this way.)
I gotta say, hella eerie how this series themed around diseases ended up airing during a freaking Pandemic! I mean, what were the odds?
But boy were we in for hella of an adventure. Everything was going along just fine, but then the
Pathogerms Pandemic Struck, and Healin’ Good Precure went on hiatus for three months! Once it started again, it was a bit slow and some things felt a little off, but otherwise started to find its stride again, but little did I know I would be taken on such a roller-coaster of emotions.
Even though I was extremely unsatisfied with how they handled some things, make no mistake, that doesn’t mean this show was terrible. In fact Healin’ Good Precure as a whole was great. It was precisely because it started out with so much promise, my excitement led to high expectations. In fact I was so optimistic about this series, I felt like I had finally found one that could contend with my all time favourite, Go! Princess Precure (which, will continue its reign on its throne as my all time favourite Precure series). Hell, I even dared to fantasize about the idea of the things that could be explored in a second season–crazy, I know! I haven’t been this deeply invested in Precure since Go Princess.
Despite how much I loved this series in the beginning, I don’t think I can rate this score any higher than a seven, but I also wouldn’t rate it lower than a six. Healin’ Good Precure had a phenomenal start, but man while it had some amazing moments, the second half of the series (around the time Asumi joined the party) was significantly weaker and the last three episodes leading to the final fight was so poorly arranged, it makes me want to scream.
At this point, I am too emotionally burned out to figure out/debate whether this was truly all part of the original plan or everything was chucked out the window because of the pandemic. Frankly, I don’t have it in me to care what the truth of the matter is anymore. Regardless of the intent, what’s done is done, and unfortunately it left me heartbroken and incredibly frustrated with the outcome.
That being said, would I still recommend watching Healin’ Good Precure?
Considering my reaction in the recent weeks, this may surprise you, but the short answer is: Yes
Despite my personal gripes about the way this series ended, this is still a show I know many can still enjoy and for some, they will be fine with the way things ended. There are so many amazing things to appreciate about Healin’ Good Precure, such as charming characters (be it good or bad), a decent story, intelligent antagonists and LOTS of epic fights (earlier on), oh and did I mention the fantastic soundtrack?! I think it would be fair to say this was definitely one of the better Precure titles among the lot. I’m not sure where I would place it in my rankings because there are a lot of complicated feelings involved, but I do know it at least deserves to be in the Top 5 just for the things it did right.
With that, it’s a wrap for my adventure with Healin’ Good Precure. Thanks for joining me on this emotional roller coaster. It has been a great pleasure to hear all of your thoughts through it all! As promised, I will be doing a first impression on Tropical Rouge Precure, so please look forward to that next week! (I know, I know, I didn’t mention Cure Summer when she made a cameo this episode, but my brain was shut off at that point. I’ll let myself form an opinion on her character next week in her series.)
As for Heartcatch Precure’s coverage status: I have to put it on-hold so please wait a little longer. Due to various circumstances, my hands are tied at the moment. Once everything settles down I will finish up the remaining episodes- we’re almost done with just seven episodes left to complete the 10th Anniversary Coverage! Thank you for your patience!