The cases in question are
episode 2 of HappinessCharge PreCure!
and episode 9 of Yes! PreCure 5 GoGo!
Ever since we watched HeartCatch PreCure! Kate and I have been a big fans of the PreCure franchise. There have been some distinct ups and downs with a good deal in between from what we have seen. Much like Gundam it a series we will always check it out but not necessarily like it. So far nothing has surpassed the high heights of HeartCatch. But if any show has had the potential to be only an equal level with the best Precure series it just might be HappinessCharge. It has much of the same staff as HeartCatch with a good deal of the same heart. Also it has one other secret weapon: Detective PreCure!
Ohoho HappinessCharge you know how to win my heart! Though I’m predisposed to love PreCure. Still, taking a stab at detective tropes is just another way to add to the fun. Then upon doing our own investigation (HA!) we found that this was not the first time in the franchise detectives have taken center stage.
In HappinessCharge the girls are trying to collect PreCard in order to grant their wishes and save the Blue Sky Kingdom from Queen Mirage and her Phantom Empire. But besides just being magical MacGuffins they have to collect they can also grant the Precures the ability to change into magical outfits much like Cutey Honey. Those outfits also grant them special powers and abilities. The first one we see in the show is a Holmesian detective outfit complete with and a cape, magnifying glass, and deerstalker hat. Aino Megumi dons this outfit to track down Shirayuki Hime after she runs away in the second episode.
The PreCures’ ability to transform their outfits certainly reminds me of Sailor V (and Sailor Moon). The franchises obsession with all things pink comes through even in detective garb. Megumi uses her new powers of deduction to find a discarded candy wrapped as well as magical glowing footprints that lead her straight to her destination. Footprints only available while using special PreCure magnifying glass of course.
But this is not the first time we have had a Cure playing PI within the series. The 9th episode of Yes! PreCure 5 GoGo! starts with Akimoto Komachi reading some mystery novels and totally getting wrapped up in the story. When the cake the team was supposed to share goes missing Akimoto reveals her own mundane Holmesian outfit. Instead of using any magical powers she tries to use logic and the rules of investigation she learned from her reading to discover the culprit. We even have some sinister scenarios complete with red-eyed creepy smiling culprits as if it were a Detective Conan episode.
To kick off the detecting she dramatically says it must be one of them right in that very room. DUNDUNDUN complete with lighting flash despite no rain. The resolution of the mystery is slightly more satisfying since there is actually a mystery to solve that we don’t know the answer to from the beginning!
All of this is super entertaining but PreCure needs to take it one step further. We need a Cure who is an amateur detective. Maybe something along the lines of Naoto Shirogane or Victorique de Blois. That would be the alchemy to take the PreCure formula to its perfect state. As it currently stands the most popular magical girls who are detectives is in the cast of Milky Holmes. That cannot be the way of the world if there is any justice.
I agree with Hisui we need a permanent Cure Detective member. Possibly most significant of all, HappinessCharge’s instance of Cure Detective has caused me to change my Twitter avatar. To a girl! Who knew people could actually have avatars related to their own gender?