Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 2: Friends of the Heart is the fifth film in the All Stars series, originally released on March 16th 2013. That was during the time that DokiDoki! PreCure was airing, and naturally the Cures from that series make their All Stars debut here – with the exception of Cure Ace. The director was Kouji Ogawa and it was written by Yoshimi Narita.
The opening theme for this film is “Pretty Cure ~Eternal Friends~ (2013 Version)”, performed by Mayu Kudou, Tomoyo Kurosawa and Hitomi Yoshida. The ending theme is “Beyond the Sky” by Hitomi Yoshida, which is also DokiDoki!‘s first ending theme.
Though the previous Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage film introduced a brand new character, Ayumi Sakagami only gets a brief cameo here. However, we do get two new fairies – much like Ayumi before them, they are exclusive to the Pretty Cure All Stars series.
Enen is a fairy who adores the PreCure, though he doesn’t possess much in the way of confidence. Gureru possesses boundless confidence, but he’s rather rowdy with it and its his jealousy of the PreCure that plays an important part in the plot of this film.
All Stars New Stage 2 takes place in a fairy school, where PreCure is part of the curriculum. They even have a textbook for all things PreCure, which includes Black Hole from DX3 – I guess that’s canon within the All Stars series, despite New Stage being a reboot. For some reason, somebody decided it would be a good idea to keep an evil object called the Shadow Crystal in a room nearby – naturally the room is forbidden, but it doesn’t take long for Geruru to stumble into it and accidentally call forth the big bad for this film.
To prove that the Cures can’t do anything without transforming, Gureru invites all of the different groups to the fairy school for a PreCure party – well, all except the newest group which the aforementioned textbook doesn’t cover.
The DokiDoki! Cures – sans Cure Ace, because she wasn’t around when this first aired – get contacted by Smile‘s Candy and Miyuki – this meeting between lead Cures makes it physically impossible for the usual running gag of having the two bump into each other. Also, New Stage established that PreCure was public knowledge, yet the DokiDoki! Cures are surprised to learn that they are others besides them…
Regardless, Miyuki tells them about the party and invites them as well.
Things start kicking off with Kage putting his plan to steal all the Cures’ transformation trinkets into action. We see a brief scuffle between the Smile Cures and Kage, but ultimately he achieves his goal. Oh, and all the other Cures are defeated off-screen. The reason Kage won? Well, he’s got the PreCure textbook so he knows how to counter their moves, and the fact he can create multiple copies of himself also helps.
This means that the DokiDoki! Cures get the spotlight, though it is shared with Enen and Gureru. All they really get to do is fight a bit – the fairies are the ones who get to play heroes for the other PreCure.
Since this is Pretty Cure All Stars, it’s only natural that all the Cures would get in on the action eventually – and they do so. Like I’ve said before, getting to watch the Cures fight is always a joy.
However, due to the sheer number of Cures present, only a select few actually get any dialogue – this is true of their fairy companions as well.
Naturally, there’s also a moment where an insert song kicks in. In this case, the song is “Everyone Friends” by Tomoyo Kurosawa and Hitomi Yoshida, and the moment it starts playing is when the DokiDoki! and Smile Cures are fighting together – complete with a combination attack. I’ve said it before, but I’m a sucker for scenes like that. Whether it’s a show’s theme song, or an original piece of music, I will always love those kind of moments – which goes a long way to explaining my love for Symphogear.
Overall, I’d say I enjoyed this film a lot more than the first New Stage – whilst I’m sure my bias towards DokiDoki! plays a part in it, Gureru and Enen don’t feel as intrusive as Ayumi did.
It also helps that it feels like the other Cures actually take on more active roles as opposed to the previous film – they’re not relegated to just showing up for the intro and climax.
Up next, the conclusion of the New Stage trilogy, in which my second least favourite group of Cures appear…