Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure is the seventeenth instalment of the PreCure franchise, featuring the fifteenth generation of Cures. It ran for 45 episodes, starting on February 2nd 2020. Production of the show was affected by COVID-19 pandemic, causing it go on hiatus between April 26th and June 28th in 2020. After resuming airing, the show finished on February 21st, 2021.
The director for this season was Yoko Ikeda, the producer was Yasui Kazunari and it was written by Junko Komura. Toei Animation was the studio that produced it.In this season of Pretty Cure, Nodoka Hanadera and her family move to a town called Sukoyaka. Nodoka has always been frail, and as a result spent most of her childhood in hospital. Her family moved in hope of giving her a fresh start.
It’s not long before Nodoka encounters the Healing Animals, and their enemies the Byo-gens. Nodoka’s desire to protect them leads to her transforming into Cure Grace. Together with her friends, she battles the Byo-gens, who are determined to undermine the Earth.
Though this season of PreCure may have been affected by the pandemic, it still holds up spectacularly. There is one plot thread that was seemingly abandoned, though. Early on, it is hinted at that Nodoka really does not like fighting.
After Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure returned from hiatus, though, Nodoka never seems to display such concerns again. I’ll be honest; I think that’s a positive thing.
I’ll take the confident Nodoka over the one full of doubts. Sure, maybe her character development would have gone in that direction anyway, but I think the hiatus ended up giving something better.
Oh, and something worth mentioning: Nodoka is voiced by Aoi Yuuki. She does a superb job, as ever.Besides Nodoka, we also have Chiyu Sawaizumi and Hinata Hiramitsu as part of the main cast (later on joined by one more). Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure is pretty good about giving the protagonists an equal share of the spotlight, for the most part.
We have the serious and responsible Chiyu, and the energetic and scatterbrained Hinata. Nodoka balances the pair of them out extremely well. They all get their respective turns in the spotlight; this isn’t a case where one character outshines another.At least, not until the introduction of Asumi Fuurin. She pretty much completely steals the show once she is introduced, and it stays that way for a good few episodes. Though that approach did help me warm to her character; considering she kind of came out of nowhere.
In past instalments, the bonus Cure tends to be an established character, but that’s not the case with Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure. Besides, the show does go back to giving the four girls equal focus after that series of episodes.
Can’t say the same about the antagonists getting equal amounts of screentime, though. It’s quite obvious that the writers favour Daruizen, the one on the right in the above screenshot. He gets an origin story, and is connected to Nodoka.
There are people out there who ship Nodoka and Daruizen, but I personally do not see any appeal in that. Daruizen’s interactions with Nodoka/Cure Grace are always malicious; there’s no way they can be justified as expressions of love.
Honestly, the whole Nodoka and Daruizen thing could have soured my experience of this season, but then we get to the final few episodes, and it gets resolved in a way that pleased me a great deal.
Both Nodoka and Rabirin went up in my estimation due to those episodes. It’s a nice change of pace to see a PreCure protagonist willingly step away from helping an enemy.
There’s also a good message there about cutting off anybody who oversteps boundaries when it comes to your own body. Unfortunately, I suspect there are parts of the fanbase who don’t interpret it that way, despite the pain and suffering Daruizen caused Nodoka.
So, I may not have liked Daruizen whilst he was active, but I definitely like how that whole thing ended.
Switching gears back to the protagonists once again, we have the Healing Animals as our mascots this time around. Rate (or Latte, depending on who you ask) and Rabirin are arguably the ones who stand out most. Rabirin in particular also plays a role in bringing the whole Nodoka and Daruizen thing to an end, and she has my respect for that. Rate has some pretty great moments of her own, too.
I do believe that there are better mascots from the franchise, but I don’t have any negative feelings towards the Healing Animals.
Being a PreCure season, there are some typical things to expect. One of those is the monster of the week formula. The enemies the Cures fight this time around are called Mega Byo-gens, and later Giga Byo-gens.
They come in all shapes and sizes, though the best fights tend to happen with the more humanoid ones. That’s something I feel is true for the entire franchise; the more humanoid their enemy, the more entertaining the PreCure fights tend to be.
Besides the regular monster of the week, you can also expect plenty of stock footage for transformations and attacks.The transformation sequences are pretty fun, though I do feel like perhaps the music for the finishing moves just about outshines the transformation music. Maybe not so much for Cure Earth’s transformation theme; that one is fantastic.
On that note (ha, music pun), Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure has a pretty good soundtrack. It definitely has songs to fit a variety of moods, from the upbeat and cheerful ones like “Hello! Sukoyaka City”, to the heavier stuff like “The Mega Byo-gen Go on a Rampage”. I’m particularly fond of the villain music, because that’s when the electric guitars come out.
I’ve said my piece Nodoka and Daruizen, but how does the show’s yuri content look? Part of the reason I got into PreCure in the first place was due to the yuri ships, and we’ve had some pretty fantastic pairings in previous seasons.
Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure is actually pretty light in that regard. We do get the odd scene here or there, such as Cure Sparkle blushing as seen above. It’s nowhere near the same level as Maho Girls PreCure! or Hugtto! PreCure, though. I don’t see the likes of MiraRiko or EmiRuru being surpassed any time soon.
Nodoka does get some nice moments with the other members of the main cast occasionally, so it does feel like any yuri ship you want her to be a part of could be valid.
Chiyu and Hinata also have a couple of moments with side characters. Just a shame said characters are only significant for a single episode.
When it comes down to it, Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure is a pretty solid entry overall in the franchise. I did feel it was kind of middling around three quarters of the way through, but then the final few episodes hit and it jumped up in my estimation.
Even with the hiatus, Healin’ Good ♡ PreCure still managed to be a fairly enjoyable watch. Not exactly my favourite season of PreCure, but one that I did like overall.