It’s fun to see how storyboarder’s and animator’s art reflects the girls’ personalities in the Precure transformation sequences. Let’s take a look at a few:
These are from Heartcatch Precure, the 7th series. Character designs are by Yoshihiko Umakoshi (he also worked on Berserk, Guyver, Mushishi, and My Hero Academia, so you can see he’s versatile. For Heartcatch, he returned to the expressive style of Ojamajo Doremi, even more extreme this time!
Now it’s Erika, Cure Marine, the 2nd Cure’s turn. In this series, Toei subverted the stereotypical character color-coding. Tsubomi, as a Pink Cure, should be outgoing, enthusiastic, and bad at studying. You’d expect Erika, the Blue Cure, to be elegant, studious, and reserved. A bit of an ice queen.
Instead Erika is the opposite of Tsubomi, though they are both probably on the autistic spectrum. Erika has no volume control, is a fashion maven, and can be rather blunt. Who wouldn’t want to know the truth about their outfit? She’s unstinting with sincere compliments though.
At the start of the series, Erika is poison to the other girls, who see her as loud and obnoxious. She’s forceful and doesn’t act like a girl. When she’s desperately trying to find members for the Fashion Club, she gets resounding refusals from everyone. Erika would help them design cute outfits, draft patterns, sew, and accessorize them. This should be like free candy!
After being saved by Tsubomi/Cure Blossom, she dreams about the incident, and Tsubomi and the faeries tell her about being a Cure. Erika’s interested, loving the cute outfit and the chance to save people’s heart flowers. She dreams about it that night. Blue might be a good color- she uses that for color therapy.
The next day there’s another attack. Tsubomi is trying to rescue a girl, but is loosing badly. Time is running out, if it’s too late the girl will be frozen forever.
Erika’s been thinking about this. She’s confident and ready to go. Tsubomi is her only friend, and she’s tired of being an outcast loner.
Check out her transformation: She puts her hands to her forehead to concentrate, and slaps the heart seed into it’s place. She radiates confidence and delight, cupping her cheeks ending in splashy poses. Lots of dramatic moves and no “wait- what?” and flailing. Right from the start, she’s got two powerful attacks.
Erika learns about the Japanese language of flowers (Hanakatoba), and starts talking about the symbolism of people’s heart flowers in later episodes. It’s a nice touch that she and Tsubomi are learning about each other’s enthusiasms through the course of the series.