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!
We’ve looked at Cure Blossom- Earth, and Cure Marine- sea. Now it’s Itsuki/Cure Sunshine’s turn. Itsuki’s the student council president. Her family owns a dojo and her brother is sickly, so she’s had the task of training the newer students. It’s assumed that she’ll eventually take over the business. To fit that role, she dresses and talks like a boy. She has a secret love for cute things, but she fears making that public might harm the dojo’s image.
When Tsubomi sees Itsuki for the first time, she falls in love with this tall, elegant, noble boy. He’s like the classic younger brother in a Takarazuka Revue performance. (Oh Tsubomi, that should have been your hint right there!) Eventually Erika & Tsubomi visit the dojo, to ask for an extension for the Fashion Club. One of the students offers tea, calling her “Ojou-sama” (noble lady).
Of course, Tsubomi is crushed, Her first love ended in three minutes! Erika comforts her by saying “It’s great that the Fashion Club can keep going!”
Her conflict over having to appear as a boy keeps building. One of the bad generals catches her and turns her into a monster. As she causes havoc in the schoolyard, she keeps declaring that she wants to wear cute things but can’t. Eventually Erika arrives to confront her, and the general orders her to defeat the Precure! But there’s a problem…
The general makes the mistake of telling her she fights well… for a girl. She kicks him out of sight into the sky. The girls manage to defeat her and reunite her body with her heart flower. After hearing her cries as a monster, Erika and Tsubomi learn how much turmoil Itsuki is in. Over many episodes, they encourage her to sketch a dress for herself, cut the patterns and sew it. (A nice detail, when she’s hand sewing, you see two threads, very close together.)
Eventually things escalate and she has to resolve this conflict. She reaches a point where she decides that she’ll continue with martial arts, but stop masquerading as a boy. Her skills should speak for themselves.
When she becomes a Cure, you see the cuteness mixed with martial arts moves. She hugs her fairy, with expressions of delight as the parts of her outfit assemble. She also throws the heart perfume from hand to hand as she’s transforming, makes sweeping moves and a dramatic kick, ending with a twirl. Her two sides are present, but finally reconciled.