It came to a huge surprise when Crunchyroll announced last month that it’ll be simulcasting Healin’ Good Pretty Cure, the latest season of Precure. The Precure franchise is bizarrely absent in streaming. The original series is available on Crunchyroll and Smile Precure is technically dubbed on Netflix as the much-maligned Glitter Force but that’s kind of been it. If you’re interested in this franchise (I myself am) and you don’t live in Japan, you options have generally been thirty party websites and torrents. Hopefully, Healin’ Good‘s simulcast means we’ll eventually get other seasons available legally (give me Hugtto! at least, I’ve been meaning to finish that season).
For whatever reason, this thirteenth episode is where Crunchyroll’s simulcast is starting. The first twelve will apparently be made available at a later time which could very well be this coming weekend…or not. It kind of reminds me of Dragon Ball Super (fittingly, another Toei anime) which started at Episode 63 when it finally got simulcasted. I personally started Healin’ Good via fansubs before the simulcast announcement and just recently got all caught up so I was good to go for Episode 13. Still, I can’t deny that this setback is a little annoying and inconvenient.
The story of Healin’ Good Pretty Cure goes like this: somewhere on Earth, there exists a physical place called the Healin’ Garden and its existence and Earth’s are being threatened by a group called the Byo-gens. To stop them, three Healin’ Animals set off with their canine princess, Rate (Haruka Shiraishi), in search of three individuals that can utilizes their powers to become Pretty Cures. Our three Cures are the calm and compassionate Nodoka Hanadera/Cure Grace (Aoi Yuuki), the mature and athletic Chiyu Sawaizumi/Cure Fontaine (Natsu Yorita), and the outgoing and fashionable Hinata Hiramitsu/Cure Sparkle (Hiyori Kono).
I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far of Healin’ Good. The story heavily revolves around protecting the environment which, while definitely simplified, is very topical. The three main girls are very charming and likable (especially Hinata who is Best Girl, fight me) and I really dig that their Cure forms have a veterinarian theme to their designs. Some of the fight animation can be pretty darn good. That all said, nothing about the show really stands out to me as exceptional. I haven’t finished either season due to time but there was something about Hug tto! and Star Twinkle Precure that really clicked for me. The former really surprised me with some of its writing and the latter was very adventurous since it had Precures going to space(!). Healin’ Good is finely executed but it does feel a bit basic and safe, at least for the time being.
While I imagine most will want to start from the beginning, you probably could jump into this episode just fine. A synopsis narrated by the characters is provided at the beginning of every episode and the story is fairly episodic due to its young target demographic and year long broadcast. This episode does require some additional context as it takes place after a hectic two-parter and the introduction of a new enemy general, Batetemoda (Souchirou Hoshi). Both of these events are what fuel this episode’s plot: Hinata feeling discouraged about fighting the good fight and even contemplating if she should quit being a Precure. Fortunately, Hinata actually does recap those specifics, presumably because this is the first episode to air after the show got delayed due to COVID-19.
Hinata’s concern that fighting as a Precure isn’t unfounded. The enemies are getting stronger and more numerous and there is seemingly no end in sight (given how long the show will be, that latter point is definitely true). While Chiyu and Nodoka are as likely to think along these lines, it’s really interesting that Hinata is the one who does. For someone who is very outgoing (hence why she’s Best Girl), she surprisingly has these moments of insecurity and anxiety (and this isn’t the first time that’s happened in the show). This episode also reveals that Hinata has a bit of an inferiority complex with her siblings. Her brother is a capable vet like her father and her sister is very good at concocting beverages for the family’s juice bar. Meanwhile, Hinata feels she has nothing she’s excels at (I guess her amazing fashion sense doesn’t count?). That gets skimmed over in favor of resolving Hinata’s immediate concern though it wouldn’t surprise me if this is explored in future episodes.
The B plot is fine. I really like that the monster of the week is flying in the air and it takes a while for the Cures to realize that. It feels pretty suspenseful as it’s recently been established that these monsters get stronger the longer they’re allowed to exist, forcing the Cures to hunt it down ASAP. The monster’s presence disables all technology in the vicinity which is certainly worrisome but it also causes static electricity everywhere which is downright silly. That’s a minor inconvenience at best. The episode does try to make that personal by having Hinata’s sister unable to leave her van due to the static though I’d argue there’s one or two ways she could’ve escaped without the Cures’ help. I know this show is aimed towards a young audience but surely, you could get a little more intense than that.
That this is the first episode officially available still irks me but it definitely was nice to have been able to watch it on a legal stream. However Healin’ Good ultimately fares as a series, I hope it being on Crunchyroll will lead to the other seasons becoming available.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Healin’ Good Pretty Cure on Crunchyroll