2013 was a very interesting year for me and my PreCure fandom. At this time last year, I did 12 Days of PreCure, and there were plenty of moments in Smile PreCure! that warranted a list by itself, and it provided a nice bit of momentum heading into the new year with things to blog about leading up to Smile’s finale. This year’s installment, Dokidoki PreCure! was an interesting follow-up to Smile, which, even though it was a lot more unevenly presented compared to other shows, still managed to keep me watching and interested in the franchise as the fan that I am.
Where PreCure fit with my life this year was quite interesting. It took to the backburner a little bit because of the sudden changes in my life, but it wasn’t too far off from my normal cycle of interest in a yearlong show. Even with smile, which I did watch from week to week, was the first show that kept me interested enough to write about it from week to week, and while it took some getting used to, I managed to write a fair amount, in a way that hopefully reflected my overall enthusiasm as both a PreCure fan and as a writer.
For completely unrelated reasons, I stopped writing about both shows partway in; I lasted longer with Dokidoki than I did with Smile, which I feel is an indicator of how far I’ve come in both fandom and writing respects. I feel fortunate to have been the PreCure guy/resource/whatever in the anime blogosphere, but with all of that behind me, I feel that there’s still a bit of fandom and writing interest left in me to maintain the site. Part of it is also due to laziness in paying bills related to maintaining the hosting services and the website name itself. I did a lot of great things and learned a lot with switching to CureBlogger, and even though I, for the most part, moved on to blogging mostly about PreCure, the burnout took its toll when Dokidoki itself went through its own slog.
It’s very easy to lose interest in writing about a show when the show itself doesn’t offer a lot, and makes a lot of mistakes. It reminds me a lot of sports bloggers who blog or write about a single team that doesn’t show much promise in being competitive in its league. Being a Leafs and Raptors fan is very difficult, and to write about Toronto sports teams when they’re perennial disappointments (save for that heart-breaking series with the Bruins last year, which still counted as one for the most part) takes a lot of dedication when times are rough.
I took my cue from those writers who clearly showed their passion just by sticking around and talking about things, because it’s not like those teams aren’t really doing anything, per se. And as far as PreCure is concerned, Dokidoki isn’t actually that bad. I thought Suite had a lot of problems as well, and it turned out to be strictly average; yet, there was something remarkably unique about it that would make it someone’s favourite. That’s the really cool thing about PreCure that I love that I can’t really see with Macross.
There’s enough to write about and catch up with specific shows, and even with the new HappinessCharge PreCure! that was revealed in October, there will always be things to talk about with PreCures past, present and future. I’ll always be around to watch and write about it, and I look forward to working on CureBlogger. I have a lot of interesting ideas that I want to try out, particularly with regards to Heartcatch, but that will have to wait until after the new year.
Above all, however, the defining moment of PreCure fandom for me in 2013 occurred during Anime North, when I headed up a panel by myself to talk about the Pretty Cure franchise, as well as taking part as a panelist for a panel about yuri in Magical Girl anime. I had a fantastic looking slideshow, and even though the audience itself wasn’t nearly as, um, present, as other panels that I did, I still enjoyed talking about it quite a bit, and managed to keep the attention of whoever was in the crowd. I did appreciate having a few of my friends from the anime blogosphere in the crowd, and they certainly added to the experience as well.
For a while, I also experimented with a bit of tumblr as well, but I just couldn’t really get myself to commit to the microblogging medium. Posting pixiv links was great and all, but I wanted to write about PreCure; mini-posts about the franchise were regretfully hosted on tumblr instead of CureBlogger; just because the content wasn’t as in-depth as some of my episodic posts shouldn’t have meant that it didn’t belong; writing about PreCure was still writing about PreCure, and I definitely should have interspersed those in between posts about whatever most recent episode aired.
I still want to watch and write about PreCure; that much is certain. To what extent I will end up writing about the rest of Dokidoki remains up in the air, but at the very least, I don’t want to give up on the things that I love. I owe the franchise that much, at the very least. With my little mini-marathon to catch up with the show today, I feel that I’ve come to really love Dokidoki in its own way, much more differently than the others. It’s a beautiful mess, and ridiculously entertaining.
Oh, and the ending. I totally called it, months before Cure Ace even showed up. I like PreCure way too much to not be able to see it coming. I’m really pleased with how the show is going to turn out, and it makes perfect sense. It’s the best the show can do to clean up its multitude of story details, and I can’t help but grin smugly at my personal enthusiasm about the show. All that’s left is for me to sit back and enjoy the chaos in how all of that is going to unfold.