(For the most part, this post is readable without having seen episode 15.)
For most of us, being honest to ourselves is not always easy. This is especially true if living up to our own expectations requires even the smallest amount of lifestyle change. Ultimately, I think that self-honesty is the biggest hurdle that all of us have to jump. I believe that in order to truly be happy, one must be able to think that they are living up to what they want to be. Among many other anime, the leading focus of Heartcatch Precure’s episodic adventures is teaching people to achieve that self-honesty and realize that in order to satisfy themselves, they must make the change that they want to see. However, as simple as that sounds, self-honesty is a complex animal. It’s not quite so clear-cut as ‘doing what you want.’
Because sometimes it’s hard to know what you want, and harder still to know how to get it (or to convince yourself that you can go through with making the change.) A lot of us want many different things, and it takes a lot of ‘soul-searching’ to figure out which feelings are genuine, and how to even balance them all. I take myself for example (as always~): I am a man of many aspirations. I would love to become a director, a writer, an artist, a singer, a martial artist, and an expert at Parkour. Hell, I’ve had flights of fancy between being a chef, a train-hopping hobo, and a gangster. However, I cannot be all of those things at once, and I must truly ask ‘what path will satisfy me?’ If I become a chef, will I be okay with letting the director boat sink? This question is put in front of Itsuki Myoudouin in episode 15, but the answer to that question is still less simple than meets the eye.
In Itsuki’s introductory episode (7?), she gained enough self-honesty to admit her love of cute things in spite of her resolve to be seen as a boy. However, in episode 15, we see how her passion for cuteness seems to be at ends with her martial arts career. Itsuki had never really experienced anything besides the martial arts, so even if she felt her own passion for cuteness, she had no idea how to express it. To her, it would have seemed natural to suppress the passion and continue with what she knew, but the passion welled up too much and wouldn’t go away until it drove her to confusion. What Tsubomi and Erika offer to Itsuki in this episode is her first outlet of expression for her love of cute things. For the first time, she has become aware that there is a path that she can walk through her passion, which leads her to that pressing question: which path do I want to take?
In a simpler situation (and a lesser show), Itsuki would have probably had her realization by leaving the martial arts behind to go pursue a career in fashion design; However, Itsuki’s tribulation isn’t a fight of passion against disinterest. The truth that she comes to realize is that just because she cares about fashion and can no longer lie to herself or ignore this fact, it doesn’t mean that she has stopped caring about martial arts. Rather, Itsuki remembers that she made this choice herself, and while she’d convinced herself that she was doing it for her brother’s sake, it doesn’t mean that she disliked it. Itsuki’s passion for martial arts and for fashion are equal, and she can not be satisfied with just one or the other. At the end of the episode, Itsuki decides to join the fashion club, not to get away from martial arts, but to allow herself an outlet for both passions.
This I found very interesting and more true than I could have expected. Indeed, I cannot become a director, writer, singer, artist, parkour expert, chef, train-hopping hobo, martial artist, and gangster all at once. However, if I find in my soul-searching that I cannot leave some things behind, then it is my duty to myself to pursue everything that my heart truly desires (to direct, to write, to sing, to fight, and to jump across buildings like the motherfucking Batman). In a recent post of mine, I talked about how laziness turns many of us to dishonesty in that we ignore the things we truly care about so that we won’t have to change ourselves. I have been working my hardest to try and break those shackles of laziness and achieve a true, perfect honesty to myself. I am happy to see that Itsuki is truly doing the same.
Some other notes: Loved seeing Kumojacky finally get in on the action. All his posturing and buffness seemed at waste on the sidelines, so I was glad to see him fighting for once. And Itsuki too! Great stuff.
Post on Heartcatch Precure 15 by apparently the only other blogger still covering the show:
Star Crossed Anime Blog shares my enthusiasm for the ever-impressive writing of this series and some of the episode’s surprises.