minami kaido

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Precure Day 22: Memorable Quote: Understanding Despair

“Despair will never disappear. Despair is everywhere in all of the painful things I have experienced. But I cannot deny any of that. No, I cannot forget what happened”.

“Happy things and sad things come in cycles. But that’s why I am here now! Dreams and Despair both raise me. Happy things and sad things all come together to become dreams”.

“Despair will always follow, but I’ll overcome it. I might give in from time to time, but I’ll keep my chin up”.

“As long as we have despair, dreams will continue to shine”! 

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I decided to wait until the end of Minami’s arc to make sure it was going where I thought it was, but now that I’ve reached to conclusion at episode 45, I’d like to go back and talk about it, since it was pretty well-written and paced and I think it’s my favorite so far of all the “follow ur dreams” arcs the girls have gotten.

From the beginning of the show, Minami stated a desire to “be like her brother and father” (this later changed to “brother and parents” I dunno if that was a translation issue or the show realizing maybe her mom should be a thing too) and run the family’s major mega-corp that does…vague things. They run resorts? And everything else in the world? It was a lot less specific and easy to understand than everyone else’s dreams and it was really unclear why she was so into it beyond “family loyalty”.

 Even her episode focusing on her dream didn’t really clear things up. It was like “my brother sure loves his job and I sure love him!” Which, it’s great that you like your brother, but why do YOU want to work with the company, Minami? There was also a “we love the sea” focus and Minami was all hyped about this dolphin she loved, but really, running a beachside resort won’t have you spending a lot of time with the sea or helping the animals there, it’ll be more about managing customers and contracts and everything.

In a lot of other shows,  the vagueness and lack of motivation behind Minami’s dream could be written off as bad writing, but in Go Princess Precure, this was very deliberate. Late in the series, Minami runs into a scrappy marine veterinarian and biologist named Asaka and visits the aquarium with her. She quickly shows a knack for observing the animals and shows a lot of excitement and investment in protecting them, as well as admiration for Asaka. 

Then, when Asaka says no to joining Minami’s parents mega-corp, saying a large business would restrict and control her work and she doesn’t want to be beholden to that when she’s trying to protect the sea and the animals, Minami is clearly struck very deeply by that sentiment. She too feels she would be “chained” by the endless cutthroat restrictions and bottom lines of a large business. And Asaka notices this, along with Minami’s potential, and asks if she’d like to join her. But then, realizing Minami is so dedicated to her family, Asaka tells her that’s also a fine dream and backs off.

Minami is clearly very tempted by this and confused by suddenly wanting to go on this new path when she’s been so set to follow her family her whole life.

 One piece I find interesting is how Asaka and her career are not very elegant or refined, and she herself is pretty plain looking, while Minami and her family are pretty defined by elegance and refinement. The contrast is called specific attention to when Asaka shows up to this fancy gala wearing her ratty work clothes because she didn’t have time to change, while Minami’s all decked out in a gorgeous dress. A marine veterinarian isn’t the glamorous, classy heiress life Minami’s been primed for- she’d be going around in plain unflattering clothes getting animal gunk all over her and getting her hands dirty and it would not be anything like the refined image she’s projected in the series so far and been told to aspire to, and while the show doesn’t directly comment on that, it’s clearly a subtle undertone than Minami, who was always presented as the most effortlessly lady-like of the girls, is now the only one of the girls that isn’t aiming for a “traditionally feminine” or “elegant” occupation (the other dreams in the group are “princess” and “top model”, though they do have an important friend who wants to be a picture book author) and that’s another daunting thing about this for her. 

Anyway, Minami is clearly torn about this, and about eight episodes later, it all come to a head. She wonders if it’s okay to change her goal like this, if it shows a lack commitment on her part that she could be attracted to another career so easily, if she’s shirking her obligations and if she was just a big fake this whole time. The other girls assure her this is not the case. They support her and tell her it’s perfectly okay for her dreams and goals to change as she grows and changes and that she should be concerned with what she wants rather than pleasing others or society:

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