As part of my ill-fated project to watch a bunch of older Magical Girl series this year (I managed a whole two shows). I watched the original Futari Wa Precure. Which is pretty great actually, it’s definitely a strong start to the franchise. It also has some pretty odd episode conceits.
Whilst at a jewelry store with her parents, who usually travel for work but made the effort to come home for her birthday, Honoka gets caught up in a robbery. Having not actually been in the room when a trio of seemingly armed criminals (they’re not, but nobody else knows that) break in and lock everyone else in the shop in a side room. Returning the the shop Honoka finds the three villains mid heist… And proceeds to give them a lecture.
Surprisingly enough, this not only works, convincing the three to change their ways and give up a life of crime, but also apparently turn them into her devoted protectors, willing to die for this 14 year old girl they met minutes earlier. At this point the current arc villain, Gekidrago breaks through the door looking for Honoka, and the thieves immediately spring to her defense, putting themselves between her and the bad guy.
While Honoka’s partner Nagisa manages to arrive in time for the pair to become Precure and drive him off, it’s still a heck of a character shift to go through in the space of a couple of minutes. On the other hand it somehow works despite the inherent absurdity of it. Mostly because lecturing a bunch of thieves until they reform is just an extremely Honoka thing for her to do. It’s goofy but perfectly fits within the tone of the series itself.