I continue to be a sucker for mascot Cures apparently. Continuing my long long trip through the 12 years worth of Precure that aired before I got into the franchise, this year I got to Yes Precure 5 and it’s sequel series GoGo! Yes5 is probably my favourite of the early entries to date, while I definitely have some issues with it (that the series insists on shipping Nozomi and Komachi with Coco and Nuts is very firmly Not Great) but for the most part it has a really strong cast, some fun villains and is generally super solid all around. GoGo is fine. Most of the time it just feels like more of the same, but it doesn’t have the momentum of the previous series and often feels like it’s running back the same ideas its predecessor had. It does have Milky Rose though so it’s clearly good actually.
Precure mascots tend to vary a lot in how involved they actually get to be in any given entry, sometimes they’re integral to the point of essentially being extra members of the team like Mofurun (who is still my favourite), sometimes they’re barely there to the point where the series can just straight up not include them for several episodes and not miss a beat (poor Pekorin). Yes5 has a whole bunch of them hanging around. As well as the aforementioned Coco and Nuts, who’re very firmly in the “OK” camp when the show isn’t trying to hook them up with schoolgirls, the highlight has to be Milk. She’s obnoxious but in exactly the right way to make me love her and watching her relationship with Nozomi slowly move from outright jealousy to grudging respect is a lot of fun. By the end of the series she’s stopped chasing after Nozomi’s shadows and commited to being the best she can at the things only she can do.
So obviously GoGo taking this one step further and letting her become a cure in everything but name (Yes Precure 6 is clearly far too unwieldy a title). Much like Michiru and Kaoru before her she doesn’t get the actual title but gets to join the team for all practical purposes. She also gets a human form which opens up some more opportunities to interact with the rest of the cast so that’s fun.
Her human alias, Kurumi is also used to good effect when she’s introduced. Acting as a mysterious outsider who’s far too cool to actually be Milk Kurumi spends a few episodes after her introduction jumping in as Milky Rose to save the Cures from dire situations and generally making herself useful while still remaining aloof. Between the name and some unsubtle foreshadowing a few eps prior involving Milk and a blue rose (which obviously has *nothing* to do with Milky Rose’s blue rose aesthetic) it’s obvious that there’s a link between the two but the show manages to string out the reveal of how exactly they’re connected pretty well.
When it turns out to actually be her the facade she’s been putting on slips a little and it becomes clear that she’s been trying way harder than she’s willing to admit to fit this cool mysterious outsider role she’s given herself. For all that she’s gained these new powers she’s still very much Milk and she’s still willing to go all out at what she can do even to the point where she wears herself out sometimes.
The rest of the series (which I’m still not quite finished with so it’s always entirely possible her arc ultimately goes nowhere but I’m willing to believe it doesn’t) makes good use of her character by building on her rivalry with Nozomi in new ways. Before she had to accept that she wasn’t as powerful as the Precure and stay in a support role, so now that she can stand on even ground with them she finds herself acting alone, because she can protect Coco and Nuts now and doesn’t need to hide behind the others. She’s not even a Precure she’s something special and unique, something the villains actively use against her as she tries to prove herself.
I might not be as into GoGo as its predecessor but Milky Rose definitely manages to carry the show to an extent and I’m glad it exists just for introducing her.