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"Oh light of spirits! Oh glimmer of life!"
"Guide our two hearts towards hope!"
The third series in the Pretty Cure franchise.
Mai Mishou, a calm, sweet-hearted artist, is returning to her hometown after several years away. She goes to the large tree she used to visit as a child and runs into Saki Hyuuga, an outgoing softball player. Just as they both remember that they once met each other as children in this precise spot, two fairies called Flappy and Choppy come out of nowhere and attach themselves to the girls.
The fairies are fleeing from the forces of Dark Fall, an otherworldly group seeking to capture the seven World Fountains that feed the World Tree. The last World Fountain is located somewhere on Earth, and Dark Fall will stop at nothing to find it. To defend themselves from the monsters of Dark Fall, Saki and Mai agree to use the fairies' power and transform into Cure Bloom and Cure Egret: the Legendary Warriors, Pretty Cure.
Splash*Star starts as a near-Expy of the original series, as Toei clearly wanted to continue the Pretty Cure franchise but were concerned about how fans would receive a series that did not include Nagisa and Honoka. Complaints from Moral Guardians had also caused many of the Seinen elements synonymous with Pretty Cure to be toned down: instead of the hard-hitting fisticuffs of Black and White, Bloom and Egret primarily used non-contact magical attacks, flinging bolts of energy around and flying all over the place.
However, after time the show finds its feet and develops its own identity. Mai and Saki grow to distinguish their personalities from their predecessors and lookalikes. Bloom and Egret develop unique fighting styles, with Bloom focusing on ground attacks and brute strength, while Egret specialises in agile aerial attacks. The show later adds two Dark Magical Girls as Foils, and a Mid-Season Upgrade that gives a Super Mode to Bloom and Egret, upgrading them to Cure Bright and Cure Windy respectively.
This program provides examples of:
- Alternate Continuity
- And You Were There (Moop and Fuup)
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny - Mai gets like this around some works of art.
- Battle Aura - noticeable in the flashes of light, absent in earlier seasons, that appear whenever the Cures land from high heights or are thrown against solid objects. Could possibly be a Don't Try This At Home measure.
- Big Bad ( Gooyan)
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine - Kenta ostensibly forms a Manzai duo with class representative Miyasako, but it's more of an outlet for his own pun-based humor.
- Boss Banter - all of the minions engage in some form of this. However, Kintolesky takes it Up to Eleven by repeatedly buying bread at Saki's family's store, giving Saki drawing advice, giving Tatsuya Mishou kicking lessons, and stopping by the School Festival.
- Boss Rush - Gohyaan brings back the five defeated minions in the 40s episodes. All are dispatched with more ease than before.
- Bratty Half-Pint - Saki's younger sister, Minori.
- By the Power of Greyskull
- Clark Kenting - Inverted in that some of the villains adopt various disguises and aren't recognized until they reveal themselves. Meanwhile, the villains discover the Cures' true identities without much effort at all.
- Complexity Addiction - Gohyaan could have won instantly by just blowing the worlds up in random order, instead of bothering with creating Akudaikahn, creating the Dark Fall, and sending minions.
- Dancing Theme ("Ganbalance de Dance")
- Dark Is Not Evil Michiru and Kaoru, who continue using their powers as warriors of the Dark Fall, even after their Heel Face Turn
- Dark Magical Girl (Michiru and Kaoru)
- Demoted to Extra (Michiru and Kaoru. Despite being the first Dark Magical Girl duo in the Pretty Cure franchise and fighting alongside Bloom and Egret in their own Pretty Cure forms in the final battle, they are Brought Down to Normal in the Pretty Cure All Stars movies and regulated to waving Miracle Lights with the rest of the background characters.
- Disc One Final Boss - the confrontation with Akudaikaan in episode 23.
- Disney Death (Michiru and Kaoru)
- Elemental Powers - The five minions, aside from Michiru and Kaoru, have powers based on the five elements of Eastern tradition. The Uzainaa that they summon are also based on these elements. This provides foreshadowing, seeing as that Kaoru is wind and Michiru is the moon, neither fitting in with the theme.
- Emotionless Girl - Kaoru, at first. Michiru is friendlier from the beginning, but even she has her moments.
- Evolving Credits - The opening changes to include Cure Bright and Cure Windy.
- Expy - To the point where the Italian dub of the show marketed it as a sequel to Futari wa Pretty Cure, starring the "older" forms of Nagisa and Honoka!
- Frills of Justice
- Gratuitous Spanish (Moerumba)
- Heel Face Turn (Michiru and Kaoru, again.)
- Heterosexual Life Partners
- Hey, It's That Voice! - Kenta is Naruto and Takuya and would later go to voice Cure Rouge; Flappi is Ranma, Inuyasha, and more. Gohyaan is Sephiroth and Naraku.
- I Have the High Ground - Ms. Shitataare and Kintolesky do this before several battles. Michiru and Kaoru enjoy sitting on a rock that extends out of the ocean.
- In the Name of the Moon
- Island Base - Gohyaan has one of these, even shaped like himself. He mistakenly believes it to be secret.
- Lampshaded by Ms. Shitataare: "I mean, the architecture alone is a dead giveaway."
- Jossed - The popular fan theory that Michiru and Kaoru "inherit" the forms of Cure Bright and Cure Windy beyond the series finale is nixed by the second All-Stars DX movie, where Saki and Mai get a combination of both their Egret/Windy and Bloom/Bright forms, respectively. On the other hand, the Crossover Compilation has outright defied TV canon on a number of major points, and Toei doesn't care about the twins, so of course they wouldn't let them fight -- meaning that, in a purely-TV-canon world, they could still keep their powers.
- Kamehame Hadoken (Michiru and Kaoru fight with concentrated balls of the power of destruction pulled from their own bodies. Once they charge them up enough, the result is one of these.)
- Kick the Dog (Pretty much every villain in this show, with the only exception of Kintolesky, does that at least once)
- Laughably Evil (the whole Quirky Miniboss Squad, Karehaan being the sole exception)
- Lucky Translation - Doubles as Blind Idiot Translation. The Italian dub managed to keep the Japanese opening by creatively changing the lyrics, which is a good thing - except that some of the new lyrics basically amount to "super-special-awesome!"
- Magical Girl
- Meaningful Name - Pretty Cure and the Kiryuu sisters all have names relating to their Cure personas. All these relations are expressed in sequence near the end of episode 48.
- Mega Neko (Korone, Saki's lazy and overlarge cat who actually has an important role later on.)
- He's not bigger than normal cats by any orders of magnitude, though.
- Minion Shipping (Kintolesky and Shitataare)
- Morality Pet (Minori to Kaoru)
- My Name Is Not Durwood - Saki manages to misremember Ms. Shitataare's name almost every time.
- New Transfer Students: Kaoru and Michiru.
- Never Trust a Trailer (The final episode of Max Heart for the Italian dub gave the impression they were dubbing this series as a sequel to the previous. Luckily, it wasn't the case.)
- Not So Harmless (The Man Behind the Man is Gohyaan, the fat slacker minion that even the other villains make fun of. He also destroys the world.)
- Omnicidal Maniac (Lord Akudaikahn. Also, Gohyaan wants to destroy the universe... because lifeforms are too noisy and irritate him.)
- The Other Darrin (Kaoru's voice actor is replaced halfway through the show.)
- Pungeon Master (Kenta Hoshino)
- Quirky Miniboss Squad
- Save Both Worlds
- Screw Destiny
- Shout-Out - during one of Flappi's failed attempts at confessing his feelings to Choppi, Moop offers the advice, "Never give up! Trust your instincts!"
- Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: Michiru and Kaoru
- Also Kintolesky, if you count the second ending video.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Saki, though mostly later on. Not as bad as Nagisa, the girl she's an Expy of, but it's there.
- Verbal Tic: As usual for Pretty Cure series, the mascot characters add some variant of their names. One of Saki and Mai's friends, Hitomi, injects "maji" (really/seriously) into most of her sentences, although the subs don't necessarily represent this. (Sorry.)
- Taking You with Me: Gohyaan channels the spirit of Andross in delivering a "taking you with me" line before his defeat. Not effective at all.
- Team Spirit
- The End of the World as We Know It
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You - Dorodoron, of all people, is on the brink of victory over Pretty Cure... until Michiru and Kaoru invoke this trope and intervene. Or at least, that's the excuse they give themselves.
- Third Person Person - Minori Hyuuga.
- This Is Unforgivable!
- Title Drop ("Precure Spiral Star Splash" and "Precure Spiral Heart Splash Star")
- Tomboy and Girly Girl
- Unlucky Childhood Friend - Kenta's feelings for Saki are implied to go beyond friendship at a few points, but she only has eyes for Mai's brother, Tatsuya. In the end of the series, she still hasn't noticed Kenta, and he seems to turn his affection to one of her teammates on the softball team.
- Vile Villain Saccharine Show - Like you wouldn't believe...
- Wonder Twin Powers
- The World Tree
- Worthy Opponent (Kintolesky)
- You Can't Fight Fate (Michiru and Kaoru believed so.)