If you believe in me, I can do anything.
Continuing the tradition of starting one of my cour reviews for Shugo Chara with a line from either the opening or ending theme, this one comes from the new opening music. As Shugo Chara moves into its second year of broadcast, the characters remain the same but the series does get a new name, Shugo Chara!! Doki.
The first two episodes of Shugo Chara!! Doki are actually recap episodes, looking back at the events of the first fifty-one episodes. After those two episodes however, things start to move again and they do so with the introduction of a new character.
Lulu de Morcerf is a girl who moves to Japan when her parents, an actress and a chef, decide to move. She is another Easter employee, who uses the power her guardian character Nana gives her to corrupt heart's eggs. Even though she works with Easter, her real motivation to find the embryo is for more personal reasons, and like Ikuto, she plans to use it to grant her wish. She wishes to reignite the radiance that her mother seems to have lost recently.
Lulu shares a lot of characteristics with Amu, outwardly she is very distant and tries not to get involved with anybody, but actually she is quite a nice girl who just wants friends. Her guardian character Nana is quite a loud character that specialises in creating jewellery. She speaks with a Nagoya accent, and due to the amount of time Lulu and Nana spend together sometimes this spreads to Lulu, embarrassing her greatly.
There is also a new type of enemy in Shugo Chara!! Doki. Previously Amu has only been facing people who have negative hearts in the form of X-eggs and X-characters. The fights were often quite short and repetitive. Now, Lulu's appearance introduced people with uncertain hearts. She is able to take advantage of their insecurity and bring out a ?-egg. These are more difficult to deal with, and when the person gets angry, they perform their most dangerous trick, the ?-character transformation!
These ?-character transformations are just like the regular character transformations, but with the added problem of not being easy to reverse. The hearts are not negative, so Amu can't just use her Open Heart attack to purify the eggs, she must first talk the person into having a negative heart rather than a confused heart.
Not all of the events of Doki are negative for the guardians however. They get a new member joining them to replace Kairi, who vacated the Jack's seat towards the end of the first series. The new Jack is not a new face, in fact it is a returning former member of the guardians, as Nadeshiko returns under her real identity Nagihiko. The problem is that Amu, Rima and Yaya don't know that Nagihiko is actually Nadeshiko, and after the events of episode 25 Amu believes that he is actually Nadeshiko's twin brother.
His guardian character Temari has returned to her egg prior to his return, with him being uncertain about himself. Shortly after Temari returned to her egg, another shugo egg was born, this time blue - but otherwise matching Temari's egg. Neither egg has hatched yet.
As Amu is dealing with Lulu's mischief, not knowing that Lulu is behind it, there is a second plotline progressing. The director of Easter takes Ikuto's violin and starts to infuse it with negative energy from X-eggs they have harvested. When Ikuto learns that the violin is in the hands of Easter, he immediately tries to get it back, but is met by a hoard of goons. He eventually gets his violin back, but ends up in a weakened state unsure what to do, and as we reach the end of our thirteen episodes Amu finds him in her bed.
So what is next for Amu and the guardians? What will happen with Ikuto and his violin? What about Lulu and the ?-eggs, or Nagihiko and his two eggs? And there is still the question of finding the embryo. There is much more life in Shugo Chara, and I'll be watching every episode legally on Crunchyroll from now on. Friday nights are for magical girls!