WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 44 of Healin' Good Pretty Cure, " Let's Heal Together! For Our Healthy Future," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Things look dire for the Healin' Good Pretty Cure as they enter their final showdown with Neo King Byo-gen in Episode 44, "Let's Heal Together! For Our Healthy Future." In this battle, either he goes down -- or they do. Despite having a rather ingenious plan, the dark king quickly gains the upper hand and almost wins. Rather than the power of friendship, it is the power of community that comes to the girls' aid, allowing them to win the war in spite of the lost battle.
Having defeated Shindoi-ne in the last episode, the girls hurry back to Queen Teateine just as Neo King Byo-gen summons his strength to break free of her imprisonment. While at first the plan to use the purified Shindoi-ne's energy to blast past his shields appears to be working, it soon becomes clear that Neo King Byo-gen won't go down easy, even without his shields.
He makes short work of the girls, even absorbing them into himself, trapping them in the same way as the humans who were turned into Giga Byo-gens. Not satisfied with their physical defeat, he attempts to show them the futility of their actions by telling them that to live is to fight a never-ending battle... and Nodoka agrees. To everyone's surprise, Nodoka begins to relate her experiences to the evil entity's words, taking what was meant as futility and giving it meaning through those experiences. Yes, living is fighting -- but it's worth fighting for.
Unbeknownst to Nodoka, Neo King Byo-gen has been projecting the scene inside himself to the entire city. This was likely meant to further break people's spirits, but it has the opposite effect, allowing the girl's parents, friends and acquaintances to see and hear Nodoka's inspiring speech. Nodoka not only inspires her friends as they stand together against Neo King Byo-gen -- she inspires everyone in the entire city.
In a moment that mirrors their own attacks, the people, healing animals and elements all express their desire to live, creating many hands of blinding light that rescue the girls from Neo King Byo-gen's body, and simultaneously grant them new wands and power, which prove to be the mighty king's downfall.
With the series' emphasis on helping others, this ending allows the show to demonstrate the kind of support a thriving community can give. People can come together to accomplish great things -- whether it's cleaning up an area, hosting an event or helping save the world. Further demonstrating this is the gratitude of the people as they realize what Nodoka and the rest of the cures have gone through to protect them. While the girls may not have realized their secret identities were blown, the parents and townspeople agree to keep the secret, thanking them while they're unconscious and going out of their way to ensure that each girl has plenty of time to spend with her partner.
The Healin' Good Pretty Cure may have saved the day for the townspeople, but it was the community that allowed them to feel safe, grow and thrive that reaps the benefits. Not only have the events of this episode brought the community closer together, but they now know to the full extent that their daughters are able to fight for what's right -- and that's the real victory here.