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Darknest (ダークネスト?) is the main antagonist of Star☆Twinkle Pretty Cure and the leader of the Notraiders. In episode 46, Darknest is actually a Star Princess called the Ophiuchus Star Princess (へびつかい座のスタープリンセス?).
Darknest appears as a tall humanoid wearing a long cape, whose snake-like features are based on the Japanese yokai Uwabami. Darknest's face is hidden in the shadows with her voice distorted to hide the fact that she is actually a Star Princess.
As the Ophiuchus Star Princess, she has long wavy emerald green hair that reaches her feet, held up in several purple bands with two long crimson strands in the front. Her eyes are bright yellow with green pupils that also have glowing red stars in them.
She wears a strapless dress with dark indigo and light purple vest that is lined with gold at the top along with a feathery purple collar. The skirt is floor-length and purple with a dark indigo layer over it. Along the middle is a white section decorated with light purple oval-like designs and an indigo border.
Her accessories include a gold halo-like tiara that resembles a snake, a gold choker, gold crescent-shaped earrings, a wrap around her arms that resembles a bright green snake, and two gold bands on her upper arms. She later takes Garuouga's bracelet.
Darknest is very serious and power hungry, and desperately wants the power of the Star Princesses and Fuwa. Darknest also neglects her minions' well-being and regards them as pawns. When she can't receive the desired results she hopes for, she is willing to finish off anyone whom she deems as obstacles with violence.
She also loathes imagination because she regards it as a failed product of the universe. This is due to her being a pessimist who firmly believes that imagination can bring negativity (which is partially true though) and how the 12 other Princesses exiled her after they didn't comply to her wish.
- Garuouga - The second in command of the Notraiders.
- Kappard, Tenjo, and Aiwarn - Darknest's subordinates.
- Star Princesses - Darknest sees and despises them as failures of the universe and only yearns for their magic. This comes from how they exiled her years ago which caused her to develop bitterness towards them.
- Fuwa - Darknest desires Fuwa's powers and refers to her as the "container".
"Darknest" is based on the word "darkness" and "nest".
"Ophiuchus" is a constellation that is technically considered as the thirteenth among the constellations but not officially recognized by the majority.
Darknest has the ability to power up the Notraiders with twisted imagination and can also produce holographic projections.
Prior to the season, Ophiuchus created the universe and lived with the other Princesses but grew to despise the universe as her mind grew delusional and distorted, as she refused to accept that the power of imagination can benefit people, and her mentality further declined when the other Princesses decided to share imagination in spite of her worries on the cycle of the universe becoming a mess. In a fit of rage, she tried to force them to submit to her, only to be exiled. She later became Darknest upon recovery, destroyed Garuouga’s home planet and recruited the Notraiders, as she slowly sensed and witnessed the emergence of anger, jealousy, and sadness and therefore plans to re-enact her scheme of wiping and recreating the universe to her perfect standards.
Some time later, Darknest puts her scheme into action by ordering the Notraiders to invade the Star Palace. This, nevertheless, only results in the Princesses escaping and Fuwa landing in the hands of Hikaru.
Throughout the season, she hides her ulterior motives behind the curtains and the only active action she does is to power up Aiwarn and the generals respectively. However, her ultimate goal is revealed near the finale as she finally drops off her disguise and admits her intentions to both the Cures and the Notraiders. She then proceeds to abduct Fuwa and the twelve other princesses. After Fuwa sacrifices, Ophiuchus still surprisingly manages to hang on and goes on with engulfing the universe in darkness. Nonetheless, after the Cures gather every Twinkle Imagination and have a final showdown with Ophiuchus, Ophiuchus is finally defeated.
After her defeat, Ophiuchus acknowledges the Cures' strength and the power of imagination, but warns them that she may return if imagination is twisted again. She has disappeared from everyone's sight since then.
- Her voice is distorted for most of the season's run, obscuring Darknest's background and identity as a Princess.