Plot: The five Precure are finally assembled! Candy’s big brother, Pop, arrives to check up on his sister and share the story of Marchenland and the Precures to the girls. While Nogo’s minions are collecting energy to revive their master, the girls need to collect the Cure Decor from the Akanbe to free Marchenland’s queen and save the world.
But first things first – what will their catchphrase be?
Breakdown: This episode was moreso recapping what we already knew what with the backstory of Marchenland and the goals of both sides. We learn a little bit more of the story, get introduced to some new characters – Pop and Joker – we solidify the girls as a team and give them a catchphrase.
I did enjoy several aspects of it. First of all, I like how some parts seem to harmlessly poke fun at magical girl tropes. As a fan of magical girl shows, I always like a little ribbing at those cliches.
Secondly, I LOVE Pop. He’s so cute yet cool and brave. His relationship with Candy is also very nicely constructed. He realizes Candy’s a bit sensitive, scatter-brained and frightened, but also respects that she works hard, is brave when the situation calls for it and is willing to do everything she can for their cause. Pop worries about her, but he’s isn’t overbearing about it.
Joker’s also pretty entertaining and I look forward to what he’ll bring to the table in the future.
Finally, the ending was so well-directed and sad that, even though it was just temporarily saying goodbye to a character who debuted in this very episode, I was still getting a bit misty-eyed.
I don’t much mind the recapping as we could benefit from sitting down and fully talking about everything that’s lead to this point, so that’s not a negative to me.
However, I didn’t much appreciate that so much time was dedicated to finding a catchphrase. I thought it was a cute joke that they were even bringing up needing a catchphrase, another nudge to magical girl tropes, but then I realized how serious they were about it and I just kinda wanted them to move on.
I also thought this week’s Akanbe was embarrassingly lame. He was a beefed up soda can who shot soda cans….that’s it. Majorina won a game of cards against the other villains to face the Precures again and she uses her opportunity on this recycling PSA.
What’s even more embarrassing is that the girls actually nearly lose to this thing. In another bit of a magical girl trope joke moment, the girls are instantly shot when they complete their long transformations, personal phrases and group catchphrase. I thought they’d more or less brush it off and kick ass together as a team, showing off how awesome they are now that they’re finally together….but no.
The shot downs all of them, they nearly get stomped on and Pop has to turn into a giant can press, subdue the Akanbe and wait for the girls to, forgive me for saying this, sit on his face in order to crush the Akanbe.
Pop’s ability to transform is cool, but him jumping in to save the day really took all of the wind out of my sails. Like yay, Smile Precur–*BLAM* “Ugh, we can’t do anything now.” Oh…I mean…yay Pop!
Not to mention that, while it’s more subtle than a lot of shows, they’re starting to show their leader favoritism here. They wait until Miyuki arrives on the scene to transform…for no reason. I might understand if they transformed and fought but prolonged the fight because they wanted their first full team fight to be together, but they didn’t even transform until Miyuki arrived. Then Candy told Miyuki to give the final blow attack when the other girls were available.
I can’t imagine they’ll get to Tokyo Mew Mew levels of favoritism here, but it was giving me that vibe and I hate that vibe.
All in all, while this wasn’t the most fantastic episode ever, expected of a more or less recap, and it was certainly disappointing for a full team debut, I did enjoy this episode. My enjoyment was mostly because of Pop (Someone find me a Pop plushie. I will love you forever), but outside of the battle, it was a solid episode.
Next episode, the girls try to select a spot for their secret base!
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