Today’s episode is a bit of a mixed bag. I didn’t firmly dislike anything I’m about to mention, but I feel like this could have been organized a bit better.
As I mentioned, today’s episode is Pudding’s debut, but you don’t see her until the episode is nearly half over. The rest of the episode is taken up by Aoyama and Ichigo on a date at the zoo. The date is really relatable, adorable and sweet, I just kinda wish it was in a different episode.
In the original anime, Pudding’s debut got a dedicated episode, so I don’t know what the logic was with slicing her debut in half. She’s kinda just thrown in there, too. We learn absolutely nothing about her besides the fact that she’s very energetic, desperately wants tips and is basically like a human monkey. She suddenly performs her circus routine in the zoo during Ichigo and Aoyama’s date, and Quiche also debuts to give Ichigo her kiss, further derailing the attention from Pudding.
Then Quiche turns a bunch of animals at the zoo into Chimera Animals, the girls (Lettuce and Mint show up – Lettuce doesn’t transform in this episode *pout*) try to fight them off, but there are too many. Ichigo is about to get crushed by an elephant that is either insanely slow or they purposefully slowed the footage for dramatic effect, it’s hard to tell, and Pudding transforms to save her. She also encases all the animals in the gelatin thing she makes. Really helpful of them to group up so tightly for her to target. Then Ichigo blasts them all, and that’s that. Pudding’s a Mew Mew now.
Kinda disappointing, to be honest. I guess it’s safe to assume that her backstory and whatnot will be explored more later, but, still, it’s her debut episode. Why was she shoved into the sidelines like this?
That being said, oh my god, Pudding’s so adorable in this, guys. I love her new hairstyle. I love her tiny pigtails. I love her denim suspender shorts. Her transformation – GUYS – she has like one of the cutest magical girl transformations I’ve ever seen. It’s so perfect for Pudding. I love the way her hair changes to make her braids look a little like monkey tails. I like her shoes and her socks (although….would those not be more suited for Mint? They’re basically ballet slippers.) I like her gloves, even if they are missing the faux fur.
……Okay, so someone commented somewhere (sorry, I forget where) that they didn’t care for Pudding’s new outfit, and one of the main points of contention was the fact that they changed her from a pair of shorts, or I guess it was more of a romper kinda thing (I’m sorry, I don’t know fashion), to a dress.
……and yeah, I totally agree. A dress just doesn’t fit Pudding. She jumps all over the place. She’s literally the monkey of the group. A romper type deal or something with shorts is way more preferable for both agility and avoiding showing off her underwear to everyone she sees whenever she’s hopping around in the air like Tarzan.
I also don’t really like how wide the waist is. For her age, it just looks wrong. Also, the bottom of it being that wide just makes it more awkward to wear when she’s jumping around. It will easily catch the air and flip up.
Do I prefer the original design over her new one?….In this case, yes. Her original outfit made much more sense and suited her personality more than this one does. Even the shoes/socks are better since the way the socks bunched up around the strings gave off a little bit of a circus vibe. And I really do miss her faux fur gloves, even if her new gloves are pretty cool in their own right…..are they even gloves? They’re more like wrist bands that go up over the back of her hand without wrapping around any part of her hand.
One last note about Pudding before we move on…..what the hell was that last joke about? She offered Ichigo a special medicine from her family that she suggests slipping to Aoyama without his knowing……..Is this….a date rape joke? Please tell me I’m misinterpreting. I honestly can’t imagine any innocent intention behind this suggestion. Even if it’s an aphrodisiac or something it’s still very wrong to suggest slipping to him without his consent.
Back to Ichigo and Aoyama’s date, this was very sweet. I did enjoy it quite a bit for what it was worth. They were both nervous, he was being quiet because he was nervous, neither could express how nervous they were until they were forced to address it in a more comfortable setting. It was very nice and it reflected how they’re both becoming more comfortable around each other while also realizing that that level of comfort is actually scary to a degree – a good scary. And it somehow managed to make the scene in which he gives her a bell choker not as creepy as it originally was in either the anime or the manga.
They saw a little black cat in some cat…petting…room….that they have at a zoo? It was wounded, so they wrapped up its paw in a little bandage. I dunno why they didn’t contact anyone who worked at the zoo about it, but that was nice anyway. The cat had a bell on it tied with a red ribbon. Later, when the Chimera Animals attacked, the cat came back to save Aoyama, who had been separated from Ichigo before the attack, from a Chimera Parrot. In the process, the bell fell off, and then the cat ran off.
After being shaken so badly at losing Ichigo again, and realizing she lost her own choker in the battle, he ties the bell around her neck saying that he needs the bell to ensure he never loses track of her. He then calls her his kitty, which is weird, but then he says that was a corny thing to say so I guess it’s not that bad.
I mean, it’s kinda weird to give her a literal cat bell that was on an actual cat as a necklace, but it’s a sweet gesture.
What I’m wondering is, is there something with this cat? Why did it save Aoyama? It was a bird Chimera Animal, so maybe it was just instinct, but that’s still a really weird coincidence. Also, the cat is watching them as they walk away after this interaction. I’m pretty sure this cat isn’t Shirogane because his cat form is in the ending credits and his colors don’t match this cat. Is it just a weird cat? Hm.
Anyway, I liked this episode, truly I did, but I just wish the date and Quiche had been in an episode separate from Pudding’s debut. She kinda got shafted here. Just a bit. Hope we see look more into her character soon.
Next time, Zakuro’s debut!
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