Eh…. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this episode. There were definitely some good and even some important moments that makes it worth watching, but as the stalemate continues, I am growing a bit more anxious with the way they are choosing to spend their time. There are now less than nine episodes left, and it still feels like there are still loose ends to address and character development to be had.
Fortunately in this episode, Daruizen was somewhat (and I say that lightly) more productive than Shindoine and Guaiwaru had been. It was a relief to see Humans be targeted again, but I was disappointed to see him go back to doing the bare minimum. After that kind of emotional confrontation with Nodoka, it is almost perplexing to see him go back to this calm slate, and seem to unaffected by the Trainees’ convictions, unless he is only triggered by Nodoka’s. He also didn’t go after her this week, only stuck to shooting her once and let her get up on her feet again when he could have easily continued to intervene. Though I suppose it can be said he had enough time to himself to cool his head about it.
But what surprised me the most was how Daruizen didn’t take advantage of the rare opportunity of catching Latte, Rabbirin, Pegitan and Nyatoran on their own. Without the girls, these guys are basically sitting ducks, they can’t do a thing against him. And most importantly, without them the girls can’t transform either. So you would think the best way to stop the Precures, would be to attack the Trainees, right? Obviously there are some legitimate reasons why that couldn’t happen because it would probably default to a “Bad End”, or it would put the girls in a serious predicament where only one of them could transform, which in this case, would be Asumi since Latte was able to go and get with the help.
On that note, it can also be said there was the option to make it so one of them actually managed escaped from Daruizen actively trying to exploit them, and either they are now being held hostage or he corrupts them to force a predicament with only one or two of them being able to fight. That’s why it just seemed so weird to me to see him not do more when it was clear that he was the one in the position of power. We know Daruizen is capable of being ruthless and is quick to act, so it’s quite surprising how he didn’t go for it. Whether it was confidence in the King’s return, or no reason at all, obviously I would prefer it there was an explanation for not being even more proactive when we had been seeing him progressively kick things up a notch through out the series.
Of course it’s not like Daruizen didn’t try doing anything at all. He threw the trainees around like rag-dolls, and attempted to sow seeds of greed and doubts into their minds after he overheard them express their insecurities of what will become of their relationship with the girls after the conflict with the Pathogerms is resolved. Perhaps it could be said the idea of baiting the Trainees to come to the dark side seemed more interesting compared to taking the easy way out. Unfortunately for him, the Trainees all have a strong resolve and they didn’t even need to bat an eye before promptly refusing to follow through with his suggestion.
That being said, apart from my gripes with the way Daruizen behaved this week, there was one important thing that made certain to make a direct point about the Precures’ and Trainees’ Glaring Weakness: Getting Sidetracked.
They seem to be comfortable with their power-upgrade, and we are seeing fruition of that with the recovery of those who had be wounded in battle back in Healing Gardens. However just as the senior warriors warned the Queen, the kids have a habit of getting carried away…. and sure enough that’s exactly what has been happening in the recent weeks. They are overlooking the danger that has been creeping up on them all this time, the King’s inevitable revival. Queen Teatinu and veterans have also pointed out that that they will be coming to help them soon, which I expected to see happen sooner or later. (Though for different reasons, I doubt some of my wildest imaginations of the way the battle might play out will ever see the light of day hahaha). So there is no doubt that the fight we are finally waiting for is approaching, but it looks like we are going to have to wait for another episode or two before we see it. Needless to say, the only one I can blame is myself I got carried away in the hype leading up to the final fight.
Lastly, I think the recent weeks have left many of us with the impression that this was the result of re-arrangements of a series of events that should have happened earlier. If that was the case, it begs the question of which episodes were switched around with these ones. But even if they were, I wonder whether it was really worth it because it completely interrupted the momentum that had been building up since Shindoine, Guaiwaru and Daruizen have all evolved. That tension has long since evaporated, which is certainly playing a big part with the shift to a lighter mood. But hey, if this was deliberately done to show the carelessness of the Trainees and girls letting their guard down, then it would make them purposely after-all.
Last episode I pointed out about my gripes about the suspected re-arrangements of the episodes that were tweaked to match the current settings. So I am very happy to say, after watching this episode, I actually got the sense the story was back onto its original track. Man, I can’t tell you how relieved I feel right now, especially after seeing the preview for next week’s episode as well.
Today they addressed the conflict of being split between her dream to become an Inn Keeper and becoming a professional athelete. When she told her family about it, it was great to see they were all ready to support her and didn’t say anything about her former dream, and weren’t worried about it because her little brother Toji expressed he wishes to become the Inn Keeper too.
However Chiyu felt differently. Since she was a child, she had always dreamt of becoming the Inn Keeper, so to suddenly shift away from that made her feel uneasy and uncertain with her choices. Despite what everyone had expected of her, she wasn’t ready to let go of that, but she was stuck in the mindset that she had to choose one or the other. While I still have some reservations about how this new dream came to into fruition, I am glad that Pegitan suggest what I figured she would and should do: Pursue both. After-all an athletic can only be pursued for so long, and then after that you have to figure out what to do next. I also really liked the callback to Pegitan’s and Chiyu’s fateful encounter when she had given him a bit of courage, and today he gave her a bit of his.
What was also great was seeing Chiyu have to fight on her own for a bit, and even had another alteration with Shindoine. Unfortunately much to my dismay, Shindoine didn’t or rather couldn’t put up much of a fight, it was actually unbelievable how weak she was. So much so, it was actually pathetic how easily Chiyu countered her attacks. She just waved it off and sent it flying back at her. Now that’s just sad to watch. It would have been great to see Chiyu and Shindoine duke it out in a manner as Daruizen and Nodoka had. It just goes without saying it would have been better if they could have evenly duked it out. And the same goes for Guaiwaru’s case.
Speaking of the Generals, although the fight was disappointing, I did appreciate seeing them touch on the General’s ambitions again. While there isn’t any huge changes, there are definitely some that may turn heads. Shindoine as expected, still dead set on proving her love to the King, but Guaiwaru surprised me a bit when he revealed that he (himself) is his first priority, and went on to say not even the King could stand in his way. This made me snort because first of all, that is pretty rich coming from the guy who hasn’t exactly proven himself to be a formidable foe yet, and number two, it appears he has grown to be more greedy since he had undergone his evolution. That said, it actually does make a lot of sense since that is in line with his character’s actions.
As for Daruizen, maybe it was just me, but it appears to looking a bit down. While he usually doesn’t engage in Shindoine’s and Guaiwaru’s banters, this time it was something he could relate to in a way. From the very beginning, everything Daruizen has done was for himself, and he has no interest of appealing to the King. However this topic may be making him think about things he hadn’t thought about before. Either way, it sure looks like there is something lingering on his mind.
Next week looks quite interesting given Nyatoran has suddenly found an entrance into the Pathogerm’s Territory. When I first saw it, I actually burst out laughing because that is surely a trap. This smells like something Guaiwaru would do, especially with all the signs! Though I have to say, I will be surprised if that were to turn out to be the King because the dude has been MIA for a while now, so I figured once we do finally get the chance to see him, we’ll see his true form, assuming he has a physical form.
Anyhow, I’m just glad things are back on track. With eight episodes left, it sucks that this show is almost over, but I sure hope they make the most of it and end it on a high note!
Extra Note: Tropical Rouge Precure Designs are out….. And truthfully I don’t know how i feel about it. I have mixed opinions. I like that the protagonist is not pink themed for an exchange, and the white outfit is a nice callback to Futari wa Precure and even reminds me a bit of Yes! Precure 5’s design. It’s been a hundred years since we last seen that. I get they are trying to play with the whole sea theme, but the fishnets tights are… uh, a miss for me. I really like the purple Precure’s design though. I think she is supposed to be a jelly fish? Their Human designs are super cute though, I like it a lot!
Extra Note 2: Heartcatch Precure will be released on Monday! Thank you for your patience!