It’s boss fight time, and we finally got the development we’ve all long been waiting for! With Takumi finally revealing his role as Black Pepper, and Cinnamon (Monpei) reunites with Mari and helps him restore his Delicioustone, while inheriting the one that once belonged to Master Ginger, and lo and behold: Fennel is Godatz!
I hate to say it, but I had a lot of problems with Episode 40, so forgive me this bit is just going to be a rant, and probably overly nit-picky for some.
I didn’t like how they made Mari’s tears into a joke when he reunited with Cinnamon. You’d think it’d be a lot more serious, not this… whatever it was. It just came off as thoughtless and lazy to me when this is supposed to be a significant reunion. I also didn’t like how they conveniently glossed over the whole betrayal thing. They didn’t need to reveal the face of whoever screwed Cinnamon over, or if he knows who did or not, but I would have certainly appreciated them at least touching up on it– oh hell, even giving us a shadowy glimpse through Cinnamon’s memory or something!
Then there was the whole thing about whether Takumi should be permitted to keep fighting, and ugh– and I did NOT appreciate the fact that Cinnamon was like “okay well, now you have to quit.” Like dude, he has already been fighting! Sure he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience, but he has come in clutch for the group before! Also helps he has healing abilities– but that’s besides the point! It’s not right to take away the Delicioustone which was initially ENTRUSTED TO HIM BECAUSE IT HAD CHOSEN HIM, REMEMBER?!?!?!?! Just because Mari needed a stone more than he did. Ugh, I just have SO many problems with this! In the end, they let him keep it because Cinnamon inherited the Delioustone that belonged to Master Ginger.
Takumi of course once he saw Yui in trouble rightfully took back the stone and had a 1.5 second transformation (which did look cool with the way they did it), but I expected as much. That said, I still wished that they actually had given him a proper transformation sequence as would’ve been nice for Takumi to have his own special moment. (Though I suppose you could say the other-hand, this is actually how pragmatic transformations should be HAHA!)
So the secret’s out, everyone knows Takumi is Black Pepper now, but good grief– I absolutely hated the way they went about it. And for god’s sake, what the hell was with Yui’s reaction to that? It felt as though they dumb her down into this bawling cry-baby “because it’s surprising!” I’m sorry, what???? Where the heck did that even come from? Like suddenly it matters after all this time? Because the writers sure didn’t make Takumi feel too relevant to Yui apart from the times she feels they’d benefit him being a part of an activity. Outside of that, he was excluded from the group– which was the biggest mistake they’ve made from the start. Ugh. It’s so frustrating. The end bit with Takumi giving Yui the riceball would have been a whole lot more sweeter had they actually given these two time to flesh out their childhood friendship.
As for Episode 41, although it was super predictable, at least I thought it was a lot better than Episode 40. To nobody’s surprise, Fennel is Godatz, and they decided to just let that be in the open for the audience before he revealed his true colors.
Based on what we’ve learned so far, it appears jealousy was one one of the main driving factors for Fennel to turn to the dark side, and become this greedy monster who wants to keep everything for himself. It seems to have been triggered after being forced to share, and likely finding himself unable to keep up with Cinnamon, who went on to become Ginger’s prodigy student. This does create a rather interesting conflicts of interests, as it’s clear from his flashbacks that Fennel cherishes Ginger, however it seems he did not take it well once Cinnamon was introduced. It was noted throughout the episode that Cinnamon was originally supposed to receive the special Delicioustone, which has been split in half between Mari and Fennel. We also learned that Mari’s stone had been tampered so that it’d break, so he had already sabotaged well before he even arrived to Oshii-na Town. Needless to say, this guy been preparing for this for the past 20 years… Sheesh.
Meanwhile that was happening, Cinnamon, Mari and Takumi all were all out of town because they had to go to a special location to properly restore Mari’s Delicioustone. As it turns out, not only had it been sabotaged in advance, but Mari and Fennel each respectfully hold a half a whole that Ginger was initially going to entrust to Cinnamon. Fortunately they all arrived back home on time to stop Fennel from defeating the Precure for good (as all it took one was one hit to make their powers perish). It was nice to see the guys sweep in as the last line of defence now, but now the big question remains: Will they be able to turn things around with just this final boss fight?
Well, I’m so happy and even relieved to say, yes, they actually did manage to turn things around with this boss fight. As you probably have noticed, my interest in this series has been rapidly fading due to my frustration with how things were being handled. But this episode? It successfully managed to get me re-engaged for the final fight, and for the first time in what felt like weeks, I truly enjoyed the episode.
Finally, we’re seeing Yui face some real consequences! It’s really too bad it had to take this long, but man Yui is absolutely paying the price for her nativity. First Takumi gets taken out, then Mari, and then she too been knocked out of her magical form yet again. With Fennel ready to finish them all off for good, it took Kome-Kome to use up all her power for the sake of warping all three of them to safety.
The first and biggest mistake Yui made going into this was thinking this whole conflict could be resolved by Fennel realizing his mistakes, all because he, Mari and Cinnamon all are friends who ate from the same kitchen. The moment she said that, I rolled my eyes so hard and thought to myself, “Oh honey, if only it were that simple.” And we know from various examples that her ideals simply doesn’t apply to everyone. Whatever Narcistoru’s story was, the only thing we know is that he felt like an outcast at the table. He did not feel included whatsoever, and nobody seemed to pay any mind to him as well, and that’s how his grudge was formed. As for Secretoru, it appears her obsession with perfectionism ends up pushing people away, and she ends up taking it the wrong way to the extent she feels there’s no point of existing if she’s not perfect. Relationships aren’t as simple. Ultimately it depends on the person who you’re eating with. It’s more of a question whether that person who is eating with you respects you as an individual, and bears no grudge or malice.
With Fennel, we’re dealing with a man who has been consumed by jealousy for over 20 years, and given into that emotion as a reason to hurt others. To go as far as to frame Cinnamon for a crime to get him exiled, topple CooKingdom all because they chose to split the Special Delicioustone, and to blame Mari just because he agreed it was for the best, and received the half that Fennel expected to receive as a whole. Each time something new got in his way, Fennel did whatever it took to get rid of it. There is no magical “understanding” or “enlightenment of mistakes” to be had– Fennel knows exactly what he’s doing, and simply put, he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
Unfortunately it’s just as Fennel says, it’s so incredibly naive and foolish of Yui to think she could understand- when in reality she knows absolutely nothing about their relationship, much less the kind of bond Fennel specifically had with Ginger. In fact it’s so incredibly arrogant of her to think it’s something so basic after everything she has seen unfold before her eyes so far. Of course Yui is just a child, she has yet to be exposed to the ugliness and complexities of relationships– and frankly, now that I think about it: this was something they could have built up more gradually over the course of the series as opposed to dropping this on us as the “big bomb” for the final boss fight to help flesh out Yui’s character and this flaw of hers. It’s a disappointing in that sense because we did get a tiny taste of it, like maybe once or twice, the most recent one that comes to mind was episode 39 when she realized her grandmother’s wisdom wasn’t something that could be applied to everyone, and that she’d have to come up with her own to fit the situation. But even then, at that point there just wasn’t enough time to properly expand or focus on that more, so now we’re left with this. Were the mistakes she made today enough to make up for the lost time? Well I’d say it depends on the viewer, but objectively speaking, no. While it worked for this episode, overall Yui’s character suffered tremendously by being placed on the back-burner.
As for Takumi, his anger is more than justified after learning how much his father has lost because of this man’s selfishness, and not to mention, his father has been brutally attacked by him as well to the point he collapsed while protecting them. If that isn’t traumatic, I don’t know what is. In fact would be more strange if it weren’t upset about it! But just like Yui and due to being neglected for 95% of the series, Takumi’s anger towards Fennel could have been slowly but surely built up a bit more had he been more involved earlier on. He didn’t necessarily need to know all the details, but perhaps maybe if they had him clued in to the whole situation about Cinnamon being framed, and Takumi connecting the dots himself and begun investigating on his own, or perhaps with Mari much sooner. This opportunity could have come up had they brought him into the circle in the beginning of the series as opposed to the final arc, where even now, his scenes are limited. Now that he’s been knocked out, I sure hope Takumi isn’t going to be bedridden for the rest of the show. Cinnamon says he can heal himself, so hopefully he’ll be able to heal Takumi ASAP so that he can return to join the fight again. If anything, maybe they’ll need to make sure he wakes up anyways to help Yui out next week as she faces the onslaught of consequences of failing to stop Fennel when she had the opportunity to.
And speaking of the devil, I must say, it was pretty rich of Fennel going on about recruiting Takumi. “Work for me!” though I honestly wonder whether he actually meant it or not. It just didn’t really seem to fit the circumstances properly, especially since not only should he be perfectly aware of the anger Takumi now harbours towards him– or maybe he was just goading him on purpose to try and get him to fall to the dark side of doing bad things like hurting/killing him. That was one of the main reasons why Yui had intervened, because she didn’t want Takumi to let his anger dictate his actions and use his powers for the sake of revenge.
Finally to wrap things up, the highlight of the episode was without a doubt, the fight, and Cinnamon being an absolute badass and it was immensely satisfying to see him give Fennel a run for his money. It just goes to show how remarkable of a Cook Fighter he actually is. The music and animation were fantastic and details were very much welcomed, especially considering all the mini boss fight up until now have been rather tame in comparison to what we’re generally used to. Seeing the high quality fights was a treat to the eyes, but it also made me think, “about time!”
Next time, Yui will be facing with the consequences of not taking Fennel as seriously of a threat as she should have. It’ll be interesting to see how she copes with it, and I am looking forward to it.
EXTRA: Hirogaru Sky! Precure first preview has been released! Absolutely loving the designs, and it’s super refreshing to have our main heroine be a blue lead!
Hirogaru Sky! Precure 1st PV pic.twitter.com/uhJVeJ1v4f
— Precure News (@precurenews01) January 8, 2023