From the beginning we’ve known that Mashiro has been a bit bothered of being the only one without an idea of what her dream is, or what she wants to do. Today she was able to make that discovery when she was recommended to join the local Picture Book Contest.
Mashiro ended up creating a story about two children sharing a swing together after Ellee refused to share her toys with another kid. Using the picture-book as a tool to teach Ellee the benefits of sharing with others was definitely a clever way to go about it. After-all the princess is obsessed with books to the point she had Mashiro read ten in a row! We didn’t see the payoff of reading the story just yet, but we probably will in the future episodes since Ellee liked it a lot.
That said, the scene where Ellee’s expression shifted from annoyed to delight probably amused me more than it should have. The face she was making was just priceless. Sora’s scolding and Mashiro’s attempt to persuade her of the good things that come out of sharing with others just went through one ear and out of the other. Ellee just didn’t care to spend time or share with the other kid. She was plenty satisfied playing with her new toys on her own.
In all, it was an okay episode, but honestly I couldn’t find it in me to really care about it. I was also not a fan of how they brought up the Picture Book contest because I felt the suggestion for Mashiro to join because of her “artist sense” really just came out of nowhere. I feel like it’s something that should have come from Sora from the get-go instead of Natsumi (who I can’t even remember if we’ve seen before until now)— especially when it left me thinking: How does arranging the Pretty Holic display have anything to do with having the artistic sense for a Picture Book contest? Sure I get they wanted to tell a story or have a theme going for the display, but how does that lead to the idea that Mashiro can or even likes to draw? I guess maybe by the stuff she buys there, but still. As result it just felt like it was shoehorned in to somehow work together with the cringe-worthy product placement segments.
Another chill but otherwise lacklustre episode for me. I did like the subject however, touching on what happens after one fulfills their dream. What happens then? It was also used to point out how it’s okay to not know right away, and instead, why not focus on exploring your curiosity, expanding your knowledge and through that you will surely discover something new and interesting that will intrigue you further. For Tsubasa, it was coming to understand that all the variety of knowledge he has gained through his studies on how to fly can be contributed to other things in different ways. It makes it so that all that effort he put into it wasn’t in vain as he had initially feared it to be. And it’s true, the things we learned will always have something it can be used for something else, though perhaps maybe we don’t know yet what that thing may be until we encounter it.
Since it appears that Ageha is in charge of wielding the palette (which turns out can do more than just buffing their teammates), Yoyo has now entrusted the Mirror Pad to Tsubasa to further help him with his research. This does make me wonder if Mashiro and Sora will each get their own tool to help the group.
And lastly it looks like Battamonda is finally done with playing games– or at sure hope he is. Lately all Battamonda doing right now is just intentionally trying to be a nuisance rather than with the intent to kidnap the princess. So let’s see what he does in the next one.
HOLY SMOKES! Talk about shit going from 0 to 100 in a blink of an eye. When Battamonda said he was done playing games with them, he really was. He was just toying around with them all this time, because as it turns out: He had a freaking ace up his sleeve, and my god— I could have never imagined it being used like this.
It started off with Battamonda luring Sora out on her own with Captain Shalala’s illusion, isolating her so she’d fight the monster on her own. He didn’t know his whole hand right away, but slowly revealing his cards one by one until Sora finally realized something wasn’t quite right when the Ranborg monster started bearing resemblance of her beloved champion. Once she connected the dots, Battamonda revealed the next part of his hand, of how Captain Shalala is being held hostage within the Ranborg itself. That’s why Sora lost her will to fight and actively tried to stop the others from doing so.
I always expected there would be a dramatic and emotional confrontation where Captain Shalala was under the possession of the Undergu Empire, but in this case, the situation is much darker than I anticipated. This isn’t a situation where she is brainwashed and the power of friendship or purification will solve the problem– no, it’s a situation where not only does she gets harmed by the attacks in the process, but now her very life is dependent on Undergu Energy to keep her alive. This means, should they use the purification on her, they would end up killing her in the process.
And you know what’s even crazier? Battamonda almost succeeded. Had Ellee not had not sensed how Captain Shalala’s life force is being supported by the Undergu, the would have killed her for good.
Let that sink in for a moment there: They were THIS CLOSE to killing Sora’s hero.
It was Battamonda who ended up finding Captain Shalala in the woods after she sacrificed herself for the Kingdom. She was on the brink of death and in that moment he realized he could use her against Sora, and infused Captain with Undergu Energy to keep her alive for that purpose.
So it’s no wonder that this revelation has completely broke Sora’s spirit. She is in shambles at the moment, to the point that she no longer wants to fight, and that lost conviction to be a hero resulted her power as a precure disappearing into nothingness. So while Battamonda didn’t finish them off and made a tactical retreat today, today he absolutely won the fight. He got what he wanted: Plummeting Sora into despair.
I will say, it was an absolute treat to see Battamonda just pop off with his cruelty, mainly because Precure as the late has been sorely lacking intimidating and intelligent antagonists (with the exception of Daruizen from Healing Good Precure, who consistently had a threatening presence). We knew he was crazy and twisted, but what really struck me as bizarre was how he he insisted that he was “strong and kind” and that it was Sora who instilled the darkness of hatred within him. Thinking back to when he struck Skyland to kidnap the princess, we did see a bit of what he would consider his so-called “kind side”, but also what happens when he loses his patience. It begs the question of his interpretation of ‘being a good person’, and purpose of kidnapping the princess. We know that there’s a history of tension between Skyland and the Undergu Empire, so are they trying to get the princess in attempt to save their Kingdom? Anyhow, what we do now know that it seems a lot more going on than what meets the eye. I really do hope that they do begin focusing more on the Undergu Empire going forward, because we need to get a better grasp of the life and culture that they lead, and how they intend to use the Princess of Skyland.
With all that aside, I do wonder how they are going to go about this situation since the standard purification process is out of the question. Perhaps the Kira Kira Energy is what will need to be used instead. It seems they will need to find a way to substitute the Undergu Energy, and convert it into pure energy so that it doesn’t take her off her life support. We’ll have to wait and find out!
07/23/2023 – Update: I have decided to drop Hirogaru Sky Precure. I had intended to do a final entry on it, but I’m not enjoying it enough to really have anything to say about it.
I’ll probably binge-watch the rest of the show closer to the end. I’ll take this time to finish rewatching Yes! Go Precure in preparation for Power of Hope ~Grown-Up Precure ’23~ the fall.