--THE MAGNIFICENT CURE CHOCOLAT!!
AKIRA (sincerely): Hahahaaha...
AKIRA (sincerely): Hahahaha...
AKIRA: My name is Akira Kenjo.
Cue thousands of otokoyaku fans around the globe, including yours truly, squeeing so shrilly that cracks are formed on their computer screens!
This was how last episode ended; segue right now into this one!
The first time we see Akira Kenjo in this episode, she's doing stretching in her back yard...
so she likes to stay fit, doesn't she?
Cue beads of dew, perspiration, or both turning into bishie sparkles!
For that is something that princely young man and otokoyaku characters get for an aura a lot that
enhances considerably their charm!!!
When resident mainstream audience surrogate Ichika drops a sheet from the clothesline...
Akira pivots quickly on the fence... (SO SHE KNOWS PARKOUR!?)
...and scores a perfect landing with an awkward Ichika in a bridal carry!
(Across the fourth wall, I am clapping excitedly!)
AKIRA: You all right? That's good...
***cue opening credits***
Next time we see Akira, she's on the phone...
AKIRA: I'll be coming tonight. Don't worry... All right, I'll be sure to bring you some. (ie, chocolate for her hospitalized ill girl imouto, who has just phoned her!) Right. See ya.
Back at the pâtisserie...
YUKARI: So since that highschooler oniisan moved in, things are getting a little strange?
So could you please tell us the name of your prince charming?
Kenjo, Kenjo...? So...
(Presumably, since both of them are highschoolers, Yukari has at least heard of Akira!)
And thus... off they go to her place!
AKIRA: Morning! Having some friends over? Do you know any good chocolaterie around here? The kind that sell scrumptious chocolate?
So she lives with her grandmother and she's got a little sister...
but before you can say "orphan," let me clarify that her parents are still alive...
only that they are living in another larger town, where the regional hospital is and little Miku is bedridden..
They let Akira move to one of her grandmothers' to stay close to the high school where she studies. Said granny's name is Tomi... but is it her first name or surname? If it's a surname, it would most likely be her maternal granny, right?
The Kenjos know their older girl is mature and strong enough and can make it on her own.
So off Akira goes to the chocolaterie Cacao Cacao, with Ichika Usami for a guide.
Notice Akira's aloof expression.
AKIRA: To be honest, this is really helpful. I still don't know my way around yet...
AKIRA: You're really close with the folks on this street, right? That face -- I guess that, since we barely know each other, and it's a bit tense hanging out with someone older like me... But I like a natural face the best!
And thus they enter the local chocolaterie...
AKIRA (looking left and right in awe): WOWO...
AKIRA: Such beautiful chocolates!
AKIRA (dithering, looking left and right before reaching a decision): In that case...
AKIRA (kindly): You may choose any chocolates you like. As thanks for bringing me here.
Unlike Yukari's, this is an earnest, sincere laugh.
After shopping, it's time to enjoy a view of the bay from the top of the hill!
AKIRA: Thanks for today!
AKIRA: Care to show me around again someday?
AKIRA: These chocolates... I think eating them will make Miku happy.
AKIRA: Miku is my imouto (little sister). She adores (daisuki) chocolate, you see. As a get-well-soon gift when I visit her, it always makes her happy...
Our parents moved near the hospital to keep an eye on her.
As my high school is here, I live with my grandmother...
Does she miss her parents and sister, being separed from them?
AKIRA: I see them all three at the hospital; and Miku's smile when she eats my chocolates... that smile I adore (daisuki) makes me so happy... right down to the core.
Really, her Ill Girl imouto is adorable; one understands easily why Akira's conviction is so strong
and why precisely she will become the series's postergirl for Strength and Love...
RUN, AKIRA, RUN!! They're after you and your chocolates!
The MotW du jour was this chocoholic pterosaur.
Akira went to the supermarket to buy a box of chocolates for her little sister Miku,
who is hospitalized and terminally ill.
One Precure is not enough in this confrontation, while Akira just stands in awe during the action scene.
AKIRA: Who's that girl in pink? And that vampire dragon whatever fellow?
MotW (swooping down): My preciousss...
AKIRA (reaching out, desperate): Miku's... beloved chocolates...
All seems to be lost for Akira Kenjo... or is it...? Remember that those three secondary-schoolers
run a pâtisserie in the woods?
That pterosaur just quaffed all the goodness in Akira's bag, but luckily the heart she bought for the younger redhead wound up unscathed...
Akira and the Cures enter the chocolaterie to buy some more and are awestruck...
...by finding all the chocolate treats drained of their scrumptiousness...
AKIRA: Miku's chocolate is...
AKIRA (putting on a brave face): Well, nevermind! I'll figure something out... (Walking away and turning her back on the Cures) Thanks.
So the Cures encourage her and drag her obviously to the pâtisserie... to make chocolate with her, right?
AKIRA: A kitchen?
So back they are in the pâtisserie, ready for a new challenge...
Time for Arisugawa to give the slip on bain-marie (which gets its name from this really badass female alchemist, btw).
AKIRA (surprised): So you want to make chocolate?
AKIRA: Wait! The ingredients...
First hack the chocolate, in this case the large heart Ichika got...
AOI: Aaaaight! The bain-marie is ready!
She's just checked the temperature of the water and it's a perfect 50 degrees Celsius.
Let's take those feelings for little Miku (Mikutchan) and put them into chocolates!
Again, foreshadowing in the shape of a spatula quite similar to her broadsword...
Now it's Akira's turn to stir the molten chocolate... and we can see that she puts a lot of effort into it, literally stirring in and pouring out her heart in the warm mixture...
...and cast it into moulds before putting it in the fridge.
Now the next step is simply waiting...
(May Akira's chocolate be scrumptious!)
...and then getting ready.
AKIRA: What are you trying to do?
Simply, a new take on the old Hexenhaus.
And what is a Hexenhaus? It's German for witch house and refers to a gingerbread or chocolate model cottage à la Hansel and Gretel.
At first Akira is surprised by the idea and by being compared to a loyal spitz... but then...
A chocolate kennel with a strawberry spitz peeking out!
In fact, they've made a whole batch of four!
AKIRA: A spitz, right?
ICHIKA USAMI: Isn't it awesome (kakkoii?)
Akira says it's kawaii (cutie, adorable), and she's sure Miku will love it so much that she'll keep her gift instead of eating it (just watch out that it doesn't get too much sun!)!
AKIRA: Kawaii!! (It's adorable!!!)
PRECURES (surprised): Did she just say kawaii and not kakkoii (awesome?)
ARISUGAWA (whispering in Aoi's ear): Could it be that the Kenjo boy is a...
AOI (startled): What? (whispering back) Though now that you mention it...
AKIRA: Thank you three... honestly, so much. (Turns her back on the Cures and storms off through the woods)
And thus, off she goes into the woods... into the woods... and home before dark!
(Couldn't resist the temptation of singing a little)
AKIRA: Who are you three?
WE WON'T LET YOU TAKE AKIRA'S CHOCOLATES!!
The battle is fierce and all three fall down before a surprised Akira's eyes.
Then suddenly comes the cavalry in the form of Yukari Kotozume...
CURE À LA MODE DECORATION! BEAUTY... AND... EXCITEMENT... MIX UP!
CURE MACARON: I am right there on the scene!
Cure Macaron is still up and alive (is this the prelude to romance?)
The fighting is so fierce even Ichika Usami is knocked out and detransformed.
Though encouraged to retreat, Akira will never back down...
AKIRA (drying up Ichika's tears): Should I make haste? And leave you behind?
Even Cure Macaron and Cure Gelato are no match for this week's mook...
AKIRA: We made this together for my sister... These girls worked so hard to help me (watashi)... even risking their lives...
AKIRA: ...TO PROTECT THIS PRECIOUS CHOCOLATE!!!
You will never have your way!!
To protect the Precures from the MotW, Akira just throws herself in a taking-the-bullet fashion into the crossfire as a human shield, a wee bit Mercutio-like,
that ensures her taking attacks from both sides, both in the chest and back.
Once more the treat made with lots of emotion irradiating that light that signals its becoming
a transformation trinket... Akira stands entranced.
AKIRA: The power of my... feelings (watashi no... omoi)?
Unlike the other Cures, she literally takes the henshin trinket in her stride and jumps at the call with all of her conviction.
AKIRA: With this power... I will defend you all!
Strength... and love... Let's la... mix it up!!
Tsuyosa wo... ai wo... let's la... mazemaze!!
As I expected, she got a sword as a weapon of choice... a thin-bladed rapier exactly as I had imagined! But only for transformation; she uses a spatula broadsword in battle, as we shall see...
From the rapier, Akira/Chocolat is confirmed to be right-handed.
Now on with that nice hat! Makes her look pretty smart, right?
The background music is certainly badass and fits this mise en scène like no other tune, even Let it Go itself, can.
That dramatic pose is also an otokoyaku staple. Notice the eclecticism of the periods from which the theatrical costumes for Cure Chocolat are drawn: Shakespearean/30YW-era (collar, puffy-sleeved doublet), eighteenth-century (cravat, short cape), and Victorian (top hat), as if to synthesize the idea of the princely young man character played by otokoyaku actresses despite the settings of these plays being diverse.
Cure Chocolat's tail is more foxy than spitzy... honestly, a Pomeranian is not that shade of red...
Cure Chocolat! Ready to serve! (Dekiagari!)
The stairs behind Cure Chocolat may be familiar to you as the Grand Staircase of the Takarazuka Theatre.
CURE MACARON (noblewoman laugh): Hehe; so it's come to this...
Yes, it's come to this feast of otokoyaku badassery... isn't she impressive, to be honest?
CURE CHOCOLAT (determined): All of you... Miku's chocolates... I will protect everything!
Yet another bridal carry, this one life-saving!
CURE MACARON: So he's gone?
CURE CHOCOLAT (sniffing the air): No; he's still around here...
Now it's time to summon some chocolate platforms and take to the air with those Precure-enhanced traceuse skills!
CURE CHOCOLAT (kicking the MotW in the back): RIGHT THERE!
CURE CHOCOLAT (catching up with a startled MotW): I have traced your scent.
Seriously... what could make this action scene more badass? Drawing steel, perchance?
CURE CHOCOLAT: En garde!!
Yes, swordsmanship. Right as I had foretold!! But this is a larger spatula-like broadsword (remember the spatula?), nothing to do with the rapier she uses during her henshin sequence!
The defeated li'l dragon swears that he'll be back à la Terminator... but will he really?
AKIRA: Miku was really happy with her chocolates. She said the spitzes in those chocolates looked like me...
AKIRA: Well... Don't worry, they make that mistake too often! (ie gender confusion)
And that's the coda, with Akira, as any true otokoyaku, revealed to be a cis female in spite of that physique and short hair...
UPCOMING EXCITING SCENES FROM ALL STARS:
The Zuka Cures visit Noble Academy in this sequel!! Yaaaay! This actually makes for an interesting premise with these two hotties stealing every heart at the Royal School at one fell swoop... SQUEEEEE!!
Furthermore, Akira visibly freaks out when Yukari curtsies and greets younger NA students...
yet another clue that my OTP is confirmed!? Is this the green-eyed monster?
In the crossover film, Akira charms an awkward Yui Nanase. I mean, I didn't expect that Spanish Inquisition, but I think I've got two ships already with the same captain --does the original ship still count as an OTP?
I mean, the cornered illustrator shying away as Akira does that arms-against-the-wall stance that's got a name... something with "kabe..." (ie "wall"). Now I remember it's called kabedon. Clearly, this scene shows Kenjo-sama going balls to the wall and Yui's reaction being adorkable...
Akira's accompanying smoulder is more than just seductive... That's one of the reasons I like otokoyaku characters so much. Even if she appears to be a little sinister... hehe... >:)
The outcome can be summed up in three words: UPCOMING. NAVAL. BATTLE.
What's more... HAS TOWA RETURNED TO NOBLE ACADEMY? (Kirara seems to be home from Paris as well... did she miss NA or has she got to juggle studying and modelling?)
I suppose the spare princess of the Hope Kingdom will recognize the boarding school's new gardener and have at least a little scene with him as well...
Yukari's deadpan face with eyes uncovered, another thing we'll see on All-Stars.
She looks more hilarious than sinister, compared to her deadpan face with an eye-concealing fringe... that violet fringe...
Hope Daylight Towa trying some desserts à la mode...
This Go!Princess / Kirakira à la Mode crossover is a really exciting idea... I'd like to see Akari (Akira/Yukari) and Shutowa, my respective OTPs for these series, in the crossover!
My own humble opinion on this episode:
This is the one where our resident otokoyaku debuts. And of course, as I checked out on the Net, she's gone VIRAL. It appears that I am not the only one with a thing for masculine girls (Sailor Uranus, Benibara Amakusa, Utena, Oscar de Jarjayes, Seira Azuma, Kanna Kirishima [who completely looks like a taller and more muscular five-years-older Akira], Falsetto, Anna Heart, Brienne of Tarth, Commander Lyme... and now Cure Chocolat!) So I (as many other elated fangirls and fanboys) got the flutters RIGHT BEFORE the local fête and watching B&tB (for my intention is watching the musical after the week-plus-weekend fête, lasting nine days from this very Saturday onwards). Seriously, I'm gonna need a metaphorical defibrillator... and to have my pressure checked. Akira getting mistaken for male yet dropping a few subtle hints about her true identity (the pronoun watashi, her reaction to cuteness)... and that ante is upped with her parkour skills and swordmanship (confirming yet once more my predictions about the Zuka Cures' weapons of choice, remember Macaron's yoyo when it was confirmed?) getting boosted as well as wearing a battle costume that makes you want to watch the henshin and action sequences set to Let it Go (Elsa's song) for extra badassery... Still recovering from the flutters since right today is the eve of the beginning of our local fête here in Castellón, but I don't know how long this state of mind will last...
A true warrior of strength and love, kind-hearted and brave like no other, Akira Kenjo/Cure Chocolat has by far exceeded my expectations, actually...!!! Squeeeee!!
PS. The fête is just over. And next week I will watch my Obi-Ewan as Lumière... Seriously, the best way to end the festival today was to down a chocolate liqueur served in a dark chocolate shot glass drinking to the health of... guess who?
A dark-skinned and red-headed, headstrong otokoyaku badass whose theme colour is red?
Kanna Kirishima, are we looking at you or at Akira/Chocolat?
IN NEXT EPISODE:
Next episode will be the usual pet-centric one, and also the one to delve into the first appearance of the real villains and the storming of the Magical Land. More specifically, it will focus on Pekorin; like Kuroro in Go! Princess, she's coping with the resulting PTSD...
Of course the Cures have a reason to be concerned. Notice Aoi on all fours and the Zuka Cures standing aloofly a distance apart.
Akira and Yukari appear to have their start together in this episode and both seem equally aloof, concerned, and serious. Isn't that a good start already?
And Pekorin will be furthermore making donuts...