lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

ENTER GIULIO, STAGE LEFT

KIRAKIRA PRECURE À LA MODE
Episode 11 - My Own Review

ENTER GIULIO, STAGE LEFT

In the morning of the Sweets Festival day, the sinister boy from last episode is standing on the church tower as we saw him last time.

GIULIO: Hehe...

At last, the great day has come for the Kirakira Pâtisserie to introduce themselves to the community of Ichigozaka at the local Sweets Festival!!

But why did they choose riverdance music as background?
 Is it a local tradition? My headcanon says so.

AOI: It's all right, we're ready to go!
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: We now declare the Ichigozaka Sweets Festival open!
AOI (loudly): Come one!! Come all!! To the Kirakira Pâtisserie stand!!


Emily's come with her li'l friends as well.
EMILY: Hey! It's the Kirakira Pâtisserie!

Aoi also spots a familiar kindergarten teacher out for a stroll with her boyfriend.
AOI (calling out, waving): TATSUMI!! Over HERE!
TATSUMI: Oh, so it's you guys...
MIDORI: Oh my.
AOI (savvy, nudging Tatsumi with her elbow):  And Midori, too! You're on a date, Romeo, amirite?
TATSUMI (awkward): It's... it's not like that...

Soon, little Emily and the lovers are invited to try a free sample of fruitcake.
EMILY (after swallowing): Oishiii!

In the meantime, a wistful oneesama, who had hitherto been absent, throws back a wisp of long mauve hair and utters her familiar noblewoman's laugh.
YUKARI (noblewoman's laugh): How are things?

AKIRA: You're late... What were you doing?

YUKARI (noblewoman's laugh): I just went out for a walk...

NO ONE EXPECTS THE FANCLUB INQUISITION!!

YUKARI FANGIRLS: Lady Yukari!!
AKIRA FANGIRLS: Ser Akira!!


These trolls pop up like ghosts when you least expect it... can't they give their waifus at least a bit of vital space?
FANGIRL: The KiraPâti had a stall here, after all?


AKIRA: I see... Thanks for the advertising.
YUKARI: (taking a seat in the shade of a parasol, noblewoman's laugh)

Even the girls want to be served by Akira Kenjo; all customers have stars in their eyes!!

Aoi exchanges her produce with another pâtissière.


Yukari deftly catches in her left hand a flying fruitcake saucer. Everyone is left at a loss for words.
So far, we have seen Yukari Kotozume can:
brew tea the traditional Japanese style
make perfect macarons
play tennis like a pro
combine colours, shapes, and other details with incredible aesthetic sense (in fashion, cuisine, everything)
speak more than one foreign language
give sensible fashion advice
stop fires
make beautiful ornaments out of kirakiraru
catch runaway falling plates in her left hand (further confirming my theories on her ambidexterity)
(Is there any flaw -aside from that pushing herself too hard- that may be her weak spot?)
Look at them so pleased and so smug, unaware that a sinister force is looming right above their heads...

When Genchiro Usami, in a karate gi and strawberry hat, popped up at the festival to helicopter-parent his daughter (and be regarded by her as an embarrassing nuisance), Yukari gave yet another of her snide remarks in response...
YUKARI: He just cares. After all... that's what parents do.
(This remark makes me wonder more about the Kotozumes and Yukari's parental issues)

Still roosting on the church tower, the cyan-haired stripling watches the festival teeming with his prey.



GIULIO: Sweets here, sweets there... But you've had your fun.
Now it's our time!!
So he raises his little dark crystal sword, right-handed, to the sky...
Everything's more badass with skyward swords.
I mean, he didn't say BY THE POWER OF DARKNESS or anything like that,
but the effect is nevertheless impressive.
GIULIO: Now it's our time!!


The sword shoots out a projectile of purple lightning. It then radiates down, turning the sky pink and the strawberry decorations blue.
(Only one thing that I wonder... why does the sky turn pink in this series every time the bad guys steal kirakiraru? Is it due to the effect of their powers? That's at least my theory.)
Soon, all the monsters of the week we had met during this arc have been summoned back and powered up by Giulio's sword darkness lightning. Then all of them proceed (sans Giulio, still on his tower perch) to sap every treat in the festival dry of kirakiraru...


AKIRA: So... they have returned!!

CURE À LA MODE! DECORATION!!

The battle of a lifetime (at least for this arc) is about to begin!


Makiron easily brushed off Cure Macaron's yoyos this time.
CURE MACARON: Looks like someone did not check a mirror this morning...


Cure Chocolat defends a chocolatière with a kirakiraru shield.
CURE CHOCOLAT (to her opponents): Stop this mischief at once.

Both sides are equally matched in this intense confrontation...


GIULIO: So these are the Precures... (Lifting his sword): So, how will you deal with this?

All the MotWs get mind-control eyes, the black stars on their belts glow purple, and they soar at unison as the dark-clad boy raises his blade.

GIULIO (pointing that sword skywards once more): Darkness... INTO POWER!!


All the MotWs fuse and swirl together, re-emerging as only one with all their powers!
CURE CHOCOLAT: They combined!?

Looks like Giulio has decided to turn things up a notch...
After all, what is an arc finale/cour finale battle without some difficulty?

When their three juniors are soon curbstomped, Macaron and Chocolat decide to strike together at once!
Their intense kirakiraru barrage has left them exhausted, gasping for breath.
Yet it's a no sell for the combined MotWs as well...

And now there are THREE identical monsters looming behind their backs!!
MACARON+CHOCOLAT: Bunshin!!?? (The same technique as Double Team, basically)
They are, however, cut short as the beasts' whip-like arms toss them backwards.

All is lost and the Precures face defeat for the first time in forever, as their countless supporters at the festival (who do not know these heroines are the KiraPâti girls [and "boy"]!!) look on, fearing the worst of all possible outcomes...

COMBINED BEAST 1: They're only sweets; useless vessels for kirakiraru.

Right then, the Cures get back up and recover, lashing out kirakiraru at full throttle!!
AKIRA (determined): We will be your opponents!!
COMBINED BEAST 1: You meddlesome brats!

This was supposed to be a day when we gather to eat sweets. It was a special day.
The taste may fade away, but the memories, the feelings, will stay within our hearts forever.
So, no more... Our friends, our sweethearts, our families... STOP MESSING WITH THEIR FEELINGS!

At that point, a little drop of bright golden light falls between Emily's little hands.
EMILY: It's shining!
The teens next to her have received similar droplets of light.

TEEN WITH BAND-AID ON HIS RIGHT CHEEK: Us too!
The same happens to the pâtissière in the chef's hat, to Tatsumi and Midori... long story short, to everyone at the festival! The whole square fills with golden light as Giulio coldly looks on...

GIULIO (coldly): What's this?


ELDER: The sweets in people's hearts (kokoro) are glittering!! If we could bring it all together, it could become a new Precure power!!


PEKORIN (to the crowd): Everyone!! Send all your feelings (omoi) from your sweets to the Precures!
TEEN WITH BAND-AID ON HIS RIGHT CHEEK: Who said that?
TEEN GIRL WITH BOB HAIRCUT (LISA): Those five girls are the Precures, right?
PÂTISSIÈRE IN CHEF'S HAT: Our feelings (omoi) just have to reach them...
The kirakiraru spreads out from everyone's chests as little glittering brightly-coloured stars.
EMILY (releasing her kirakiraru): Reach them!! (Todoke!!)

TATSUMI+MIDORI: Reach them! (Todoke!)
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE PARK:  Reach them! (Todoke!)


The kirakiraru from everyone's hearts gathers together as a bright ball of light that gradually grows more and more...

CURE CUSTARD: The feelings (omoi) baked in our sweets live on in their hearts (kokoro). So it's true!
Gradually, the ball of kirakiraru increases in size and intensity of light...
...and said golden light engulfs it all, splitting into five strands the Precures' theme colours that reach, each one of them, its respective Precure... and each of them uses the kirakiraru to sculpt what they are imagining, as the shapes they make fuse together as one. For Cure Custard, it's cuteness as a yellow ribbon; for Cure Gelato, it's swirling around as a spiral of ice...


CURE MACARON: And beautiful! (Kirei de!)
The shape she creates is a long bâton.


CURE CHOCOLAT: With the strength/power (chikara) to protect all that we treasure!
She draws a star that sticks to the end of Yukari's kirakiraru bâton.

...and thus, from the fusion together of all these kirakiraru shapes...
 the Candy Rods are created!

PEKORIN: A new power is born!!


The soaring Candy Rods descend until they are within their respective Cures' reach.


The glass orb in each Rod serves as a kirakiraru chamber, and the star at the end for a muzzle.
Think of them as whimsical, magical handguns.
(Also, Macaron and Custard hold theirs left-handed...)


All five spin the chambers of their rods while charging at the enemy at full throttle.
ALL 5 PRECURES: Kirakira kiraru!! FULL CHARGE!!


They summon each one a different ingredient:


Cure Gelato, a swirl of batter...



Cure Macaron, a blade to slice the baked batter into five...



Cure Chocolat, flames to flambé the five slices of cake...


And in the end all five slices are stacked as a wedding cake of strawberries and cream,
that traps the MotW within as they charge towards the cake!
This is their new hissatsu. I like that it's a joint attack and no PreCure outweighs the rest in the preparation of it!

THREE... TWO... WONDERFUL...

...À LA MODE!


The Cures swirl their firing chambers until the cake lights up and turns into one in their respective theme colours (which reminds me of Dante's Purgatorio; also, the fact that Akira's/Chocolat's tier forms the base, followed by that of Yukari/Macaron, is of significance to me!!)


The cake bursts in an explosion of kirakiraru, releasing a dozen dazed and purified pixies, their belt buckles shattering and their spirits confused.

With everything back to normal, isn't it time to celebrate?


AOI: Thanks for the cake!! (Takes a mouthful) Oishiii!!!
#AoiApproved, indeed!
Though they are unaware that someone wicked this way comes...


GIULIO: Kirakiraru is still shining in people's hearts... I see... How interesting. Hehehe...


And thus, we end with a close-up of Giulio's masked right eye overlooking the scene...

MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION:
This has been the perfect wrap-up for the winter cour and the Debut Queue arc, aside from the perfect segue into the springtime cour and what I shall call the Giulio arc. All MotWs purified at one fell swoop, a brand new bishónen villain who is even more sinister and intimidatimg, a little continuity cavalcade with the few customers of the week so far (and a cameo from Lisa, the customer of next week: it's the teen girl with the bob haircut!)... right what I expect from a Precure arc finale!!
I love the new weapons; the Candy Rods are basically candy-cane-shaped kirakiraru handguns, the way it sounds!
Akira had this impressive Chick Magnet moment as a garçon, while Yukari dropped a little more of her trademark ice-cold sarcasm, including a remark on parenting that made me wonder more about the Kotozume family and Yukari's relationship with her elders...
The fact that all the muggle bystanders powered up the Precures with their own positive emotions all combined also reminds me of the epic climax of the Go! Princess Precure season finale, in which exactly the same happens. The same also occurred in the Dokidoki! Precure season finale... again, this carries the uplifting message that everyone's feelings matter and many tiny drops make an ocean.
PS. I spell the villain's name "Giulio" the Italian way because it begins with this hard g as in giraffe. Many other fansites render it as "Julio"... which, as a native Spanish speaker, I can only hear with a different initial sound... think Julio Iglesias.


IN NEXT EPISODE (12)

PREVIOUS MOTWS: Um num num... meowcarons...

PREVIOUS MOTWS: Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked...

LEO: Good morning, my name is Leo Kuroki.
Just one little thing that ticks me... Giulio/Leo infiltrated the chúgakkó instead of the kókó... I would have preferred the latter, but however it seems that, like in Sailor Moon, it's the secondary-school-age characters who are meant to be audience surrogates!


A new student enrolls -not at the high school, as expected-,
yet he's an Ace at sports and girls' hearts, so I'm not dejected!



Yet there's something quite sinister; the fact that Giulio's Leo...
now, will the Cures discover this and what will their reaction be, oh?


Will we get to see the Precures' new attacks?

And how will they react by finding out Leo and Giulio are one and the same person?
THE ENEMY IS... THAT POPULAR TRANSFER STUDENT!?


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