viernes, 2 de junio de 2017

SPRINGTIME FINALE I: GIULIO DÉMASQUÉ

Kirakira Precure à la Mode -
Episode 17 - My Own Review

SPRINGTIME FINALE I: GIULIO DÉMASQUÉ



In a country house somewhere in a European nation-state, Mrs. Usami is making a gift and writing a letter for her husband and her daughter back in Ichigozaka.


It's this wonderful, lacy gift box, containing a treat she has made herself. And the background French accordion riff gives us a clue of this career mum's present location... from which she sends this gift rife with tender loving care...

*cue opening credits*
In the meantime, on the high street in Ichigozaka, Giulio, in his Leo Kuroki persona, is reminiscing about his latest confrontation with Cure Macaron (in the past episode, when he had her hanging by a thin line)...
GIULIO/LEO: It won't be long before she tells the others... Time to wrap this up...


LEO: ...and to turn the heart of a Precure into the subject of my latest experiment... (Ominous chuckle)


And how does our ikemen cadre accomplish this? By meeting one of the secondary-school Cures on a shopping trip, and giving her advice on what kind of flour, eggs, butter... she should purchase, then following her home.

At the Usamis', Giulio (still incognito) spots a photo of Satomi, the mother of the household, in a lab coat on a tropical setting, surrounded by local children.

LEO: Is this lady... your mother? She doesn't live with you?
ICHIKA: Mum is a doctor without frontiers; she works in remote areas without healthcare services.

LEO (raising an eyebrow): Is that so?


His eyes are still fixed on the photo... perchance remembering happier times?


Madeleines, and made in France to crown that! (Speaking of which; when was the last time I broke my fast on madeleines?)

OISHII!!

Giulio eyes the ginger idiot heroine's heart full of kirakiraru.
Looks like he already had locked his target...


Right then, Giulio has a flashback of a girl with stars in her eyes like his own, turning his back upon him and walking away.
(This girl looks a bit like Ciel... or is it just a coincidence?)


What matters is that her departure left our ikemen quite troubled and may have lured him to the dark side... maybe someday we'll get to hear the whole Freudian excuse; surely in winter, within half a year...
What's more, what he says afterwards confirms it for sure:
She left you to do as she pleases. Isn't it selfish? She doesn't even get how you feel. Aren't you lonely without her? You're the one being neglected; it's hideous!! How can't you be angry??!!


LEO: Himari and Aoi... Akira and Yukari... you're all the same at heart!! What can sweets... make you understand?

LEO (coldly): The thoughts baked into sweets... and the feelings behind those thoughts... I don't need any of that.


GIULIO (dropping the madeleine he'd been holding): You know? I hate sweets with a passion!! (daikirai!!)

Saying these words, he reaches for the idiot heroine's chest...

CUT TO BLACK

Yet another magnificently shot and blood-curdling Psycho-style attack.
For the rest of the episode, we get our resident twat an emotionless amnesiac with Empty Eyes to signal that she is a soulless empty shell... because her heart has been drained of kirakiraru. Since she's a Cure and not a regular muggle, she has not been knocked unconscious. It's up to Pekorin to awaken her...

(Never mind, idiot hero/ine's have never been my cup of tea: I prefer escapist characters myself!)

In the meantime, the Cures have been awaiting Yukari to disclose what she has to tell... but she has to assemble the whole team in the first place.
YUKARI: If possible, I'd like to wait until we're all here.

Having obviously grown impatient, and taking responsibility as any leader should, Akira knocks in a rage on the Usamis' door.


AOI: Yukari has something important to tell us!!

The stakes are getting higher and higher by the minute...


Yukari and Akira are sure of who's behind this scheme, raising the stakes...

 ...and they're proven right when a tenor evil laugh makes them look up to the rooftop.
LEO: Hehehehe... You're too late.


Better late than never... this is the perfect setup for confrontation! And, besides, for the other Cures to discover that Giulio is Leo Kuroki all along...


Seriously... What's with Giulio and his habit of climbing heights, whether eaves or treetops?


My own headcanon states that it's to look down upon his victims, be they common muggles or (as here) the Precures themselves.


LEO (chuckle): Hehehehe...


To prove the point, he produces his dagger overflowing with kirakiraru... and that of a Precure, to boot.


YUKARI (clenching her teeth): What did you?!


LEO (to Yukari, ironic): That's it. That's the best look for you... Lady Yukari all shocked and appalled.


YUKARI (coldly): Not hiding anything anymore, are you... Leo boy? (Pause.) Or should I say... Giulio!!

This word exchange. Oh, the feels and the thoughts. Like out of Game of Thrones, especially whenever knowledge broker Varys and Iago figure Petyr share the spotlight...


In response, the ikemen chortles and wraps his cape in front to unfurl as his magical masked self.

GIULIO: Hehe! This will be my final experiment!


The Precures brace themselves, ready for battle.


GIULIO (producing his dagger): Kirakiraru! Stained in darkness! (Raising his dagger skywards): Noire Décoration!


Lightning shoots up his right arm, turning the dagger into a formidable Dark Candy Rod, just like those of the Precures but with a different colour scheme... a more sinister one to be precise.


GIULIO (examining his own Candy Rod): Just as I expected!


YUKARI (full of resolve): Let's go!

AKIRA, SECONDARY SCHOOL CURES (unison): Right!!


And thus... Cure à la Mode Décoration!!


CURE GELATO: Give back our friend's kirakiraru!!!


Giulio, however, soon counterattacks with formidable power that pushes Gelato backwards.
GIULIO: Isn't it amazing (fushigi)? The kirakiraru from a Precure... now TAKE THIS!!

With these words, he unleashes a Dark Aromase.

CURE CHOCOLAT: That's my...

Thus, she counterattacks with Chocolat Aromase...


...and another Priori Aromasem kicks on. But this time, Giulio has the upper hand...

...overpowering her, making Chocolat reel and even fall senseless to the ground.
CURE MACARON: Chocolat!
GIULIO: Not bad...!

Hearing those words, Macaron turns around to face Giulio in cool, collected anger.

GIULIO (fingering his Rod): With this power, I could...

Yet no one hurts Cure Chocolat without angering her second-in-command.
And thus, Macaron replies without words, but with a determined glare that can only mean: "I will be your opponent."


When we cut back to the battleground, Cure Gelato is punching yet another massive ice ball into shrapnel.

Yet Giulio counterattacks with a Dark Shake of his own (who knew this stripling had such a left and right hook? Must have been the Rod's powers!)

The result is a Priori Shakeantatem in which, once more, Giulio overpowers his opponent.

CURE GELATO (leaping up to escape the flurry of dark ice): What's this power!?

The team chemist is, furthermore, not amused by the way he stains the name of science.

CURE CUSTARD: Please abandon this experiment of yours!!
GIULIO (poised to attack, rod raised, determined): The kirakiraru of light shows its true power when stained in darkness!! (Saying these words, he sends a volley of little dark missiles at Cure Custard and knocks her out on the ground) I will take all the Precures' kirakiraru, stain it in darkness, and claim it as my own!! Hehehe!!

As he says these words, it's revealed that Cure Gelato is also lying unconscious, face down, on the ground.
Things are really looking dire for the Cures, aren't they? Now it all boils down to Macaron, with whom Giulio has a personal vendetta due to being outwitted...


CURE MACARON: Kirakirakiraru! Macaron Julienne! (She lashes a single oversized macaron yo-yo at Giulio)



However, Giulio has already braced himself and counters with a Dark Julienne (Giulienne?)!!

GIULIO (firing his own Giulienne): It's time for payback!! Hyah!

The two Juliennes collide...


...and Cure Macaron holds her ground for a while...

...however, the Dark Giulienne overpowers her own attack and strikes her right along the torso, from shoulder girdle to groin, causing Macaron to scream in searing pain...


...and subsequently crash unconscious upon the ground!

Steeling herself, our oneesama finally comes to, finding the enemy standing right before her and advancing towards her prostrate form.

GIULIO (raising his right arm, ready to put Macaron out of her misery): Are we done now?


However, and (you know the nature of this series), they always find a way to get back up again... Seriously, Giulio... leaving Chocolat on her own while going for the others?


This also borrows time for Macaron to recover (Precure powers, I assume?) from her injuries and stand up again.


In the sidelines, Gelato and Cure Custard have also managed to get on their feet and comment on the action.

CURE CHOCOLAT: That's right.

CURE MACARON: Teehee!

GIULIO: All right! Then, I'll drain you of kirakiraru until your hearts disappear!

In the end, it's too much power of light and positivity for Giulio...

...and thus, the chamber of his Dark Candy Rod cracks.

GIULIO: Huh??!! This can't be!!

All right, it's Finishing Move time!!

GIULIO (right before the cake comes down on him): I can't... move...!!

GIULIO: How should I have lost... to those Precures...??!!


As he's purified, Giulio lets out an ear-piercing scream of pain...


...that makes his mask shatter and star-shaped pupils come to view...

...as well as making his Candy Rod's chamber shatter too!


Unmasked and defeated for good, our ikemen cadre grits his teeth in anger as he gets up, having been forced to crash land on the ground.
GIULIO (lying on the grass): I guess you win, then... (Wincing, getting up) 


The Cures have so many questions for Giulio to answer...



...like... why he has done all of this in the first place.


GIULIO (incensed): What makes you think I'll do that??!!


GIULIO (in even more of a rage): I'm not like you at all! Getting your feelings through with sweets... There's no way!! You Precures, sweets... I hate it all with a passion!!
(again, that "daikirai")

Exit Giulio stage left, unmasked for the first time, turning his back on the Precures.

From the spire of the local church tower, at sunset, an Elegant Gothic Lolita, ragdoll in hand and a sinister smirk on her lips, has been watching and listening them closely.

(Ominous background music)

BILBERRY: How pathetic he is! Isn't Giulio? (Pause.) But I guess that, since that makes it my turn, that's just fine...



MY OWN OPINION:
Giulio making and wielding a dark Candy Rod of his own!? This for once one-part arc finale starts off on a pretty exciting note, right? And the ensuing battle was epic, right matching my expectations!
Also, they managed to demask Giulio as his magical self and he's even better-looking than masked!Giulio and Leo put together! However, a new ally also brings a new enemy, this time a sinister Elegant Gothic Lolita Perky Female Minion called Bilbury... Bilberry... I'm having trouble on which Latin-letter spelling to decide. I'll take Bilberry, because it's a dialectal word for blueberry. Her hair is teal, but still reminds me of (quite watered-down and laced with lots of yellow food colouring) blueberries, right?
(PS. For US, Canadian, Australasian... spectators: when I say "blueberries", I'm talking about European blueberries, just because I'm European; it's my worldview since the cradle.)
Returning to Bilberry... what will her muggle name and her modus operandi be? And does that eyeless ragdoll of hers play a relevant role in the latter? (Is the puppet mind-controlling her?)
Giulio, however, has not made a coat turn; he remains neutral and unaffiliated with the Cures. But what is most heartwarming is that flashback of his mum that cements Giulio's hitherto unknown Oedipus. So he's basically Hamlet as an ikemen villain (Or is that lady from Giulio's past his sister, or fiancée?). And, who knows... maybe Bilberry and Giulio are siblings, or maybe otherwise blood-related, or friends, or fiancés...? Only time will tell.
Yukari has risen to become the co-leader of the Cures... well, maybe the strategist, the film or stage director to Akira's leading star, the Oxenstierna to Akira's Gustavus. Even if we saw Macaron and Chocolat fall right before an even more powerful Dark Julienne and Dark Aromase, respectively, from Giulio's rod --which can copy dark versions of the Cures' attacks-- and held our breath choking in our throats. Yet, in the end, the tide turned on everyone. This arc, like the previous one, ended up turned up a perfect notch... the plot thickens more for each and every cour, doesn't it?
PS. As the progress of the HMS Yukakira; Macaron taking up the fallen Chocolat's mantle was one of the most stirring moments I've ever seen in a Precure confrontation, cementing their status as a battle couple.


IN NEXT EPISODE (19):








A sinister young girl becomes the villain of this arc,
and it appears her heart and attire are equally dark...








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