lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

LE SECRET DE CIEL

Kirakira Pretty Cure à la Mode - Episode 21

My Own Review

LE SECRET DE CIEL

Our episode begins with our resident Technician and token European ambling down Ichigozaka High Street in a pensive mood.

CIEL: What was that all about, anyhow? All that kirakiraru... How can these amateurs make so much?

Of course she had to meet this show's resident twit before the fruit shop. Mostly because the twit in these MGW series is intended as an audience surrogate, and the ones with an Ace or Escapist Character in the pink lead role wind up inexplicably labelled MARY SUE, surely because viewers in general are airheads. That's one of the reasons why I have to defend DokiDoki Precure before its detractors...
CIEL: I would like to know why there is so much kirakiraru in your pancakes.

CIEL (gasping, in shock): Oh la vache!! I just said "kirakiraru..."
You're so awkward because that shibboleth shows that you're not a common muggle --in the sense of not having any supernatural powers--. The concept of kirakiraru is unknown to the general public and part of a supernatural realm.


CIEL (laughing it off): Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Pardonne-moi, nevermind! Don't worry about it! (To the greengrocer): Monsieur, I'd like these strawberries, please!
GREENGROCER (taken aback): Of-of course...

CIEL (returning home, downcast): Sigh! Oh my, bringing up kirakiraru like that... that was dangerous.

She looks up to Mount Ichigo towering over all the gables...

...with tears in her eyes...

...and a strawberry shifts inside her shopping bag.
Not only that, but the Cures will soon wonder as well how come Ciel knows about kirakiraru...

***Cue opening credits***

The sun is soon setting behind a KiraPâti ready for closing down...

...when suddenly, glowing yousei ears are seen soaring in the underbrush.

The fact that there are more yousei around is definitely worth noticing.
ELDER: Those voices... those blue flames... could they have been...?! KiraPâti, close down! (The KiraPâti becomes its handbag sleep-mode size) Let's go to Mt. Ichigo!

The moon shines bright on the wooded peak of Mount Ichigo, in a sky spangled with stars, when the girls and their mentors arrive.


AOI: What are we doing in the woods at this hour of night?

And we also learn the reason for the Elder to carry that yellow umbrella in rain or shine.
ELDER: Quite all right. Just open it. Like poof!


The umbrella fires this bright ray of light into the night sky.



It then becomes an Elder-shaped burst of fireworks doing a double V sign.

So it's this 'verse's counterpart of the Bat-Signal, long story short.

AOI, AKIRA, HIMARI: Fireworks!!

In the meantime, Ciel is sunken deep in thought on a park swing, brooding...


...thinking about twin yousei (you'll see for which reason pretty soon!)...


CIEL: They didn't come back either... Where is everyone?


Suddenly, she looks up to the sky and gasps in amazement at seeing the Elder-Signal.


CIEL (gasping): This cannot be??!!

To left, to right, yousei ears glow all around.


The Precures are all awestruck.


ELDER (elated): They have returned!! They saw the Elder-Signal!!


YOUSEI (all of them): Elder!!!

Tears in his eyes, he tries to embrace them and vice versa... only to remember that the Elder is an intangible ghost and all the youngsters pass right through him.

ELDER: You're passing right through!!


Then, all the yousei flock around Pekorin, most of their ears glowing pink with joy.
ELDER: These are all friends (nakamatachi) of ours from Mt. Ichigo!!
PEKORIN: Everyone's here!!
ANOTHER YOUSEI: Humans!!
If only they knew that these are no ordinary humans...

AKIRA: How astonishing... there are so many of you!
YUKARI: And to see all of you gathered here...


ELDER: Long time no see, to every last one of you!!

AUBURN YOUSEI: It was horrible... That explosion had us scattered abroad all over the face of the Earth. Far away from Mount Ichigo, we had to hide and survive anywhere we could...

***Cue flashback***

On a downtown street in the port of Yumegahama, in the shade of Storehouse 14, the narrator yousei is accosted on a rainy day by a feral cat --that, through his eyes, is a fearsome beast.
AUBURN YOUSEI: That's when...
Right when the cat had him cornered, a little dragon lunged at the beast and scared it away.

FERAL CAT: Meowww!!
DRAGON YOUSEI (louder): Raaargh!!!
FERAL CAT (running away in terror): Meeeow!
AUBURN YOUSEI: Thank you for saving my life!
DRAGON YOUSEI (turning around to face the other yousei): Hey... um... sorry about before.

AUBURN YOUSEI: Gasp!! Gummy...
GUMMY: Return to Mount Ichigo. The Elder and Pekorin are waiting there for you.


BLOND YOUSEI: It was Purupuru who came to find me!!
Purupuru carries the little blonde on his head across a rocky landscape.


GANGLY YOUSEI: Hotton told me about it as well!!
In a hilly landscape, Hotton is dragging the gangly yousei along.


ALL THE YOUSEI (elated): They saved us!!!
ELDER: These youngsters have done so much for our sake...
PEKORIN: It's so great to see you all again...!

It feels like a circle is closing...

...doesn't it, dear Precures?
It's the perfect day to throw a welcoming festival!!

Since Pekorin and the Elder approve of the idea... let's get this party started, right?

KIRAPÂTI OPEN!!
ONE YOUSEI: The Legendary Pâtissières' magical box!!
BLOND YOUSEI: Amazing...
AUBURN YOUSEI: Gummy told me that the Precures were here with the Elder, but could it really be true?
Since these are magical beings, telling them the truth poses no problem.

ALL YOUSEI (fanboying/fangirling): SQUEEEEEE!!!

GANGLY YOUSEI (in Akira's palm): Couldn't you please transform into Precures?
AKIRA (thinking "now that's awkward"): Huh? Right now?
YUKARI: Maybe next time, eh?

AUBURN YOUSEI: Those two would have loved to meet you too...
BLOND YOUSEI: After all, they looked up to you Precures more than anyone else...
ELDER: Two yousei, twin siblings named Kirarin and Pikalio.


ELDER: They went forth across the ocean to study sweetsmaking!
AUBURN YOUSEI: Both of them made the most amazing sweets ever!!


In the meantime, Ciel is dashing uphill through the woods, breathing shallowly, with a determined expression on her face, her heart pounding...

In the KiraPâti, everyone is ready for making mousse cake --it's like a pie crust filled with mousse. Or rather it appears to be a charlotte, with a crust of lenguas de gato.
The yousei enjoy their task greatly, as seen here.

Yousei driving flying light umbrellas care for the lighting of the festival.


Aoi lends a strong helping hand with the lighting as well.


Akira helps the yousei pick ripe kiwifruit...


...the taller, and friendly, bifauxnen is winning more admirers, even interspecies!


Blushing youkai are intoxicated by Yukari's soft petting touch...

(...she really knows how to win a heart, human or of another sapient species...)


...so much that there's a queue of them waiting to have a rub from her fingertips!


The other half of our high-school OTP has also gathered a large fanbase!

What is better than a nighttime festival on one of these short summer nights?


Few things can hold a candle to it.
ELDER: Let us begin this celebration!

There's a mousse cake for everyone.

Yukari seems to be enjoying hers...

...and so is Akira, to be telling the truth.
As well as the three secondary-schoolers.


EVERYONE: Oishii!!!

Meanwhile, in the Monde Noir...


IRU: Can you feel it, Bilberry? So much kirakiraru...
BILBERRY (grumpy): No more failures. (Determined.) This time, for once and for all, we need to bring that kirakiraru back to Master Noir.
Right as she is leaving, she is startled by a male voice from the sofa.
GIULIO: Wait!!


GIULIO: Leave me to handle this!


BILBERRY: Shut up!! I don't have the time to play with you right now!
IRU (to Giulio): That's right! Who do you think you are, loser?

GIULIO (shuddering): Gasp!!

BILBERRY (maniac laugh): Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

As she leaves, Giulio stands up...

...clutching his broken dagger in anger...

GIULIO (gnashing teeth): This cannot end like this for me! I have to surpass...

GIULIO: ...I have to surpass you. One day, I will triumph over you!
Are these words addressed to Bilberry, the Precures, Master Noir... or someone else?

Right then, Master Noir --definitely a he, given his voice and physique-- rises as a black flame before our stripling.

NOIR: Yeees... and, for that ambition, I will lend you my power!

GIULIO (elated): Master Noir!

Reaching out his left hand towards the middle of Giulio's chest, our evil overlord drains the stripling's heart of dark kirakiraru...


GIULIO (screaming in pain, as his heart is drained): Aaaaah!! Aaaaaaaaargh!!!


Giulio keeps on screaming, racked with searing pain, breathing shallowly, as his heart is bled dry like a squeezed lemon. The power of Master Noir also takes the broken dagger from the lad's grasp.



Within the palm of Noir's sinister hand, renewed is the blade that was broken, this time with a jagged tip of blood-red crystal.
Giulio gasps in astonishment.


At the end of the day, after gasping in awe, his lips curl upwards in a wicked smirk...


In the meantime, Ciel reached the clearing where the fète was taking place.


CIEL (astonished): Wh--what's going on!!??
Precures and yousei alike are surprised and gasp at her sudden appearance upon the scene.

CIEL (teary-eyed with joy): Everyone... I'm so glad you're all safe! So glad indeed...


CIEL (kneeling to reach the other yousei, still teary-eyed): Long time no see!! How are you all!

ELDER: And who... might you be?


So Ciel knows all the yousei... we are getting closer and closer to knowing her secret, aren't we?

CIEL (sighing): Don't you recognise me? It's me!

As she says these words, Ciel vanishes in a puff of pink smoke, and, once it has cleared, there stands...


KIRARIN: Kirarin! (She winks her right eye)

PEKORIN, ELDER: What??!!

PRECURES: Huh??!!

EVERYONE: WHAAAAAAAT????!!!!

Yukari is the one that appears the most serene. Knowing her personality, she had already suspected Kirarin was a yousei right from the start.


Everyone else just stands there more or less agape.

Even Akira herself.
The fact that Ciel is really a yousei called Kirarin has left everyone but one person in a state of shock.

In the meantime, Pekorin and Kirarin are doing this little victory dance of theirs...
PEKORIN: So happy (ureshii), Kirarin!
KIRARIN: So happy (ureshii), Pekorin!!
AUBURN YOUSEI: You look really well in health!
BLOND YOUSEI: How were your foreign studies?
FUZZY YELLOW YOUSEI: Did you return home on your own?

This last question gives Kirarin food for thought.
KIRARIN (surprised): Alone? (Sighing.) Pikalio must not be back yet...


KIRARIN (to the Elder and Pekorin): No surprise, friends! I learned to take human form while I was training in Paris!


AOI (shocked): If a yousei trains enough, do they learn to take human form?!
KIRARIN: If I knew that you knew the Elder, I would have told you right away!

Right then, a familiar Elegant Gothic Lolita shows up on the outskirts of the festival grounds...

BILBERRY (sneering): Ha! Right, so it's these yousei...
IRU: There it is, all that kirakiraru...
BILBERRY (determined): I will have it all, every last single bit!!


Saying these words, she drains all the remaining mousse cakes of kirakiraru.


BILBERRY: Look at it all!! Isn't it the be-e-est?

BILBERRY (spinning around with arms outstretched and Iru in her hands, until she stops with the ragdoll right in front): Kirakiraru! I stain you in darkness!

BILBERRY: Noir Filling!
As she says these words, Iru's hat star glows and darkens all the kirakiraru; then he opens wide once more and breathes in, or swallows, all the darkened kirakiraru...

...making Iru's belly swell until it's spherical...

...then turning him into a daikaiju Iru with a mousse cake torso.


Don't forget about the torso, and neither about Chekhov's law!


IRU: Noir!!
(That's basically the only thing he can say, like Hodor and all Pokémon... but being called Iru and only being able to say "Noir" doesn't fit the common pokéspeak trope!)

For every step Iru takes, all the yousei are blown away into the sky.

ELDER: No! The party!!
KIRARIN: Everyone!!

In the meantime, Iru has summoned the usual black hole to the Monde Noir.
BILBERRY: Now, take it all away! This time for sure!

BILBERRY (right hand on heart): All my love (ai) for Master Noir!!
From the word she uses ("ai," or philia; selfless love/altruism, like the one Akira/Chocolat represents), it is clear that Bilberry's feelings towards the overlord are not the usual Mad Love a PFM feels for her employer... but rather a sense of duty and devotion to her liege lord and motherland, some form of patriotism.

Right now, it's time for the Precures to transform (let's not forget that Ciel/Kirarin ignores so far that the KiraPâti girls are the Cures!)
CURE À LA MODE! DECORATION!


Once she has seen them transform, all Ciel can do is stand there and squee at her household gods.


KIRARIN: Squeeeeeeee!!! They are really the Precures!!! Y-y-yeee...!!


"That's what we were trying to tell you," she receives for a reply.

But right now the priority for Kirarin is retreating to safety as the battle against Iru rages on.


KIRARIN: Carry on, Precures... That's why... that's why their sweets can have so much kirakiraru!
AUBURN YOUSEI: They really are the Precures!


Cure Gelato fires a rope of icy kirakiraru...

...that lassoes Iru by the right wrist!

ALL THE YOUSEI: Wow!


CURE CUSTARD: This is our kirakiraru!!

Our Professor also manages to disarm Iru, this time by tying up his left wrist.

Once more, the yousei wow in sheer awe.


CURE CHOCOLAT (determined): Give up everyone's feelings (omoi)!!

A strong lasso of chocolate kirakiraru seizes Iru by the left leg.
As he stomps with his free right foot, we are as awestruck as the little yousei here.

As the yousei marvel at Cure Chocolat's prowess, so does the author of this blog.


CURE MACARON (unusually commanding loudly): Take this!!

As Macaron lassoes her opponent's right leg (all four limbs tied up, thus),
Kirarin and friends stand in awe.

This is as exciting as that "hold the door" fight in GoT, definitely.

BILBERRY (trying to control her anger): Again and again and again and AGAIN AND AGAIN, you get in the way of my love (ai)!!


BILBERRY (exploding, right hand forwards): That's ENOUGH!! I will crush you all, Precures!!! MY OWN kirakiraru... 

BILBERRY (firing dark kirakiraru from her right palm into Iru's back): Take it!!

CURE MACARON: She's pouring kirakiraru from her own heart into Iru?

A second face, that of the real ragdoll Iru, appears on Iru's chest as soon as he has absorbed Bilberry's power.

The shockwave is so intense when Iru breaks his ties with this new-found strength that the Precures who tied him up are sent reeling backwards.


The muppet then lies down on all fours, face and chest to the sky, looking like a turtle more or less, firing a pillar of dark kirakiraru from his torso-mouth into the sky...

...said dark kirakiraru gathers to form a storm cloud over the peak of Mt. Ichigo...

...and soon, dazzling blue lightning flashes to electrocute the Precures, who scream in pain!

CIEL: Everyone!!








 Soon, the dazzling white light of lightning envelops it all...
Is this the end of the Precures?
They're all scattered, burned, on the pale sward, Bilberry confidently striding forth...

BILBERRY (ironic): What a feeling! I'll ensure you never stand in my way again!

Bracing herself, Kirarin stands up to face her opponents.

The festival grounds lie in ruins...

...and the Cures are getting back up to defend their rights.

BILBERRY: SHUT UUUUP!!!

Iru's chest mouth fills with blue lightning, ready to electrocute the Precures once more, when, suddenly...

...forth runs another person with a yellow umbrella...

It's Ciel, using the Elder's umbrella as a shield, and standing in between Iru's surge of blue lightning and the Cures!


CIEL (staggering, wavering): Precures...


CIEL (staggering yet determined):  We yousei look up to you, more than anyone else in this world...

CIEL: That's why...


For as long as Iru's electric attack lasts, Ciel, though wavering, stands her ground.
When the surge is over, an exhausted Ciel turns back into Kirarin (in the same puff of pink smoke) and, reeling backwards, she says...


KIRARIN: You can't lose here!!

All the other yousei are cheering on the Precures as the latter recover and get ready for counterattack.


GELATO SHAKE!!

Let all that ice shrapnel flurry in all directions!

MACARON JULIENNE!


CHOCOLAT AROMASE!!


That really hit the spot!!


All their powers combined send Iru staggering backwards, crashing down.

BILBERRY: Iru!!!

And, as usual, it's time to use that Finishing Move.
Sweets Wonderful à la Mode!

Once more, the Iru of the Week is purified...

...this time, with a tear in his left wrist (aside from the usual right leg).

Bilberry, forlorn, cradles her even more wounded pet, especially in seeing the wool pop from his left hand.

BILBERRY: My poor, poor Iru...

BILBERRY: It's all your fault. I will never forgive you, Precures!

And there she stands, planning her revenge...

The yousei can at last resume their celebration.

The Precures are hailed like heroines (anyone else noticed Macaron petting some more?)
KIRARIN: Just one thing...


KIRARIN (kowtowing before the Cures): Kirarin... wants to be your disciple!!!

Definitely, this begins to wrap up nicely, right?


KIRARIN: To become just like the Legendary Pâtissières, the Pretty Cures, I am doing my best (ganbatteta) with everyone! So please make Kirarin your disciple!!

Here's a little thing I had to explain: Kirarin, to express her extreme youth (she's a child in human years), uses her first name and "she" instead of first-person pronouns in the original, making her a Third-Person Yousei -- if she were human, she would be a Third-Person Person, like Arya Stark's assassin instructor Jaquen (who always refers to himself as "a man" instead of "I/me"). But the implications in anime of illeism are actually far more different:
In Japanese media, this is a standard tic of very young children. As a result, girls who are childish or cutesy may be seen referring to themselves in this manner. In older characters, however, it may be a sign of psychological issues, such as a very traumatic event in their past. It also may be a sign of humility, so samurai and noblewomen usually refer to themselves in the third person when talking to their lords. The technical term for being a Third-Person Person is illeism.


KIRARIN: Cleaning, scrubbing... I'll do anything you ask!!
CURE MACARON: Quite the role reversal. Isn't it?

Right then, a stride among the flowers that makes them wilt, a stripling with eyes glowing ruby red, a sharper, blood-red dagger in his right hand...

GIULIO: You are all here. How convenient for me...


As he closes in, those glowing red orbs are revealed to be Empty Eyes, a tell-tale sign of mind control/brainwashing/emotional manipulation.



GIULIO!!!

Standing before Kirarin, he immediately makes her sixth sense tingle...

KIRARIN (in shock): This sensation... Could it be...?!


GIULIO: Everyone... I will defeat you all. Precures...

GIULIO: FIGHT ME!!!


MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION:
Once more, we get a three-part arc finale that is riveting right from the start. We can see everyone --Ciel/Kirarin, Noir, Giulio/Pikalio, Bilberry, and the Precures allied with the good yousei-- having an agenda and a subplot of their own, just like in Westeros. As a hardcore Throny, I adore this setup.
Ciel's yousei form is named Kirarin, and her twin brother's name is Pikalio. Given his hair decorations, the fact that they have the same starry blue eyes, and the association that Pikalio=Giulio=Leo Kuroki, and the fact that Master Noir did something to him in Paris... she feels things that happen to him through this twin empathy... so we're in for a sibling battle right at the midpoint of this three-part arc finale. Like Kanata vs. Towa/ilight. That's another thing I love, these confrontations between siblings or good friends who have wound up on opposing factions... When Giulio said, in a fit of rage, "I have to surpass you. One day, I will triumph over you!" were these words addressed to Bilberry, the Precures, Master Noir... or someone else? Also, Giulio's heart being sapped like that and the subsequent Empty Eyes. It definitely is a nightmare fuel moment that ups the stakes as this finale begins.
As for Master Noir... he's definitely male and looks rather ominous, somewhat like symbiote Spidey (not a fan of Western-style superheroes, but I still remember that black suit) with massive 80s hair. But it's the sinister way he does that to Giulio's heart that takes the cake (shudders...) Like Lady Dyspear, here's another Precure antagonist, in this case evil overlord, worth the dread that he inspires.
PS. Moment of the week: The Bat-Signal shooting off from the Elder's umbrella. Also, Ciel using the same umbrella for a shield to protect the Precures, whose identities she has just discovered, from Iru's lightning attack, throwing herself in harm's way.
But definitely the cliffhanger: Giulio striding forth, with Empty Eyes glowing red, towards the Precures and his own sister... Twilight also had Empty Eyes when she first confronted Kanata, but without that ominous bloodshot glow...
In next episode, the backstory of Giulio/Pikalio and Ciel/Kirarin will come to light, making it a Start of Darkness flashback episode with this sibling confrontation, so I am definitely hanging on the edge of my seat!!


IN NEXT EPISODE (21)

So Giulio stabs himself through the heart to power up his wand...
What amazing dark power... he's completely different from before!


CURE MACARON: His usual composure is gone...


Twin siblings left their woodland home to learn new craft in France,
where, unexpectedly, they were soon torn apart by chance...

At last, they've met across enemy lines... Such rage and sorrow!
Perchance he will awaken and turn to her side tomorrow...

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