My Own Review
LIKE A BABE OUT OF THE BLUE
The first impression given of Homare Kagayaki: new kid Hana is struck by how tall, slender, and pretty she is.
Homare looks like she is going to be that super chill character – and everyone’s girl crush because she’s so cool.
Homare is like the "bad" girl of the group as she acted indifferent when a teacher reprimanded her for being late. And also her general aloof behaviour.
Up on the roof, the blue-haired girl introduces herself as Saaya Yakushiji, the class president. She had been looking for Hana Nono, with the intention of showing the new kid around the school.Homare also reveals that she likes Hana’s bangs, and that they suit her.
HARRY: I'm no rodent! I'm HARRY! HARRY HARRYHAM!
Charalit with his Thornypowewer detector,
criticizing how many positive dreams a school harbours.
So it seems that the employees of the Cryasse Corporation are able to use the negative emotions of people. This ends up affecting everyone at the school, besides Hana and Saaya. Presumably Homare is fine as well.
The Preheart, the heartphone transformation trinket of this season.
MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION...
Our blond little star has struck a cord within me, hasn't she... The first impression is of how tall, slender, and pretty she is. Aloof and blond and honey-eyed, with short hair... only the freckles are missing. We'll have to wait until March to see her as Étoile, but still her muggle self is badass (disappointment over skirt instead of slacks aside: I'm wearing a denim dress over leggings right now as I type this review)!
WTH, Casting Agency?: An initial reaction by some fans to the announcement of Cure Etoile's VA, Yui Ogura, known more for her typecast Token Mini-Moe roles where Etoile's described as being more mature than the other Cures. In series, she does portray Homare with a deep contralto voice (again, another thing she has in common with her predecessor Akira Kenjo is the vocal range).
Meaningful Name: The kanji for her last name translates to "sparkling tree", and is also a pun on "kagayaki", the Japanese word for "sparkling", which fits her star motif (Again, her attribute is power, while that of Akira Kenjo/Chocolat is strength... see my preview review of Hugtto for more information).
Saaya is pretty cordial, friendly, and looks rather intelligent. "Film star?" Next episode will focus on her, and on her angelic transformation, so hopefully we'll get to see what she was like on screen, and which roles she played. Overall, she reminds me of Rikka Hishikawa/Cure Diamond, with that colour schemes, those spectacles, and being that mature. In Episode 26 of Doki Doki Pretty Cure, an amnesiac Ira (the Selfcenter of Anger: basically, one of the deadly sins personified) said that Rikka, the blue Cure of that season (a wise and cool Cure Diamond with icy powers), looked like an angel. Now we have a blue Cure centered around that very idea. Moreover... Her last name contains "yakushi" (薬師), which is an archaic form of the word "doctor" (saying "physician" would be more or less the same), relating to her status as the healing Cure. So a wanna-be physician (will she really turn from the spotlight to the healing arts?) who is the brains and the quiet one... the second coming of Rikka Hishikawa indeed. I wonder whether this Mademoiselle Sang-Froid will have to tend to an injured, amnesiac Charalit, and we will have to relive the Irikka story once more...?
Anyone else pairing up these two?
We also have fellow classmate Saaya Yakushiji, she seems to be the typical studious type, but an approachable and adorable one at that. She and Homare Kagayaki (yellow) appear to be friends. Homare looks like she is going to be that super chill character – and everyone’s girl crush because she’s so cool. I look forward to getting to know the other two girls more, especially in regards to their nature since as of right now, their more temperate personalities would be a good way.
Being the Class Representative, Saaya showed Hana around while Homare just lazed around on the bench above, looking on. To me, Saaya is like Rikka from Smile Precure with her gentle and kind demeanour... and Homare is like the "bad" girl of the group as she acted indifferent when a teacher reprimanded her for being late. And also her general aloof behaviour.
Although the question is their school has a relaxed dress code as the students are allowed to wear a jacket or a hoodie to school. Based on their profile, Saaya is a former child actress and Homare is a former ice skater but they seem to have dropped out of it. We will know the reasons behind it in future episodes.
The new cadres/generals are all pretty interesting. They work for an organization called Cryasse (which sounds like a combination of cryo-, as in cold, and cyvasse, as in Dornish chess!) This is what was referred to as "the Dark Tomorrow Company" in the preview, but I will still use Cryasse just because of how impressive it sounds.
The various generals whim and bickle of finding the "Future Crystals," and I adore the bickering, the tension between all of them, as much as I love their designs already:
There's Lulu/Loulou, the Rei Ayanami-like girl who will most likely be the Dark Magical Girl who'll make a Heel-Face Turn. She's more Twilight-like than Bilberry and Regina... shall we see what hidden depths lie beneath Lulu's façade?
Then there's Papple, the sexpot baroness. We had already got a cannonball-endowed figure eight in the form of Marmo, the Selfcenter of Greed... and we were definitely missing another helping of tits and wine (no, not you, Cersei, you're past your prime. Also, this is a magical girl warrior anime).
There's Restore, whose name could also be Latinised as Listol or Listle (pronounce as in "listless", but without the final S:s; you know, transcription issues), the straight man and professional right hand man. Stern, slender, and Stannis-like; as this character should always be. This group definitely needs a helping of sanity, and this curmudgeon is far more than content to fill that niche.
And Daigun/Daigan/Diegun... (again, let's see how they solve the issue) the hefty fellow with the goatee, who is far more emotional, and one of the funny guys to 's straight man. Looks to me like the Robert to his superior's Stannis... I also like his facial hair-style because not many men deck their goatees with decorations.
The other funny guy to our straight man is Charalit, our resident Dark-Skinned Blond. Looks like a late-teenage Glaive to me (as if Glaive had had some younger brother or nephew... maybe even a bastard child by rape?) in both appearance and mannerisms (same "kewl" attitude that reminds me of my high-school bullies: this Charalit bloke is what I have found no English word for, but is called un tamarro in Italian, un macarra in Spanish, ein Mantafahrer in German). Indeed. His tanned skin, blond hair, and more "party guy" image brings to mind a certain stereotype.
We got to see far more of Charalit than of his colleagues because he is the cadre of this episode. He appears to be the evil counterpart to Harry, the mentor mascot du jour, since they share the same youthful age (late teens/early twenties) and Kansai accent.
Anyway, the way they are organized, it looks like they are on a hierarchy scale with the 2nd in command, Restore, asking for a volunteer to find the Future Crystal in which one of the them, a Kansai-speaking Charalit offered to find it.
I also like the idea of giving the cadres ranks, different ranks, instead of placing all them on equal footing. Once more, because of the opportunities for squabble and tension among the generals that this factor creates (passed over for promotion, threatened with demotion, having a frenemy/kismesis for a partner...!).
At least, the generals have more flair unlike last season (case in point, the gender ratio. Bilberry was the smurfette of the Groupe Noir, right?) and yes, I am aware that one of the generals, Lulu, is voiced by one of my favourite female seiyuu, Miss Gothic, Yukari Tamura (Although she did not speak in this episode) and she is rumoured to be the fourth Precure member.
We also have Sayaka Ohara returning again after Go!Princess and voicing a sexy general, sexpot baroness Papple; while Restore is voiced by favourite male seiyuu, Shinichiro Miki, renowned for voicing villains, especially total sociopaths.
The monsters of the week are called Theenders and (finally!) like Selfcenters, made of the negative emotions, or Thornypowewer, already existing within random muggle victims. The first one, a school clock, was made out of the Thornypowewer of a stressed student's worries about being able to reach an assignment deadline. Been there, done that, struggling once more through that (myself), so I hope all this Thornypowewer across the series, like the darkening of hearts in Dokidoki!, will be supplied with prime matter by such mundane concerns. That was what I adored about Dokidoki! Precure and the Franime Miraculous (Ladybug & Chat Noir) about this The Heartless trope variation. Stress, impatience, a critique, a disappointment... blown way out of proportion as the causes of becoming a person of mass destruction.
So far, we've only seen Charalit's MO: search out a person with enough Thornypowewer...
...amplify that Thornypowewer...
("What if I don't hand out that assignment in time?")
Charalit found a male student who is complaining of his teacher (to be more precise, of the impending deadlines given by said teacher) and drained his Morrowpowewer which affected the whole school, sapping everyone but the Precures of emotions, leaving all of those muggles depressed, and created a theender, which was clocktower-shaped in this case.
...then spread that Thornypowewer all over the place, and drain as much Morrowpowewer (positive dream energy, ambition, willpower) as could be, leaving everyone to look like they want a dose of XANAX...
...and turn the victim of the week into the MotW, which is in this case a school clocktower due to the source of the frustration being the victim's academic schedule (studies... time... et voilà!)
Now on to the goals of this organization. What is Thornypowewer without its positive counterpart, Morrowpowewer?
It crystallises as Future Crystals, like the one above, which the Cryasse execs are looking for, the reasons why being so far unknown. Future Crystals also power the Prehearts needed for Precures to transform. Also, Hug-tan eats nothing but the Morrowpowewer that they exude... so these McGuffins are a key part of the storyline, right?
Harry Harryham: I'm NOT a RODENT! I'm HARRY! HARRY HARRYHAM! He's got a pretty short fuse when he insists that he's not the rat they have just addressed him as.
Harry Harryham will be a Chick Magnet.Considering that he's described to be an ikemen.
- What appears to be his human form in the opening (red-haired guy, same color as Harry's) seems to check out with this prediction. So fingers crossed for Harry being the ginger young man in the opening!
Harry is in charge of this baby blonde called Hug-tan, because "hug" is the only thing she can say (did someone prime her to say only "hug" in utero, a bit like Brandon Stark's Hold-the-Door?).
Now here's a little theory some fans have shared with me:
Harry, Hugttan, and the Cryasse Corporation are from the future.The whole point of the series is that the Cures must save the future and everyone's tomorrow. If the villains win, then tomorrow is gone. Well what better way to end tomorrow by making it never happen in the first place. The villains' corporation tower has a futuristic look to it, hoverchairs and all, not to mention the first scene of Lulu suggests she may be a fembot. When Charalit first appeared, he had a hologram like device when scouting for the Future Crystals. As the theory above puts it, Charalit was expecting a Cure to come, why? Because if he is from the future, then he would know that a Cure existed in the past, or our present. And then there's Harry and Hugttan. Harry tells Hana to "get with the times" when he is in disbelief to realize that animals don't talk in Hana's world. Also Hugttan seems to be an actual baby (granted with magic) rather than a yousei and Harry never confirms that he is one. The way he was expecting Hana to help them out since the beginning makes one wonder what is actually going on.
It appears that the new Cures' headquarters is this Beauty Harry parlour... its quaintness and colourful visuals contrast starkly with the ominous Cryasse Tower, right?
Saaya Yakushiji as Cure Ange