My Own Review - Episode 16
ROSENAKI AND GUILDENJUNNA ARE...
Aki has become obsessed with Homare, which is the reason she has started skating. Of course, it is ice skating that Homare does, but that doesn’t really stop Aki.
She ends up almost falling again, but Homare manages to catch her this time.Waowaowaow the queer subtext!! Aki wants to learn Homare's ways
Aki then reveals that she and Junna have been together since kindergarten, and there are times that she thinks she can’t get anything done without her.
I approve of Papple's outfit! Fanartists, do your duty! Get the cannons!
Moving on, Aki insists on walking home with Homare. Homare just takes off, claiming to be busy. She goes to Harry’s place to hug Hugtan, but Harry can tell that something is up.
As the rain starts to fall, Hana encounters the mysterious man from before once again, in a patch of white rhododendrons. The stranger delivers once more a long nihilistic rant.
Elsewhere, Aki and Junna end up sheltering from the rain together. It doesn’t take them long to start arguing.
Right in front of f-ing Papple...
When Homare has doubts of whether she should get involved in the two girls' feud, she went to Harry's place to cuddle Hug-tan. Harry already figure that she is troubled and offered her Chocolate Mint Ice Cream (my favourite flavour, btw!) but Homare left again.
Later Harry found Homare in a shelter and passed her an umbrella. Although Harry claimed the ice cream melted and he wanted her to have it. Homare saw that Harry was drenched while looking for her and she was touched. But Harry left in a hurry to get back to Hug-Tan.
Although we see in the opening that Homare always carries Hamster Harry around and thought it was just a coincidence, but rather a shipping between her and Harry. They might not be the perfect couple but Harry does show concern for Homare despite not expressing it out in the open.
So, is Homarry really a thing?
After he leaves, Lulu then shows up out of nowhere, surprising Homare. Lulu takes advantage of Homare’s surprise and existential angst to steal her PreHeart.
Lulu surprises Homare
That #DeathGlare added to the effect of Lulu Amour's default #Dreadpan
Papple catches up with Lulu to hear the progress on her plan.
The negative emotions of the week? More obvious impossible: Junna Tokura and Aki Momoi arguing over whether or not Homare is a good influence (Aki in favour of Homare, vs. Junna against the blonde).
The theender created from Aki and Junna (SEVEN HELLS: Once more a double/multiple victim... but a SINGLE MotW. When the F shall I get my twin or multiple monster episode for this continuity? Awwww...)
With the appearance of this theender, it doesn't take long for the Cures to arrive on the scene. They start fighting, but struggle to get close.
Homare can no longer bear to see her friends in distress...
As things look bleak, Lulu appears and hands the PreHeart back to Homare, revealing that she knows she is a PreCure.
With their argument resolved, the toge-power diminishes and causes the theender to weaken. The PreCures take the opportunity to finish it off in the usual manner. After the battle, they have questions for Lulu...
#Dreadpan even in near-death, unsurprisingly.
If there is a LULU unit anywhere, its default mode is surely Dreadpan Mode.
If there is a LULU unit anywhere, its default mode is surely Dreadpan Mode.
Lulu's last POV as she loses consciousness also has "snow" in it, giving the impression that her eyes are cameras...
Cure Yell tries to rush over to Lulu, but Papple whips up a gust of wind and retreats. That brings this episode to an end.
After the battle, the three girls and Harry confronted Lulu but before she could say anything, she pushed Cure Yell away (in true Éponine style) before a powerful blast from the sky totally destroyed her internal systems. Papple appeared and took Lulu away before anyone could react and Hug-tan crying out Lulu's name...
OK, I’m sure it doesn’t need to be said, but Hugtto! PreCure is good. Like, ridiculously good. Well, I guess I should say so far – who knows what the future holds for this season?
This episode’s animation was noticeably different from previous episodes, and there was a lot of distant shots that resulted in faceless characters. However, I’m assuming those were choices made in order to give us better overall animation, and I am fine with that.
Or maybe I’m just talking a load of rubbish, but either way, this episode looked good.
It’s nice to see Aki and Junna again after quite a while, and I really enjoyed how this episode showed us more of their relationship. With Emiru and now Aki and Junna, I feel pretty confident in saying that the supporting cast of this season has proven to be fairly strong.
The stuff with Homare, Aki and Junna was good, but what happened to Lulu is the thing that will probably stick most in my memory.
It’s nice to see that Hugtto hasn’t been holding back with these kinds of things – such as before, where Hugtan fell into a coma. Still, poor Lulu. I know she’ll get better with a little help from the others, but I certainly didn’t expect what happened during this episode.
It looks like we are coming towards the end of Lulu’s arc – I’d hazard a guess at it wrapping up within the next couple of episodes. Considering Lulu has been a major character, I am very excited to see what happens. From the preview alone, the next episode already looks promising.
MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION:
Not only did we get the Homare-centric episode we expected, but so much more...
THE QUEER SUBTEXT. Oh, the queer subtext. Between RosenAki and GuildenJunna, between any of them and their role model Homare,
No mention the betrayal of Lulu Amour.
As for our guesses, there may be more here for confirming the Fembot theory: Did Papple just turn Lulu OFF (in that Taking-the-Bullet moment that brought instantly to mind Éponine)?? Furthermore, Lulu's last POV as she loses consciousness also has "snow" in it, giving the impression that her eyes are cameras...
As for shipping and upcoming naval warfare, Lulu noticed our Étoile's tachycardia in the presence of her ginger mentor. Anyone else Team Homarry or Team Homaki? I am not sure of how this whole saga will evolve, shipping Homarry so far, but we shall see what will come at the end of the day...
The plot overall reminded me of Othello with our favourite blond star in the role of Cassio as the icing on the cake (not to mention the happy ending).
So this episode is about Aki asking Homare to teach her how to skate and Junna misunderstood Aki as they were childhood friends and they always consult one another, but Aki took it for granted and not considering Junna's feelings... as such, Papple used them to create a theender (I would have preferred two theenders, but let's see later on in the series)... Of course, the two girls make up after seeing Cure Étoile struggling to save them and weaken the theender with their willpower.
I liked the scene where Papple is in the shadow and Lulu is trying her best to avoid the shadow covering her space but in the end, she gave in and true to her words, Lulu stole Homare's Transformation item and she panicked when the other two girls are fighting the theender.
But somehow, Lulu has a change of heart and gave Homare back her transformation item for her to battle the theender with the others.
Moving on to "George" the existentialist bard... in a garden of rhododendrons, he started preaching how unpredictable the weather and life can be. In flower terms, rhododendrons symbolize danger and beware which is what happen later in the episode for the girls and particularly Lulu.
Up until this point, Hugtto Precure has been more or less filled with fluff, vibrant colors, and rainbows. But then this episode comes along, and the art-style just sets a whole different tone. Most noticeably they played a lot with the use of shadows, over-exposure, and there were moments of symbolism where Lulu who was standing in the light, stepped into the darkness that was closing in to her, and from the darkness into the light again. Both moments were followed by a certain course of action based on the step she took. The first one was stealing Homare’s Pre-Heart, the second time was the opposite, when she returned the stolen item, and saved Hana’s life from Papple’s attack in true Taking-the-Bullet mode (too bad she did not have the strength to sing "A Little Fall of Rain" before losing consciousness, right?).
That alone flipped the series on its head. I don’t think any of us expected this show to make such a dark turn this early on. You want scary villains? Well Papple is the one for you. She is not here to mess around, and she is not about to let someone interfere with her plans, let alone help the Precures without a harsh punishment. She is straight up nasty. She virtually killed Lulu. The way her body collapsed was pretty horrific. If I were still a little kid, that would have scared the crap out of me to the point I would have started bawling. But this attack more or less confirmed Lulu is at least to some extent a robot, or at least perhaps better described to have been transformed into a cyborg.
And now Papple is taking Lulu back with her to reprogram her and more or less do what she did with Charalit. This woman looks for the weaklings and then abuses them. It actually makes me wonder just how powerful she actually in this organization. It also makes me curious as to what is her relationship with George, the mysterious man who could be described as a bard with his ambiguous words he shares with Hana. I don’t know what is going to become of Lulu, but yikes, next week’s title is pretty ominous, “The Noise of Sadness, Farewell Lulu”. You’d think they would probably save her, and she will be able to eventually become a precure as well, but eek… maybe not?
Other than that, it is hard to ignore the fact Homare is definitely developing feelings for Harry. Lulu commenting about her heart-rate seemed to sink in what was happening to her, and when she realized that, Homare became incredibly flustered. I wonder what will become of her feelings. Poor girl might be in store for some heartbreak in the future.
FUN FACT: The rhododendron flowers’ carries a meaning to beware and exercise caution.
This week's battle was pretty good in terms of style and pacing,
These is one of the few times where the subplot was more interesting than the main plot. Like what I said earlier, Aki and Junna's feud was pretty trivial compared to what Lulu and Homare are going through.
Homare just needed a pep talk in the form of Harry and his Ice Cream. I know he meant well despite how childish he can be some time and Homare needs to be less uptight. Hopefully their relationship will develop further in the future.
Note to self-If George appear and started preaching something, it means things are getting real in the episode and true enough, Lulu decided to make her move after Papple's warning of getting too close with the girls.
After seeing Homare desperately waiting to save Aki and Junna changed Lulu's mind and she returned her transformation item back to Homare. But at a cost since Papple now know that Lulu has betrayed them.
That blast actually destroyed Lulu's system and seeing how she sensed it moments before pushing Cure Yell out of safety and saying something before being destroyed make me wonder what is going to happen next!
IN NEXT EPISODE (17):
THE LULUNATOR IS COMING...
Can they be able to stop her rampage?
And, in this chaos, where is Emiru?