My Own Belated Review
RENEWED SHALL BE THE STRINGS THAT WERE BROKEN
Team Hugtto were surprised by Cure Black and Cure White's appearance and suprised there are other Precures too. Cure Black was panicking like her usual self, while Cure White tried to think through logically.
Cure Ma Chérie immediately rushed to her Senior (senpai) cures asking for a new power-up and it was very awkward for the two seniors (senpai-tachi).
The two senior cures reverted back to muggle form and gathered at Harry's place. Nagisa still enjoyed her takoyaki (octopus balls) and Honoka with her popcorn made by her juniors. Lulu blamed herself for destroying Emiru's guitar in the last battle but Emiru claimed it was all right but Lulu could not understand Emiru's reasoning and they got into a little argument.
Nagisa told Emiru that it is okay for friends to have arguments once a while as a way to understand each other better since Emiru is still a kid and Lulu is like that older sister who needs a holding hand once a while (Nagisa herself has a younger brother, so her own sibling experience plays a part).
After hearing her encouragement, Emiru decided to make friendship bracelets for herself and Lulu as a gift while at the same time, Lulu was making a new guitar for Emiru together with Honoka and Saaya with Lulu suggesting something more...
After failing for the last time and ridiculed by Daigan, Papple went to find George for comfort but instead saw Gelos in his room, making herself at home in the canopy bed. Gelos even quoted lines from the Crane Maiden (Tsuru no Ongaeshi) story about how an old couple found out that a girl who made beautiful cloth for them, and whom they overworked for profit, was secretly a crane whose broken wing they had healed, and the crane left the old couple, in avian form, as soon as she had to migrate after her identify was revealed.
Much to Papple's dismay, Gelos has wrested her place in her absence and has made herself at home.
In this case, Papple found out that George has never loved her at all and it was her own fantasy to think that George even cared about her. George didn't even look back when she arrived and Papple fled in despair.
Papple now realised that her world is ruined and used a fistful of negative energy on herself, turning her into a crazed daikaiju One-Winged Angel like Charalit before...
Nagisa and Honoka felt nostalgic as these two girls also have their differences in the beginning and became good friends in the end. (I was hoping Toei might do some updates from Nagisa and Honoka's flashback instead of using old clips like how Dragonball Super did some updates when they do flashbacks in recent episodes)
Both Emiru and Lulu exchanged their gifts and both girls got each a friendship bracelet and a new guitar with which Lulu hoped to perform with Emiru together...
Papple proves to be a fearsome foe, even managing to fight off all five Hugtto Cures. Just as it seems like she will deliver the finishing blow, we are reminded that there are two more Cures present.
Team Hugtto went into battle against Papple but she was too strong and knocked them to the ground. Before Papple could obliterate them, Nagisa and Honoka transformed into Cure Black and Cure White and show why the Futari wa pair are the Kamen Rider Ichigo and Nigo of Precure! They might not be the strongest but their hand to hand combat is probably the most badass among all Precures!
Cure Ma Chérie lets out an excited squeal upon seeing those two transform, and honestly, I might have just done the same thing. You don’t get to be a PreCure for as long as those two do without learning how to kick an arse or two, and Cure Black and Cure White do it in truly spectacular style.
After receiving a thorough beatdown from Black and White, the theender begins to cry. Amour realises that it is Papple, and she asks to be allowed to go to her. Ma Chérie asks if they can both go, and they get the blessing of the other Cures.
Cure Amour detected that the monster is Papple and decided to help her together with Cure Ma Chérie. The pair entered Papple's physical body and saw Papple crying in despair and throwing a tantrum.
|You know, they looked like a family together...|
The pair told Papple that she can start all over again as long you love yourself and take the first step for a better future. A heart icon appeared on Papple's chest and the two girls gave a hug to her, telling her everything is going to be okay.
Papple's failure is similar to how people react after an economic crisis when their world crumbles down. But as long as you don't give up and care for people you really love (not koi, but ai; not eros, but agape), the future is all right.
The pair reappeared out of Papple's body and their Future Crystals created the Twin Love Guitars! With them, the pair used their attack -Twin Love Rock Beat- to purify Papple and save her soul.
After the battle, Nagisa and Honoka congrats the pair and Hug-tan used her powers to send Nagisa and Honoka back to their timeline. Although everyone is still confused on how Hug-tan could create such power, Emiru and Lulu finally established their friendship together... I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU WIFE AND WIFE...
What a conclusion as we come to the end of Emiru and Lulu's arc! This is probably one of the better heel turned head from the Precure multiverse and a heartwarming story about forgiveness and redemption.
Lulu, Emiru and even Papple all have their fair share in this arc which truly developed their characters for the better. Lulu started off as an emotionless gynoid whose sole purpose is to destroy the Cures however after alll the traps she created to and all the interactions with the girls, her alliance was shaken which finally lead to her "reboot" and joining the girls.
Lulu still suffered from guilt for all the things she did until Emiru opened her eyes. Emiru herself went through a character change. From Miss Overreacting in her debut episode until she wants to become a Precure so that she can help people, Emiru also learn something about herself especially her interactions with Lulu and Emiru's eccentric family.
Emiru learned how to stand up for herself from her brother's dated mindset, teaching Lulu like a surrogate sister, and learning the true meaning of being a shero. All these including the pros and cons of friendship in this episode, make Emiru and Lulu one of my favourite pairings in the Precure saga.
Papple though minimum also went through an arc of her own. She started off as an over-confident general but after many failures, was ridiculed by everyone including Gelos who is her junior (kouhai). She also became complacent with her relationship with George which seriously, I never find their romance to be believable.
It was until she saw Gelos in George's room and realised George has never loved her at all. Her world crumbled and decided to take the last straw and go all berserker mode. But thanks to Cure Ma Chérie and Cure Amour's words of hope, Papple finally make peace with herself. (Will we see her again like Charalit?) I really do want Papple to at least stay and joined Team Hugtto since seeing the three girls hugging together felt like a family.
How about our two guest stars-Nagisa and Honoka? It was nice to see them again and given something to do rather than a cameo like the All-Stars movies. Although short, Nagisa and Honoka gave some good advices to their juniors. Of course, their kickass battle with Papple might be short but it is what recent Precure seasons is lacking in the action department-awesome hand to hand fight scenes, flashy and gimmick items should only be used as a final attack.
MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION
Fare thee well, Papple. (One minute of silence, please...)
Speaking of Futari wa, the first Pretty Cure series ever, it was revolutionary. Not only because the two ur-Cures were more adept at hand-to-hand combat than at magical spells, but also because it did completely away with the Stock Shoujo Heroine pink lead (who usually has an easy-to-spell-out in katakana English alias like Flora, Whip, Yell, Peach, or -the codifier, the one who started it all- Moon; to reflect her academic and athletic ineptitude); Futari wa, sweeping the Idiot Heroine completely under the rug, gave us a Two-Person Band consisting only of a Smart Girl in White and a Big Girl in Black, the former an only child of rank and the latter a middle-class older sister. Neither one nor the other was simple-minded/book-dumb, since one of them was an ace student and chemistry scientist; while the other was an ace athlete and team leader. Not to mention that this was a Battle Couple of protagonists, instead of the usual West Coast Team role that Battle Couples had to play since the Infinity (or S) arc of a show that was not precisely titled Pretty Guardians Sailor Uranus & Neptune. Sadly, this formula would be carried on only for one more continuity of Pretty Cure series (Splash Star). Though, time and again, there was an exception to the book-dumb Stock Shoujo Heroine relatable character in pink, as a way to connect from those usual subversive roots (the pink Cure in Heartcatch, Tsubomi Hanasaki, was clearly the Smart Girl, spectacles and all, her character flaw being the common shyness/introversion and poor self-esteem of fictional bookworms in general; while DokiDoki gave us the Ace and Academic Athlete Mana Aida, clearly Nagisa and Honoka rolled into one, whose flaws were basically being too impulsive and tone deaf, and Mana is also the pink Cure who so far gives off the most leadership vibes -even though both the character and the series are loathed by the fanbase, generally uttering the words "MARY SUE" as a complaint). Still for today, I am thinking of the possibility of another Precure series without a Moon expy, and where the Battle Couple are not the West Coast Team/auxiliary, or ancillary, heroes.
That threesome hug between Amour, Ma Chérie, and Papple is heartwarming, and seeing the dethroned baroness in tears only ups the factor.
The Crane Maiden tale quoted by Gelos at Papple is definitely a cathartic moment (sucker for fairytale motifs as I am). And Papple's scenario reminded me of the Swedish turn-of-the-century literary fairytale Svanhamnen (The Swan Maiden's Wings) by feminist Helena Nyblom, an author who uses folkloric motifs (the Nordic variant of the motifs also found in Tsuru no Ongaeshi) to comment masterfully on gender roles: like in the usual accounts, we have a single young noble who steals a swan maiden's wings and forces her into marriage. As she watches the swans migrate south every autumn from her alcove window, she feels even more cooped up than now that she is as a married lady of rank. In the end, looking all over the castle and helped by her mother-in-law, who cannot bear to see her suffer, the swan maiden finds her wings and takes to the sky in the absence of her husband. The wings, and avian form, in this retelling are a metaphor for female agency, for female emancipation, and the husband controls the wife by concealing her "wings" in a secret place.
So, the negative emotion of the week is unrequited love, such a dead horse and such a powerful motivation, whether it be a man or a woman scorned, that it would take me a whole doorstopper to list all occurrences of this catalyst in fiction (let's see: Medea, Roderigo, Othello, Kriemhilde, Éponine, Scrooge, Snape, most recently Noir/Elysio... and I'm just scratching the tip of the iceberg!).
So we got a redoubtable One-Winged Angel form as the final boss of this cour, just in time when Pride Month has given way to KaiJuly...