Episode 10 – Delicious Party Precure

Even though the girls got their Heart Juicy Mixers this week, I think the more important piece of the story is Gentlu and how she’s starting to crack. Previously I’d theorized that she didn’t really know that she was also Amane (or that Amane didn’t know she’s Gentlu, which is slightly different), and if that’s true, at least one of the alter egos is starting to become much more aware. Amane’s self within Genltu is breaking through whatever brainwashing has been going on, and that makes her both a less effective villain and great entertainment for Narcistoru. Rather than being upset that one of his compatriots is on the edge, he seems to really enjoy watching her struggle, to the point where I have to wonder if he’s deliberately allowing for the crack to occur in the first place. He’s playing with her, and that’s definitely a little disturbing.

That Gentlu clearly knows who the Pretty Cures are also interesting. In terms of magical girl history, that’s something worth noting – earlier classic magical girls (and remember, I use that term to refer to magical girl shows with an intended audience of children) took some pains to make sure that no one could discover who the Girls were in their everyday lives, both as a protective measure and as a way to both allow them to carry on their regular activities while still creating a bit of work/life balance conflict. While that’s varied in terms of usefulness and suspension of disbelief – that no one questioned why ten-year-old Mai was the only person who could contact sixteen-year-old Magical Emi is somehow harder to buy than cloaking magic preventing people from connecting Meimi to Saint Tail – removing it entirely makes for a different set of narrative issues. Yui, Ran, and Kokone just transforming right in front of Gentlu on a regular basis does put them in more danger, but it’s also a statement of their own power: they’re confident enough that they can defend themselves no matter what, so they don’t need to hide who they are. It becomes a moment of them owning their power, which is something that many other classic magical girls had to work up to in past series, like in the (nearly) soul-crushing ending of Nurse Angel Ririka.

When we think about it that way, Amane hiding, or not being fully aware of, her power and her identity as Gentlu becomes something that says more about her and her own self-confidence than anything else. We learn that her family runs some sort of fruit parlor, so like the other girls, she’s got a vested interest in Recipeppi remaining healthy, but she’s somehow able to overcome her better nature to fight for the Bundoru Gang. Does she harbor resentment for the family business or the culture of Oishina Town? Or is repressing her knowledge of her dual identities the only way she can continue to function at all? If she’s been transformed against her will, as all of Narcistoru puppet statements seem to imply, then selective amnesia may be the only thing keeping her sane. That may only get worse when we factor in her role as the student body president, because instead of looking out for her kohai, she’s actively fighting against them. With each episode she appears in, it’s becoming clearer that it’s all getting to be too much for her.

And now she’s got those darned magical mixers to contend with as well. Narcistoru doesn’t seem all that upset that the Cures have gotten a new power, possibly because he handed Gentlu a more effective evil bento, but I think he just really enjoys watching the world burn, or at least watching Gentlu‘s world burn. Each Cure may have a customized Mixer attack, which is something to look forward to in the coming weeks. Hopefully one of them will force Gentlu into a reckoning with herself and drive Narcistoru out of the shadows.

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Delicious Party♡Precure is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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