Episode 6 – Delicious Party Precure

It’s back! Delicious Party♡Precure has returned to remind everyone that you need to be careful on social media, because you never know if the bad guys are going to follow your Instagram feed to pick their targets. It’s actually kind of a clever way to more fully introduce the girl who will become Cure Yum-Yum next week – we’ve seen her in most episodes, she sits between Yui and Kokone in class, but apart from that, there’s not really been any good reason for her to join the team. Not that that’s a necessity, but it does feel like just another way this iteration of the franchise is doing a particularly good job: she has to be Cure Yum-Yum because she’s inadvertently been involved in what’s going on from the beginning.

That little revelation aside, this is another very solid episode that continues the work of developing Kokone. Yui’s a great character and I love that she attacks Ubau-zo with whatever she’s got to hand since she can’t transform until Mari shows up with Kome-Kome, but Kokone has a lot more going on interiorly. Yui is the first real friend she’s ever had, and we can see that she’s having a hard time adjusting to what that means. While she’s not overtly over-enthusiastic, we still see the markers of her joy and worry. The basket of unending sandwiches is a very good indicator of her emotions: it’s obviously overkill, but it’s just as clearly the only way she can really think of to show Yui that she appreciates and admires her – by using the skill Yui taught her to make her a gift. And if we consider the way Kokone’s lived, in what looks an awful lot like excess (at least for one kid), she doesn’t know any other way to do things. The little bento of prosciutto-wrapped melon is her attempting to do something even more special and to share some of what she knows with Yui. I’m not 100% sure that she doesn’t have a bit of a crush on Yui as well, but if she does, who could blame her – the way that Yui treats her as a person while everyone else at school acts as if she’s royalty made of blown-glass is in some ways even more important than their shared job of protecting the town.

Their duty as Pretty Cures does help with Kokone’s friend-making skills, too, though. While Yui is attacking the salad spinner monster with a soccer ball, Kokone’s equally busy, and it’s through her actions that she shows the other girls that she’s not that different from them. Being a magical girl has given Kokone the courage to step up, and that’s really what I love about the genre – it’s empowering in the way that it shows that while having magical powers can help, it’s really about the power inside yourself that’s the most important . Magical girls need to care before they transform, and in some ways that’s what enables the transformation in the first place. Certainly the girls’ inner strength attracted Kome-Kome and Pam-Pam, and I’d argue that it even helped Mari to come out of his slump. In Kokone’s case, it’s an ongoing give-and-take – her transformation is possible because of the reserves of strength she has, and that strength can come out because she’s shown her own possibilities via transformation.

All of this builds on the previous episodes, but also the tongue-in-cheek use of the old school rumor trope. The girls’ school may not have seven school mysteries (yet), but watching the rumor about the monster in the home ec room (which uses the myth of the tsukumogami as its root, a great touch, especially since one girl heard it from her grandmother) spread completely out of control is one of the most realistic middle school moments I’ve seen recently. That’s exactly how those things happen, and a shout-out to that one kid who counters “It has 7,000 teeth!” with “Isn’t that too many?”

How Cure Yum-Yum fits into Kokone’s growth, the overall battle, and a potential plotline about social media is going to start to come clear next week. Whether or not she also thinks that 7,000 teeth on a kettle monster is too many remains to be seen, but either way, I’m excited to see what she brings to the story.

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Delicious Party♡Precure is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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