While it absolutely makes sense for Ran and Kokone to not get along all that well, I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed watching them bicker this week. Possibly that’s because it’s hard not to see Kokone as being the more reasonable one, at least for me – her approach is more measured and considered, while Ran’s “leap before you look” strategy just makes me anxious. Presumably that just makes me more of a Kokone than a Ran, and in some ways that does help to drive the point of their personality clash home: Kokone’s anxious and Ran’s not, a combination of flavors that’s simply going to cause some friction between them. Ran thinks Kokone is a stick in the mud while Kokone finds Ran’s lack of forethought alarming, if not outright frightening. That they can still work together well makes for a good lesson for younger viewers, but it also risks alienating the anxious kids who find Ran overwhelming or who worry that their disagreements will jeopardize the Cures’ teamwork.
And that does very nearly happen, with Yui and Mari having to step in to play mediator. Since Yui’s the most open of the three girls, with the greatest drive to help out and an extroverted personality to match, this is actually a pretty good dynamic at this point, and it also helps to set this show apart from both Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure and Healin’ Good Pretty Cure, which both had more immediately cohesive teams. It also opens the door for some drama with the Bundoru Gang, which now looks as if it may be entirely composed of brainwashed humans. We already know that Gentlu is Amane, an older girl at school, and this week’s introduction of Narcistoru almost certainly means that Takumi is about to get a bigger role in the story, because if you change his coloring and remove the vampire fangs, Narcistoru is pretty much a dead ringer for Yui’s childhood friend. This probability is even higher when you consider that back in episode one (or was it two?) Takumi’s first reaction to meeting Mari was to ask if he’d seen him somewhere before. If he is, in fact, Narcistoru, then yes, he very likely has – on the delicious field of battle.
It’s probably no coincidence that Narcistoru comes into the show in the same episode as Ran and Kokone having their disagreement. If he is Takumi, that’s setting him and Precious up for a similar situation, with the added difficulty of them having been friends for so much longer and the complication of Takumi’s crush on Yui. Ran and Kokone are the preview of the drama to come, and that seems in line with the generally good world and story building that this show has been doing; it’s not rushing headlong into any plot points, but instead taking its time to foreshadow and allow us to make our own conclusions before throwing reveals at us. The question now is how long it will take Narcistoru to crack, because Amane has already broken through Gentlu’s shell and she’s only tangentially related to the Cures. Takumi’s stronger bond stands to make this a much trickier prospect.
Despite the tantalizing foreshadowing going on, this episode just doesn’t feel quite as good as its predecessors. I’m not sure that Kome Kome’s new transformation into a toddler is fully necessary other than to give her voice actor more lines, but mostly it’s just not fun to watch Kokone and Ran pick at each other. I do like that they’re aware that they’re being stubborn and are going to have to work to make their personalities not clash, and really, they don’t all need to be best friends, which would be an interesting element to add to the story. But I have faith that this is all in service of what’s to come, because Delicious Party♡Precure has proven to know how to play its cards, and I have no doubt that things that happened this week will prove to be more important than they may at first appear.
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