Hugtto! Precure Episode 22 & 23
Hugtto! Precure Ep 22
Oooof…. it didn’t take long before I realized that I am actually done with Lulu’s and Emiru’s arc, luckily we will be jumping straight into the plot in next week’s episode! As suspected, George is going to make his move and the enemy is going to make their move to finally capture Hugtan. About bloody time if I say so myself.
Thankfully Cure Black and White’s appearance was merely a cameo, and were virtually nonexistent in this episode, with the exception of doing their part in the fight. In fact, besides being part of the movie promotion and the anniversary event, and providing a parallel to Emiru’s and Lulu’s conflict, there was little point of them being there at all.
This episode was a bit of a weird one in terms of what went down. For starters, I wasn’t expecting Pupple to experience the heartbreak, and I felt really bad for her because it certainly does look like George has cast her aside. She had hoped he would chase after her, but he has efficiently replaced her with Gelos. What a douchebag. Pupple’s unrequited love pushes her to transform into the upgraded monster, but she was not nearly as tough as Charleet was. Frankly, I was so unimpressed with how her fight ended up playing out, that it felt like Emiru and Lulu were handed that power-up on a silver-platter. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth not only because this was litterally, their third battle, but Emiru kept on obnoxiously demanding for the magical rod.
I don’t have really more to add, so let’s jump into the next episode, where shit is finally getting real!
Hugtto! Precure Episode 23
WOOT! FINALLY THE VILLAINS MADE THEIR MOVE!
We finally got the confirmation that George was in fact the big bad all long. The Dude in Blue (I still don’t know his name) was merely serving as a figurehead, the rest of the lot who he worked with were nothing but disposal fodders at the bottom of the chain, Chief Daigan didn’t even get a chance to show what he’s worth. Instead he was taken out within five seconds by an entirely new character, who is part of George’s inner circle of powerful elites. He goes by the name of Doctor Trauma, and is one heck of a creepy guy, even his name even freaks me out a bit. He has no qualms of taking out the weaker members of the company. His strength was no joke, the precures couldn’t even hold up a fight against him.
Which was great… but once again, I am disappointed with how they handled the whole “power-up”. Not only was the way they buffed them up felt like a lazy presentation, but at this point, everyone has to depend on Hana to become stronger. And by the look of it, it will continue to be that way for the rest of the show- not that we never seen them do this in Precure before. Of all things, the girl who has yet to figure out what she wants to do in the future (albeit there’s no need to rush, especially when she’s only 13), is the one who ends up having the strongest convictions, that enables her to break free from George’s grasps and ultimately save Hugtan, and reclaim the (briefly) stolen Mirai Crystals.
But what rubs me the wrong way though, is how she did this on her own. While it was fun to see her almost punch George in the face
(I wish she did), I didn’t like how the rest of the girls, specifically Homare and Saaya weren’t able to do the same, but driven with their own convictions for the future. This is a problem that started around Episode 9, and progressively gotten worse. Unlike Hana, Saaya’s and Homare’s dreams have already been established, and so because of that, I am worried the writers don’t feel the need to spend time on them, causing them to be pushed to the sidelines. But you’d think it is because they are working to their dreams, that it would empower them, but we aren’t seeing anything of the sorts. Either way, now that Emiru’s and Lulu’s arc is finally over and dealt with, I hope we get to see more of the original two again, or the group properly doing things together as a group of five.
As for George’s dream, I don’t think any of us are surprised. In fact it is more or less exactly what I expected based on what we knew about him, and what he has done: He wants to protect the smiles and happiness for all eternity by stopping time. I must say the conversation he and Hana had together was a chilling one to say the least. When she praised his dream, and how she would love to help him make it come true, I was like “OH NO. GIRL YOU HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!” Their concept of “Eternal Happiness” couldn’t be more different. Oof, that was a tough one to listen to. And if Hana briefly developed a crush on him, all of that quickly flew out the window when it was revealed he is the Big Bad.
But perhaps the most alarming part of all, was the fact the precures reclaiming the Mirai Crystals were all according to Criasu’s plans. They wanted them to do it, probably because they are the only ones who can. Without the Mirai Crystals, George can’t fulfill his dreams of creating a perfect world. And now, having witnessed what Hana is capable of, George is already making revisions to their plans, and the most terrifying part of all: is that he is enjoying this. Rather than becoming impatient, he welcomes the challenge, eagerly anticipating who will come out on top.
And he isn’t alone. As mentioned earlier, his inner circle is no joke. Another new face by the name of Bishin, who has been locked up all this time will be joining them. Supposedly this guy has the ability to destroy everything. After seeing what Doctor Trauma brought to the fight, I sure hope this half of the show will make the fights a lot closer than they have been. The villains don’t have to be super dark in personalities to be threatening, there just needs to be a lot more put at stake than usual, and that could very well be Hugtan’s safety since George now knows she is the only one who was able to freely move as he began to cast the spell.
Harry has been uneasy for the past few episodes, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Homare. She confronted him today, asking him to make a pinky promise that he won’t keep things to himself when it gets tough, but that is a promise that has already been broken, and he knows it. He has so many secrets, it is only a matter of time before they all come out. But today we learned one of the biggest, and the most damning secret of all: Harry has been secretly protecting the Mirai White Crystal all long. If it weren’t in his hamster form, George probably would have been able to steal it away, unless he simply didn’t have it on him at the fight (which could have also been a possibility). We learned that its power is missing, which leads me to believe it probably originally belonged to Hugtan. However Harry doesn’t seem to realize it actually responds to the girls, as we saw it glowing in his pocket.
But even if it originally belonged to Hugtan, the chances are, if Hugtan is unable to have a magical growth spirt, Hana will likely be the one to inherit its power. I imagine this may end up being the key to a precure’s final and most powerful form. She will need that power when she faces off against George in the near future.
And going back to Hana: I really felt lonely for her today. Emiru and Lulu are basically joined at the hip, their own mini circle of a sorts, and Saaya and Homare are busy pursuing their own dreams. This leaves Hana all alone and it makes me sad. It sucks feeling like you are the only one lagging behind. Hana already undergone the conflict of feeling like she wasn’t qualified to be a precure, but now I think her loneliness will be playing a much bigger role in this arc. We saw a bit more of her past, of how she didn’t have any friends, she is not as strong as everyone thinks she is.
In fact I think Hana may encounter a bit of a crisis with how people perceive her as a Precure, the hero she aspires to be, and her as her regular self. Cure Yell is widely perceived as someone Cute and Mature, everything Hana wants to be. Yet when Cure Yell is praised for how she faces the enemies who are bigger than her, Hana couldn’t help but feel down. It appears, in the past, when she defended someone who was being picked on, rather than it boosting her popularity, it caused her to be isolated and shunned by others. Even after her good deed, she was all alone. This may further explain why she is so obsessed with her image, of becoming a popular, trendy and mature girl who everyone admires.
And this is probably my inner shipper bias, but I smell a window of opportunity for Hinase to help Hana again in the future. Remember, he helped her out the first time she felt down, so I have a feeling we might see that again. I also believe there was a reason why we didn’t hear him share who his favourite precure is, and even though we haven’t seen much of him, I truly get the sense Hinase likes Hana for who she is, and perhaps may even see the qualities she has as a precure in her already.