Hugtto! Precure Episode 30 & 31
First off, if you didn’t watch last week’s episode- you can go ahead and skip it, you don’t need to watch it. It’s the last week of summer vacation and the girls travel around the world on Emiru’s private jet and a bunch of Lulu-is-not-an-Andoroid jokes. And I got absolutely nothing to say about it, so let’s just move on to Episode 31!
This week we return to the plot, and along with it, the girls all get a major power upgrade… including Hugtan (yet somehow, NOBODY SEEMS TO NOTICE THIS, NOT EVEN HARRY!). But seeing Hugtan in that outfit definitely makes me feel even more confident that she is the precure who originally possessed Mirai White Crystal, that is secretly in Harry’s hands. (I mean, we even saw her white heart!!!!!) I certainly would like to see the girls take notice of this, instead of overlooking it by gushing about how cute Hugtan is instead!
But before the girls unlocked the next power-up (unlocking the true power of the Mirai-Pad), they had to show their power of friendship. After being featured with Emiru and Lulu on the front page of an article, Hana is approached by Eri, the girl who she had defended at her old school, only to become the bullies’ new target. It is no surprise, nor do I blame Hana for feeling terribly awkward when Eri approached her (only to run away due to the lack of courage shortly after). I do wished though, they had taken a bit more time with it. I feel like this was a matter that could have been stretched into one and a half, or two episodes to properly deliver to the audience. The subject of bullying is a sensitive topic, but an important one nonetheless. Hana was isolated by her classmates, and due to peerage pressure/threats from the bullies, Eri was too afraid of becoming the victim again. All this time, she has been feeling remorseful and wanted to apologize, while Hana had always been worried and felt Eri hated her for getting herself involved (which is a sad considering all Hana did, was look out for her). And for the first time since probably episode 11, Hana couldn’t maintain her forced smile in front of her friends, and they decided to actually do something about it.
Now here’s the thing: We finally get what we have all been waiting for, Saaya and Homare stepping up to the plate to support Hana. But as excited as I was, I couldn’t help but sense something was missing. The impact of them being there for Hana when she needed it most, while there were bits that warmed my heart (such as, after they learned what happened, they immediately went to find her and hug her), for most part fell flat. I would say a lot of it has to do with how the friendship between them have been terribly neglected (starting around Episode 12), and the consequences of that, causes the main trio’s relationship, (and even more so with Emiru and Lulu) feel superficial. Obviously in the story at least, we know that’s not true, but the development of their friendship has been put off so so long, that it lacks the depth to really appreciate the moment. At least that’s how it feels to me anyways. And that is undoubtedly one of my biggest gripes with Hugtto Precure, and would like to see them improve on that from here on out, but we have reached the point of the series where I am no longer holding my breath for it.
Another thing I was disappointed about was how Takumi and Jinjin ended up being the sacrificial lambs for the sake of the power up. It’s not that I wanted Gelos to be the one to be on the chopping block (that would have been even worse), I just wished they had been able to get the power up without needing to sacrifice another one (in this case, two) of Criasu’s people. It has been a consistent problem throughout the show, where the villains are being sacrificed without even being given the chance to establish their characters, and it has gotten worse ever since. I would feel more happy about them being saved if we knew more about their stories (which ironically, is a theme that the plot revolves around). They thought they were ‘friends’ with Gelos, but when did we ever get the chance to see Takumi’s and Jinjin’s relationship with her? That flashback of taking care of her while she’s asleep doesn’t cut it. Also Gelos deciding to fire them because they haven’t been helpful to her… Geez, Lady you haven’t done much yourself!
And while we are on the subject of villain’s stories: they have been foreshadowing how Gelos certainly has a tale of her own… but will they actually deliver it to us? Frankly speaking, I am cautiously optimistic about it. Up until now, there has been little reason for me to have faith they will spend time on it, when they have yet to tell us any of their villains’ tales. Among all the villains, I would say Pupple’s unrequited love story was probably one of the better villain’s stories that have been presented to us. At least we got to see her spend time in George’s room, visit him, talk with him, and ultimately watch her heart be broken when she realizes she was never special a person to him to begin with. Everyone else, their stories were so forgettable, I don’t even remember the details. However, with about twenty episodes left, it does concern me about how and when we will finally be able to learn Dr. Trauma’s story with Lulu, Gelos’ desire for eternal youth, Bishin’s obsession with Harry, and have a better understanding of where George’s ambitions of robbing everyone’s future comes from.
I would like to quickly note though, it has been becoming more and more apparent to me as of the late the value and importance of the pictures the girls are taking with the Mirai Pad. While I am not for certain sure if they will be used as a source of power, but they are contributing to a small, yet importance role of preserving “the moments”, which is bound to hit us right in the feels when Hugtan and Harry may eventually end up returning to their time period, the future. It does make me wonder if they do, will their existence end up fading from the pictures? It was just something that happened to cross my mind.
Overall, this episode was okay. I absolutely believe it it could have been a lot better had Saaya’s and Homare’s friendship with Hana been properly nurtured, and perhaps had they been given a better/different type of opponent to face in order to attain their power-up. Of course while the episode had it’s downfalls (including the animation in the first half of the episode) there were also some good things. FIrst of all, Takumi and Jinjin going off on a rampage with Dr. Trauma’s new weapon was FREAKING HILARIOUS, mainly because of their crazy looks on their faces, and how they were actually causing true chaos in villainous fashion. Another moment was when the new track that was being played during the power-up, I absolutely loved it, along with the new transformation sequences, stunning as always! And while it lacked the impacted I had hoped for, it was still nice to see Hana receive the support of her friends.
Next week… What the hell is going on!?! Well I’m glad we will be seeing Bishin in action again, I’m quite fond of their character. But it seems… a Fairy Tale related theme… and Homare becoming a Mermaid and Harry to be the… Prince?! While I see where this is going… I have no idea what’s going to become of this, nor how the hell it became like this ahaha… Are they really going to go for it?!