Hugtto! Precure Episode 39 & 40
I’m back guys, sorry for the absence last weekend! I was really sick last weekend, so I had to make the decision to post-pone both Hugtto! Precure and Tsurune!
And I must say, watching Episode 39 and 40 back-to-back really helped, a lot. In many ways, I found it a lot more satisfying than watching it a week apart. When I first watched episode 39, I had a lot of mixed emotions about it, mostly disappointment with the overall execution. But when I watched it again today, immediately following it up with Episode 40, it felt like everything finally fell into place. As result of this week’s episode, I definitely have a lot more optimism and excitement for how the story is going to wrap up than I had several weeks ago. For a series that has been otherwise quite a rocky one, having a strong finish will certainly be a good reward to all of us who decided to stick with it.
I have to be frank with you. I was really disappointed with the way they delivered this episode. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was all over the place. The whole presentation of how they were ‘transported’ to Harry’s and Hugtan’s origin timeline in the future or whatever, and frankly it was a completely mess. I actually had to rewatch the first bit of it because I was trying to figure out if I missed something. In fact there were a lot of moments where I felt confused, and couldn’t really understand the mood or the scene taking place. A good example would be the interaction between George and Risutol, where George suddenly asks Ritsutol if he detests him… where later (after being defeated by the Precures) he admits, that yes, he does think so. It was just so weird to me… And then ending it with Dr. Traum coming in, well… let’s just say I was less than pleased. I was dreading the possibility we were going to have to wait another week or two to get the full story. (And thank goodness, that wasn’t the case, at all!)
And speaking of the devil, this marks the George’s first appearance since the crossover episode, and boy did it leave me feeling confused. It is terribly unfortunate how they didn’t just create a special villain that wasn’t tied to Criasu for the special. By dragging Criasu, like Dr. Traum and George into this mess, it created this inconsistency where we have one guy, Dr. Traum was ‘cleansed’, and George was shown to have been affected as well (to some extent, considering he “acknowledged” their time cannot be stopped). I had to remind myself to pretend that special didn’t happen. Anyhow, what the episode did do however, was solidify George’s position the dominant villain. We saw this play out with how the Mirai White Crystal evolved into “The Mother Heart”.
But aside from that, we were treated with some great story content in this episode!
Harry’s, Bishin’s and Risutol’s past about their hometown really surprised me. I never expected them to take it as far as they did, considering the trio’s past was nothing short of a tragedy. The three joined because their Harihari Clan (and Bishin) were sick from something, and I guess you could say they were all dying (because it sure looked like it). Criasu promised to help them by providing them a cure which would give them the ability to turn into a Human. However regardless of doing everything Criasu had asked them to do, eventually their village fell into ruins. The weird part about this however, was according to Dr. Traum, their hometown falling into ruins was just part of their future. Criasu didn’t have to or do anything to instigate it, but even so, I am still taking this with a grain of salt. This is why Risutol hates ‘tomorrow’, because all he sees waiting at the end of it is more and more despair, and he wants nothing of the sorts. Stopping time is a way of preventing that.
Risutol also tried to persuade Harry to join Criasu once more because according to him, the grim future of the girls’ hometown being robbed of its future was already set into stone. And it is important to note, how Risutol is projecting his own insecurities onto others. He believes if he shows Hana and the others how their efforts are futile, as they are “fated” to lose to Criasu. This is because Risutol had long given up on the future altogether. He feels powerless against tomorrow, and he doesn’t want to deal with it. However for Hana and the others, despite the grim projection, they still want to fight for the future because there are still things they want to do and accomplish. They haven’t given up because they still feel the little things they want to enjoy in life are worth fighting for, and one of them are seeing Hugtan grow up. In that aspect, I feel the point they were trying to convey was: No matter what’s in store for our futures, both the highs and the lows, try to embrace tomorrow instead of being afraid of it. We have a choice, of either allowing despair to consume our lives, or let that go and focus on the good things to come or what we’re working towards.
The fight scene between Hana and Risutol was really cool to watch. It is a real shame that we didn’t actually get to see Risutol fight until now. I love the overall design and weapon choices they used for him. He really does make a cool villain, especially in combat.
This week’s episode was hands down, the strongest one to date. There’s no question about it. I was so pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Traum be used in a way I wasn’t expecting him to. I definitely felt like this episode did it’s job of giving us an explanation as to why Dr. Traum was such a lousy villain. It turns out it’s because the guy was never truly loyal to George or Criasu in the first place.
We got some clarification that last week’s trip to the future (if I understood this correctly, honestly I’m still not entirely sure myself) was Dr. Traum’s doing (not Risutol, who most likely just took advantage of it). He did as a test, to see if it were successful and if it were, he wanted to talk with the girls and Harry about the future’s tragedies. Along this, they finally gave us the full story of Hugtan’s and Harry’s backstory, and the future.
Now this had to be my favourite part of the episode, because YES! FINALLY! I WAITED 40 EPISODES FOR THIS!
Here’s the gist of it. While we know Criasu’s goal is to eliminate the future, that is in fact only one of his three objectives. His other two goals are to find “Mother”, the goddess whose love embraces the future, and erase Cure Tomorrow, who bears Mother’s power.
He was very close to succeeding when he had managed to capture Cure Tomorrow, but she is saved by Harry who was previously saved by her, after he had gone berserk and was confined by Criasu because of his overwhelming despair. It was at that moment I realized, “SHIT JUST GOT REAL!” While Harry was able to break her out, Hugtan used the last of Mother’s power to transfer them to Hana’s world/timeline, but as result, Cure Tomorrow lost her form.
It was quite hysterical how Hugtan shows despite her infant body and lack of ability to speak, she still retains her sense of awareness and understanding of her role as a precure, and potentially most, if not all of her memories.
Now that George knows what’s up, Hugtan is the prime target, sending Gelo and Bishin to capture her. And frankly, after hearing George them the order, I was convinced Bishin was going to target her while Gelos distracted the others. Unfortunately, that didn’t play out, but I guess it’s still a tad too early for that, as nine episodes remain. It won’t be long before shit hits the fan though. I expect next week to be a key the stepping stone towards Criasu’s final push.
Along with Harry’s and Hugtan’s backstory, they also covered Dr. Traum’s and Lulu’s. This was something I actually didn’t think they were ever going to address. At that point I had lost all hope in this series, and decided I wasn’t going to set myself up for further disappointment, and I might as well go in with no expectations at all! And while I am thrilled that they actually did, I really wished they were willing to dig deeper into his past though. Like the three hamsters, Dr. Traum was influenced to work with Criasu because of his own tragic loss. While he never outright said it, through his memories, it’s clear that he created Lulu in attempt to ‘recreate’ his (most likely) deceased daughter. We could see how emotional he was, and how desperately he wanted to make it so Lulu could develop a heart, and it frustrated to some extent that the precures were able to do what he couldn’t, but he was grateful for it. It was an unexpectedly bittersweet backstory between the two of them to say the least.
And everything was going absolutely fantastic, until Emiru shows up with their guitars: CUE TO THE GOD DAMN SONG ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!
Another important event that was addressed today, was the objective to return to the others to their world. When the conversation first came up, once again I found myself so surprised by how mature and level-headed Hana was when she talked about their mission to send Harry and Hugtan back to (a better) future. She understands her responsibility, and is prepared to carry it out. Meanwhile, when Homare realizes this, she can’t help but feel glum about it, and the only one who is noticing her despair is Saaya, (who is also the only one who knows about her crush on Harry). I am really curious to see if George will try to exploit Homare’s despair. While she has fought through it before when she faced Bishin, it is something that has been eating away at her heart, especially since it’s something she has been trying to keep a secret from everyone. I would certainly love to see Saaya help her open up about it, so she could have the chance to release the pain she has been bottling up inside.
As for Emiru, well it’s no surprise to see her completely devastated about the idea of Lulu returning to the future with Dr. Traum. The girl was the last one to realize this because she wasn’t there when the group first formed. We will be seeing her cope this fact next week, all while having to deal with what appears to be the loss of her voice. It will be Bishin who strikes this time.