Smile PreCure! Episode 9: A Piece of Peace

Doushiooouuuuuuuu!?!?!?!?

This episode was simply terrible. Nothing great ever happened, and it makes me sick to my stomach as a PreCure fan. I pretty much dropped the entire show, and will just go back to watching PreCure back in the good old days when Yes! Pretty Cure 5 was airing.

I lied! April Fools! This episode was quite entertaining, and Yes 5 has the most annoying mascots ever. It’s still a pretty good show, though. I’d definitely recommend it.

Synopsis

Yayoi is swept up by April Fools Day at home, and when she decides to play a trick on Miyuki by telling her that she’s transferring schools, the lie spirals out of control. Miyuki tells Akane, and the two of them each tell Nao and Reika, who in turn tell the entire class. Yayoi is unable to find an opportunity to clear the misunderstanding and tries to draw a manga to communicate her message. It gets blown away by the wind, and while Yayoi is panicked, Miyuki invites her to her own class celebration of her transfer. Yayoi, emotionally unable to handle her situation, runs off crying. The girls find her, but Aka Oni appears and spreads Bad End throughout the school. He summons an Akanbe and reveals the stray manga depicting Peace lying about transferring schools. Peace’s apologizes to her companions, and their returned kindness empowers her to defeat the Akanbe with Peace Lightning.

 Once again, here are my five thoughts on the episode.

Aka Oni is the worst henchman ever.

Aka Oni informs the PreCure that Peace's pants are on fire.

I lied! Are you getting sick of this yet? I’m not, so tough luck. The red doofus was a bit all over the place this episode, but it wasn’t anything bad. He was dumb and bumbling as always, particularly during his exchange with Wolfrun and Majorina, but that particular moment wasn’t touched on throughout the rest of the episode. He served mostly as the antagonist message that lies are fun and should be made all the time. He served this fairly well during the Akanbe fight with the precure, and he got the best of them, initially, with his underhanded tactics.

His enjoyment of lies didn’t do too much for me, but I certainly liked how his discovery of Yayoi’s manga page partway in the episode was brought up again to bring the plot all together. I didn’t expect it to come from him in particular. I probably should have, but oh well. He was portrayed as a rather simple villain this week, but I suppose that a simple Aesop requires a simple villain.

This week’s humour was all about the dramatic irony.

A simple misunderstanding gone horribly wrong! Cue Cure Frasier! Err, I mean-

Simply put, dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows something that one or more characters is not aware of. In this week’s episode of Smile Precure, the misinformation falls on the other four girls who are convinced that Yayoi is transferring schools. It escalates across different stages of the episode, and reaches an emotional climax during the Akanbe fight.

What keeps the misunderstanding going is Yayoi’s inability to spit out the truth regarding her transfer, and what makes the misunderstanding hilarious is Yayoi’s reactions to her situation and her friends’ misinterpretations of her reactions. The most effective scene occurred after music class, when Reika and the others discuss the effects of Yayoi’s departure on their team dynamics as PreCure.

Reika assures Yayoi that she need not worry about the void left in the team, and that they will work harder in her absence. Reika even initiates a group hug, which leaves Yayoi in an awkward position, and in the final cut, she screams out to the audience in desperation. It’s a commonly done sitcom bit, but it’s all done in the tried and true style of Smile, which makes it work wonderfully.

The truth shall set Yayoi free.

Peace is empowered by friendship (and a little bit of moe).

As a spotlight episode, the writers did a fine job in bringing out more aspects to Yayoi’s character, as well as adding to her already existing tendencies. Right from the first scene, we’re treated to her bedroom, all decked out in yellow, and she wakes up to an overly campy superhero alarm clock.

Yayoi is highly amused by such small things such as April fools day, which ends up causing her more grief than she bargained for. Throughout the episode, we’re privy to her inner-thoughts as the main point of view character. Her ongoing inner struggle to be honest with her friends is hilariously cute in combination with the building dramatic irony mentioned previously, but it is also played later on in a more dramatic fashion as part of her growth as a character, especially when she is called out by the enemy during the Akanbe fight.

Aesops are a source of power for Pretty Cure, and Peace is no different. After she is forgiven by her friends, she steps up and delivers the killing blow to the monster of the week, and she is blessed with competence compared to the rest of the group. She shows off her courage and confidence, and acts every bit as the super-hero that she strives to become. It’s still balanced afterwards by her crybaby tendencies, which are justified by her being overwhelmed by heartwarming acceptance of her apology. Hell, I’d cry too if I were in her position.

Hisako Kanemoto is really stepping into her own with Yayoi/Peace. Timbre-wise, there are shades of Ika Musume in her voice, but the personality is distinctly Yayoi. She is a fan favourite on Pixiv for a reason.

The music in Smile isn’t distinct, but is utilized very effectively.

This isn't Suite PreCure, but it's good enough, musically speaking.

It’s hard to follow-up on Suite Precure’s remarkably awesome soundtrack, but Smile PreCure does a does not disappoint its audience at establishing mood with musical composition execution. Mood is a critical element for establishing humour, and Smile’s music direction has a hand at doing so. While Smile is guiltier of recycling BGM from previous shows than Heartcatch or Suite, it certainly does a good job at using the right ones at the right time.

The cuts of background music are done rather nicely between scenes, and even during the same scenes. There are two noticeable examples in this episode, particularly during the scene in the music room. During the supposedly heartwarming moment led by Reika, the emotionally gripping string music is cut short by Yayoi’s cry for help towards the audience. Similarly, when Yayoi attempts to trick Miyuki into believing her April fool’s prank, the music is cut partway when she realizes that Miyuki is gone. The silence emphasizes Yayoi’s blank “eh?” when Miyuki disappears.

Smile’s abnormal cuts and record scratch effects are a part of the grand identity of the show as one that makes fun of itself as a franchise. However, the strength of the compositions themselves in this installment is nothing to sneeze at either. During Yayoi’s turning point in the episode, an energetic rock version of the OP begins playing while Yayoi kicks the Akanbe’s ass.

The other PreCure’s reactions to Yayoi are indicative of their established personalities.

Poor Yayoi! We must do something, girls!

While Yayoi takes most of the screen time in this episode due to being the highlight character, it’s pretty interesting to follow the other cast members in a supporting role. We’ve already gotten a bit of what the girls personalities are like based on setting, but the same can be said of the variations in their reactions to a common incident, in this case, Yayoi’s transfer.

Miyuki, being the first one to find out, is easily shocked by the news, but she’s very accepting of the circumstances and unconditionally loves Yayoi despite her deception because of their friendship. She even jokes on about it after the fact, passing her embarrassment on to Akane, who is unsurprisingly over-the-top and hammy (though probably a bit too much so).

Reika’s overt seriousness in the show makes the perfect straight-faced reaction, and makes her the perfect person to compound the misunderstanding. However, her sense of community and leadership comes out when she plans a farewell party with the rest of the class. Nao is a bit more subtle in her response, which comes out in small bits and pieces. Her sense of justice is brought out when she speaks out against Aka Oni, as well as in Yayoi’s imagination, with Nao being genuinely angry about Yayoi’s lie.

Amusingly, the four girls’ pretend-lie back to Yayoi at the end is fairly indicative as well. It was Akane’s idea, which speaks about her joking tendencies. Nao is serious and stern in her delivery. Reika playfully goes along, though she doesn’t to deliver it believably, on account of her inability to be purposely silly. Miyuki clumsily tries to feign anger at Yayoi, but fails at the end.

While there wasn’t much of each of the other precure this episode, there’s bits and pieces to like if you’re not a fan of Yayoi. If that’s the case, then why the hell aren’t you a fan of Yayoi after this episode? You have no heart.

Just kidding!

PreCure Power Rankings: Episode 9

1. Yayoi/Cure Peace – It was her episode, and Hisako Kanemoto really nailed it.
2. Reika/Cure Beauty – She was the driving force behind the growing misunderstanding.
3. Miyuki/Cure Happy – Sparked the misunderstanding, and generally out-Sunny’ed Sunny.
4. Nao/Cure March – Didn’t have too many lines, but was solidly in-character throughout.
5. Akane/Cure Sunny – A bit of a goof this week, but a little too much so. Good thing she has her own episode next week!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Smile PreCure! Episode 9: A Piece of Peace”

  1. You totally had me with your April fools joke! GOOD JOB I CRIED…just kidddingggg! But damn good job!

    1- Yep Oni is pretty much dumber than a box of rocks, but I kind of enjoyed how he used lies as a way to fight! Which started to make me think of a random Warcraft boss fight…but I have no idea why…maybe I was hoping for the girls to use some strats to defeat the OMG-STEAM-ROLLER-MONSTER; agreed Oni is and always will be the “dumb one” of the bunch.

    2- Transferring schools? YOU ARE SO OFF THE TEAM Yayoi! Every time I hear the word transfer my mind always flashes back to damn Higurashi…because you never say that word around the main cast of girls or they will stab you with some random object. Anyway I was like Yayoi TELL THEM ALREADY! But still it was funny to watch how over reactive the other girls got.

    3- Hisako Kanemoto is slowly becoming my most favorite actress! I love every character she has played even though I can only name a handful she might even top Hanazawa Kana on my own list. I really loved Yayoi’s room and that alarm clock? SO PERFECT for her dreams of becoming a superhero, but watching her inner self struggle was so damn hilarious I loved those chibi character designs. Did you notice how excited she got at the thought of playing a joke on her friends? I swear she has Soooooo much energy and I loved every moment ❤

    4- Hell yeah! The music was so freaking good! Especially at the end while the girls are messing around saying they don't want to be friends with Yayoi anymore…damn I remember you said the same people that do the music for precure also do the music on Fairy Tail! And that series has a great theme for the main guild whenever something dramatic or the team is in danger it kicks in and wow! I get so excited. As for Smile Precure I can't wait to hear more music and you are right the rock music that played for Yayoi was amazing! OST WHEN…do want.

    5- Oh yes if you are not a Yayoi fan I hope this episode helped to change your mind, however I still have a hard time placing them in any top five list maybe after all these single themed episodes it might change? Who knows.

    Akane is next! Woooooo! I wonder if her story will have anything dramatic or will it be just a straight up laugh fest?

    1. 1. Aka Oni reminded me of a Pokemon trainer. When I think about it more, it’s not just Aka Oni, but the majority of bad guys in heartcatch precure. Summoning the monster of the week is like putting your pokemon out on the field of battle. Instead of saying “Go! Blastoise!” it’s actually “Come out! Negatone!” or “Come out! Akanbe!” or something similar. It’s pretty funny thinking about it like that, as I’m now picturing Aka Oni with Ash Katchem’s hat. Oops. Can’t unsee.

      2. An easily effective way of writing is to withhold the truth for as long as possible until the bubble of lies has no choice but to pop. In many cases, it’s someone who’s trying to keep a secret for as long as possible, but in this episode it’s the exact opposite, which makes it pretty funny.

      3. Hisako was full of energy throughout the episode, from her inability to contain her excitement, to her inner panic when she’s unable to find an opportunity to tell the truth, even when she’s a crybaby, because those are tears of happiness that she can’t hold back. She’s very talented, and definitely deserves more fans such as yourself! I’m officially a fan too!

      4. Yeah, Yasuharu Takanashi did Fairy Tail as well! He has a strong grasp of using theme music for different situations and characters in all of his works. It’s fairly straightforward and predictable, but it’s executed very well, and his compositions are melodic earworms! He’s probably my favourite composer in anime right now, though there’s probably quite a bit of bias there because of PreCure, lol!

      5. Just when you think you have a top five list, a new episode airs featuring one of your lower-ranked precure, and all of a sudden, they’re your favourite character! It’s not sorcery, I swear! This show just nows how to strike a pretty good balance of likeable characters. There’s a different flavour for everyone to have a favourite, but it seems that the characters are finally hitting their stride with regards to their personality, though some don’t have as many lines or opportunities to do so *cough*March*cough*

  2. I actually get quite annoyed at Aka Oni and his (and the Precure team’s) incompetence in battles. I know it’s not the point of a Precure show, but I can’t help but see it that way.

    That superhero alarm clock in the beginning was awesome, and this episode wouldn’t work nearly as well if any other character was the liar.

    I really like the sudden music cut-offs, like in that DOUSHIOOOOOOOOOO part 😄 and in the Secret Base (kimi to natsu no owari, shourai no yume- *cough* oops) episode after Reika gave the long winding speech and Akane went I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANY OF THAT

    1. Battle is certainly a distinguishing point of the franchise, so it’s easy to develop expectations to see some DBZ-level action once in a while, but even for PreCure, Smile has a bit less than usual. I think this is becoming part of Smile’s identity, which focuses more on the characters themselves rather than some overall encompassing story (though by the time pierrot awakens, that could change completely).

      Only Yayoi could get herself into such a situation in the first place, so you’re right, it wouldn’t work as well any other way. I feel that she’s the least likely to lie out of the five, which really made the episode as entertaining as it was.

      Also, SAIKOU NO OMOIDE WOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s