Delicious Party Precure Episode 18 Review
Cure Finale has arrived! And it looks like she was worth the wait, not just because she’s got a very nice character design and a magic piping bag (here’s hoping for attacks based on changing tips), but because of what she does for Amane as a character. Cure Finale is notably different from Cures Precious, Spicy, and Yum-Yum in several ways, the most salient of which is that she doesn’t have a fey helper to transform. Yui, Kokone, and Ran all essentially borrow power from Kome Kome, Pam Pam, and Mem Mem, enabling them to share energy and transform into their superheroine alter egos, but Amane’s power comes straight from a different source: herself. Her crystal heart, which Mari says is made from hoka-hoka hearts made solid, is the product of her own dreams and love for parfaits, born out of a part of herself that was integral to who she was before Narcistoru transformed her into Gentlu. It was something she was forced to give up, at least in her own mind, and her guilt pushed it outside her body. But because it was still something she cherished, even as she felt she didn’t deserve it, those feelings and dreams became something solid and real, eventually turning into her pendant. Amane’s transformation into Cure Finale is, therefore, the ultimate shape of her childhood dreams and adolescent angst, a second chance for her to grab onto if only she can believe that she still deserves it.
There’s something beautifully symbolic about that, and it’s tantamount to Nodoka/Cure Grace’s understanding that she doesn’t owe Daruizen anything in Healin’ Good Precure. Both moments feature a girl taking charge of her own destiny and understanding that the past only has as much of a hold on them as they allow it. That doesn’t mean that it will disappear completely, but rather that by accepting that it happened, they can move on. For Amane specifically, it’s her coming to terms with the traumatic experience of her past, one that she thought destroyed all hopes she may have had for her future. When she embraces the idea that she can still do some good in the world, she’s saying that she is more than the sum of her trauma. Bad things happened, and she’ll always have to live with that knowledge, but she herself is not the Bad Thing. In that sense, her Cure name, Finale, isn’t just symbolic of dessert, but also of the culmination of her experiences: becoming a Cure is the grand finale of her interactions with the Bundoru Gang. It’s not a swan song, because she’s got many more places to go; it’s the pinnacle of Amane discovering that she does not have to be ruled by any one experience. She’s moving ahead, and that’s both an important lesson for viewers and a major achievement for anyone who has been through a traumatic experience – her past, and Narcistoru in particular, no longer has power over her.
It’s a good thing Finale’s there, too, because Narcistoru is upping his game with his Motto Ubauzo. Granted, there are still some issues when your giant pot monster can be defeated by a guy tickling him (or at least distracted by the tickle man), but this week’s monster is genuinely dangerous in a way that the others haven’t quite been. Cure Spicy’s shield power comes in most handy, but it’s only a defensive measure; the hot chunks the beast spews are too treacherous for Precious or Yum-Yum to be able to get close enough to unleash their attacks. (That’s a little odd with Yum-Yum’s ranged cutter noodles, but Finale does need a reason to shine, so I suppose I can accept it.) If Narcistoru keeps perfecting these beasts – and I see no reason why he won’t – the girls are going to have to get ever more creative to take them down. It may, in fact, take Black Pepper integrating more fully into the team, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit on that since next week is about Amane’s brothers. That’s fine by me, though – after all, Amane’s been through, Cure Finale deserves a few weeks to simply shine.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.
Delicious Party Precure Episode 18 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.