Score: A-

So, here we are. The debut of Cure Wing has arrived and I’m sure it’s an impactful one for a lot of people that have been waiting for this. I knew going into the first episode that there was going to be a male precure. Mostly since it’s hard to avoid all online discussion without really trying to. I was curious going into these episodes how well they would set it up. I can’t really speak to how historically impactful this moment is since it isn’t as if I’ve been watching Precure seasons since the very first one. But I will say that thankfully this episode was a good one regardless of any of that.

Gutsy call to let go in that situation

I want to start off with the character arc first. Because that’s one part of the episode I really enjoyed. Tsubasa and Ellee got a lot of good moments. They really focused in on them and I think that made the episode even better. Sora is still my favourite character of the show. But I think letting her and Mashiro be mostly doing their own thing in the background worked here. Tsubasa kept pushing and trying to save Ellee. He couldn’t fly, couldn’t really fight, but kept trying to do whatever he could. Even when he was tossed out of the ship he didn’t just give up. He instead staged a solid rescue attempt and even got Ellee out of the ship.

These episodes have built him up as someone that has the will to try but has been doubted by so many around him. There is a heroic streak as well to Tsubasa. Without that he wouldn’t have charged out to help Ellee in the first place. So, it was nice to see him get the support that he needed. All that effort ended up rewarded. For now, the only way he’s going to be flying is through transforming. But at least he got to experience that thrill though his focus was mostly on trying to protect Ellee. In that sense getting to understand his father’s success some more.

This feels like the moment Ellee really established herself as a character

Tsubasa having solid character moments in this episode was expected. But what I didn’t expect was how important Ellee would be. For a lot of the show, she’s been a spark for events, but rarely has the story been that focused on her actual thoughts. But this one really showed who Ellee is. Several times in the episode Tsubasa told her to go and leave him behind. But every single time she kept refusing and trying to help him. One could say she’s a bit reckless and puts her life in jeopardy too much. But at the same time, it shows that she’s not someone that can abandon others. Even more so if that person has been actively trying to help her.

Maybe this should have been more expected. They played hard into this Princess and trusted Knight concept. Usually, the Princess in that case isn’t a baby, but I think it still works here. Ellee gave Tsubasa a reason to fight. Her consistent and unwavering desire not to give up on him made everything possible. And it’s not like she’s unaware of the world around her. She gets scared as she should be when captured. But being scared and being willing to leave someone to die/get hurt is another thing entirely for her. Great episode for Ellee.

I think there are pros and cons here

Might as well jump into the topic of Cure Wing. Elements of the transformation and design I could take or leave. Not everything was a pure win for me. Hard not to compare to the standard set by Cure Sky. In that sense Prism and Wing both don’t quite measure up. Could just be a me thing. But something about the transformation for Wing just didn’t quite work for me. I’m no stranger to male characters getting magical transformation sequences. I’ve seen “Kore wa Zombie desu ka?” and “Nanoha StrikerS.” Admittedly I’m not sure the Nanoha StrikerS approach would have worked since that one mostly just sped through the male character’s transformation to not focus much on it. It makes sense for Precure to keep things within its own design direction too. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really love it.

They don’t quit

I also want to give a nod to the other main characters. Because they were consistently trying to either stop the monster or save Ellee themselves. But their lack of verticality hurt them. It is a bit ironic that the one called Cure Sky couldn’t…really access the sky. But if she was a flying Precure then it really would make Cure Wing unnecessary before he ever got to debut. The nice thing was that they really kept up the effort. Even when they had attacks raining down on them or were crashing into the ground, they just picked themselves right back up.

This also seemed to be setting up Ageha for more focus. She was really acting like the tactician of the group in this episode. Though she wasn’t so confident in her own tactics, she wanted Sky and Prism to keep trying even as they were getting hurt. The one positive thing there was that their determination seemed to stir something inside of her. It might not be long before we get the full team.

This moment gave Kabaton more depth to me

The other interesting thing for me was Kabaton himself. There was an interesting look on his face when Tsubasa was talking about his reasons for not abandoning Ellee. It really seems like the concept of doing something for another person is just beyond his ability to relate to. It does make sense. Even when he had Ellee he was so focused on trying to get more concessions from his employers. He’s an incredibly selfish individual. Instead of beating up on Tsubasa, he basically just kicked him out and tried to stop interacting with him. This just makes Kabaton a bit more interesting.

I liked this one

Honestly, I think this episode was solid. The character journey for Tsubasa and Ellee worked well. Truly settling in nicely as the Princess and Knight of the season. It was a big moment anyways in having (I believe) the first male Precure. At least one that’s part of the main cast and there to stay. While I did enjoy the nature of this episode, I do hope we get to see more Sora and Mashiro ahead. These two are the real draw of the show for me. This episode didn’t need to focus on them and I’m good with that. But Sora especially is why I’m still talking about this show going into the Spring season. More of her would be appreciated.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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