No denying the energy that came with the debut of Cure Butterfly. Anything less for a character like that simply wouldn’t have worked. You can honestly tell they were excited to get this character out there into the show. Everyone was a great deal more animated this week than usual and they really played up things to almost a silly degree to keep the energy going strong throughout. To say this was Ageha’s episode would be understating it. This wasn’t just an episode where she became a Precure, it was an episode that basically reflected her character and personality overall.
I will say that I do like the atmosphere and personality they run with for Ageha and Cure Butterfly here. Although it feels almost way more energized than she’s been at any point in the show. You could say it reflects her excitement to finally be starting on her road to being a nursery school teacher. But it just stood out to me with her pulling out all the play on her name which got translated into things like “let’s get excited.” Honestly, I don’t recall her saying anything like this in any of the previous episodes. It’s like they decided that’s the kind of thing they want to do with Cure Butterfly going forward and had no choice but to cram it into Ageha’s personality right now.
Not that this is a huge leap for her. Ageha has been a clever and energetic character to this point. But it’s just that I never took her for someone with catchphrases like that. Instead, she just seemed like a good girl that was really touched by her long friendship with Mashiro. That she was willing to stand beside these characters because she liked them and wanted to support them. And that was all fine. Just now we have her pulling out lines like that and I didn’t quite see it coming.
There’s an interesting concept of the impact of superpowered people on impressionable kids in this episode. I’m not sure if they’ll do anything with it past this episode for someone like Sora who dreams of being a hero. A hero that tends to beat up her enemies to save the day. That could be something interesting for her to tackle. Takeru showed how interesting that kind of thing can be. Easy to take punching monsters to save lives and apply it to punching his classmates to punish cutting in line. Heck, the inclusion of actual fan mail almost starts to imply a moral responsibility for the Precure to not only save people’s lives but teach them the proper lessons of how to behave.
Now Ageha of course finds her own answer to all this. She tries to find the answer of fighting back in a way that doesn’t necessarily mean throwing punches. And she does manage that while still a normal human. Running around and confusing the attacker did work and showed how capable she was. Doing that while carrying a kid around is no joke. There is of course no option besides attacking when she does transform into a Precure. There’s no simple answer of “not fighting” to deal with enemies seeking to harm them. But she did play it somewhat defensively and ended the fight as quickly as possible.
I am somewhat surprised that it appears Ageha will end up being the direct rival to Battamonda. Now maybe this was just a one-time thing. Maybe it was just about giving someone for Ageha to clash with for the sake of getting her character arc off the ground. But it would make some sense. Sky’s big rivalry was right out of the gate with Kabaton. He fit her as a rival in a lot of ways and their interactions built up on a solid foundation. But Battamonda is a bit different. He’s a dishonest type that enjoys picking on those he deems weaker and act like he’s morally superior. But it is all a façade. He’s deceptive, cheap, and a petty little man. Ageha can see through it and call him out on it. Sky did scare him similarly, but it’s not because she understood him. She was just angry!
It’s always tricky to help get a new character onto the scene when you already have three Precure that can handle themselves well. And I think it works overall. It’s not only Sora that will dive in front of Ellee to protect her from an attack after all. The whole group can’t help that. That’s fine since this is a rare time that Ellee would be left on her own. The cast so comfortable and used to having Ageha looking out for her that no one stopped to realize that this wasn’t the usual situation. Ageha already had her hands full! She wasn’t in position to keep Ellee safe.
And honestly, it’s fine every now and then for them to mess up and be caught by surprise. They did need to bust out Butterfly’s barrier though otherwise we’d have to ask why they don’t seal the Precure to freely go after Ellee every week.
In terms of debut episodes, it was solid. I do think it isn’t quite on the same level as Sora’s debut or even with Tsubasa. Mashiro’s was similar in terms of level with her just getting a few more episodes of direct setup for her issues. But I will say it was still a fun episode. Butterfly just nailed her enemy and deserved it. Plus, it is kind of amusing how she basically decided she’d become a Precure and Ellee was the one left playing catchup in giving her the power! Now we’ve got the full team. Or at least it seems like we have the full team. So, let’s look forward to some new finishers and a team transformation.
On the note of transformations, I think it was good. It might be the second best after Cure Sky. I think energetic characters like Sora and Ageha fit this transformation style the best. I don’t know if we’ll get a fresh transformation for the whole group or if they’ll keep up this pattern of just kind of cutting between the whole group. Either way though, the show can now really move forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if Battamonda’s days are numbered.
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