I’m starting to get the good feelings I had when first starting to cover this show earlier this year. The story is moving again, the characters are developing nicely, and it’s referring to the best early parts of the show. I honestly almost forgot that a huge thing for Mashiro was her utter aimlessness and feeling worthless because she didn’t have a strong motivation like Sora wanting to be a hero. So, it was a good move to call back to that. Nice to look back on where Mashiro was before Battamonda even was the main threat the cast was up against.
It’s not like Mashiro hasn’t gotten any focus in the second half of the show. But Mashiro has been kind of parked in this “going to be a picture book author” thing for a while now. It’s nice that she’s found something she wants to do. But the flashbacks did remind me how strong her character was when it was just her and Sora. Her kindness being a quality that people around her truly depended on. She didn’t have to become like someone else or discredit herself. Mashiro was good as she was, and she’d find what she wanted to do eventually. Which she did.
It’s been such a long while since she became a precure and felt comfortable in standing beside Sora. I didn’t immediately clue in that the leaf in her story really was as much about herself as it was about Monda. A nice comparison made between Battamonda and Mashiro. Obviously different in that Mashiro wouldn’t go to cruel extremes to justify her own self-worth. But the comparison does fit for both. Just comparing themselves to others and feeling miserable as a result.
And say what you want…but I think this worked. Mashiro early on was making life harder on herself. She looked at others with passionate goals and felt like something was wrong with her for not having anything yet. People like Skearhead made Battamonda feel worthless. The active comparison and struggle to be strong left a schemer like Batamonda miserable. He always seemed to be compensating and trying to put others down to elevate himself. And these episodes dug into the core of what made him like that.
Mashiro’s ability to empathize was going full tilt here. I really enjoyed her snapping while Skearhead was constantly berating Battamonda. Not with a “don’t talk about him like that” but rather with a message that was closer to “don’t talk about me like that!” Mashiro before was the type that would take that kind of stuff and feel bad about it. Or she’d parrot it in a self-depreciating way. But now she won’t let anyone talk about her like that. Mashiro knows very well that she does have value and she’s the one that determines that. It’s not even about getting praise and recognition from her friends. She must believe in her own self-worth.
And Mashiro’s heart did reach Battamonda. It gave him the words he needed. Not proclaiming how worthwhile he is when she doesn’t know him that well personally. But rather hitting home that he has to believe in his own worth. Even Mashiro can’t define him as being worthwhile. It must come from inside or there’s just no point. Battamonda did have to go berserk, so the cast had someone to fight, but I appreciate that he did get one good shot in on Skearhead. The guy stood up for himself and refused to keep being talked down to endlessly. Even he knew what the right thing to do was.
I will say the fight against him was amusing. Not only was Majesty again weak, but the way they used the finisher seemed insane. I know it didn’t kill the last guy they used it on, but I feel like there should be some hesitation before blasting someone at full power! Did they need that much firepower considering Prism’s awakened power seemed to calm him down anyways? Maybe no one wanted to bother bringing back the older finishers at this point.
The fight itself did have some good moments though. I think it showed Battamonda’s talents as one of the smarter opponents the Precure had this season. It wasn’t just raw power. He made sure to counter moves intelligently, use the precure themselves as shields, and avoided giving them time to rest. It’s probably a good thing he wasn’t as strong as those around him. Otherwise, he might have been an even bigger pain when he was an enemy.
So, everything worked out just fine. Could say Sora was extremely forgiving considering the mental stress she was put under by this guy. But she’s the good-natured hero at her core. If Battamonda has (all puns intended) turned over a new leaf then there’s no point pressuring him now. Not exactly going to tell him to hang out in Skyland since he’d probably be asked to serve time for his crimes against the royal family. But on Earth? Can kind of just leave him be. And I’m a sucker for nice moments such as Battamonda apologizing to Mashiro for her sketchbook.
Honestly this is the kind of stuff I’m good with. Redeem your enemies if it makes sense to and just give them a chance. Prism was all about saving this guy and giving him the chance to believe in his own value. And she got everything she wanted. Even the grand prize which she’d long forgotten about compared to deciding how she wanted her story to turn out.
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