The show took its time introducing Cure Prism and I think that patience paid off. It allowed Mashiro’s character to be fleshed out enough that her gaining that power was extremely satisfying. Both main characters have a degree of uncertainty and hesitancy to them. It isn’t just about getting power and being satisfied. In a sense that makes them easy to empathize with. If they can keep up the good work with developing their characters, then that will be excellent. At the very least the show is off to a good start here. Mashiro and Sora are strong in their own ways and it’s satisfying watching them help support each other.
Mashiro’s dilemma is excellent for creating feelings of sympathy. She doesn’t have any specific problems, but rather a feeling of being undefined. Unlike Sora she doesn’t have a major goal that drives her. And over time she’s really started to see herself as a background character that needs to do something. The running at the start of the episode was just her throwing herself into something and seeking change. Soroa’s been a powerful influence on her and in that sense she wanted to be a bit more like her while also being able to help her out. But when comparing herself to others she is left feeling a bit empty.
Good on Ageha for stepping up. A good showing in helping keep Mashiro from losing out on her opportunity. Even if Mashiro doesn’t have a firm goal, she does have her strengths. Kindness really can be underrated in the world. But Ageha at least understands how much salvation can come from Mashiro’s good heart. It allowed her to move away with a less heavy heart. And no question that kindness has saved Sora and Ellee several times by this point. Just by offering kind words and letting Sora know she isn’t alone has allowed her to rise and fight back several times already.
And all that emotional weight though just makes Prism’s debut truly satisfying. Mashiro realized her value and that she wasn’t just some background character. Ageha saved them all by giving her the confidence to stand up and fight. She’s certainly a different style than Sky, but that’s a good thing. The last thing a show like this needs is the feeling that each of these girls is just basically the same person with a different colour attached to them. If Prism keeps up this mix of range and close combat, it should let her stand out.
And I also appreciate that they kept up the whole “not knowing how to handle their strength” thing even with Prism’s opening fight. Sometimes Precure just does that with the first transformation/episode and somehow all Precure after that just know how to handle their strength just fine. The transformation itself was fine. I don’t think it was quite as impactful as with Sky. But part of that is just that being the first transformation we got in this show and Sora is a bit more energetic a character so it instinctively has more energy to it. If nothing else this show knows transformations and handles them just fine.
Part of me thinks they could have just cut out Sky’s fight or transformation in this one. It just felt like a weird break in the flow of the fight to go through even an abbreviated Sky transformation. Maybe it’s just the Symphogear fan in me thinking that it’s ok to sometimes just use an instant transformation. People don’t have such short attention spans that they’ll forget who Cure Sky is. It just felt like an odd choice to me. Fights have a flow to them. Transforming works before the fight since nothing is happening yet, but once things are moving along I think it’s fine to skip them unless there’s a good reason to include one. Not a big deal, but just a minor thing that threw me off a bit.
This was also another episode that shows the strengths and flaws of Sora. She’s a good girl with strong heroic instincts. But…she’s also a bit of an idiot. That trap was so obvious that Mashiro didn’t even feel the need to strongly try and stop Sora from getting involved. And being so foolish nearly cost them. While the enemy was stupid looking…the threat level here was legitimate. Mashiro and Ageha weren’t going to be able to protect Ellee for long against supernatural threats. And if their opponent was seriously evil…he would have been doing more than pinching Sora’s cheeks. But at the same time her good qualities led to her realizing well before Mashiro did that she didn’t need to change. To Sora, Mashiro is perfect just as she is.
I had fun with this episode. It was satisfying seeing Mashiro be reminded that she’s got plenty of good qualities. She’ll need to find her path forward someday, but that doesn’t have to be today. And honestly some people never quite figure it out. But for a show like this I’m sure she won’t be one of those people. It’ll be nice seeing how these two bounce off each other in the future. Mashiro feels like the type that will naturally try to play a supportive role and set up Sora’s winning attacks. But maybe she’ll gain the confidence to stand right alongside Sora no matter how messy things get.
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