It’s starting to look like the Bundoru gang, they’re a bit smarter than we’d given them credit for. You may have noticed that Spiritoru has been missing in recent episodes; I had mistakenly assumed this was so we could learn more about Secretoru and her motivations. That may still be true, but when Takumi’s father Cinnamon comes home this week, we learn that he’s noticed dishes disappearing around the world. Meaning that Secretoru essentially served as a distraction for the Pretty Cures, allowing her robot creation to wreak havoc in other parts of the world without interference. It’s an impressively well-thought-out strategy, and it’s greatly increased what the villains are capable of.
That means Cinnamon’s return to Oishi-na Town isn’t just helpful in giving us a better sense of the big picture. Cinnamon’s existence is important to the story because, as you may recall, he was framed and banned from the chef kingdom long before our current set of Pretty Cures were born. That essentially makes him a hidden weapon, a source of help that the villains are likely unaware of. He also represents a chance to right past wrongs for Mari; Rekindling his friendship with Cinnamon frees his mind to ask the really important question: If Cinnamon was framed, who is the real culprit? And does Cinnamon now carry a grudge that could come back to bite everyone in the back?
So far, the answer to that last question appears to be no. Kanel seems very comfortable helping Mari, although the same cannot be said for his discovery that his son Takumi has used his Delicioustone to become Black Pepper. There’s a really relevant dad moment when Cinnamon speaks very seriously to his son. There’s a sense that he’s very proud of Takumi for stepping up, but it’s tempered by his father’s fear that his son is putting himself in danger when he strictly shouldn’t. This conflict makes Takumi really think about why he has been fighting with the girls. It may have started as an offshoot of his crush on Yui, but at this point it has become something important in its own right. Being Black Pepper has eaten at him in the sense that he hasn’t been able to bring himself to tell Yui about it, but it’s also become a source of pride for him. He may bemoan how his grocery shopping is interrupted every time the Bundoru gang attacks, but he’s still proud that he can help in the fight despite, as his father puts it, not being “chosen”.
This raises an interesting question about choice and the powers of this notion. There’s an argument that can be made that Takumi wouldn’t have been able to use his father’s Delicioustone in the first place if the stone hadn’t quietly chosen him. We can compare this to the way Amane became Cure Finale: there was no Little Fairy for her, just like there wasn’t one for Takumi. Both made their choice out of a desire to help and because they were strong in their convictions, and both found a way to transform and become part of the struggle. Is there really a difference between Cure Finale’s locket and Black Pepper’s Delicioustone? I would say that it really isn’t and that they were able to transform because of their own desire and inner strength. The battle was already underway when they achieved their transformations, and their desire to join is just as important as the other three cures being chosen.
Emotions are powerful things. It increasingly looks like Secretoru’s transformation was influenced by her own negative emotions, making her the opposite of Black Pepper. Her inability to cook seems to have eaten at her to the point where she blamed it for everything that went wrong in her life, and more specifically, her boyfriend leaving her. She was so focused on getting it right that she may have lost sight of why she was doing it in the first place, and that seems to be the motivation behind her desire for all food to simply disappear. She provides food for her own insecurities, and while I don’t think it’s meant to be a metaphor for eating disorders, I also think it might be fair to see it in that light when it comes to her unhealthy relationship with food.
Caring about something or someone is a double-edged sword. Yui breaks down in tears when she realizes that the best friend she’s been trying to keep her not-so-secret identity as Cure Precious from is actually the person who’s been helping her all along, showing the toll all of this has taken on her. her. She’s still the least developed of the main cast, but this gives us a small hint that she’s kept everything bottled up inside. We might say the same about Secretoru and Fennikel, and I think we really want to keep an eye on the latter going forward.
Delicious party♡Precure currently streaming on Crunchyroll.