To save myself a lot of hassle (along with feeling lazy) I said I’d continue my PreCure coverage when important story events occur. There were important events here and there but a big one happened recently so might as well sum up earlier episodes and only delve deeper when needed.
Episode 8: Manatsu’s Mom works long hours and has to cook for the next day when she comes home. Manatsu felt bad and organized a cooking activity for the Tropical Club. Lessons were learned and Manatsu now helps cook for the family. As someone in a similar situation I can relate. Like Manatsu I too feel fulfilled being the chef of the house. We also learned Asuka’s good at cooking due to her family situation. She would reveal another surprising talent in a later episode.
Episode 9: Sango put to action the courage she gained after becoming a Power Ranger by helping her mom with a promotional campaign. A young actress who wasn’t confident she could play a villainous role in her next feature was motivated by Sango who she thought was timid and uncertain like her.
Episode 10 was an important one: The baddies got the traditional “Super Monster of the Week” bombs to create “Zenzen Yarane-da” and the new monster gave our heroines a beating. Manatsu had her motivation power sucked away. Laura used the Aqua Pod to retrieve it but it was blown away. She did the unthinkable to get it back for Manatsu. Meanwhile Manatsu, being the lead Ranger, wouldn’t stay unmotivated for long, regaining her energy to help her team out of a pinch. Laura was overjoyed to see her main Ranger back in action. The rest of the motivation power gave the Rangers a power boost and new finisher, Tropical Mix. A big phoenix bomber attack. Very nice. Tsundere Laura couldn’t hold back her tears of joy for Manatsu.
Episode 11: The Rangers hosted a sand sculpture contest. It was almost ruined by a sudden rain storm and a baddie attack but thanks to some quick thinking from Laura specifically the day was saved and the contest was a success. How Laura felt this episode would be important going forward.
Episode 12: The Disciplinary Committee responded to the mermaid rumors by confiscating items deemed troublesome. Asuka confronted the seitokaichou about it to no avail. She reminded her of their past. More on that in the future hopefully. Back to the main plot, the committee president confiscated the Aqua Pod that fell our of Manatsu’s pocket. Naturally the baddies attacked as soon as they planned on getting it back. Laura volunteered to do so while the Rangers fought the MotW. In the committee’s storage room Laura combined a school uniform, a dress and shoes to hide her tail. She could stand on it and somewhat walk with the shoes. The president’s encounters with Laura made her a bit paranoid but she didn’t have evidence to prove she was a mermaid.
Episode 13: The Rangers took over a radio broadcast. During an early broadcast the host talked about legends saying mermaid used their beautiful singing voice to lure sailors to their doom. Laura of course said it was ridiculous. She later got a chance to prove herself when our heroines took over the broadcast because the first host got sick. Laura said she’d be a natural at it and she’s right. When the baddies did their thing Laura volunteered to finish the broadcast, showing the school her beautiful melody. She’s a big hit. Also as seen in the second screen grab Laura couldn’t use her disguise from the previous episode so she made a new dress. She’d use it a couple of times while hopping around.
Nothing really noteworthy happened in Episode 14.
Episode 15: Minori and Laura switched bodies. Somehow Laura instantly adapted to a human body while Minori struggled a bit as a mermaid, specifically controlling the Aqua Pod. Minori greatly enjoyed being a human. So much so that afterward she wasn’t really all that glad to be a mermaid again. Minori meanwhile learned to be a little more bold while still maintaining her mostly poker face expression. For Love Live! fans think Rina. Minori is similar except as Cure Papaya where she’s more expressive. Also Sango dressed like a cheerleader and artists understandably went wild.
Episode 16: It’s time for all the sad Laura feels to come out. For the longest time she felt lonely cooped up in the Aqua Pod forced to hide from society as she watched her Manatsu and friends get to do lots of fun stuff. She got to participate once in a while but yearned to be free. That’s why she felt so alive as Minori last episode. The mountain trip was the last straw. She dearly wanted to freely do human stuff with the gang. She’d secretly do her own thing throughout the show, hence the various “mermaid sighting rumors”. Minori found her reading The Little Mermaid, a story that came up several times since Minori’s debut. That part that caught her eye was when “Ariel” asked “Ursula” to turn her human and the price she paid for it. Minori related to humans sometimes needing to sacrifice something they like to achieve something great.
Meanwhile the baddies were like “That mermaid keeps taking back the motivation energy we steal. Let’s capture her!” and proceed to do so.
Episode 17: Laura was taken to the Witch of Delays who offered to grant her wish of becoming human in exchange for her not get in the her way. When Laura refused she’s like “I’ll give you time to think about it”. She’s the WoD. It’s in her character for her to be like “Come back later”. Laura and Kururun made a cool escape out of the dungeon but as she tried to retrieve the Aqua Pod in “Not Ursula’s” chamber the witch awoke. Ever defiant Laura bit her way out of her grip. She tried to escape the witch’s castle but seahorse butler shot her down with his hydro cane of doom.
SOMEHOW Kururun found and carried her back to “Not Atlantica”. The queen was pleased she completed her mission to find Tropical Ranger candidates and offered her a chance to return home but Laura thought about her Manatsu and friends and was like “The Rangers need me”. Proud of her words the queen was like “Take this (coughmorphercough) stone. When the time is right the truth will be revealed.
While all that happened the Rangers followed a trail of bubble photos left by Laura to her when they came across a cruise ship under attack. Two generals were present and it was a tough fight. Cure Summer faced the Crustacean General and she’s in trouble when Laura dashed to her rescue. Angered at the crab guy her desire to protect Manatsu (and help her friends) was so strong the stone shone, revealing it’s obvious content.
IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!
Thus Cure La Mer (Whose design was leaked weeks before her debut like many other Bonus Rangers before her) made her grand debut. Great design despite my minor disappointment she didn’t keep her tail after transforming as I hoped but it fits her story arc so whatever. The other four Rangers took on one Zenzen Yarane-da while Cure La Mer fought the other.
Cure La Mer’s victory pose. If her design didn’t already inspire loads of sexy art I can only imagine what her yummy victory pose did. The episode ended with Laura relishing her new human legs. At last her time to freely enjoy human life with her Manatsu (and friends) had come.
Great arc overall. Looking forward to what’s next for the Tropical Rangers and Human Laura.
PS: In case readers are wondering what I thought about Laura becoming a Power Ranger vs Cure Earth’s existence, as someone who grew up with Power Rangers I have experience with both Bonus Rangers being built up and others who came out of nowhere, meaning I don’t despise Cure Earth’s existence as much as other Cureholics.