Delicious Party Precure
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 22 of
Delicious Party♡Precure ?
Community score: 4.5
It's Takumi's time to shine! Or to have an existential crisis; either way, he's the focus of this week's episode and that's nice to see. In part that's because he's just been sort of there as The Boy for most of the series' run, barring his initial entry on the scene as Black Pepper, but it's also good because he clearly wants to be a real member of the party, and that means being a bit more open about it. The episode follows a very believable trajectory of Takumi worrying that his actions are both unwarranted and unwanted, leading to feelings about whether or not he's even worth the girls' time. That makes a lot of sense if you think about it – he may have joined up unofficially before Cure Finale, but he did it without telling anyone or even revealing who he really is. Finale went through the whole initiation process – learning who everyone was, gaining her transformation, getting the backstory on the fight, etc. Takumi had to figure all of that out for himself, and now he's worried that he's intruding in a world that he doesn't belong in.
I suspect there also may be some feelings related to Yui herself in the mix. Even leaving out his crush on her, Takumi's been friends with Yui the longest, and the implication is that they've spent a lot of time together and been close even prior to Yui's awakening as Cure Precious. Then all of a sudden Kokone, then Ran, then Amane all showed up, and now Yui's spending most of her time with them. It would be stranger if Takumi didn't feel a little displaced, and some of his emotions about his role as Black Pepper very likely stem from regular life concerns about his childhood friend moving on without him. It doesn't matter that this is all in his head, because the problem with things being “all in your head” is that you can't just reach in there and pull them out. And with Mari's question about Cinnamon last week, Takumi's now wondering if his dad somehow also disqualifies him from being part of Yui's new club – which, it's probably worth remembering, she still hasn't told him about.
Takumi's really in the very awkward position of knowing a lot more than any of the girls but not knowing how to deal with it all. That's something that Narcistoru doesn't hesitate to use against him, taking his one screw-up across the many battles he's helped out with and exploiting it expertly. Finale presumably doesn't mean to back Narcistoru up, but she does when she seconds his statement about Black Pepper not helping the fight against the (first) cutting board/measuring spoon monster. It's hard to say which of them did more damage (Narcistoru is, naturally, convinced it's him), but when you combine their words with Takumi's fears of losing Yui, it makes for a pretty devastating attack, something we see not only in his concerns about rejoining the fight, but also in Yui saying that she'll ask the other girls to help out with his legendary crepe project. His hesitancy there really is very telling: in his mind, Yui may not need him anymore because she's got the other Cures, and he's afraid that if they join the crepe project, he'll once again find himself redundant, no matter that it's his mission.
It does look like Yui may be at least partially aware of his inner turmoil, though. Whether that's as both Cure Precious and Yui is up for debate; she gives him an encouraging message, but it feels more likely that she handed it to him in the aftermath of the second cutting board battle rather than that she gave it to him Yui-to-Takumi. But the way that she's attuned to his moods may indicate that she's got at least a little bit of an idea of who their ally is, and if she doesn't, the jar on his dresser may do the job for her. Once Takumi's fears are assuaged he stands to be an even better member of the group, and I look forward to him shoving that in Narcistoru's smug face in the future.
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