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Delicious Party Precure
Episode 23

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 23 of
Delicious Party♡Precure ?
Community score: 4.5

The fact that Kokone's parents are largely absent has been lurking quietly in the background of this show ever since she was introduced. Although she's mostly silent about it, we've seen that it bothers her in some truly masterful “show not tell” storytelling, even if the other girls aren't quite as aware of it as they might be – or at least haven't been able to put all the pieces of her behavior together. That changes when Kokone's mom and dad make an appearance this week; all of a sudden it's much more obvious to everyone that all is not well in her household.

Is it fair to blame that solely on Kokone's parents? I'm largely inclined to say yes, because they're the adults in this situation and so most of the issue gets laid right at their feet. Kokone tells us that shortly after her aunt made her feel badly about asking for doughnut holes her parents started traveling a lot for work, and from the looks of things she must have been somewhere between six and eight years old when that happened. While plenty of children know their own minds at that age, it's still very much up to the parents to set the tone, and that's what they did: by leaving their daughter behind. We can see from Kokone's mom's face during the Aunt Incident that she knew she ought to say something at the time (it's hardly selfish to ask for one thing you want), but the fact that she didn't says a lot more. That was her moment to act like a parent and she let it go, leaving Kokone with the impression that she was in the wrong to ask for doughnut holes and that her own “selfishness” made her parents go away.

That they've barely been back since is nicely implied by the way that Kokone didn't really know how to relate to others until she became friends with Yui, and this sudden break in their schedule, allowing them to spend a few days with their child, seems to be the wakeup call they needed. If anyone's selfish, it's Kokone's parents, assuming that she's just a little carbon copy of the two of them and making her feel badly about being into makeup rather than food. They do make an effort, with Kokone's mom talking to Yui's mom and Mari and her dad grilling the servant who's been effectively raising his daughter, but even in a feel-good show like this one there's an impression of “too little, too late.” They're doing better as a family in the end, but things are by no means resolved. I do appreciate that, because it keeps with the more realistic character work that's gone on in Delicious Party Pretty Cure from the start, but I can't say that it decreases my ire at Kokone's parents. I don't care if her mother is a knock-off Erina from Food Wars!; she needs to spend time with her kid.

But at the end of the day, most magical girl shows aren't so much about “doing” as they are about “trying.” It's frustrating to see Kokone's parents flailing around and putting their careers ahead of their child, but arguably the more important story point is that they do start to try to be better parents. Just like the villains get harder to beat as the story goes on, Kokone's family is learning that they have to make more of an effort to be a family as time goes on, because they're already a few steps behind. It's never easy, whether you're fighting a monster or trying to find something to talk about with your parents, but as we know from other stories in the genre, you really only fail when you stop trying. Kokone's probably always going to worry about putting too much on her parents, and they're likely always going to carry the sting of having effectively abandoned her. But they're starting to put in the effort to rectify the situation, and that's why Kokone silences Pam Pam when she mentions that Kokone already has the lipstick her dad buys her: it's a long, hard road, but at least they've started walking it.

Rating:

Delicious Party♡Precure is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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