Felt like catching up with Hugtto! PreCure finally so I figured why not give my brief thoughts on episodes 6-16 just for kicks. This post will contain LOTS OF CLIFF NOTES up until episode 16.
First up is episode 6. Hana wanted to take Saaya and Homare on a “date”. We’re introduced to Hana’s Dad and his job as the manager of the Hug Man Home Center. So yeah, not an actual date but they had a fun time regardless.
We also learned Saaya likes tools.
This episode also introduced Charaleet’s (The blonde guy from the first five episodes) replacement as the troublemaker for the Power Rangers.
Solid episode overall.
This was a Saaya episode. We learned last time that Saaya was the poster girl of a cute Veggie Girl commercial.
Turns out she’s the daughter of a famous actor Reira Yakushiji. Saaya’s obstacle was, put simply, lacking confidence in public, affecting her line delivery and memorization. Luckily her brahs were there to help her out. She didn’t get the part due to improvising but she got a much appreciated confidence boost.
Oh and Saaya had a one-sided rival in Ranze Ichijou. She’s the classic tsundere ojou-sama who pesters (one of) the lead to get their attention. Here Ranze is the 2nd best and is constantly competing with Saaya to beat her. However, deep down she respects Saaya and wants to beat her at the top of her game.
This episode was notable for being Lulu’s debut on the battlefield where she channeled her inner Dr Eggman while observing and analyzing the battle assisting the “Monster of the Week” inside her old-school UFO. She also has the best monster summoning dance/ritual/pose thing of the Dark Corporation.
Normally one would brush this off as a “Oh no! One of the Rangers may leave to go abroad!” episode and it kinda was but more importantly it was a Homare episode. Long story short some guy Homare knew wanted her to come with him to Moscow so she could receive proper training for her ice skating. Thanks to her friends’ encouragement Homare was able to show and tell the guy she was doing just fine where she was and also overcame her fear and self-doubt once and for all.
We were also introduced to a mystery man Hana runs into every now and then. Wonder who he could be? Speaking of Hana it seemed as though her usual “cheering” wasn’t enough to help Homare. This would be followed up on after the next episode.
Episode 9 featured arguably the best side-character of this season of PreCure, Emiru. She’s in the same class as Hana’s imouto and her thing is wanting to keep everyone safe from danger. She is both well-spoken and took her duty of protecting everyone VERY SERIOUSLY. A bit TOO seriously. This caused everyone to not resent her but talk less with her.
After some shenanigans involving music and monkeys Hana, Hugtan and Emiru fell in a deep hole. Emirun admitted to going overboard with protecting everyone buy Hana knew how hard she worked at it and called her a hidden hero. Emirun was so thankful for the acknowledgement she saved the day by revealing she’s a great singer, something she was nervous about before the “monkey business” came up.
The reason I’m showing Emiru watching Cure Yell in action will be brought up again in a later episode.
We now continue with the Hana thing I eluded to in episode 8. It all began with the Mirai Pad, like in previous episodes, granting our heroines costumes for the right occasion. This time it was to help at food festival. Unfortunately for Hana the Mirai Pad had different plans for her. Saaya and Homare turned into waitresses but Hana was a promoter at a takoyaki stand. Hana misinterpreted this as her being deemed less talented/capable than her brahs and it really got her down. It also had to do with her not having been bestowed with a power up Mirai Crystal yet like Saaya and Homare. Everyone tried telling her she had so many things she could do that others couldn’t (unlimited potential basically) but she’s too depressed to listen. Of course the enemy took advantage of the gloominess to make their move. Hana tried transforming but her depression drained her of her positive energy so she couldn’t. The other Rangers did their best but the monster was too strong.
All seemed lost when suddenly Hugtan used her hidden power to beat the monster…at a huge cost. Hugtan went into a coma…that’s hardcore for a kids show. Imagine being a young fan watching this scene and having to wait a week to find out what happens next. Dang. I’m sure some PreCure fans will bring up Pikario from last season. Here’s the difference, Pikario sucked and he’s an adolescent. Hugtan’s a baby. A magical baby but a baby nonetheless.
As if Hana didn’t feel bad before she blamed herself for what happened to Hugtan. She was so distraught she felt she was no longer worthy of being a Power Ranger and left the team.
Luckily for Hana her mom and friends helped show her all the good she’d done for everyone by being herself and giving everyone her support. She wasn’t back to being a Ranger yet but her resolve to never give up did return.
No surprise Hugtan’s coma was brief. It IS a kids show. Honestly I wouldn’t have liked her being unconscious for a long period. She’s a fun baby. So yeah the four coming together with their hearts as one was what reawakened Hugtan.
Unfortunately that was the baddies’ cue to strike again. This however, one of them, Charaleet, was turned into an Oshimaidaa being dragged out of the deep darkness he was sentenced to for his many failures. Fortunately Hana was able to overcome whatever doubts she had left and once again join the battle as Cure Yell. This was a great fight with one of the highlights being this scene of Cure Yell catching part of broken building to protect Emiru and Kotori (Hana’s imouto).
Cure Yell’s resolve to never give up and protect everyone finally granted her her Mirai Crystal. It also transformed into the Sword of PreCure to take down Monster Charaleet. However, Cure Yell wasn’t going down that route when she heard Charaleet in great pain.
Seeing Hana choosing to qualm the darkness in his heart over destroying him the crystals turn the Cures’ weapons into classic Justice Wands complete with new special moves and a team finisher. We find out in a later episode that Charaleet is fine and found a new outlook on life.
Not much to talk about here. It’s for the most part a chill episode where our heroines had a pajama party. Of course there was the usual monster bashing and town saving. Surprisingly it was another really good fight. There were some things of note though:
First of all Hana said her first word, “Mama” at the end of episode 11. The highlight was Homare yearning for and her reaction to being called Mama.
Second was Harry revealing Hugtan and him were from a world in the future. Of course the Dark Corporation took over said world. Harry’s confident from what he’s seen so far the Power Rangers will be able to change the future for the better.
Third and most importantly was Lulu’s plan to infiltrate “enemy camp” to find and analyze potential weaknesses to combat the Rangers. To do this she snuck inside Hana’s house and altered her mom’s mind in a very nice scene. I liked the music and the suspenseful mood. Hana arrived and was introduced to “the daughter of her mom’s friend”. Thus began the highly regarded Lulu Arc.
Hana did not remember the “daughter from her mom’s friend” but happily welcomed her anyway. When they went to school it was the standard “super cool foreign student” fare with Lulu.
Best part was when a group tried asking her out and she responded by offering to “take them out”. Hana was quite impressed, possibly turned on.
The problem that needed solving in this episode was Lulu being more social with others. Hana organized a surprise welcome party for Lulu but she thought it was a waste of time and resources. She was not insulting anyone, just thinking and responding logically. With the help of Hana’s dad she realized she needed to change the way she approached Lulu.
When Hana went looking for Lulu to talk things through she “left on an errand” but in actuality summoned the “monster of the week” to try and get the data she wanted from the Rangers through combat. However, during battle Cure Yell was calling out to her. Note that the Rangers had no idea their new friend was the one piloting the UFO. So Lulu took Cure Yell to somewhere where time seemed to be frozen. Long conversation short Hana offered Lulu to become part of her family. She didn’t quite get it but when Cure Yell said she liked her it briefly awakened what appeared to be a human side within her. Unable to concentrate afterward the Rangers finished off the monster.
Lulu didn’t get the data she was looking for but there was always next time.
Long episode short our heroines and Lulu went to a daycare center. Saaya, always wanting to be prepared, studied up all night. However, when she saw how good Lulu was at analyzing the situation she revealed another side to her, being very competitive. So much so that she talked down Hana in a gentle yet very cold tone. It was awesome. The sad part was she didn’t show this side to Hana because she didn’t consider her a worthy opponent.
When Homare called her out on it Saaya was embarrassed by this side of hers. Homare was all like “it’s okay to be competitive but don’t let it consume you”.
When there was opening Lulu used the opportunity to resume her mission. “MOTW” showed up to cause trouble but when it was close to hurting the babies Lulu’s human side again emerged and she leapt in to protect the babies. While the monster was confused the Rangers finished it off. The day was saved and Lulu again closer to becoming more human like.
I also need to mention two great scenes. The first was when Lulu was quickly memorizing the childcare manual Saaya brought but Hugtan slowed her down. Her reaction was priceless. Oh? You say all she did was stare? Exactly. The other scene involves Harry wanting her to jump and carry him like she did with the baby. That is all I will say.
I’ll keep this episode short. Readers who share my way of thinking will come out of this episode DEMANDING a “Cure Emi-Ru and Lulu spinoff”. Put simply this is one the best episodes ever produced in the entirety of the Pretty Cure franchise. It is THAT. DAMN. GOOD! Readers will also leave the episode saying “Emiru’s brother is garbage” and “Lulu is love. Lulu if life”
Episode 16 was about Aki wanting Homare to teach her the “way of the Homare”. Basically she wanted Homare to teach her how to skate. Yes, Homare is a professional ice skater while Aki rode roller skates. She still wanted Homare to teach her.
This led to Aki and her best friend Junna getting into an argument. For viewers who forgot these two were the ones who were wrapped around the rumors of Homare being a delinquent.
I didn’t talk about her much in this long post but Papple/Pupple noticed Lulu acting strangely which led to her infiltrating the school to question her. Lulu pretty much said she had things under control. Papple/Pupple let her be for now.
After some more Aki and Junna stuff we moved on to Homare seeking Hugtan huggles. Basically she was puzzled on how to help Aki and Junna. After some Harry stuff he handed her an umbrella. Then Lulu stealthily arrived. She noticed Homare’s heart beating rapidly and took advantage of her lack of concentration to stealthily swipe her morpher, the PreHeart.
During the Aki and Junna stuff Papple/Pupple sensed their negative energy and used them to fuel the “MOTW”.
Speaking of the MOTW the fight in this episode is one of the best on the show by far. The choreography and camera work were MAGNIFICENT! A must see fight!
Lulu held on to the morpher. For those wondering why Homare was shocked when Lulu returned her morpher it was because up to that point she only knew that Hana was Power Ranger. She had just discovered Saaya and Homare were the Blue and Yellow Rangers.
Cure Etoile joined her teammates in battle and called out to Aki and Junna. Upon hearing her call the two patched things up with Junna admitting to being jealous of Homare and Aki admitting the reason she asked Homare to teach her was so she could learn how to not be a goofball. Junna said that that was what she liked most about Aki. The two held hands and held on tight even after the MOTW was defeated. Side-couple confirmed.
After the battle the Rangers confronted Lulu and were about to ask her questions when suddenly…
Papple/Pupple wasn’t happy the robo-intern disobeyed her protocol. The Rangers tried rescuing Lulu but Papple/Pupple created a whirlwind allowing her to escape with Lulu. Without watching the PV for the next episode viewers can already tell what will happen the next time the two sides meet.
So for the most part the Lulu Arc has been the standard “Android/Robot not getting ‘da hu-mahns’ but slowly becoming more like one themselves” but in her case it has been quite enjoyable. Lulu is currently the best character on the show followed by Hana and Hugtan for me. Pretty good stuff. Oh and apparently Hugtto! PreCure episode 16 was also the 700th televised episode of the Pretty Cure franchise and it’s a pretty good one.
Alright Rory. I summon thee!