Fresh Precure

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Fresh is a great season. Pretty much a perfect first half and a great finale too with very little bad in between. I really think I’d put it in the top 3 of all seasons. Before I talk more about Fresh directly I’d like to talk about the new era it ushers in for Pretty Cure.

First off it’s not Pretty Cure anymore, it’s Precure. The art style, animation and character designs get more modern and older looking. For Fresh in particular the designs actually made me think that Love and everyone was in high school this season, but no they’re the same age as everyone else. A new composer has been brought in as well, Yasuharu Takanashi, who did the music for a lot of famous anime like Naruto and Bleach. He’d stay on as the franchises composer until Doki. His music is great throughout all 4 of the seasons he works on and you can pretty easily tell a season from this generation apart from another just by listening to its music and nothing else.

This era of Precure that begins with Fresh is in my honest opinion the golden age of the franchise. It ends up being 4 good to great seasons in a row. They all have problems of course but in the end they are at the least good seasons. Fresh also starts a lot of things like the “villain trio” which would be used in every following season. Giving us three starter underlings and maybe a couple others later or an intermediary villain like Joker in Smile. These villains are much more human than preceding villains and usually always get redeemed or at the least forgiven, there are no more small arcs where a villain dies at the end outside of rare cases. And things are much more focused on civilians and people from here on in the franchise, the villains are always messing with people trying to get despair energy or something like that instead of just trying to beat Pretty Cure like before. Things like despair, sadness, and personal feelings become more prominent here on. Fresh also gives us the first 4 Cure group, which would quickly be done to death as Heartcatch and Suite would also be 4 Cure teams. And then of course Happiness Charge and Go Princess also does it. Dear god. Speaking of Heartcatch and Suite Fresh shares a very similar format with those seasons, major events (the same kinds of events as well) happen at relatively the same time across all three seasons. With only Smile eventually ending the cycle. Fresh also is the first season to not make Pretty Cure a secret, everybody knows about them and there’s no villains putting people to sleep or anything like that. Their identities are still a secret of course but Fresh Precure are very public heroes, Heartcatch and Suite would be similar before Smile makes a return to the old style. Fresh also tackles a few more serious personal and familial issues, or at least attempts to, that makes it come off as the most mature season to me. While also still being incredibly silly and fun as any season of Precure should be.

Fresh also has a number of shoutouts to previous seasons. In one episode there’s a cadre of performers at an amusement park who are an obvious send up of the Yes5 girls. Tarte the fairy has the same voice actor as Wisdom from Futari Wa and Moebius the main villain also shares his voice actor with Belzei from Futari Wa, and of course the villains all hang out in a mansion in the middle of a forest just like in Futari Wa and Max Heart. There are a couple other things after these.

So onward to episode 1.

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Fresh begins with an old bird looking creature holding a cane and carrying another baby fairy on his back walking up to a shrine. He recites a legend about Pretty Cure saving the world when it’s in danger and awakens 4 small heart-shaped key fairies called Pickruns. They fly off in search of Pretty Cure leaving the baby and old bird behind.

The opening theme song then begins. It’s catchy but not particularly well sung. I still like it but the second version is much, much better. There’s also this big robot in the opening that shoots fire, nothing that looks like it ever actually appears in the season. Guess it’s just a random representation of the monsters in Fresh.

After the opening we’re introduced to our main character, Love, who’s crying in front of her two friends Miki and Inori. She’s not crying because of anything that happened to her but because a friend of hers got rejected by a guy. But just as quickly Love is all better and not worried about it anymore. Love is kind of a spaz, she’s always thinking about other people but she gets over stuff like this fast. Love is a pretty normal girl really, she gets angry, she gets sad, but she’s still a positive thinker. She’s not ultra dumb like Nozomi but she’s still a bit too “exaggerated” to really be called realistic but still, Love is a good character. Of all the leads so far Love is probably the most well-rounded.

Miki then runs off to meet up with a guy (who the others think is her boyfriend) and Inori (who everyone calls Bukki) leaves as well.

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Love goes off to get some donuts from Kaoru, the weird guy who owns a donut stand that looks almost exactly like Tako Cafe, but she gets lost and comes across this weird mansion in the forest. Inside she meets a strange girl who tells fortunes while she’s also secretly watched by two other strange guys talking about someone called Moebius who wants something called Infinity. The fortune teller tells Love that a great happiness is coming towards her, but she also thinks to herself that she and Love will become enemies soon…

Love is pretty happy and she leaves the mansion, finding her way to Clover Town Street where all the shop owners seem to know her. When she gets home her mom surprises her with tickets to a performance by her favorite dance group, Trinity. Led by the dancer Miyuki.

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We then see Tarte for the first time, he’s been sent to find Pretty Cure. And he has to bring the baby with him for some reason that the old bird didn’t care to tell him. And after that some shrouded figure calling himself Moebius orders his followers to find Infinity, which is apparently nearby.

Love then gets to the dance show (where Trinity dances to the first ending theme song of Fresh) but that fortune teller girl comes and attacks it, transforming into her “true” form.

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She calls herself Eas and what is this outfit? Like… this is a bit excessive for Pretty Cure. Ms. Shitataare and Arachnea had big boobs but they didn’t wear blatantly sexual outfits like Eas’. Eas is supposed to be the same age as the Cures too so it’s kind of weird when she wears something halfway to a dominatrix outfit. The outfit accentuates every part of her body and it’s just strange to see this in Pretty Cure. And of course there’s still Berry’s outfit after this…

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She creates a Nakewameke out of a speaker and yeah, goodbye old naming convention. The monsters in Fresh are completely random monsters again but they usually have good designs. The Nakewameke attacks the audience, creating negative energy that will cause Infinity to be revealed when the Misfortune Gauge is filled with it.

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Love rescues Miyuki and tries to fight the monster as a civilian but there isn’t anything she can do to it. However the pink Pickrun and Tarte get to the event and the Pickrun goes into Love’s phone, turning it into her transformation device, Tarte realizes Love is meant to be a Precure and the baby then uses some sort of power to start Love’s transformation into Cure Peach. It’s not a very good transformation but it’s better than the ones in Yes5.

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Miyuki is unconscious at the time so she doesn’t see this. Peach then fights off the monster, while being seen by a lot of people, she’s pretty badass and hands on from the beginning. No hesitation or being scared here. She then uses her attack, Pretty Cure Love Sunshine, which is an insanely bland attack. It’s just a pink wave that hits the enemy. So boring. Eas sees this and essentially states that the two of them will meet again before leaving. Love then wakes up Miyuki who thanks her, and Love wonders about what the hell just happened.

It’s an alright first episode. Does everything it needs to without being exceptional in any way. All of the Cure’s first attacks in Fresh are really bland like Peach’s though. But at the end of the first episode something else happens, something bigger than anything mentioned before this, something that would change Pretty Cure forever.

CGI DANCE ENDINGS!!!

Yeah no more normal anime endings for Precure anymore. Every ending is now a cgi song and dance. This first one is okay, catchy enough song but the visuals are lacking for obvious reasons.

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Miki is out jogging in the morning, the episode then cuts to her in the shower. Okay. You don’t see anything obviously but Miki still is probably responsible for about half the fanservice in Precure. With Eas being the other half. Miki also has a very obviously young mother who is be divorced from her father. Miki also likes to say she’s perfect, it’s her catchphrase. Mktn-knpk.

Tarte is on Love’s bed, talking to her, and the baby is levitating things. Love thinks this is a dream and I can’t exactly blame her. Well Tarte introduces himself to her, saying he’s from the Sweets Kingdom and the baby is Chiffon. I to this day am uncertain on Chiffon’s gender, the subs sure as hell don’t help.

Tarte tells her that all the worlds, the parallel worlds, are in danger because one world called Labyrinth led by the evil Moebius is seeking to control all others.

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Love remembers that Miyuki offered her dance lessons for saving her and runs off to them after listening to Tarte. She runs into Bukki along the way and tells her about the dance lessons. She wants to invite both Bukki and Miki so they can become a trio but Bukki is a little apprehensive about it. Love goes on to look for Miki but just comes across her mom and is pressed into being a hair model (Miki’s mom is a hairstylist) for a while.

Miki meanwhile is swimming, and even though it’s an athletic swimsuit it’s still the first time a Cure has ever been seen in a swimsuit outside of artwork. And would be the last time all the way until Go Princess. Even in beach episodes for other seasons the girls never wore swimsuits. Anyways that guy from the first episode is there, his name is Kazuki, and Miki goes out shopping and stuff with him after she’s done swimming. And it turns out he’s not her boyfriend he’s her brother who lives with their father. Although they certainly act like a couple enough, which will lead to some problems in Fresh down the road.

Eas decides to go out again, annoyed at being stopped by Peach in the first episode, and she makes a monster on Clover Town Street. Miki is talking with Kazuki in a restaurant, she wants to be a fashion model and he wants to be a Director but he doesn’t have near as much self-confidence as she does. And he also has a cliche “weak constitution” thing going on. The monster attacks the restaurant and the two of them get trapped inside. Love meets up with Tarte and Chiffon and they go to save them.

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At this time though the blue Pickrun finds Miki and does the same thing as with Love, changing her phone which apparently alerts Chiffon into sending out her/his power. And Miki transforms into Cure Berry. Yeah, give her huge and very noticeable breasts, an outfit that accentuates her long legs and shows off a ton of skin and her figure. Sure, go for it Toei. All the Fresh girls have noticeable breasts already, especially compared to other Cures, but when they transform it’s even more noticeable and especially on Berry. I’m not against giving the girls “realistic” designs and proportions but Berry and Eas’ outfits are a bit much.

Berry saves Kazuki and Love arrives, who immediately realizes Berry is Miki, transforming as well. The two fight together and defeat the Nakewameke. They use a “double Pretty Cure kick” in the fight and variations of that will be seen throughout the season. Berry’s attack is Espoir Shower which is exactly like Love Sunshine except Blue.

After the fight is over Love drags Miki to the dance practice Miyuki is privately giving them and the two start their lesson while Bukki quietly watches on, conflicted.

As episode 3 begins we learn Bukki really wants to dance with them  but she’s nervous. She freezes up in front of other people. Another thing to know about her is she seems to be a bit religious, she’s seen praying in this episode (Inori = Pray = Clever as fuck). Also all of the girls go to different schools. School is not used as much in Fresh as in other seasons although Love’s still gets some. Bukki’s parents are also veterinarians and she wants to be one too, she loves all animals except for one, and as she’s going home she meets a boy and his dog who her family just got finished treating.

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Down Cujo

At Love’s house Tarte tells Miki about Precure and everything. Miki immediately thinks about becoming a famous superhero and releasing an album. Selfless Miki is not. Love’s mother then comes in and sees Tarte and her parents… let her keep him without incident. Okay, guess they don’t mind having a ferret as a pet.

Bukki is dejectedly walking through the park and Kaoru sees her, he offers her some donuts and gives her advice on life because that’s just what donut purveyors do in the world of Fresh. He tells her she needs to believe in herself. She then meets up with the dog and its owner again while Love and Miki are exhausted after training with Miyuki. While Bukki is playing with the dog the yellow Pickrun sees her, but then Eas comes in and turns the dog into a Nakewameke. Love and Miki come by and transform to stop it while Bukki tries to get the dog to go back to normal by talking to it, it works for a second but Eas quickly regains control over it. However the yellow Pickrun sees Bukki’s strength and it and Chiffon’s power again allow her to transform into Cure Pine.

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The trio has arrived. Bukki believes in herself and finds the power to attack the dog, she didn’t want to hurt it but she knows she has to fight to change it back to normal. She uses her attack Healing Prayer and cures it. At the end of the episode as Bukki is being told about Precure by Tarte we learn that she has a fear of ferrets. Of course she does. And she also decides to join their dance group.

Episode 4 has some really bad looking and off-model shots. Of which Fresh has A LOT of. The girls also ask why Tarte speaks in Kansai-ben, he doesn’t have an answer. No one except Toei does. They also wonder about what Chiffon is since Tarte doesn’t seem to actually know himself. She’s a weird baby fairy with psychic powers. Tarte then eats all of the girls donuts (he comes to love donuts more than anything) and runs off. This episode is really funny. Chiffon starts crying and all the girls try and get her to cheer up. With pretty much no success. Chiffon then teleports outside the house and starts floating down the street and the girls have to go chase after her. Or at least what subs are calling a her for this episode.

Fresh is silly.

This episode Westar goes out for the first time to gather sorrow energy.

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He gets hit on by some random chicks too and gets to act way cooler than he actually is. Cause Westar is a huge dork and you will see this soon enough. He makes a Nakewameke out of some sticky candy and Precure’s punches have no effect on it. But Chiffon comes around and uses her psychic powers to cover its arms in ice so the girls can shatter them. They quickly dispatch it after this and Westar retreats. They all bring Chiffon home after this and find out that she’s just been hungry. Tarte is back and shows them that Chiffon needs to be fed special fairy milk which the girls can summon from their transformed phones. He then gives them all some donuts to make up for the ones he ate earlier. Although now they wonder how the hell he got donuts.

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Next episode introduces us to the three stooges. Each of them likes one of the girls. The one guy Yuuki has been rejected by Miki almost a hundred times but this episode he wants to ask her to an amusement park. One of the other guys, Daisuke, convinces Love to help them out because of how much Yuuki has gone through and Love gets everyone to go on a group date together.  Daisuke really likes Love but doesn’t want anyone else to know and of course Love herself is completely oblivious to it. Daisuke is a good character and I like him as a love interest cause it’s the first time we’ve had a guy interested in the lead with the lead not having any idea about it for a while. So it’s basically the opposite of cases like Fujipi and Kazuya. And Daisuke’s life throughout Fresh is so pitiable.

Subs are calling Chiffon a she this episode as opposed to he earlier. Whatever.

At the amusement park the guys split up to get some 1 on 1 time with each girl.

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Hijinks follow. Well not really but suffice to say none of the guys really gets what they want to out of the group date. Daisuke also wants to invite Love to a Trinity show but he can’t find the right moment. Westar meanwhile is also at the amusement park and making a fool of himself on a kiddy ride. Realizing his situation he decides to make a Nakewameke.

The girls transform and fight it but it grabs Daisuke, Yuuki then tries to rescue Daisuke but he in turn needs to get rescued by Berry. No Tuxedo Mask’s in Fresh so far. Anyways Love rescues Daisuke and the girls defeat the monster. Daisuke then learns that Love already has tickets to the Trinity event and is going with Miki and Bukki, completely ruining his plans. Better luck next time ya poor bastard.

Miki does praise Yuuki though for being heroic and trying to rescue Daisuke. But then she runs off to meet Kazuki, who Yuuki and everyone assumes to be her boyfriend. Breaking his heart yet again.

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The next episode is Soular’s first one and essentially the end of the “intro” of Fresh. Even though Fresh’s beginning doesn’t really have as clearly defined breaks as other seasons. Moebius talks with the three of them, we still don’t get to see what he looks like, telling them to defeat Precure and gather more sorrow energy to make Infinity appear.

After being a smug dick Soular goes out. Unlike Eas and Westar Soular has something called a plan. He’s kind of like Poisonny or Irukubo from Futari Wa compared to the others. Except his evil plans are better. Soular plans to get sorrow energy from children by erasing the things they love. He makes a Nakewakeme out of a chalkboard and whatever drawing the chalkboard erases gets erased in the real world. The first thing he erases is hamburgers, which happen to be Love’s favorite food.

Love was going to make dinner but when they disappear she blames Tarte but her mom thinks she just ate them herself (and wouldn’t eat the healthy carrots Love hates that her mom wanted her to eat) and they get in a big fight.

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This is such a good episode. I said it back with Splash Star but parent episodes are so good. And Love’s mom is the best parent in the franchise. Her relationship with Love is so well done.

Love runs out and later on Soular starts erasing toys and other stuff. The girls realize it has to be the work of Labyrinth as they see a bunch of stuff around them suddenly vanish. Tarte’s trying to figure out where Soular is while Love goes back home to apologize to her mom.

Meanwhile Soular sees kids still happily walking around with their moms and gets the best idea. He decides to erase everyone’s mothers. It’s honestly a horrifying thought and the episode handles it really well, Love is preparing to apologize to her mom but she disappears right in front of her. Tarte thankfully has found where Soular is (on top of some school) and the girls fight him. It’s the first good fight in Fresh and has a bit of good animation too. They do defeat the chalkboard monster and Soular retreats, with everything erased returning to where it belongs.

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Love rushes home and tearfully embraces her mom. They apologize to each other and the family has a nice meal together.

Soon after this we get a couple important events but they’re done in a subdued way, no massive plot upheavals or villains dying or anything like that, important things just happen at regular intervals for a while and characters get developed and fun stuff happens too. Since next episode is the start of a very important character arc there are a couple things I want to bring up about Fresh before that. One is that sadness is a really big part of Fresh without it becoming the main focus like Despair in Yes5. The villains are directly all about causing sadness to fill up the Misfortune Gauge but it is not the major theme of Fresh. The Misfortune Gauge is just a means to an end for finding Infinity after all. Second is that even though Precure are winning every fight and defeating the Nakewameke they aren’t doing anything to stop the Misfortune Gauge from being filled. They don’t really know about it anyways so the villains are kind of slowly winning through the whole season. And there’s no actual goal for the Cures at this point either. They are completely reactionary. There’s nothing for them to do. They don’t get anything like Miracle Drops or find Pinkies or anything. It’s just “Stop Labyrinth” without being given any pathway to this. No fountain restoring, no Dream Collet, no Rose Garden, nothing. Heartcatch, Suite, and Smile would thankfully fix this. Sort of.

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At the start of episode 7 Moebius converses with Eas about Pretty Cure. She tells him that if she can just stop them from transforming they won’t have a problem since in the end they’re just weak normal humans. When the opening theme song plays, instead of the normal visuals we get scenes from All Stars DX cut in, it lasts for a few episodes. Every following season would do this.

Eas goes out as a civilian to meet up with Love. And Love just flat out hugs her when she sees her, much to Eas’ surprise. Love offers to show her around the town and Eas accepts, telling Love her name is Setsuna. And of course her whole plan this episode is to steal Love’s Linkrun.

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Love wants to get Setsuna some donuts so she brings her to Kaoru’s. We see that Kaoru has become friends with Tarte and doesn’t seem to mind at all the existence of a talking ferret. Love learns that Setsuna has never had donuts before so she gets her to try one. Setsuna seems to really like it. As for her evil plan though she keeps getting interrupted by things before she can grab the Linkrun.

The two of them end up meeting Miki and Bukki and Love introduces Setsuna to them. Love tells them about how Setsuna’s fortune was right about a big happiness coming to Love and so Love asks Setsuns what her happiness is. What’s Setsuna’s goal or dream? Well she doesn’t really have one of her own. Fresh does something really similar to what Splash Star did with Michiru and Kaoru. Eas lives entirely for Moebius. The mantra of labyrinth is even “Everything for Lord Moebius”. So Setsuna can’t really answer Love’s question.

They then all go to a lottery being held on Clover Town Street and Love asks Setsuna to help her pick out a ball.

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And they win the grand prize. Love is ecstatic and thanks Setsuna and Setsuna is just awed by Love’s genuine friendship and quick familiarity.

Westar comes in then and makes a Nakewameke out of a clock that can freeze things in time.The girls transform and fight it and it’s a pretty fun fight since it cans top them from moving and also “rewind” them to make them go backwards. But Peach jumps in and messes with its clock hands to stop it and the three of them blow it away. But the Nakewameke was able to temporarily hold off their combined attack, it seems like they might be getting stronger.

Love then gives the clover necklace to Setsuna, who returns to the mansion to ponder the days events while Love is happy over making a new friend.

Episode 8 has Love being out of the special milk that Chiffon drinks and trying to find something to substitute for it. But Chiffon doesn’t like anything and she gets upset which in turn makes Love made because she’s been trying her hardest. At dance practice Miyuki can tell something is bothering Love and Love realizes that it’s unfair of her to be mad at Chiffon for this. So they leave dance practice early to go help her out. Tarte says they’ll have to make the Cure Vitan themselves but all the ingredients are fantastical things that are impossible to get so the girls try to get some mundane knockoffs. It’s pretty funny seeing them work around the requirements and doing a bunch of crazy stuff.

Westar is around though and he makes another monster, going after babies to gather their sorrow energy. The girls fight it but their attacks don’t kill it this time. Labyrinth has been making their monsters stronger to fight Precure. Chiffon sees Love in danger and how much Love cares about and is fighting for her so she sends out a new power to Peach.

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The pink Pickrun comes out of the Linkrun and Peach inserts it into the top of the Linkrun, calling forth her Cure Stick: Peach Rod. Technically the attack is still Love Sunshine but just used with the Peach Rod so the effect is different and stronger. It’s cooler and has more oomph now. She hits the Nakewameke and the attack envelops it in energy, Peach waves around the Peach Rod and purifies it like that. Chiffon has grown up a little too because of what’s happened this episode. According to Tarte the Pickrun appearing again is evidence of that.

Sticks or wands or whatever you want to call them would be used in Heartcatch and Suite as well and the style of the attacks are very similar. The monsters get hit with their attacks and the girls wave them around or something and the monster gets purified. I ended up not really liking this since it takes away the impact of some big energy blast or explosion happening and then the scene just cutting to the monster calmly being cured while the girls wave around or spin the stick or whatever. I was really happy when Smile did away with this.

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We’re introduced to Klein for the first time this episode. He’s important but he doesn’t do much yet. He also casually mentions upping the death rate in Labyrinth by 10% to adjust for population increases. Yeah this is the kind of stuff that should just be casually thrown out in a kids show. Fresh has several ideas and themes like this that are a bit too mature and complex for a season of Pretty Cure to really tackle effectively.

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Tarte tells everyone what he knows about Infinity. It’s apparently a memory system like for a computer or something that has infinite space. And Labyrinth needs it to take control of all the parallel worlds.

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He also just tells them about Labyrinth and general and how no one has any free will or ability to choose there. Citizens entire lives are planned out for them. A huge difference to the Sweets Kingdom and the world are heroines live in.

Kazuki then comes by and Love and Bukki learn that he’s Miki’s brother, not her boyfriend. He tells Miki she got a big audition and if she wins it it means she’ll be traveling overseas. Love and Bukki reassure her that they’ll pick up the slack as Precure so Miki can go all out for her dreams.

Then Westar appears for the third episode in a row as the villain and interrupts the cherry blossom viewing going on. He makes a Nakewameke and Love and Pine go to fight him. It’s a good fight and definitely above average for early Fresh. The two of them though just aren’t strong enough to beat it though. Peach even gets interrupted in the middle of stock footage because the Nakewameke isn’t weakened enough. But Miki sees their fight being broadcast on tv at the audition and ends up running off to help them. Together the three of them dispatch the Nakewameke.

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Love and Bukki cry over how they weren’t strong enough to let Miki go for her dreams but she cheers them up. All three of them need to be together for Pretty Cure to work.

And then we get a very fun episode.

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So Bukki is still afraid of ferrets. Poor, poor Bukki. Cause Soular decides to make a Nakewameke that switches peoples minds with animals. It happens real early on in the episode which I like a lot since it’s a fun idea and they get to spend a lot of time on it. And so of course Bukki and Tarte end up switched.

Bukki’s parents get swamped by a swarm of animals and Bukki is freaking out over being a ferret and because Tarte is acting very unladylike in her body. Great stuff this episode.

Miki and Love find Soular (he’s on a roof again) and fight him. Bukki and Tarte get there too and Tarte in Bukki’s body transforms into Cure Pine. Makes it a pretty fun fight. They defeat the Nakewameke and everything is returned to normal. Bukki has gotten some newfound appreciation for Tarte and ferrets after being in his body and it seems she’s gotten over he fear after the whole ordeal is over.

Episode 11 starts off with the girls defeating a Nakewameke. Only for them to end up late to their dance practice because of it. Miyuki sees this as them not taking things seriously and cancels any further practices. Setsuna sees this all and then plans to destroy Love’s happiness. She meets up with Love again and gives her a fortune about her and Miyuki, saying they’ll never be able to reconcile and Miyuki won’t be able to get her happiness by being around Love. This makes Love really sad. Later she runs into Daisuke, who wants to know what’s wrong, and so she and Miki and Bukki tell him. Daisuke gives her a schedule of what Trinity is doing today (which they’re all surprised he has) and so the three go off trying to get to Miyuki and apologize to her.

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It’s funny seeing them try to sneak into the station. But unfortunately Love thinks Miyuki has given up on her completely when she just ignores Love screaming out to her when they finally do get close. So after some more prodding from Setsuna Love is about to give up on making up with her too. But then Love sees an interview with Miyuki being broadcast on tv. Where Miyuki mentions a young girl who she’s coaching, someone who she’s coaching strictly because she believes in her and wants her to become a pro and get the best out of her.

Love rushes back to the station and with some help from Daisuke she’s able to get backstage. But Eas comes in and makes a Nakewameke. Nothing much happens with it, the girls defeat it and apologize to Miyuki afterwards for being late to practice. Obviously they can’t tell her the reason why they were late. Miyuki also apologizes for reacting to harshly. The girls say they’ll give it their all and Love will make sure Miyuki gets her happiness. And at the end of the episode they learn that Daisuke is Miyuki’s little brother and that’s why he had the schedule and how he could get Love backstage. Fun episode.

BUT NOT NEARLY AS FUN AS THE NEXT!

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WIIIIIIIGS

Super fun episode from beginning to end. Lots of great gags, funny faces, and it’s exceptionally well animated for Fresh with a good fight at the end too.

Eas and Soular are being smug and condescending towards Westar at the beginning for being unsuccessful at gathering sorrow energy. So he asks for advice and then goes out to the town. Of course though this being the dumb Westar he ends up just helping people the whole time this episode. His plan of giving everyone silly wigs backfires as all the civilians just laugh and joke around with each other, the Sorrow Gauge doesn’t fill up by one drop. This is one of those episodes that really accentuates Fresh’s silliness compared to the earlier seasons. There are a couple shout outs to past seasons too, you can see a Cure Rouge wig, a Cure White wig, etc. Great episode.

And then next episode…

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Bukki’s powerup episode. Which has something kind of weird and gross in it.

Chiffon is in pain and no one knows why. The others think that Bukki with her veterinary knowledge might be able to help but she can’t figure anything out at the beginning either. Soular then creates a Nakewameke out of a videogame phoenix creature. It “resets” after being attacked and keeps getting revived. Bukki is taking care of Chiffon while Peach and Berry fight it but the two of them eventually get worn down. Chiffon then speaks for the first time, “Inori” is her first word, she tells Bukki to go and help Peach and Berry and the yellow pickrun comes out of Bukki’s Linkrun. Bukki runs out to fight and during the battle she calls forth her Cure Stick: Pine Flute.

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Pine destroys the Nakewameke and the girls all crowd around the talking Chiffon to ask her what the problem is. And it’s poop.

Chiffon cant poop.

Chiffon is constipated.

Yeah.

So Bukki takes care of it… gross.

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Next episode Chiffon is talking pretty competently now. The Pickrun coming out means she’s grown up some more. But she can’t say Tarte’s name which is pretty funny. Bukki has also discovered that with her Pickrun she can understand animals, all of the Pickruns have some sort of power. And while Chiffon is talking the girls realize there’s a 4th Pickrun (and a 4th Cure) after Chiffon mentions one called Akarun.

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The girls go out looking for Akarun. Unbeknownst to them though Westar heard what they were talking about, and unbeknownst to him Kaoru has been well aware of his spying. And gives him some donuts.

Westar tells Eas and Soular about the 4th Cure and they eventually decide to all team up to defeat Pretty Cure before the 4th Cure can be found. This episode has a lot of silly stuff as the girls go around asking animals if they’ve seen Akarun.

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And Love gets in an actual cat fight.

Westar ends up following the girls as they search for Akarun, and looking like an idiot while he does it, he has become complete comic-relief. The girls meet Miyuki in the park and they think she might be the 4th Cure cause Akarun has flown near her. But Eas and Soular then show up- and oh yeah Westar jumps out of the bushes too- and we get a 3 on 3 battle.

It’s the first time the girls have directly fought the Labyrinth generals. The fights start 1v1, Berry vs Soular, Pine vs Westar, and Peach vs Eas. At first Pretty Cure are losing, they can’t really fight the three like this. But they work much better together and when they join up they trick the Labyrinth trio into hitting each other and then driving them off with their attacks. The action this episode was okay.

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Akarun has gone off somewhere again and the girls decide they can’t tell Miyuki anything yet. But she does give them a special dance lesson while they’re all around.

Next episode’s an important one.

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Eas again plans to get close to Love and steal her Linkrun. Love says she’s going on a “date” with Setsuna and when Miki and Bukki hear about that they want to tag along too, so all 4 of them end up hanging out together and having fun. Or at least fun for everyone who isn’t Eas. There’s some good comedy here as Tarte talks in front of Setsuna and Chiffon levitates things and the girls try and come up with a plausible excuse for all of this.

Miki and Bukki then ask Setsuna about the time Setsuna told Love she and Miyuki couldn’t make up. Setsuna apologizes to them to play it off. Meanwhile Soular has created a Nakewameke that forces people to reveal their true feelings in the hopes that they’ll get in arguments and their friendships will be ruined. Uh oh…

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Also, symbolism.

When the girls are bowling Soulars Nakewameke affects Bukki and Miki, revealing that they’re mad at Setsuna for how she made Love upset. Setsuna feints crying and being upset at this and runs off, with Love following her as Miki and Bukki are left to discover that a Nakewameke is the cause for all of this. When Setsuna is alone with Love she sees Soular’s Nakewameke affect her and is looking forward to seeing the negative feelings Love surely harbors towards her as well…

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Except Love doesn’t have any such feelings. Love truly thinks of Setsuna as a good person and likes her. Of course though Setsuna still tries to steal Love’s Linkrun when Love leaves it alone but a strange light comes out of it when Setsuna touches it, hurting her. Soular then shows up at the bowling alley and a fight ensues. It’s an okay fight and the girls defeat it with some teamwork. And what Soular didn’t realize is that with everyone learning each others true feelings they can now understand and make up with each other. And their friendships and relationships will be even stronger than before.

Miki and Bukki apologize to Setsuna and Love says they;ll become even better friends. And Setsuna just might be happy to hear that.

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Episode 16 is the culture festival at Love’s school. Love’s class is doing a haunted house, this is a pretty fun episode. It focuses mostly on Love and Daisuke’s relationship. They get in an argument at first because Daisuke still can’t tell Love about his feelings but reconcile fairly quickly and then get chased through the school by a skeleton Nakewameke that Westar made. Daisuke gets to act all manly “protecting” Love who just wants to get away and transform. Love though seems to maybe, just maaaaaybe, start to fall for Daisuke a little bit this episode. This episode also has a secondary purpose of setting up the plot for next episode, Berry doesn’t have her Cure Stick yet and she can’t defeat the Nakewameke which causes problems in the episode. She’s upset with herself for not having the power that Peach and Pine have. As a side note you can see a Kowainaa mask among the props for the haunted house in one scene.

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Episode 17 is a good one. Miki is upset because her Pickrun hasn’t come out yet. She realizes that the Pickruns for Love and Bukki came out because of their closeness to Chiffon so Miki decides to take care of her for a while. And she instantly gets pissed off at Chiffon when she brings her home.

Meanwhile the way she’s acting makes her mom think she’s either pregnant or is taking care of someone’s baby. This episode almost reads like a teen pregnancy PSA and I aint even joking. Miki is kind of being  a bitch to Chiffon at first and it’s really funny, it’s even funnier when she reads some childcare magazines and tries to be all friendly to her. She tries hard but she just ends up creeping Chiffon out and making her cry for Love and Inori.

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Her mom is still confused over all the weird stuff going on and tells a story of how she thought her  little Miki-chan was lost or missing after a game of hide and seek. And how much she worried about her. Fresh has such great familial relationships. Easily the best developed families of any season. Anyways Miki loses Chiffon (and ends up asking an untransformed Westar if he’s seen her) and while looking for her remembers how scared she was back then and how happy she was when her mom found her, she thinks Chiffon must feel just as scared right now. But really Chiffon just went off to find Love and Bukki. When Miki sees them all she hugs Chiffon and apologizes to her, realizing she must’ve been lonely. She thinks about her mom and gets now that what she really needed to do was give genuine love to Chiffon. This causes her Pickrun to come out.

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Westar then attacks and makes a Nakewameke out of a sandwich. It’s a truly hilarious fight and real fun to watch. Berry pulls out her Cure Stick: Berry Sword and defeats the Nakewameke.

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Next episode starts with the girls hanging out together, Miki is showing off how her Pickrun has the ability to give Chiffon different clothes. They then learn that Kazuki had to go to the hospital. When they get there though they find out it was just because of anemia and he’s fine. But while there they meet a young girl named Chika. She really likes Pretty Cure and wants to meet them cause she’s having surgery soon and she’s scared.

Love tells her that they’re friends of Pretty Cure and she can tell them about Chika and they’ll definitely come meet her before the surgery. Back with the Labyrinth trio Westar plans to flat out defeat Pretty Cure so they can get sorrow unimpeded. He’s going to defeat them in front of all the children because Precure is so popular with them right now.

Love has everyone transform inside a photo booth and take pictures so they have stuff to give to Chika, they make a card for her too. Later that night Chiffon flies back to Chika’s hospital room and makes her fly around with her stuffed animals to cheer her up before the big day.

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Westar interrupts the girls on their way to Chika the next day. He creates a big Nakewameke out of a broadcasting tower and shows himself on every tv in the city, threatening to destroy the city if Pretty Cure don’t come to fight him. When they show up he broadcasts the fight to everyone. Which of course just makes Pretty Cure fight even harder. Chika watches them too and resolves to be strong and go into surgery. The Fresh girls bring out their Cure Sticks and defeat Westar’s Nakewameke. They then get to the hospital just in time for Chika to see them before heading into surgery. Afterwards the girls detransform and meet up with her. She thanks Love and everyone and is especially grateful to Chiffon. It’s a very sweet episode.

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And now things get serious.

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Miyuki tells the girls about the yearly dance tournament. The same one where Miyuki and Trinity won and got scouted some time ago. Love, Miki, and Bukki plan to enter. They try coming up with a group name and Miyuki says she’s gonna work them to the bone to make sure they’re ready for it.

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Moebius gives Eas a new card to power up her monsters, but it comes at a cost…

The girls are really tired from all their dance practice (which carries over into the next couple of episodes and is really important). Fresh is really the only season that shows the girls lives being negatively impacted by having to be Precure at the same time as putting a lot of energy and effort into other things. Other seasons may dabble with this a little but none do it like Fresh does.

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Setsuna comes by Love and them practicing. They talk for a little bit, Love thinks Setsuna might be lonely since she’s always by herself. Love and the others leave and Miki wonders about where Setsuna lives, and if she lives nearby why doesn’t she go to any of the schools they do? She’s starting to get suspicious of this very suspicious person. After they leave Setsuna transforms and makes a Nakewameke. She then uses the card which causes horrible pain and may shorten her life span on it. It transforms the Nakewameke into a Nakisakebe, Chiffon can sense something wrong when this happens and starts to cry out, which is much stronger and faster. And it’s always moaning like a ghoul. However Eas becomes affected by the pain and this causes the Nakisakebe to weaken and lose control of itself.

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This gives Pretty Cure the opportunity to work together and defeat it. It actually blocks their triple attack for a while but Eas’ pain becomes unbearable and it weakens enough for them to overpower it. Chiffon comes to the girls after the fight but they reassure her that everything’s fine. They also tell Tarte not to worry about how exhausted they’ve been lately. Despite the fact that he can clearly tell they’ve been pushing themselves too hard. Eas at the end also pledges to herself that she’ll surely defeat Pretty Cure next time, the card has 4 uses so 1 down and 3 more chances to go.

I like how the girls didn’t get a sudden new attack or powerup item or anything to defeat the new monster. They just held on and worked together to beat it.

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Soular is being a dick to Eas and Westar says they should work together to defeat Precure but Eas rejects any help. Meanwhile the girls are still practicing hard and not taking care of themselves properly. Not getting enough rest, not eating right, they’re so caught up in preparing for the dance contest. Daisuke is also worried about Love but she just brushes him off.

Setsuna also meets up with Love again. She asks her what’s wrong but but weirdly Love runs off, afraid to tell Setsuna what she’s worried about. The girls are all just torn between dancing and being Pretty Cure.

Setsuna comes by Love again and tells her another “fortune” that is she chases two rabbits both will get away. If Love keeps going after two goals instead of focusing on one she’ll achieve neither, Setsuna tells her to choose what’s most important to her and let go of the other one. Obviously a ploy to get Love to give up on Pretty Cure and just dance.

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Actually though this gets Love to realize that she simply cant choose between them. They’re both important to her and she’ll work hard to achieve her happiness and everyone elses. Setsuna tries to tell her how stupid she’s being but Love just thanks her for worrying about her. Which bothers Setsuna greatly. She’s worrying about Love? The warrior of Labyrinth? It bothers her enough that she creates a Nakisakebe the moment Love leaves.

Love has met up with Miki and Bukki and they go to fight the monster, when they get back there Love worries about Setsuna since she knows she was just right around there. This further upsets Eas.

Anyways this is a really great fight with some positively stellar animation for Fresh.

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The girls are exhausted and can’t fight effectively from the beginning. Their attacks even fizzle out midway through being shot. They then come up with a smart plan to let themselves be caught and blast the monster at point-blank range, defeating it. Eas retreats and still refuses Westar and Soular’s help at the end of the episode.

However the girls are so exhausted from this fight that they collapse on their way to dance practice, as we hear ambulance sirens in the distance the episode closes out. This whole mid-season climax of Fresh has something of an oppressive atmosphere to it. It’s not all as dark or serious as some parts in Precure or later on in Fresh but there’s still a heavy feeling to these episodes.

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At the beginning of episode 21 Miyuki visits the girls in the hospital after their parents have left. The girls are relatively okay, they just overworked themselves and have to rest. But they still beg to continue their dance lessons and even start to practice their moves in bed after Miyuki leaves.

Tarte realizes he needs to do something about this. None of the girls will choose between dancing and being Precure so they’ll keep getting worn out. Miyuki also feels bad because she didn’t realize the girls were in trouble. And Tarte ends up seeking out and just talking to Miyuki out of the blue. He asks her to become the 4th Cure.

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Kaoru’s the best

Miyuki freaks out at first but tells Tarte that she can’t become a Cure because she could never choose it over dancing and being the leader of Trinity.

Setsuna then visits the girls in the hospital. Now she essentially tells Love that she should continue working hard on both things. Which actually makes Miki and Bukki a little suspicious but Setsuna waves it off by saying that fortunes are always fluid and changing.

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Yes, people are always changing…

Love is of course oblivious to everything and just more than happy to hear Setsuna say this. She says that people are always changing too, sometimes they’re happy, sometimes they’re sad, etc.

When the girls get out of the hospital they go to the dance competition. But Tarte steals their suitcase to keep them from competing, they need to be Pretty Cure to save the world so he can’t have them exhausting themselves like this. However he has a change of heart when he thinks about the girls and all the stuff they’ve been through. Tarte has some trouble bringing the suitcase back but Setsuna walks by and she actually helps him bring it to them. The girls don’t get angry at him and Love thanks Setsuna for everything.

She decides to show her gratitude by turning the suitcase into a Nakisakebe and attacking the competition. During the battle in the auditorium Miyuki stands up to Eas and Akarun even appears but still nothing happens. No 4th Cure yet. Love Miki and Bukki then transform in front of Miyuki. Miyuki realizes how hard they must’ve all been working if they were balancing dancing and Pretty Cure at the same time and cheers them on. They defeat the monster leaving Eas with only one more use of the card left. The contest also gets postponed to a later date because of the attack so the girls can now practice more for it and Miyuki can work their practice around them being Pretty Cure. Also Soular continues to be a complete dick to Eas and mocks her some more.

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The girls show off their Linkruns and Pickruns to Miyuki and start telling her about everything. Tarte says Miyuki needs to go out and get attacked by Labyrinth for Akarun to appear and make her a Cure.

Also Eas is about half dead right now. Klein comes to see how her job is going, she asks him if she can see Moebius when she succeeds. He says yes so she promises to defeat Pretty Cure this time.

Meanwhile the girls are acting as bodyguards for Miyuki at her big concert. Looking out for Labyrinth. Setsuna is wandering through the crowds at the event, she seems delirious, thinking about her life in Labyrinth and how she wants to meet Moebius, how she wants to do anything for him. She ends up collapsing and Miki sees her, Miki also can make out what she thinks is the Nakisakebe card in her pocket but before she can look further Love comes along and Miki gets a call from Bukki saying Chiffon has gone missing so she has to go and help her look.

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Love’s summer clothes are kind of slutty…

Anyways she takes Setsuna to the stadiums infirmary and tells her to take things easy. Setsuna is still pretty strung out but the girls begin to have a heartfelt conversation with each other (or at least from Love’s side). Love tells her that even though she’s sad the dance competition was cancelled she had all of these important people to her that supported her through everything and can always help her out. Setsuna tells her to just go to them but Love says she’s worried about Setsuna and won’t just leave her. Setsuna seems to really get how Love considers her an important person too now. But she reacts angrily to this and runs off, creating her final Nakisakebe and attacking the concert.

And back in Labyrinth we see a short scene of how Moebius couldn’t care less about Eas. Klein asks about how the card will make her worthless after it’s used and Moebius confirms this, he isn’t phased by anything that might happen to her.

The final Nakisakebe and fight against it are cool. It spins around creates vortexes. Akarun still isn’t appearing for Miyuki though and so Tarte gets her to evacuate the stadium with all the other civilians.

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The card is causing horrible agony in Eas and Peach can see how much she’s suffering. Peach kicks the monster to the ground and jumps up to help Eas. She tells her how angry she is at Eas and what she’s done is unforgivable, but she also says that seeing her crying makes her want to help her.

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Peach knows Eas doesn’t really want to throw away her life, even for Moebius. She hugs Eas and Chiffon uses some sort of power to stop the affect of the card from hurting Eas more, Moebius can actually sense Chiffon doing this in Labyrinth…

Peach then destroys the final Nakisakebe.

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Eas is okay and Peach is happy, but fed up with everything Eas changes into Setsuna right in front of Peach. Peach can’t process this at all and acts like a deer in the headlights. All she can mutter is that Setsuna is her friend. Setsuna then says her only goal is to defeat them and she takes off the clover necklace and crushes it to pieces beneath her heel.

This is seriously the best mid-season climax. This whole 5 episode arc.

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Love is depressed over Setsuna being Eas. Understandable. And oh yeah the title for this episode spoils everything, “The Death of Eas, Cure Passion is Born”. Nice work on that one. Eas being Passion was spoiled before Fresh even began to air if I recall correctly due to some merchandise or game thing I dunno but for anyone watching Fresh for the first time without any prior knowledge it does do an okay job at putting Miyuki as the realistic 4th Cure. Even though the two episodes before this kind of hint she’s not when Akarun doesn’t activate for her.

Anyways Miki barges in to Love’s house with Bukki in tow o snap Love out of her funk. Miki tells her that if Setsuna is Eas the fortune telling mansion must be where the Labyrinth guys are and they should go there to defeat them to keep everyone else out of danger. She then tells Love that Setsuna never existed and Eas wasn’t her friend… bad move there Miki.

Love is upset by this and runs out. While in Labyrinth Moebius has Klein change Eas’ “data”. What could that mean… Labyrinth controls every aspect of its citizens lives so it could be anything. Eas is thinking about Love when she receives a letter from Klein, but we don’t get to see what it says yet. While back in Clover Town Love runs around thinking about everything she’s been through with Eas and Setsuna.

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Love runs into Kaoru and has a nice chat with him. He tells her that if she’s having problems with someone she thought was her friend but is doing “bad things” she needs to settle things with her and become friends again. So Love sets out to do just that and runs into the forest where the mansion is. Where she meets Setsuna.

They both transform and Eas tells Love that everything she did was just a deception to get close to her and defeat her. But Love says she still thinks of her as a friend and the battle begins. At the same time Miki, Bukki, Tarte, and Chiffon also head out to the forest. Westar and Soular see them coming and use some sort of power to change the forest around and conceal the mansion, but it doesn’t stop the 4 of them from finding Peach and Eas.

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The fight between Eas and Peach is pretty good but it’s more about the emotion and words than the action itself. It starts to rain in the middle of the fight and we get a flashback to Eas reading her letter, which says that her life is ending today. Yeah. Moebius and Klein changed her data to shorten her lifespan cause she’s of no more use. Probably the darkest Precure gets. Fresh is the most mature season for a multitude of reasons. Although it’s admittedly kind of silly using that term since in the end it’s still silly Precure.

As the others look on they realize that Peach isn’t fighting to defeat Eas but to save Setsuna. Eas opens up about the tumultuous feelings inside of her, what she feels about Love, how her… love and openness have changed her after all their encounters. In the end what Eas realizes is that she always envied Love and her happiness.

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As they lay on the ground together, exhasuted but at peace, Eas comes to finally understand and accept Love’s feelings for her (no this isn’t yuri, IT’S NEVER YURI). Eas sees a 4-leaf clover, Love says that only someone searching for happiness can find one, but before she can grasp it… her time ends.

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Eas’ lifeless body crumples to the ground as Soular and Westar come by to explain what’s happened. It’s really sad seeing Love shake her body and refusing to accept the truth of her death. Or is it the truth?

Chiffon uses her power to summon Akarun, who shoots into Eas’ body, Akarun tells Setsuna’s spirit that she was always meant to be the 4th Cure but this aura of evil she had around her stopped it from happening. But now that “Eas” is dead Setsuna can finally become Cure Passion!

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It’s funny how conservative her outfit is. The exact opposite of Eas’ (and Miki’s) which I guess was intentional.

Moebius in Klein react in shock at this happening. It was something they never saw coming, they had no data on this possibility. And Westar actually asks “Eas” to come back with them, thinking it must’ve been a mistake on Labyrinth’s part that she was meant to die but she refuses. Peach says she’s their friend and comrade now. But things aren’t all happy, Passion believes she can’t truly be a Cure because of all the evil things she’s done, and she walks away as the episode ends.

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Eas’s turn to Passion is the best villain to Cure turn in the entire franchise. Which sadly isn’t saying as much as it should be but whatever. The arc is so well done and so emotional, very well paced out as well as episodes 19-23 all build off each other and create a single great story when it all comes together. That’s what I can say about the entire first half really. Every story line has good focus and development and comes together perfectly in the end. It is the best first half of any season with very few flaws.

So now that we’re at the halfway point it’s time to get to discussion! First off let’s go over some general themes of Fresh. Uhhh… card suits? Fruit? 4-leaf clovers? Donuts? Hmm. Fresh has a wide variety of themes and motifs. Honestly the fruit and card suit stuff and even the name Fresh doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just used to give all the Cures a unifying theme. The clover and card suits work really well for a 4 Cure season too. As for donuts well even though it’s not used as a serious plot device they are important. Especially in the finale and they’re the first food Eas and Westar eat that they really seem to like.

As for the other kinds of themes we have emotions vs. the lack of, happiness vs. sadness, free will vs. control, and achieving happiness. Everyone feels something, Fresh goes over this, bad or good. Feelings and emotions are a part of life and having someone understand your feelings is important. Getting them to feel things like happiness is important. Happiness vs. Sadness is self-explanatory, Pretty Cure are here to protect everyones happiness and stop the villains from gathering Sorrow Energy. This is a very general them used in many seasons. In fact it’s in all 4 of the golden age. Free will vs. Control is a big one, it’s the difference between Earth and Labyrinth. The Fresh girls can’t understand or accept a cold world that controls every aspect of your lives, living your own life the way you want to is important in Fresh and this theme becomes very prominent in the finale as well. Lastly getting happiness is Love’s catchphrase, she says it almost as much as nagisa says “Arienai”. You could see this a lot in the mid-season climax as the girls worked to achieve their goal of being a dance trio but it’s also in Miki doing her hardest to become a model and Bukki helping with animals. Everyone has their happiness that they can achieve and of course this is brought up with Setsuna as well. And it will be brought up more with Setsuna in the next couple of episodes and, as should be expected, is important in the finale too.

In other areas of the show we have the animation. Which is not very good. Fresh has a lot of bad quality art and poorly animated scenes, it occasionally has very good looking stuff but I can’t say it’s even balanced 50/50. Characters are often drawn in kind of a just slightly off way to look weird. Especially when it comes to faces.

The music in Fresh is good but I don’t find it particularly great or memorable. Even though I do remember watching Suite and feeling like I heard more music from Fresh in the first half of the show than original music from Suite. Fresh’s music is very electric and pretty easy to make out among the music of other seasons but a lot of it has a very generic sound to it.

Fresh has a lot of really cool ideas for Pretty Cure but can’t capitalize effectively on all of them. Labyrinth is a completely totalitarian world where Moebius can decide who lives and dies as the days go by. When Klein mentions off-handedly that they’re killing a bunch of people to keep the population in check that’s so shocking for Pretty Cure it’s hard to take seriously. Fresh also definitely is the most sexual season, not just the outfits Miki and Eas wear either. But Miki in general gives off a lot of mild fanservice. And as for more “adult” themes well that problem I mentioned back with Miki’s brother comes in here. Ostensibly people complained that they seemed more like lovers than brother and sister, and the theory goes that this was intentional on Toei’s part and they were written as a couple, this leads to Miki’s brother appearing less and near being written out of the show. He hardly is seen now.

On the good side of things Love, Miki, and Bukki feel the most like real people out of any group of Cures. And real friends too, they have the best dynamic. The dialogue and everything between them is great. I wouldn’t say they’re actually the best written Cures with the strongest development or story arcs but they do come off as the most believable and human to me. In part also because of the strong and realistic depictions of their families.

And as for some random notes before I get into the next episode it’s kind of odd that the police or military never show up. This is the tradeoff in Pretty Cure when you make the Cures and villains more public as opposed to how things were in the earlier seasons. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with that but it makes someone wonder why no one is doing anything about the horrible monsters. And lastly the Fresh girls wear a ton of different civilian clothes, way more than the girls in any other season, especially the earlier ones. They have a ton of different outfits, they certainly have default ones but there’s still a lot of variety after those.

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The next three episodes are sort of like a mini arc dealing with Setsuna’s integration into not just Pretty Cure but as a true friend of the others.

Setsuna is sitting alone dejectedly on a hillside when Love’s mother sees her and sits down next to her. She can tell this girl is sad for some reason and asks her what’s wrong. She tells Setsuna that if she’s feeling down she should come to town because Clover Town Street is always a happy place. Meanwhile our heroines are at Love’s house wondering where Setsuna could possibly be after last episode. When her mom comes home Love asks her something that we don’t get to see yet… and then we see the girls go out looking for Setsuna.

At the Labyrinth mansion Westar is pissed off about things and goes off to bring Eas back.

Setsuna thinks about how she no longer has a home or a place to belong to. She wanders into town thinking about everything and before long stumbles across everyone else. Love takes Setsuna with her to a restaurant where they meet up with Love’s parents, and Setsuna sees that the woman she met earlier is Love’s mother, who is also surprised at this. Love tells her parents how Setsuna doesn’t have a family of her own She formally introduces her parents and Setsuna and begins telling her about her family and Miki and Bukki and their families and all the stuff in Clover Town Street.

Honestly this is a really touching episode. Love’s mom (her name is Ayumi by the way) talks with Setsuna alone for a bit as they look at desserts and tells her about all the wonderful stuff around them so she should just try to enjoy herself.

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Setsuna thinks about the bland meals she ate in Labyrinth, inside a cold and quiet cafeteria. It’s so different from life in Clover Town. Love’s and her families silliness actually makes Setsuna laugh.

Westar then creates a Nakewameke to draw out Setsuna. Love transforms to fight it but she can’t beat it alone. Westar then jumps down to “Eas” and tells her to drink in all the despair the Nakewameke is creating in the city. But instead this jsut makes Setsuna mad and she chooses to transform. This is the first time she’s felt such happiness and Westar doesn’t have the right to destroy it or make anyone else miserable. Westar tries to get her to come to her senses and be a loyal servant of Moebius again but Passion refuses. Berry and Pine then come in and knock the Nakewameke down with Peach, giving Setsuna an opening.

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She already has access to Akarun and everything. No Cure Stick though, instead she gets the unique Passion Harp. Her attack is Happiness Hurricane and she uses it to destroy the monster. The 4 Pretty Cure are finally together. As a side note Passion’s transformation is really good and easily the best solo transformation in the franchise so far.

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Love then asks Setsuna to come live with her. This is what she was asking her mom about earlier, and her parents are okay with it cause Love says she’s a close friend who needs help. Setsuna tearfully agrees after Love’s mom convinces her she has the right to be happy. Setsuna has gotten her happiness.

Next episode they’re preparing Setsuna’s room at Love’s house. And Soular now plans to go out and remind Eas of who she is. While Setsuna is out at Kaoru’s she runs into the boy and his dog back from episode 3. The dog at first growls at Setsuna but then gets friendly with her and Setsuna even starts to play frisbee with them. However she still feels bad about all the things she did as Eas and later that night she has a nightmare about her actions. The next day she tells Love about how much she hurts when she thinks about her past as Eas. Love is happy that she finally opened up about this.

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When they’re all in the park Soular comes by. He creates a Nakewameke out of Setsuna’s shadow that takes the form of Eas. He tells her to face her true self and the darkness inside of her. Setsuna does worry that she might just end up creating more sadness for everyone, but Love tells her that will never happen and Setsuna says that her real self is not Eas but Cure Passion. And the girls transform as a full group for the first time.

The boy and his dog are there in the park so Passion does her best to protect them. The Nakewameke can move through shadows making it difficult to attack but the dog can sense what shadow it’s hiding in and Passion is able to destroy it. The last remnants of Eas and Setsuna’s guilt disappear here.

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Next episode the “new” opening theme comes in. The song is only slightly changed and the visuals are changed a little bit as well to include Passion and Setsuna, as well as a new villain who has their face covered in shadows at the end where Eas used to stand. It’s way better than the first version. Another thing to mention about Fresh’s opening that I didn’t mention before is that it switches things around compared to the earlier seasons. The openings of Futari Wa, Max Heart, and Splash Star only show the main villains and none of the evil minions. Yes5 doesn’t even show Despariah and GoGo shows Bunbee but Bunbee is kind of special. Fresh shows the main trio but not Moebius. Heartcatch also shows every villain but Dune, Suite has several different openings so it’s harder to categorize and Smile briefly shows Pierrot’s arm but nothing else. Just another thing Fresh changes up as the start of a new era.

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This episode is pretty fun. Miyuki tells all of the girls that she can’t be a part of Pretty Cure, and they all remember that they forgot about this. So they introduce Setsuna and Tarte tells her she isn’t really the 4th Cure. She’s actually relieved though and they start up dance lessons again. Love asks Setsuna to join their group, Clover, so they can become a quartet instead of a trio. Miyuki takes them all to a summer camp for more training after seeing how out of practice they are.

Westar also coincidentally is going to the beach where they’re going to be. Except he screws up and takes a train to the mountains on accident at first. Tarte tells the girls that they don’t need to take a train or anything because Akarun has the power to teleport. Kind of a more powerful ability than the other Pickruns. So they all go… except for Tarte who gets left behind until Setsuna notices him missing. She then has to go back to get other stuff people forgot.

Miyuki gives them new dance moves but Setsuna isn’t sure if she actually wants to join them. Bukki also seems to have forgotten something but she’s trying to hide what it might’ve been. Setsuna ends up watching the three others dance but leaves in the middle of it. The others think about when Bukki wasn’t sure about dancing either so they decide to let things be for now. But Bukki does decide to go talk to Setsuna and when they’re alone she tells her about how she wasn’t sure of herself and didn’t have the confidence Miki and Love had. Setsuna shows her a book on dancing she’s been reading and says that Labyrinth didn’t have anything like dancing or music so she isn’t sure of herself either even though she wants to dance with them. The two of them end up dancing a little together in private. Aside from this being a general episode about Setsuna becoming one of the group and bonding with everyone it’s also used to develop her personal relationship with Bukki.

That’s when dumbass Westar, after finally getting to the beach and noticing that because it’s so late in the day there’s no one around to get sorrow energy from, coincidentally attacks near their beach house. Everyone is pretty surprised to see each other. They transform and fight him, it’s a pretty fun fight and Passion destroys the Nakewameke for the third episode in a row.

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Bukki then tells Setsuna that she forgot something important so Setsuna teleports to get it. And notices that it’s a dance outfit that Bukki knitted. Setsuna teleports back wearing it, Bukki wanted them all to have the same kind of outfit because it makes them stronger and Setsuna says she’ll join them. Making them a 4-leaf clover.

New ending as well. It’s good but I’m not sure if I like it more than the first one. They’re pretty much equal to me.

Now here is where things start to stall in Fresh. The next “arc” (or lack thereof) just doesn’t really have anything going on. There are some good episodes here and some character building ones but there’s just not nearly as much happening in Fresh anymore with Eas gone and Setsuna a full team member now. We get one important plot episode that introduces a few things but besides that things are very slow for about 8 episodes.

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And yeah. Manzai episode. Part of me wonders if this episode is just a giant meta joke because Tarte speaks with an Osaka accent and is by far the biggest fan of manzai and Audrey this episode. In truth this episode has some funny stuff (and Setsuna looks good in a yukata) but so much else in it is just lame. Maybe it’s because I’m an American but manzai just isn’t funny to me. I’ll take Abbot and Costello any day of the week.

Couple random notes: Setsuna’s inability to understand comedy is cute and Smile would later do basically the exact same thing with Reika. Except it’s even weirder there because Reika is a “normal” human who should understand things…  And Daisuke also appears briefly this episode, failing to draw up the courage to compliment love on her yukata. Kaoru has to tell him to get more courage.

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Episode 28 thankfully is a good one. Love and Setsuna are walking down Clover Town Street (everyone seems to know Love) and Setsuna asks what Love’s family does. Love says they used to run a tatami shop. Love’s grandfather used to make tatami mats. She thinks about him but she can’t remember him too well since he died ten years ago, besides what he looks like all she remembers is that she loved him. She feels like she’s forgotten something important.

Soular then creates a Nakewameke out of an old camera that’s been used to take the family portraits of people on Clover Town Street for years. When the girls go to fight it it takes Peach’s picture and she suddenly ends up transported to the past, back to when she was only 4 years old and her grandpa is still alive.

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Except she’s actually just asleep and trapped in her memories. Soular says to the others that she’ll probably never wake up cause she’s happily in her most important memory. The other three keep trying to fight the Nakewameke but it’s proving a difficult foe. Chiffon tries to communicate with Love in her memories but at first she only seems to be reaching Love’s grandpa, he can see the images of the battle she’s sending and seems to realize that Love shouldn’t really be here with him.

Love at this time is happily spending time with him, not a care in the world. She says she wants to be with him forever but he tells her she needs to go back to her world and gets her to see what Chiffon has been trying to show her all this time.

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Love says she can’t leave yet, because something is still missing, but her grandpa tells her she’s already given him so much joy just by being his granddaughter. He tells her he named her Love because he wanted her to create something full of love in her life just like he does with the tatami mats he makes. Love grows up and leaves the world of memories. Returning to the battle and the 4 of them destroy the Nakewameke.

Love tells the girls about her grandfather and says that someday she’ll become someone who can fill the hearts of everyone in the world with happiness.

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Next episode is weird as fuck. Kaoru is asked by some former comrade to find the prince of a foreign country, he ran off while they were in Japan because he doesn’t get along with his parents and he took a valuable jewel that’s the countries national treasure with him and an evil organization called Get Mouse is after him and the jewel!

WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING?!

There is nothing else like this episode in Pretty Cure. Kaoru is apparently an ex-secret agent or something. God damn, Fresh is weird.

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The girls actually randomly come across the prince in town (his name is Jeffrey) and decide to see what’s up with him since he looks so out of place. Love’s attempts to communicate with him in English are hilarious. Luckily he speaks Japanese. They hang out with him for a while before a broadcast is sent out on tv about him and the jewel. The jewel is said to bring people happiness so Westar, having also seen the broadcast, goes after it.

Jeffrey tells the girls that he ran off and took the jewel with him because his parents don’t love him basically. An old plot but this episode seems to be using these cliches on purpose. Setsuna gets the kid to admit this was wrong and to go fix things. But then a bunch of guys in suits surround them and they get knocked out and abducted. Kaoru follows them but ends up taken out by the leader of Get Mouse, who gets the jewel and Jeffrey. Of course then Westar shows up and makes a Nakewameke out of the jewel. Tarte wakes up the girls and they transform.

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The girls are having trouble with the Nakewameke but during this Kaoru wakes up and beats up all of the Get Mouse thugs and rescues Jeffrey. He tells the girls a jewel is weaker at corners and then attacks the Nakewameke by leaping into the air and kicking it. CAUSING IT TO ACTUALLY CRACK. The girls focus their attacks there and destroy it.

Jeffrey and his parents get along better now. Kaoru also refuses his comrades offer to work more as a secret agent, deciding to continue working as a donuts vendor. Although the girls are still confused to all hell by him.

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The next episode is another silly one and although it also has some funny stuff I feel it’s kind of lacking. There aren’t enough laughs to carry it and I end up kind of bored by it. But there are some cute things with Love and Setsuna acting like close sisters by this point. Love’s silliness has rubbed off on Setsuna a good deal.

Through a series of events Tarte is discovered by Inori’s parents to not have a bellybutton. And a guy who has a tv show about weird pet stuff finds out because he was at the vet at the same time. He then whips the town into a frenzy to discover what this ferret like creature could really be and yadda yadda yadda Westar makes a Nakewameke out of a net that turns Mexican for some inexplicable reason.

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It’s a new school term and Setsuna will be going to school with Love. When they get there Daisuke seems to want to talk to Love about something but Love is always preoccupied with Setsuna or some other Setsuna related thing interrupts him. When he finally gets a chance to speak to her he learns that Love has forgotten about something important. Before break started Love promised to come watch him play and cheer him on in a baseball match he was starting in. But Love forgot all about the promise and when Daisuke says something mean about Setsuna they both get in a big fight.

After Love remembers the promise she still isn’t sure if she should go to the match because she figures she might just upset Daisuke some more after their fight. But she does eventually decide to go and cheer him on. He plays better but in the end his team still loses.

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Westar then shows up and makes a Nakewameke out of a pitching machine. Berry uses her Pickrun to give the girls baseball outfits and they play against the Nakewameke… yeah okay why not. They all hit balls and get on base and then take it out with their attacks… okay. Can’t say the fight wasn’t silly. It was indeed a funny fight. Love talks to Daisuke afterwards as Cure Peach and he decides to apologize to Love for saying mean things and not explaining, while Love also apologizes for forgetting about the match. Of course though they start instantly fighting again after Daisuke gets embarrassed from holding her hand. As a side note for the episode Setsuna sits right next to Love in class and she’s also perfect at both sports and academics in school. The perfect mysterious transfer student.

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In episode 32 (the important one) Tarte and Chiffon are asked by the Elder to come back to the Sweets Kingdom. Tarte thinks they’re being called back permanently since technically his job of finding Pretty Cure is done. They go back with the power of Setsuna’s Akarun- and turn around to see that the girls have followed them to the Sweets Kingdom cause they don’t want to say farewell yet.

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When the girls reach the Sweets Kingdom castle they learn that Tarte is actually a prince, I guess it makes sense for why he in particular was chosen for the mission now. Even though he doesn’t act very princely. And they meet another ferret fairy named Azukina who’s his fiancee.

They all then go to meet the Elder. He tells Tarte there’s something he needs to fetch from the shrine. Azukina seems worried about this since there’s an evil spirit sealed in the forest wear the shrine is, but Tarte tells her it’s no problem since the thing is sealed after all. However when the girls get to the forest they come across some monster flowers, so they transform to fight them. When they go deeper into the forest Tarte checks where the spirit is supposed to be sealed and sure enough, it’s seal has broken. Azukina also joins them in the forest.

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And it turns out the evil spirit is some kind of mochi monster thing. It’s interesting that the girls fight a non-Labyrinth monster like this, very different for Pretty Cure. Anyways while the girls fight it Azukina admits that she was the one who unsealed the spirit because she wanted Tarte to stay in the Sweets Kingdom. She figured if he was never able to get the thing from the shrine he’s have to stay with her. Tarte gets caught by the monster too and Azukina has to go to the shrine to get whatever is there.

It ends up being some kind of music box. It lets out a beautiful melody that weakens the spirit and gives the girls the chance to destroy it.

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They bring the box back to the Elder, who calls it the legendary Clover Box. The Elder entrusts the box with Tarte, telling him he’ll need it in the coming battles with Labyrinth. Things are going to get tougher he says. So yeah it turns out Tarte was never meant to stay back in the Sweets Kingdom permanently, they just needed to get the box for him. Azukina then asks Tarte for forgiveness, which he’s happy to give, and he says that next time they can eat donuts together. Because donuts are just the best.

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Episode 33 is the last one before things start to move along again. It’s a good bonding episode between Miki and Setsuna. Has some funny and cute stuff in it. Miki is looking for a new “look” a new outfit for an audition. But Bukki and Love are indisposed for reasons and so only Setsuna is able to join her for shopping. Miki pretty much immediately finds this awkward since the two of them have never been alone before and any attempts Miki makes to strike up conversation end terribly. The episode is also about what Miki and Setsuna are afraid of, and after Miki runs away screaming from an octopus it’s pretty easy to see what her fear is. And woe be to her when Westar makes an octopus Nakewameke later.

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Setsuna’s awkwardness kind of gets to Miki, especially when Setsuna makes some rather blunt rejections of the clothes Miki picks, but Miki eventually comes to realize Setsuna is trying her hardest. She’s a nice girl despite everything. After Miki runs away in fear she doesn’t want anyone to see her like that but Setsuna sits down with her to help her out. Setsuna then tells Miki that what she’s most of afraid of is Miki, Love and Bukki disappearing. It’s a good episode that gives us more insight into the two characters. During the fight when Miki is too afraid of the Nakewameke to do anything Passion fights it alone for a bit before Miki is able to overcome her fear because Passion is fighting such a hopeless battle to protect her.

And now stuff starts to happen.

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The title of this episode is (in short) Infinity appears. Which I think is a nice double meaning cause it involves a Nakewameke keeping tomorrow from coming as well. Anyways the episode starts with Love and Setsuna being cute sisters. Seriously, they have a really nice sisterly bond/dynamic. Setsuna starts to winder about the Misfortune Gauge cause she knows it must almost be full. She tells the others about it and how Infinity will appear when it’s full and the danger of Moebius getting his hands on it. At the Labyrinth mansion Westar and Soular are looking over the gauge and it indeed is almost full, the two of them decide to work together to get the final drops of sorrow needed.

Everyone else in town and our heroines families are talking about these important things going on tomorrow like a wedding, etc. But later that night Soular creates a Nakewameke out of a calendar that stops tomorrow from coming. When Love wakes up it’s still dark out and her clock is stuck at midnight. Everyone in town notices this and people are trying to figure out what’s going on. Although I expect that for this town people are more or less used to this kind of stuff by now.

The Clover Box glows and shows the girls the Nakewameke and where it is but Westar ends up just starting to attack people with it to create more sorrow anyways. Soular at this point is back at the mansion watching over the gauge. The girls want to defeat the Nakewameke as quickly as possible but Westar creates his own out of a truck to drag the fight on. Chiffon starts crying uncontrollably for some reason as the gauge nears completion. At the fight the girls strong desire to get tomorrow back gives them the power they need to defeat both Nakewameke. But the gauge has filled up completely and there’s still something wrong with Chiffon…

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In Labyrinth Moebius orders Infinity to reveal itself and Chiffon changes. Chiffon is Infinity. She floats up into the sky and disappears…

The next day all the girls are worried about Chiffon and where she could possibly be. The Elder then shows up in town. In Labyrinth Klein tells Moebius they’re working to locate Moebius. So anyways the Elder tells the girls and Tarte about where Chiffon came from.

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Chiffon fell like a falling star into the Sweets Kingdom with the Clover Box. A legend passed down in the Sweets Kingdom gave him all he needed to know about her and Infinity so he eventually had Tarte gather Pretty Cure knowing that they would need to protect Chiffon from evil (Labyrinth). The Elder never told them about this because “If you want to fool your enemies fool your friends first”. Which makes sense well enough, Love and Tarte are the types who would accidentally spill the beans on everything if they knew. And it’s better than in Heartcatch and Suite where people know some very important things and just never tell the girls anything for absolutely no reason.

Moebius later orders Westar and Soular to the Land of Toys, because they detected Infinity there. This ties in with the Fresh movie cause it takes place in the Land of Toys. Fresh is the first season to do something like this. We also learn that Westar’s real name is Hayato and Soular’s is Shun. They find Chiffon fairly quickly (Chiffon is constantly repeating “I am Infinity. The unlimited memory.”) but have difficulty catching her.

Back on Earth the Elder tells the girls that the music from the Clover Box will attract Chiffon, and when they use it it brings her back from the Land of Toys… with Westar and Soular so a fight breaks out. And unfortunately Chiffon is still in Infinity mode and Love has no idea what to do, but when she cries over the Clover Box a new melody comes out from it, a lullaby, that returns Chiffon to normal.

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All of the girls really love Chiffon, she’s not just some object to them. At the end of the episode we see Moebius ordering a new villain to Earth to get Infinity, the shadowed one in the opening… Northa.

Also a lot of people come over to Love’s for a party and we get to see Miki’s brother in the background. It’s a non-speaking role but it’s still the first time we’ve seen him since episode 18. Hooray I guess.

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So Klein comes by to give Westar and Soular a rader for finding Infinity whenever Chiffon reverts to it. Speaking of Chiffon she’s been growing up some more and she’s learned to walk. The girls all have fun together with Chiffon, refusing to let things get them down. Suddenly though in the middle of them having fun in the forest Chiffon changes into Infinity again and Westar and Soular go out to grab her. Soular… he’s kind of becoming comic relief cause in this episode and the last silly things have been happening to him.

The girls use the Clover Box to get Chiffon back to normal but Westar and Soular still find them and they each make a Nakewameke out of acorns. The girls are winning the fight but…

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Northa arrives. And the other denizens of Labyrinth are decidedly unnerved. Also take note: Whenever a villain causes the grass they walk on to die it’s a bad thing. Northa is fucking evil. She doesn’t have the kind of comedy moments like Kawarino and Anacondy etc. either. She isn’t as grim as say Dark Precure but she’s especially more cruel and she takes a pleasant delight in every horrific thing she does. Northa creates some plant monster called a Sorewatase that absorbs the two Nakewameke. The girls use all of their attacks on it but it’s still not enough, the Sorewatase is about to overcome their powers when Chiffon cries out and a blast of light comes out of the Clover Box. It powers up everyone’s attacks and they’re able to destroy the Sorewatase.

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Northa calmly retreats after this. At the Labyrinth mansion she drains some sorrow energy from the gauge and waters her plants with it, creating another Sorewatase.

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So next episode the girls are practicing their dancing. They’re dancing to the second ending theme song. And the dancing looks absolutely horrible because this is Fresh and this episode has bad animation and off-model art. Their dancing isn’t going so well because all 4 of them are worried over how powerful Northa was. So Miyuki offers to help them out with special training. And then the opening theme song plays and inserted into it are scenes from the movie (the next few episodes also do this), all the following seasons would do this too.

The girls transform and are led by Miyuki to the mansion of Daisuke’s bespectacled friend. Apparently his family is super duper rich and Trinity uses their facilities to practice occasionally. Daisuke is there too, he’s happy to see Peach again.

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All the girls get analyzed to figure out their strengths. This… this is some high tech gym equipment. Peach is best at punching, Berry is best at kicking, Pine has endurance and Passion is a sprinter. I mean it’s cool to know but you don’t reeeally see this displayed well in the series or anything. So they all get a special training regimen and this is all so very unusual for Precure, Fresh is really something us.

At the Labyrinth mansion Northa gives Westar a Sorewatase and orders him out while back at the training facility Miyuki realizes that the girls cant just train individually to become strong but they have to work together. However the girls are all so distracted by thinking of how to protect Chiffon themselves that it doesn’t go well, and they even get in a big argument later. They all want to protect Chiffon so much they aren’t really thinking about what made them strong in the first place. Their discord causes Chiffon to become Infinity and the Clover Box wont open for them either, Westar then jumps in and creates a Sorewatase from some gym equipment.

While they start the fight poorly Miyuki is able to get them to remember their feelings. What’s most important for a dance group and how they felt when they all came together back during summer vacation. How their hearts have to be connected. They realize that all of them want to protect Chiffon, and instead of thinking and acting on their own about it they need to work together to accomplish that.Suddenly the Clover Box reacts and shoots out 4 clover leaves, one to each of the girls Linkruns, powering them up.

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The 4 work together to defeat the Sorewatase, their combined hearts allow them to use the full power of the Clover Box with their new group attack: Lucky Clover Grand Finale. I like it. It’s a very unique attack and it has good music. I also love the way Peach says Lovely Leaf, “Lovuly Leafu!”. It doesn’t have a lot of impact or oomph to it so I can’t say it’s one of the better group attacks but it’s cool I guess. After the fight Tarte uses the Clover Box to return Chiffon to normal and now the girls have the confidence and the power to protect Chiffon.

After that episode 38 is… ugh. The episode where Miki loses the Clover Box. I don’t even really wanna talk about this one. It has a couple cute scenes where Love and Miki are singing a lullaby to Chiffon but man I just really don’t like this episode. Why does it have to reduce Soular to an idiot? He doesn’t do anything with the Sorewatase Northa gives him, no more fun unusual monsters from him. He ends up tricked and outsmarted by Berry too, not to say Berry is dumb but it’s still disappointing. Soular has not been used well since Chiffon became Infinity.

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Next episode thankfully is much better and a lot of fun. It’s the school trip (for Love and Setsuna’s school) to Okinawa. Tarte and Chiffon also tag along with them because Tarte wanted to go. Daisuke also is planning on making good memories with Love for this trip, and is gonna try his hardest not to fight with her like normal. But it’s kind of hard to go against ones natural instincts. Oh yeah and Westar is also in Okinawa, he lied about going to defeat Pretty Cure to Northa and is really just planning on vacationing.

And as the day goes by in Okinawa Daisuke tries his hardest to not start fighting with Love but of course this ends up just making Love mad at him cause he’s not acting like normal. Chiffon then becomes Infinity and floats off into the forest, Westar notices this because I guess he brought the radar with him to make his ruse more believable. He creates a Sorewatase out of a Shisa statue. Love goes into the forest to find Chiffon but Daisuke sees her do this so he follows her. There’s some good animation this episode and in the fight. Daisuke wanders into Peach fighting Westar and so Peach has to run off with him. The two of them end up on the beach and they talk for a little while. Peach convinces Daisuke to just be himself and that he can surely make up with Love after he opens up to her about the bad day he’s been having with her.

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Westar at this time finds Infinity but it erects a barrier around itself to keep anything out. Meanwhile Setsuna teleports to Miki and Bukki to tell them what’s happened and they all teleport back to Okinawa. And promptly fall on top of Westar. And then transform on top of him.  Peach finds them all and gets to Infinity, opening her heart and getting the barrier to dissipate so Tarte can use the Clover Box to return Chiffon to normal. They then destroy the Sorewatase and Westar presumably goes back to vacationing.

Daisuke is mad at Love for wandering into the forest but he’s also happy she’s okay. Love is sorry but tells him she’s glad he worried about her and the two of them make up. But because they’re back to “normal” it means they promptly stat arguing with each other again. At least Daisuke made some happy memories.

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Episode 40 is an absolutely fantastic one.

Love’s mom makes bracelets for Love and Setsuna (Pink for Love and red for Setsuna of course). Ayumi really cares for Setsuna like she’s her real mother. Setsuna can overhear her and Love talking about how Setsuna is doing and is happy.

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But while they’re out at a cafe Northa comes by and traps Love’s mom in the bathroom mirror, making a Sorewatase out of her reflection at the same time with the plan of using it to get Chiffon. Setsuna can tell something is off almost immediately and gets more suspicious as the day goes by. Love, uh… doesn’t really seem to notice anything. Cause she’s Love I guess.

Later that night Setsuna does see the Sorewatase communicating with Northa but before she can do anything Love’s father comes home. She decides to trick the Sorewatase into coming into her room and ambushing it when she’s sure it’s after Chiffon. It works but in the commotion Love wakes up and barges in to see what she thinks is Setsuna attacking her mom. Naturally the Sorewatase plays dumb and Setsuna can’t really explain her self so Love gets really mad. Setsuna leaves and the next morning contacts Miki and Bukki so the three of them can find the real mother.

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They make their way back to the cafe where Setsuna first noticed Ayumi acting weird and in the bathroom Setsuna can see something off in the mirror. Using Akarun she teleports inside the mirror and rescues her. Back at the house Love becomes suspicious because the Sorewatase keeps asking about Chiffon, and she tricks it into revealing itself by using the bracelets her mom made yesterday. Setsuna teleports to the house then and the fight breaks out, at the same time Chiffon turns into Infinity and the Sorewatase races off to find her. It’s a good fight and there’s good animation too.

After the fight Love and Setsuna return home, Love’s mom gives Setsuna her bracelet and Setsuna calls her mother for the first time.

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Best Cure family.

So next episode Daisuke’s rich friend Kento invites Bukki on a celebrity cruise. Bukki is way too nervous and she has nothing to wear for it though so she doesn’t really want to go. But when she gets home she sees that Kento sent her an expensive dress, and the other girls keep pressuring her to go so she finally relents.

Kento is basically using her as arm candy for the event. Well no not really I just wanted to say that. Bukki is feeling a bit out of place but there’s a magician with a bunch of animals on the cruise and she has some fun with that. She ends up talking with the guys white tiger. Bukki really likes animals… maybe a little TOO much.

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Also Westar is on the ship. Somehow. Bukki and Kento end up talking to each other, the guy likes her but for whatever reason doesn’t seem like making an actual confession or anything like his friend that has the hots for Miki. Westar as always is being hit on by some women before making his Sorewatatse merge with the cruise ship. You know I wonder if Westar and Soular are supposed to be older than Setsuna? They do have an older appearance than guys who are the same age as Pretty Cure so maybe they’re supposed to be high school or college aged.

The other girls see the Sorewatase and try to stop it but since people are still on board they can’t destroy it or anything. Peach and Berry end up fighting with Westar, who came off the ship, while Passion teleports on board to rescue the people. However the animals are still being held on board so Bukki and Kento go to rescue them. Bukki gets the animals out of their cages and leads them to safety, Kento gets knocked out by the Sorewatase so she’s able to safely transform. Pine is basically Tarzan as she fights with all the animals helping her, she even destroys the Sorewatase alone, no Lucky Clover Grand Finale needed.

Kento and Bukki have a pretty good relationship but nothing romantic as of yet.

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Now the final arc begins. Setsuna receives a letter from Klein at the request to Northa. She wants to meet with Setsuna in the forest tomorrow. Later the girls are all talking about how they should go destroy the Sorrow Gauge so Chiffon won’t become Infinity anymore. But they need to find the mansion first. Setsuna also is aware that if the gauge is destroyed all of that sorrow energy will spill out at once and swallow everyone around it, drowning them in sadness forever. She doesn’t want that to happen to anyone so she goes off alone the next day, using the letter as an opportunity. She secretly leaves her house, knowing that she will likely not come back.

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She meets with Northa, who tells her she’ll be forgiven if she returns to fighting Pretty Cure. Setsuna says she’ll come back to Labyrinth but when she’s inside the mansion at the Sorrow Gauge she transforms into Passion and tries to destroy it. However Northa is too strong for her to face alone, and she was aware that this is what Passion intended to do from the beginning. She keeps her hostage in the mansion while the others realize that Setsuna is missing. They know she must’ve gone to the mansion alone so they run off to the forest where it was previously. Northa sends out Westar and Soular with a Sorewatase to defeat them and get infinity while inside she preys on Setsuna’s insecurities and guilt over everything she did as Eas. Trying to get her to renounce being a Cure and give up, saying she has no right to be a Cure.

Westar and Soular tell the other three about what will happen if the Sorrow Gauge is destroyed and the girls realize that Setsuna must’ve gone off alone to protect them. Peach, Berry and Pine cry out for her, trying to make their hearts and voices reach her inside the mansion.

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She can hear them through her Linkrun as they tell her how much they care for her and the bonds they have. Their hearts connect and Setsuna is able to break free from Northa’s grasp, transforming again. She is a Cure. She may have done bad things in the past but she’s more than making up for all of it. She also realizes she isn’t alone and should never have came by herself, even if she wanted to protect them, Pretty Cure is 4 and they fight together. She teleports outside and helps the others destroy the Sorewatase, shattering the barrier around the mansion at the same time so the others can join her.

Episode 43 then starts directly after 42 ends. The girls all go into the mansion together to destroy the Sorrow Gauge. But they tell Chiffon and Tarte to wait outside. Passion quickly teleports all 4 of them right to the gauge. But Northa is there and she sprays them all with a bottle filled with sorrow energy, it covers them in some strange smoke and puts them into their own individual illusions.

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Love wanders through Clover Town Street, where everyone has closed up shop and just given up on everything. Even Kaoru has quit selling donuts. Miki sees Kazuki who has given up on becoming a doctor. Which I don’t know if that’s a mistake on the subs part or a retcon in Fresh since he said director earlier in the show. Bukki is confronted by animals who hate cruel and destructive humans want to hurt her and Setsuna is simply alone. Inside her house with those she loves dearest gone. Northa says they have to face their fears and insecurities and that it will create more sorrow and despair. However, out of the norm for Pretty Cure, the girls are able to snap out of this illusion pretty quickly without any outside help. They realize that they aren’t in the real world because the people (and animals) they know would never behave like this. But they’re not out of the woods yet. They get trapped in another illusion and end up fighting against each other because they can only see each other as monsters now.

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Chiffon can tell that something is wrong and she and Tarte rush into the mansion to save them.  Northa and Westar go to get them but Chiffon uses her powers to fend off Northa while Tarte simply leads Westar around like an idiot.

Right as the girls are about to seriously hurt each other Chiffon completely snaps them out of the illusions and dispels the sorrow smoke. So Northa finally just decides to merge the Sorrow Gauge with a Sorewatase, creating Biollante and destroying the mansion.

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I wasn’t kidding about Biollante. Fresh in all seriousness has the best monster designs of any season. And although the concept is very simple the physical designs themselves are very creative. Heartcatch, Suite, and Smile would unfortunately lose alot of that creativity when it comes to the physical appearance of their monsters.

Anyways Biollante shoots out more of that sorrow smoke and it starts to turn Chiffon into Infinity but now the girls by themse;ves are able to dispel it because of how much they want to protect Chiffon from danger. They use Lucky Clover Grand Finale to destroy the Sorewatase. Of course though now the Sorrow Gauge is breaking and it will not only swallow Pretty Cure but being outside it will now spread across the entire planet. Which is exactly what Northa wanted. This has nothing to do with Labyrinth’s goals or anything, Northa is just really evil. But through Pine’s Pickrun Chiffon is able to tell the girls to concentrate all their power into her. They bring out their Cure Sticks and Chiffon flies up to all of the sorrow energy, destroying it to Northa’s shock.

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However Northa sees a light on Chiffon’s forehead and uses her power to bring it to her. Seemingly content with this she retreats with Westar and Soular. The girls don’t see this. They’re happy and victorious after winning the fight and removing the danger of the Sorrow Gauge. Chiffon won’t be turning into Infinity anymore. Right?

Next episode it’s time for the dance competition! The one that got postponed because Eas attacked it. Miyuki wants the girls to work extra hard for it and she also convinces Daisuke to enter it because she wants to help him out with Love. Guess she thinks the two of them will make a cute couple. Can’t say I disagree.

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However Northa uses the light from Infinity and one of her own evil plants to create some sort of corrupted dark leaf that will allow her to control Infinity. She says even the Clover Box won’t be able to do anything once her thing is complete.

Daisuke gets his two friends to dance with him and they join Clover for their practice. They work hard to become capable for the competition and are clearly putting in a lot of effort. For Daisuke the reason is is that he promises to himself that if they win the competition he’ll ask out Love finally.

So the girls put on their routine at the competition (to the ending theme song) right as Northa’s dark leaf finishes completion. Clover makes it to the second round but Daisuke’s group doesn’t so he gets dejected. Westar then creates a Nakewamake out of some stereo equipment there, making it look just like the one from the first episode, nice bookends since this is the final Nakewameke of the show. And he has it attack the competition as a distraction. The girls transform and fight it while Northa uses the leaf as a leaf whistle. It’s evil sound causes Chiffon to turn into Infinity again and the Clover Box can’t change her back this time. Soular then creates a Sorewatase while the girls are still occupied with the Nakewameke and grabs Chiffon. The girls defeat the Nakewameke with the help of Miyuki (she rips out a cord on it so it can’t send out soundwaves, pretty smart) but Northa still has Chiffon and the three of them leave to Labyrinth.

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And then to make things worse… Peach is sulking after Chiffon gets taken away when Daisuke comes in. He congratulates her on defeating the Nakewameke, having no idea about Chiffon or anything else, and then tells her how great she is- unlike himself who can’t even ask out the girl he likes. Yep, Daisuke spills the beans to Cure Peach that he was going to ask out Love if he won the competition. This is so sad. I feel so bad for Daisuke and Love, that things ended up like this. So awkward.

And now. The final episode before the grand finale kicks off.

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We get to see Moebius completely unobstructed for the first time. He’s just some normal looking, unassuming, bald guy. There’s no big reveal with his appearance here or anything either, he’s just sitting in his chair. Kind of like with Akudaikaan, they kept him shrouded for a few episodes before just randomly showing him completely with no fanfare. Not like Moebius really has a shocking appearance to him that would make people gasp when they first see him or anything like that either.

Chiffon, or Infinity now, is hooked up to Labyrinth’s main computer and Moebius is able to begin his conquest of all the parallel worlds. Computer tendrils from Labyrinth descend on every world and start to take control of everything, all of the inhabitants of these world have their minds taken over and are converted into loyal servants of Moebius.

Back on Earth it’s Christmas time and everyone on Clover Town Street is preparing decorations and stuff. But our heroines aren’t joining in on the festivities. They decide to go to the Sweets Kingdom to talk to the Elder but upon arrival find that it’s already been taken over by Labyrinth. They’re able to rescue Azukina but they have to leave immediately. When back they decide that they have to go to Labyrinth to rescue Chiffon and stop Moebius. Setsuna is worried because she thinks if she goes back there she might become Eas again but the others assure her it could never happen. However Love decides they have to tell their parents what they’re about to do. They might not come back this time and their parents have a right to know.

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The 4 of them transform in front of everyone, Tarte also reveals himself. Daisuke is understandably shocked. They tell everyone what’s going on and what they’re planning to do but their parents tell them they can’t go, it’s too dangerous and they’re worried about them. So the 4 of them decide to put it off momentarily so they can talk with their parents more and not just leave right after. This episode is really good and I really feel for Love’s mom and even Miki’s and Bukki’s when they beg their daughters not to go.

But shortly after this Moebius’ tendrils start to attack Earth and taking it over. Their parents come together, thinking about what they should do, while the girls all sneak out and get ready to head to Labyrinth.

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Love stops to talk with Daisuke first. Who’s embarrassed and upset but not really angry or anything. He just wishes she told him sooner. When Love is about to answer him on his feelings for her he tells he to wait and tell him when she gets back. So she leaves to join the others. Before they can leave though their parents (and a bunch of people from around the street) come to them again, but they’ve decided to listen to their daughters and allow them to go. It must be hard on them but they respect their wishes. Kaoru also gives Tarte some donuts to take to Labyrinth and Fresh Pretty Cure transform and leave with Akarun’s power.

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Grand finale, start.

Fresh is such a good season. It’s never bad. The worst it gets is far better than the worst other seasons can get. The characters are fantastic, the villains are fantastic, the fights aren’t the worst, the pacing is near perfect, it has a true final arc that actually sets up the finale really well and wraps up some other bits of the story. I think Love might be the best main character in the franchise purely because of how well-rounded she is. She isn’t a Nozomi clone like several other Pinks after her end up being and she’s just a lot of fun. She doesn’t have the kind of character development like Tsubomi does but she’s more like a real, multi-faceted person than Tsubomi ever is. And her relationship with Setsuna is just the best. The sisterly relationship that develops between them is probably the best thing about Fresh’s second half. While the Eas character arc is easily the best thing about the first half. And I’ll just say this again but their relationship is NOT ROMANTIC. I know there are a lot of yuri fans into Precure, and a lot of shipping of the girls in every season, I even do this myself sometimes, but Love and Setsuna aint like that. They are beautiful and loving sisters.

Miki is kanpeki. She’s also a really well written character with a lot of depth to her, probably the most of any Fresh girl actually. She has a really haughty and even kind of arrogant personality in some ways but that doesn’t stop her from being a caring and genuine person either. She just has a lot of ambition and a healthy amount of love for herself. I wonder if her relationship with Kazuki was supposed to be different or shown more before he was near written out of the show for essentially 25 episodes. Miki isn’t as directly kind or open as Love, Bukki, or even Setsuna later in the show but she still has the capacity for it.

Bukki is… what is Bukki? She’s my least favorite girl of the season, but the competition is fierce so that isn’t really a negative against her, which is kind of a trend with me since yellow Cures are almost always my least favorites. I wouldn’t say she has a well defined character arc but she does become more confident in herself as the show goes on. She most definitely has the least amount of focus in the group, since a lot of her episodes as well don’t really do much to expand her personality. But she’s fun, she’s cute. She still has a real character and personality and that’s important.

Setsuna, Setsuna, Setsuna. A weird trend in Pretty Cure that started with Splash Star but cemented in Fresh is that every other series would have a villain become a Cure (or simply turn good in one case). While the series in-between would have Dark Cure clones for opponents at one point which started in the Yes5 movie. All of the subsequent arcs with villains becoming Cures have not been done as well, with a couple being very poor. Eas had good screentime, good development, a realistic climax for making the change, and a great mini-arc after as she comes to terms with herself. I don’t know if Pretty Cure can capture the magic with her again. Hope so. After becoming Passion Setsuna is really cute but also stoic, though never cold like she was when still Eas, and clearly struggles living with people so… emotional. She’s a fish out of water and Fresh does a great job showing that as well as showing how she changes over time. Because of what happened with her it’s only normal that Setsuna feels super strongly about all these new people in her life too, especially Love and Ayumi.

And then what about our fairies? Well Tarte and Chiffon are both great. Tarte is just a super fun and funny fairy, the funniest of them all, and Chiffon has great character development. I don’t really like baby characters and Chiffon does have a couple annoying points and the “I am Infinity..” gets old pretty quick but she makes up for it by genuinely growing up over the course of the show and never being a detriment. She’s a very well-developed fairy and her importance to the plot and character arc is second only to Candy from Smile.

As for our villains Westar is just hilarious. Easily in my top 5 funniest Precure villains. Soular also has just really good episodes, he isn’t overused and his episodes always have a great gimmick barring one huge exception. Westar is used way more often, Fresh uses him to have a fun normal episode, Soular is used for an interesting and more “serious” episode. Even when it’s just the two of them as villains this dynamic keeps Fresh from ever getting stale. Northa is just so damn evil. She’s in my top 5 evilest Precure villains even though she really doesn’t do that much for a villain of her type.

And now we get to the finale. Fresh has a really solid finale, I would put it as the third best behind Suite (has the best build up and extremely well done final villain) and Splash Star (actual perfection). But what Fresh’s finale does have over any other is the storyline. Fresh’s finale is an adventure all in its own, not just some final battles against the leftover villains, Fresh’s finale is complex and rousing. Because now the girls are going to a world completely unlike their own, with people just like them but who know no love, happiness, or even sadness, Labyrinth is a world utterly without emotion. What will happen when Pretty Cure enters it?

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Klein tells Moebius that in just a few hours he will have control over all the parallel worlds. The girls arrive in Labyrinth and detransform so they can blend in better. They follow a group of people towards Moebius’ tower. They now see firsthand how rigid Labyrinth is and how cold and silent the people are. “Everything for Lord Moebius.”

Klein detects foreign data in Labyrinth and sees Pretty Cure. Moebius orders Northa to destroy them but Westar and Soular ask for the opportunity, Moebius says they’ve done nothing but fail but agrees to let them have the opportunity to defeat them again. He tells them to ambush Pretty Cure in the waste processing plant. The girls make it to the tower but a Sorewatase ambushes them, they transform and knock it aside to enter. They get lost inside though because the building keeps changing around and they eventually get separated, Passion and Berry are together, and then Peach and Pine, and lastly Tarte and Azukina continue wandering through the tower with the Clover Box looking for Chiffon.

Berry and Passion end up fighting Westar and Soular in the waste processing plant, which is filled with old computer junk, while Peach and Pine fall into a forest. The action in the fight isn’t particularly good but the emotion is powerful. Westar still wants Passion to come back to them while the Cures try to open Westar and Soular’s eyes. After all the two of them are humans just like Setsuna, they’re not monsters like villains in previous seasons. Berry and Passion want Westar and Soular to find their own happiness, not just live for Moebius. But they still continue to fight and Berry and Passion are losing… when Moebius orders them all to be deleted.

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A black hole, the “delete hole”, opens up and starts to suck everything in. If something falls inside it it’s gone forever. Westar and Soular don’t want to believe that Moebius wants them deleted as well, Soular in particular continues to cry out for Moebius asking for an explanation but getting no answer, but truly they know he does. Westar saves Passion, realizing things might be better Pretty Cure’s way (like Kintolesky Westar was never what one could call especially evil), and Miki tries to save Soular but he allows himself to be swallowed up to keep her from being dragged in with him. He’s moved by her wanting to help him, wanting him to be happy too.

Peach and Pine then find themselves face to face with Northa while Tarte and Azukina stumble into the main computer room where Chiffon is.

What happened with Westar and Soular becomes a trend that a few more later seasons would do. Giving the remaining minions all one episode to fight together. It happens in Heartcatch, Smile and Happiness Charge. And of course another part of this trend is that they end up redeemed/forgiven. While the fight against Westar and Soular is the worst of any of these the two of them are the best developed characters of the groups so it more than makes up for it in that department. Next season Heartcatch is basically the exact opposite with the fights against Kumojacky and Cobraja.

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At the start of the next episode Moebius has gained control over all the worlds. Tarte and Azukina go up to the big computer and Tarte can tell that Chiffon is inside it because he can see the light of Infinity. He rips out some wires but a couple mechanical arms grab him and Azukina and throw them out of the tower back to the streets of Labyrinth.

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Peach and Pine fight Northa. Again the action is not very good this episode. She fights with vines, as expected of Northa. Berry and Passion meanwhile are running through the tower trying to join up with the others.

And then in kind of a weird change of pace Tarte and Azukina stop to have a donut because Azukina is hungry. Some boy from Labyrinth wanders to them and Tarte gives him a donut. This completely new and out of the ordinary event (combined with the deliciousness of the donut) causes an awakening in the boy. The revolution of Labyrinth has begun! Because of donuts.

Back with Northa she shows Peach and Pine how Moebius has already gained control of every world, including their home. But as this is going on the wires that Tarte pulled in the computer causes something to go haywire and the fight gets broadcast throughout Labyrinth (although none of the citizens pays attention to it at the moment). Northa tells Peach and Pine that if they just gave up and let Moebius control them they could’ve avoided all this hardship and pain in their lives. It’s the easy way. But by being Pretty Cure they’ve suffered and are continuing to suffer now. But Peach and Pine don’t agree with her and continue to fight, much to her annoyance. They say they get stronger by taking the hard path and lots of smiles are born from it too.

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The boy sees them and starts to really like Pretty Cure. Kind of getting meta here. Other people stop by and start to watch the fight too. Tarte says it’s remarkable that the Labyrinth people are doing something of their own free will without it being scheduled for them. The battle is going poorly though so Tarte decides to use the Clover Box, but everyone is too far away to hear it. The people of Labyrinth then start to help Tarte, they find some microphones and hook them up to Labyrinth’s speaker system so the music can reach the girls. They probably don’t fully know what they’re doing but it still shows the innate good and helpfulness that people possess.

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The music has a side effect of not just reaching Pretty Cure and weakening Northa’s vines but also Chiffon. The light of Infinity starts to emanate even outside of the tower. Moebius has Klein cut the power but the Clover Box and Tarte have done what they needed to do. Then they pass out donuts to everyone. Cause donuts are just the best.

Berry and Passion find Peach and Pine and the 4 of them attack Northa with their Cure Sticks… and harp. She’s about to be defeated by their power when she swallows a Sorewatase seed and transforms into a huge monster, breaking through the side of the tower and taking the fight to the city of Labyrinth.

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The fight against Northa is the longest fight in the franchise at this point. Lasting a full 2 and a quarter episodes. Only the fight with Noise in Suite is longer at 3 episodes.

And now we get to epic fight time! Episode 48 is where most of the animation budget for the finale went.

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The girls see Chiffon’s light emanating from the tower and gain more resolve to defeat Northa and rescue her. Citizens of Labyrinth can see the blasts of light from Pretty Cure’s attacks and start to go towards them, they want to see Pretty Cure. This unusualness is negatively affecting the computers of Labyrinth, infecting them with foreign data, and Klein’s computers start to break. He personally goes out to do something about this. He can’t get the people to go back to their normal activities so he decides to go to the fight himself.

Pretty Cure use their 4 attacks on Northa again, she’s able to temporarily disrupt them but Peach pours out even more power and combines the 4 attacks into one and drives it right into Northa’s face, knocking her out for the moment.

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But then Klein comes in. He transforms into a dragon monster and beats the shit out of the 4 girls. He might even be stronger than Northa. Still, this isn’t the true danger. Pretty Cure aren’t down for the count so Northa asks Klein to combine with her. Everything for Lord Moebius.

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NK completely outmatches Pretty Cure, the fight erupts through the streets of Labyrinth (NK almost killing some innocent civilians cause of their attacks before Pretty Cure rescue them) with Pretty Cure putting everything they’ve got into destroying the “new” opponent. They use their individual attacks before also hitting NK with Lucky Clover Grand Finale, but nothing works. NK breaks right out of it. This is the last use of Lucky Clover Grand Finale making it the least used group attack I believe.

NK blasts them into the ground, the girls are actually almost ready to give up after having their strongest attack defeated. But the people of Labyrinth come to help them. Labyrinth has changed. NK is pissed and prepares to destroy them but…

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Westar and Soular are alive! Azukina and Tarte are with them too, everyone is together. They saw Pretty Cure fight and protect them. Westar and Soular and everyone else in Labyrinth want to find out just who Moebius is, why should they listen to him, why should he rule over and control them? NK fires a blast at the crowd and Pretty Cure but Westar and Soular block it, the citizens standing behind them cheer for Pretty Cure, the hearts of the people of Labyrinth have opened up and a new power is born from the emotions of everyone.

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“The white heart is everyone’s heart, freshly fledged – Cure Angel”

Transforming with the connected hearts of Pretty Cure and Labyrinth, a miracle surpassing any legend passed down in the Sweets Kingdom has occurred. Berry gets mecha wings for some reason. The whole scene is really good and emotional from right when Westar and Soular return. It’s the best way a super form has been gained in any season.

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Now NK can’t match up at all. They bring out all of their power but it still isn’t enough to defeat the Angel Cures. Trying to just blow everything away Pretty Cure respond with their own new attack, Loving True Heart, and blast them. Turning them into a lizard and a turnip thing. Huh? I’ll admit I didn’t see this coming when I first watched Fresh but there is at least an explanation for it. And it shows that Northa and Klein were never humans like the others were either.

The girls then talk with Westar and Soular and ask them what happened. The two say that they were stuck in the deleted zone but were rescued by a bright light. The girls realize it must’ve been Chiffon, the two also say they could hear the Clover Box’s music as this happened. So Westar and Soular decide to join Pretty Cure as they confront Moebius, Tarte and Azukina come along too.

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The girls can fly on their own now but the others can’t so Westar and Soular create a new “monster” called a Hohoemina out of a purified Nakewameke card and one of the feathers from the girls Angel forms. They then all fly to the computer room where Moebius is waiting for them. Passion tries to reason with him, but he tries to simply destroy them. He uses powerful energy blasts and barriers that even as Angels the girls can’t just shrug off. Passion still wants to open his heart though, she flies up to him alone and envelopes him in her Happiness Hurricane, trying to overcome him with positive energy and conveying all of the good things she’s learned since leaving Labyrinth. She knows he can feel just like she does, he’s a human just like her after all. Isn’t he?

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Okay that was unexpected. The bald guy was a robot. The girls ask for the real Moebius to show himself… and he says he already is.

Moebius is the computer! Yes, Moebius, the ruler of Labyrinth is actually the giant main computer that Chiffon has been placed inside. Moebius tells them to come inside the computer if they want Chiffon back and he opens up a pathway inside him. Boy that sounds weird. When the girls come in they get bombarded with increased gravity, strange monsters, and holographic illusions. And are forced to run up a stairway that looks a lot like the one to the Cure Rose Garden. It’s a very weird “fight” to say the least. During all this Moebius tells him how he came to be, Labyrinth used to be like Earth but the people of it made rapid technological progress and eventually started to rely more and more on computers. Eventually they created Moebius to handle governance and administration of the world. However Moebius became self-aware and saw humans as foolish creatures who needed to be completely controlled. He believed they couldn’t think independently and relied too much on machines to handle things themselves so he took over completely and basically brainwashed the people of Labyrinth into a totalitarian rule. He himself then created the loyal subjects of Klein and Northa. And then decided that he needed to conquer all the parallel worlds and control all foolish lifeforms just like he did in Labyrinth. Humanity, sloth, created Moebius.

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He then channels electricity through Chiffon and blasts everyone into submission as the penultimate episode closes out. At 50 episodes Fresh is tied with Go Princess for longest season.

Moebius is real interesting and different, and it would’ve been nice if he was more emotionless than he ends up being but I guess they wanted the main villain to act more evil and bombastic for the finale. And although he’s hardly the strongest main villain he might actually have the farthest reaching goals of any and is potentially more of a “threat” than any if the parallel worlds are actually entire universes and not just individual planets or something.

So, the final episode. Everyone is restrained by Moebius and he begins analyzing their data so he can take complete control over them. He then projects a giant image of himself from his tower and speaks to the people of Labyrinth.

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“There is only one correct answer. That answer is me. I am the truth. All you need to do is simply to listen to me. Listen. In a world where I decide everything, there will be no sadness, conflict or despair. The world I control is not wrong. It is the correct world!”

Moebius’ power is great and the citizens start to fall under his sway again.

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“But on the other hand,” Starts Peach. “the world that you control… contains no feelings, no joy, and no happiness. No one should decide for others. When you worry about something and then decide what to do for yourself, it’s worth something.”

Peach starts to fight against Moebiu’s control and nothing he does can stop her, the others also start to rise up and overcome his power. He can’t comprehend what’s happening as they break out of his control completely. Moebius attacks them with energy clones but everyone fights together against them, as the fight rages on Moebius starts to lose control of the citizens again and the Pretty Cure data he couldn’t control wreaks havoc on his system, starting to delete him and rendering him powerless.

Moebius though still believes that what he’s doing is right. Ruling over a disorderly world. But the others say he should let people be free and happy. Peach then asks Moebius what his happiness is. Moebius ponders this for a moment and states that he was never programmed with happiness. But that if he can’t control Pretty Cure, then he’ll be happy to destroy them! And he activates his self-destruct sequence. Planning to take them all with him.

Chiffon still needs to be rescued but she’s also still in Infinity mode. The 4 girls gather all their feelings together to try and reach Chiffon, putting it into a giant heart of energy they use their final ability – Pretty Cure Loving True Heart Fresh – and send it to Chiffon just as Moebius and the tower explode.

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As the smoke clears everyone in Labyrinth sees them come riding out on the Hohoemina. Chiffon is back to normal and everyone is alright. Everyone then flies through all the parallel worlds, visiting all the freed people. They then go back to Earth where Kaoru already has donuts ready for them.

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They reunite with their overjoyed families, this epilogue is really great and heartwarming. Easily one of the best. And the next day the girls are getting ready for the finals of the dance competition (since it got interrupted again). After which Setsuna plans to leave and go back to Labyrinth to help rebuild. It’ll be a sad farewell but it doesn’t mean they can’t see each other again and everyone knows it’s what Setsuna needs to do. Labyrinth will change for the better.

And as for the competition well Clover does indeed win it and Setsuna leaves with Hayato and Shun back to Labyrinth. Love, Miki, and Bukki continue to live on Clover Town Street, chasing their dreams and working hard to get happiness. The end.

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Fresh is such a good season. The finale is a great ending to it with only a couple hiccups due to some poor animation and action, the fight with Moebius is just too weird to call good and it ends pretty anti-climatically. Emotionally the finale peaks when the girls achieve their Angel forms. As a whole the second half of Fresh simply isn’t as good as the first either, the first had much more going on for it. Eas’ turn to Passion, Chiffon growing up was almost entirely in the first half, the girls forming their dance group (dance practice and the focus on it was way toned down in the second half). And the second half simply didn’t have any major plotlines itself until Chiffon was revealed to be Infinity and even after that it was still only one thing compared to the first half having multiple stories that all had good development and resolution.

And Moebius, if Fresh was a more mature magical girl anime Moebius would likely be an anti-villain or something of the like. His view would’ve been portrayed much more rationally and things wouldn’t have been so black and white. People might’ve voiced actual opinions on why his world is good. Having things be black and white is fine for Fresh (and Pretty Cure in general) and I’m not knocking it but Moebius as a villain and other themes in Fresh simply can’t be done well when you have a completely black and white show. But he’s still a good villain I would say for being the sheer opposite of Pretty Cure and having some truly evil and cruel moments. And unlike a lot of villains who sit around doing nothing when they could be defeating Pretty Cure themselves well at least Moebius has the excuse of having to run an entire planet in the meantime.

Fresh is a really solid season. You have other seasons like Go Princess and Happiness Charge that don’t have huge ups and downs, and Fresh is like a better version of that. So up next for the franchise is Heartcatch, the season many consider to be the best. It certainly brought a lot of new fans into the franchise. Heartcatch improves on a lot of the technical aspects that Fresh was bad with but then falters in its story in several ways that Fresh did not. They both have very different strengths and weaknesses but in the end are both excellent. To Heartcatch!

Oh wait. Wait a second. I forgot about Love’s answer to Daisuke’s feelings! Right, that’s super important. What does Love think about Daisuke? Does she love him too? Does she not? I hope she says yes and goes out with him, they’d make a cute couple. Let’s see what she says!

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FUCK.

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