The kingdom of CooKingdom is a place responsible to all the cuisine in multiple world. However the kingdom's precious treasure, the Recipe-Bons are stolen by a bunch of phantom thieves named the "Phantom Bundle Gang" whose aim is to monopolize every cooking of the world for themselves by capturing the Cooking Fairy ReciPipi. As a result, three Energy Fairies from the kingdom were sent to the human world in the town of Oishiina Town, who one of them met a 13-year-old Yui Nagomi and her friends, Kokone Fuwa and Ran Hanamichi to become Pretty Cures in order to bring the Recipe-bons back where they belong.
With the ransomware-hacker incident this past March, it looks like once more the Pretty Cure franchise will not reach the usual 48-50 episodes as done in the early years of Pretty Cure. But, given the loss time, Toei Animation is doing its best work in bringing Delicious Party Precure up to speed. You might say that at episode 20, we've reached the midpoint of the story. A lot of facets which need a lot of explaining is still out there, but the important pieces are in place, and we need only have them play out in the time that is left. The biggest asset to Pretty Cure is its formula approach to a typical PC plotline, which Toei works in so many different directions that predictions are possible ... and dangerous. Themes are set. In Delicious Party, it is food and the enjoyment of same. The four girls who make up this year's team are connected to restaurants which run the range from family-style to elegant dining. Even the entities which the precure battle, the Ubau-zo, are constructed from kitchen utensils and get harder and harder to beat with each episode. The general premise repeats the notion of a kingdom under attack, in this case the CooKingdom which protects the flavors of foods from the likes of the villainous Bundarou Gang who are snatching the Recipepes for their vile lord Sir Godatz who has plans to topple the CooKingdom. The angle of all this is, once these flavor-pixies are nabbed, food becomes tasteless and bland, the memory of fine cuisine wiped from one’s memory. Or, at least the B-Gang tries to grab the little pixies, but up to now the Delicious Party cures have beaten back all efforts. Just wait, there’s a second half, and it won’t always be this easy for the good-side girls. The biggest thing with Delicious Party PC is character design. Some is pure formula as Yui Nagomi, Cure Precious; she's the pink cure, the leader with that noticeable sense of clumsiness. Then there is Ran Hanamichi, Cure Yum-Yum, the yellow cure with the slightly eccentric personality (please, don't hog the good stuff ... she's serious!). But the cures to notice are Kokone Fuwa (Cure Spicy) and Amane Kasai (Cure Finale). When Cure Spicy made her first appearance, I thought immediately of Hibiki Houjou (Cure Melody of Suite PC). Ovaled eyes, angular face, cascading locks ... just like C. Melody. Then came Cure Finale, whom some have compared to the girls of Princess PC, the series which had the best character design IMHO. Both Kokone and Amane come from similar backgrounds and dining experiences. They both exude an air of elegance. It could be that Delicious Party PC is developing a 'Ginger or Mary Ann' complex in two remarkable cures on the same team. Add one more factor: C. Finale comes from the Cure Passion school of Pretty Cure, a naughty girl who has reformed to become a cure. Once allied with the Bundarou Gang. Amane was the ruthless Gentlu ... until she discovered that capturing Recipepe was the same as torturing them. The good-hearted Amane renounced her Gentlu-self and has sworn to become the protector of the sweet little flavor nuggets. Delicious Party followed the slow developing plot approach of HeartCatch and Happiness Charge PC rather than the 'slam four or five girls together and take it from there' methodology of Yes! Precure Five and Smile PC. This has helped the story gel as we meet each member of the DP team. So, if there has been a loss of four or five episodes, it will take some adjustments. At this point, we have four girls and one boy, Black Pepper as a quasi-member of the team. Little does Yui know (and, as a pink precure, this is usual for her) that the boy in the bizarre brimmed-hat is childhood friend Takumi (taking a page from the Love-Daisuke confrontation relationship in Fresh and Megumi-Seiji pair-up in Happiness Charge ... I mentioned that there is this formula thing in Pretty Cure). This is where you can make comparisons from what you've seen in the prior seasons; just don't believe you'll figure out the up-coming resolution. That's the Toei magic: you've seen it before meets you've seen nothing yet! And with that, let the second half of the season begin! Hackers, begone!!!
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