Go! Princess Pretty Cure, 8th Lesson: Lock makes his move to prove that he's above everyone despite the important task that he was given to resurrect his leader Dyspear...which basically means he's screwing himself over. On the other hand, he does turn Hope Kingdom's castle into a giant flying fortress...only for the Cures to turn it into their new power-up after the original three meet with three princesses of the past so really it was all for nothing. And once that bit of madness is dealt with, we meet someone else who is as obsessed with flowers as Haruka (no it isn't Tsubomi...though you'd think that); and we meet a guy who is as obsessed with Minami as...um...Haruka. (yeah...there's a lot of context to that episode...)
Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Ep. 29: Mysterious Girls? The Bequeathed Legendary Keys!
Kirara was just being nice: nothing can top a Marble Doughnut. Except frosting.
While Towa got her upgrade key last episode, Haruka, Minami and Kirara are feeling remorse that their keys were all taken by Close in the last episode, basically in a crazy but brilliant move to finish building up the Despair Gauge for his big plan he got from Dyspear while she's gone. (I do notice that there tends to be a "summer plan" of this sort to both have a breather and to build to the next major toy in case kids take the summer off; though I do like Close did just speed it up and cut to the finish with this episode) But while Haruka's group feels like they can't do anything without their powers, they end up being lead away by Pafu's nose to another part of campus where they discover that there is possibly a way to gain power that they didn't know about. This comes in the form of three mystery girls who wear clothing similar to their own (of the three, the only one we should note is Chieri, whose VA later does Cure Macaron in KiraKira...wait they had scones but no macarons at this little party?; Yura/Past Mermaid was also a couple mothers in the past, voicing the mothers for both Hibiki/Melody and Akane/Sunny) and who have some similar concerns to the trio. These concerns are furthered when Dyspear shows up with a Zetsuborg to torment them; but without power, no one can do anything to deal with them. Obviously it is here that Haruka and the others make a realization: their despair here is basically a self-inflicted wound, preventing them from dealing with the whole issue at hand because of their own worries thanks to what Close pulled; they have to keep fighting regardless. It is through this that the trio give up their base Pretty Cure keys to let them fight against this dream being...and basically it turns out it's all some weird manipulation of space-time that allowed for them to meet due to their own concerns with each other. And thus through the encounter, the main Princess Cure trio end up getting from the past Princess Cures their final keys, respectively "Cherry Blossom/Sakura" for Flora, "Sango/Coral" for Mermaid and "Ginga/Galaxy" for Twinkle. And just in time too due to Close releasing his ultimate Zetsuborg...in the form of Hope Kingdom's castle. Considering the Cures are about to fight a giant castle with nothing but themselves and these new keys...I say bring it.
Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Ep. 30: To the Future! The Crystal of Power, Princess Palace!
I'm not sure Kanata's going to like that his palace has been reduced to a power-up toy.
Lock knows how to show off when he wants to basically cause utter chaos to the Cures, bringing the entire palace from Hope Kingdom (that had been taken over by Dys Dark prior) to become his vanguard for his final move, which turns out to be using the power of despair he collected not for Dyspear but for himself; basically with his ego thinking that he deserves to be king and not merely a servant over all. Obviously with the Cures not wanting this to happen (but with Scarlet the only one still with her Cure powers), they have to invade the castle, get the other Dress Up Keys back, and stop Close's mad desires. I do sort of find there are a bit too many conveniences that help the Cures out here, especially with Pafu having "magical teleportation powers" (I get following the Dress Up Key due to her nose, but this just sort of makes it a tad too convenient) that allow for Haruka, Minami and Kirara to go into the palace and take on Lock and his Zetsuborg army until they finally reach the chamber with the Dress Up Keys. Lock sort of prevents them from making it...mostly, but Haruka does ultimately get there in the end and the Cure powers are restored for a final battle, where they end up unleashing all their powers all while Lock basically turns into a giant "dragon toad" in a last-ditch effort to try and prove that he is superior to everyone else. I do like the big lesson here that the Cures give us though: that they only reason they're here is because of the trust that everyone gave to them, particularly through how they've been fighting for them and their dreams in order to become stronger themselves. And it is this trust and the new keys (from Yui and the ancient Princess Cures) that activate the final transformation of Mode Elegant through their big upgrade artifact of the season: the Princess Palace (basically the Hope Kingdom Palace turned into a karakuri toy) It is a neat transformation and the Cures finally defeat Lock once and for all...but unfortunately there's this annoying crow with a similar Despair Gauge who happens to steal everything Lock had built up, meaning that the power he collected isn't going to waste even with Lock down and out.
Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Ep. 31: The New Semester! A New Dream and A New Threat!
Who would have guessed the new face of despair to be so...cutesy.
The second semester at the Noble Academy is upon Haruka, and likewise the second semester of her "princess training" is upon her as well. The latest of Miss Shamour's torments happens to be flower arrangement; and as usual, she's not that good at it but wants to be better, especially considering flowers should be her element. (I know ikebana is a thing in Japan but personally I never really got the whole big deal of "you have to make flowers look a certain way in order to make them look attractive") Through this, Haruka ends up meeting a girl she didn't know prior last semester in Hanae, who has been taking care of the flowers on campus and making sure they're handled while Haruka's been busy with...well, Cure stuff. Obviously Haruka sees this as an advantage in that it will help with her own training, but of course there are still other issues that she has to worry about...such as the return of an old enemy. Somehow (they don't explain how but it could have something to do with Lock's Despair Gauge), Close has returned and is more powerful than ever (somehow gives me this weird Pinhead feel at this point), even handling Cure Scarlet even though he never even knew about Twilight in the past. (what did he know about anything Dyspear was doing?) Somehow aside from tormenting the Cures, Close also has his own plan in action already, planting multiple "seeds of Despair" throughout campus and Yumegahara, without telling the Cures other than the two that emerge here: the new servants Stop and Freeze who create weird double-eyed Zetsuborgs. (while maybe being Zetsuborgs themselves) Obviously the battle isn't over and there is a lot go go with Dyspear and Close back...but then again, there's always Shut...poor incompetent Shut, he's really stepped into it now.
Oh and we randomly get revealed that Lock was a fairy all along in the opening scene...not even in the last episode or anything. While it does come earlier than PhanPhan, it feels even more dissapointing than another "it was a fairy all along" reveal...seriously, the only season that got it right was Smile!
Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Ep. 32: Minami's Fiancé!? The Super Celeb Makes a Come Back!
Seriously if Haruka and Minami aren't dating by the time this jerk returns to Japan, this episode would have been ruined forever.
It's weird that Minami is literally the only Cure who was attending Noble Academy prior to this year; and thus she's got some further backstory that none of the other Cures can attest to or connect with without them suddenly showing up from her past. In this case, its Kimimaro, a boy who has known Minami from childhood and actually went to Noble Academy last year before accepting a scholarship to England, only returning for a day before returning to his abroad ventures. Kimimaro is...supremely...obsessed with Minami, mostly in this idea that he sees her as this perfect noble beauty, the symbol of the school that she basically was before the new year and Haruka came into her life. Seeing Haruka having changed Minami in many ways, from laughing at failure to doing things on her own, seems to freak the idiot out and makes him think that she's changed a bit too much and that Haruka is just a bad influence on her. Obviously from what we've seen, that's not the case and he's just overblowing things having not been around for the year, but of course this is an idiot we're talking about and Minami accepts the changes in stride...even if this episode seems to make her a bit too...close...to Haruka in some aspects, especially since Kimimaro's mad dream is to marry Minami and the whole idea of them being "fiances" is basically just something he made up in order to sort of push his own dream. (heck, even when Stop and Freeze take his dream, his dream is basically "I WANT TO MARRY MINAMI"...so yeah, he's obsessed) Obviously in the end it's all about "Minami accepts Haruka, so now Kimimaro has to accept Haruka..or something along that line, with really the whole idea of Haruka and Minami's relationship being "more" than friends...but at least at this point Haruka's nowhere near having the harem of someone like Mana from DokiDoki.