martes, 25 de abril de 2017

THE BEGINNINGS OF FROZEN

by Diamond Grant


Frozen

Now a part of mainstream Western culture, the film Frozen is a family favorite. But where did it really come from? Most fans know by now that Frozen originates from the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Snow Queen. What's less well known is that The Snow Queen is a segmented story, with seven unique 'episodes', each illustrating problems and solutions the heroine must face on her journey to save her friend. Differing from the movie, the tales' main characters are Gerda and Kai, who are like brother and sister though not blood-related.

It's also worth mentioning that in the original material, there are no good-natured trolls. The only similarity is the goblin (also described as a troll --in the original tale--, demon, or sorcerer) who created the evil mirror that shatters, a sliver of which pierces Kai's eye and freezes his mind and heart. In an interesting parallel between movie and tale, in the fourth section of The Snow Queen, Gerda is told a story of marriage by a raven, about a princess who was fixated on getting hitched. In the film, Anna is very keen to marry Hans, so it's possible to see similarities in morals and lessons of the two versions.

https://simplebooklet.com/snowqueen
http://www.timelesstalesmagazine.com/snowqueen

lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

MONA SARNOSA / EL INVIDENTE

This is an excerpt from a little essay I had to make at class about my own academic translations of D.H. Lawrence's tales Monkey Nuts and The Blind Man.

MONA SARNOSA / EL INVIDENTE
D.H. Lawrence - traducido por Sandra Dermark
Memoria de traducción (Fragmentos)

A mí me fueron asignados los relatos “The Blind Man” y “Monkey Nuts”, sobre cuyas traducciones que yo he realizado versará esta memoria. Ambos cuentos están ambientados en la campiña inglesa durante la Primera Guerra Mundial y protagonizados por soldados retirados a este entorno ostensiblemente más apacible desde el Frente Occidental, pero que, a pesar de su deseo de paz, se ven envueltos en catárticos triángulos amorosos. Los temas que se tratan son universales: el amor, la sexualidad, la intimidad, el impacto de la guerra, los roles sexuales o de género, la soledad, los celos, las diferencias y las relaciones entre las personas. De fondo también planea, en ambos relatos, una cuestión en torno a las relaciones humanas que aún da de qué hablar: si los opuestos se atraen o si cada oveja está mejor con su pareja. Lo que sí que queda claro en ambos cuentos es que dos son compañía y tres son multitud.

2.2. “The Blind Man”

Maurice Pervin, un hombretón corpulento, sensible y con alma de niño, invidente a raíz de heridas infligidas en combate, vive en su granja del sur de Inglaterra con su cara mitad, la bella escocesa Isabel (a través de cuyo punto de vista, en general, se nos presenta el relato). Una noche oscura y tormentosa de noviembre, el matrimonio Pervin, aislado en principio del mundo exterior, recibe la visita de Bertie Reid, amigo de la infancia de Isabel y un abogado con éxito; extravertido y de apariencia frágil, pero emocionalmente frío, el letrado contrasta intensamente con su cuñado. La tensión entre los dos hombres va creciendo hasta el inevitable desenlace, cuando Maurice invade la intimidad de Bertie al tocarle para conocerle, apretando poco a poco cada parte del cuerpo de su cuñado, lo cual, para el joven abogado, supone una intimidad insoportable.

2.3. “Monkey Nuts”


El cabo Albert, cuarentón socarrón e irónico, y el soldado raso Joe, joven sensible de veintitantos años, están acantonados en una estación de ferrovía rural durante unos preciosos días de primavera. El cabo y el soldado tienen una relación más íntima que la de simples amigos, yo diría incluso ligeramente homoerótica, que recuerda a las relaciones, en otros períodos de la historia militar, entre erasta y erómeno o entre caballero y escudero: un veterano mayor y un joven inexperto. La aparición de la voluptuosa señorita M. Stokes, una de las muchas voluntarias que ocupan puestos de trabajo vacantes (debido a la guerra), alta y rubia como una valquiria, de quien Joe se enamora locamente, abre una brecha entre los dos militares. A medida que Joe va acortando las distancias con la joven, el cabo es presa de los celos, acuñando el apodo “Monkey Nuts” (“Mona Sarnosa”), a partir de las iniciales de la voluntaria, que usa para referirse a ella a sus espaldas, estando tête-à-tête con el soldado raso. Al final, al enfriarse la relación entre Joe y la señorita Stokes, el soldado corta con su novia espoleado por Albert, llamando a la joven, por primera vez, “Monkey Nuts” (“Mona Sarnosa”) a la cara a gritos. Los dos hombres pueden, al fin, volver a estar juntos sin terceros en discordia.

4. PROBLEMAS DE TRADUCCIÓN

4.1. En general: variedades diastráticas/diafásicas, tuteo y ustedeo

En la lengua inglesa actual existe un único pronombre de segunda persona, “you,” sin distinciones de número o de formalidad. Ya que estos cuentos vieron la luz en la década de 1910 y están ambientados en la misma época, consideré oportuno aportar la diferencia entre tratamientos de “tú/vosotros” y “usted/ustedes” en los diálogos de mis traducciones. En este apartado, ahondaré en las relaciones entre dichos personajes y las razones que me han motivado a optar por el ustedeo o el tuteo, amén de las correcciones que introduje al respecto, sugeridas por nuestro tutor, Josep Marco.
En “The Blind Man”, Maurice (el invidente que da título al relato, que perdió la vista en combate) e Isabel Pervin son esposos, mientras que Bertie Reid es amigo de la infancia de ella y un desconocido para él; en el mismo relato, también aparecen varios sirvientes de la casa de campo del matrimonio Pervin. A estos últimos, he decidido que Isabel les tutee: al fin y al cabo, una granja mediana no es una mansión, y la relación entre servicio y señores es bastante estrecha en este contexto. Como marido y mujer, y además como marido discapacitado y mujer con la obligación de cuidar de él, los Pervin de mi traducción se tutean obviamente entre ellos. Siendo amigos íntimos desde niños que no se veían desde hace años, Isabel y Bertie también se tutean; mientras que Maurice, que apenas conoce a Bertie, trata al tercero en discordia de usted y viceversa.
En “Monkey Nuts”, tenemos entre manos un triángulo entre dos camaradas, un cabo de mediana edad y un joven soldado raso, y una de las muchas voluntarias que cubrieron puestos de trabajo dejados vacantes por hombres llamados a filas. El cabo y el soldado tienen una relación más íntima que la de simples amigos, yo diría incluso ligeramente homoerótica, que recuerda a relaciones de pareja similares en otros períodos de la historia militar: un veterano mayor y un joven inexperto. La voluntaria aparece como tercera en discordia: el soldado raso se enamora de ella, despertando los celos del cabo, que la ve como a una intrusa.

4.2. En “The Blind Man”

Este relato me ha presentado, ante todo, decisiones a tomar en torno a la cuestión del tuteo y el ustedeo, ut supra (ver 4.1.). Otro aspecto que me ha resultado complicado han sido los monólogos interiores de Isabel: a menudo, el narrador pasa a describir lo que ella siente y piensa, la realidad desde su punto de vista.

4.3. En “Monkey Nuts”

El hecho de que el juego de palabras del título constituya el Leitmotiv que vertebra todo el relato se me presentó como una buena prueba para mis destrezas de creadora de juegos de palabras; pasé tres días intentando resolver el interrogante antes de dar, finalmente y por fortuna, con “Mona Sarnosa”.
Para poner el juego de palabras en contexto, os ofrezco los pasajes más relevantes donde aparece el Leitmotiv:
1)                  El soldado Joe ha recibido un telegrama de la señorita Stokes, lo cual intriga al cabo Albert.
Albert was just unbuttoning his braces. He desisted, took the telegram form, and turned towards the candle to read it.
Meet me Belbury Station 6.00 p.m. today. M.S.,’ he read, sotto voce. His face took on its fun-and-nonsense look.
‘Who’s M.S.?’ he asked, looking shrewdly at Joe.
‘You know as well as I do,’ said Joe, non-committal.
‘M.S.,’ repeated Albert. ‘Blamed if I know, boy. Is it a woman?’
[···] ‘Oh, I’ll stand out of the way, boy, if that’s it,’ said Albert to Joe. Then he turned mischievously to Miss Stokes. ‘He wants to know what M. stands for,’ he said, confidentially.
Monkeys,’ she replied, turning to her horses.
What’s M.S.?’ said Albert.
Monkey nuts,’ she retorted, leading off her team.
Albert looked after her a little discomfited. Joe had flushed dark, and cursed Albert in his heart.
2)                  Joe está sin palabras después de la primera cita. El monstruo de ojos verdes se apodera de Albert:
Next day Joe was silent, sullen. Albert could make nothing of him. He proposed a walk after tea.
‘I’m going somewhere,’ said Joe.
Where — Monkey nuts?’ asked the corporal. But Joe’s brow only became darker.
3)                  Regresando a casa de noche, los dos militares se encuentran de repente con la señorita Stokes. Albert reacciona:
But Miss Stokes did not speak: she only stared with large, icy blue eyes at him. He became self-conscious, lifted up his chin, walked with his nose in the air, and whistled at random. So they went down the quiet, deserted grey lane. He was whistling the air: ‘I’m Gilbert, the filbert, the colonel of the nuts.’
4)                  Al final, habiéndose enfriado su relación, Joe corta con su novia animado por Albert:
And Joe was crouching already to jump off the truck to obey her, when Albert put his hand on his shoulder.
‘Half a minute, boy! Where are you off? Work’s work, and nuts is nuts. You stop here.’
Joe slowly straightened himself.
[···]
She stood and watched.
‘Joe!’ Her voice rang for the third time.
Joe turned and looked at her, and a slow, jeering smile gathered on his face.
‘Monkey nuts!’ he replied, in a tone mocking her call.
She turned white — dead white. The men thought she would fall.
Este juego de palabras, por ende, se prestaba como un verdadero interrogante dado a que jugaba con las iniciales de la voluntaria, M.S. (Mary/Margaret/Molly...? Stokes), y una expresión que, en original, contendría todos estos significados:
                    Cacahuetes (“nueces de mono”)
                    Loca como una mona
                    “Huevos” (testículos) de mono
                    Chichones
                    Pamplinas
La elección de “Mona Sarnosa” fue un auténtico momento eureka, tan acertado que se ha granjeado el aprecio de Josep Marco y de Pilar Ezpeleta, los cuales han optado por mantener mi opción en el pasado a limpio de la traducción. He aquí los fragmentos del original en que surge y cobra relevancia el juego de palabras (como sintagma entero) en mi traducción:
1)    Albert estaba empezando a quitarse los tirantes. Desistió, cogió el telegrama y se giró hacia el candelabro para leerlo.
—“NOS VEMOS ESTACIÓN BELBURY HOY 18:00 STOP M.S. STOP” —leyó en voz baja. Su cara volvió a asumir una expresión divertida y disparatada.
¿Quién es M.S.? —preguntó, dirigiéndole a Joe una astuta mirada.
—Lo sabes tan bien como yo —respondió Joe, evasivo.
—M.S. —repitió Albert —Que me parta un rayo si yo lo supiera, hijo… ¿Es una mujer?
[···]
—Quiere saber lo que quiere decir esa M —le dijo el cabo confidencialmente.
Monos —respondió ella, volviendo la atención a sus caballos.
—¿Qué quiere decir “M.S.”? —preguntó Albert.
Mona Sarnosa —replicó ella, guiando a un lado a los percherones.
Albert la miró, un poco desconcertado. Joe había adquirido un rubor oscuro y maldecía a Albert en su corazón.

2)    Al día siguiente, Joe permaneció en silencio, huraño. Albert no podía hacer nada al respecto. Le propuso un paseo después de la hora del té.
—Voy a algún lugar —dijo Joe.
—¿Dónde...? ¿Con la Mona Sarnosa? —preguntó el cabo. Pero la mente de Joe sólo se llenó de más borrascas.

4.2) —¡Joe! —alzó la voz por tercera vez.
Joe se volvió y la miró, y, lentamente, una sonrisa de mofa se dibujó en su rostro.
¡Mona Sarnosa! —respondió, en un tono que imitaba la llamada de ella.
Ella se puso blanca… como una muerta. Los hombres creyeron que se desmayaría.
El “nuts” que aparece en los fragmentos 3) y 4) fue traducido como “sarna” a secas, manteniendo la misma implicitud de “mona sarnosa”:
3)    Pero la señorita Stokes no dijo nada: tan sólo le miraba fijamente con esos grandes ojos de un azul glacial. Él se sintió cohibido, levantó la barbilla, siguió caminando con la cabeza erguida, silbando a voleo. Así que recorrieron el camino gris, en silencio y desierto. Él estaba silbando la melodía de una canción que rezaba: “Soy Gilbert, el canalla, el coronel de la sarna”.
4.1) Y Joe ya estaba tomando impulso para saltar del vagón y obedecer a su señal cuando Albert le puso una mano en el hombro.
—¡Un segundo, hijo! ¿A dónde te vas? El trabajo es trabajo, y la sarna es sarna. Te detienes aquí.
Lentamente, Joe se enderezó.
La letra de la canción también se adaptó para que rimara, ya que, además, la conexión entre “Gilbert”-”filbert” (por rima) y “filbert”-”nuts” (semántica) se había perdido al traducir “nuts” como “sarna”. La rima con “canalla”-”sarna”, aunque asonante, tiene su gracia y su ritmo.

5. CONCLUSIONES

Junto con el Trabajo de Fin de Grado, las prácticas externas han supuesto uno de mis dos grandes desafíos al final de cuatro o cinco (si contamos este curso 2016-2017 y mi única asignatura pendiente obligatoria) años de carrera universitaria. Los dos relatos cuya traducción me fue asignada me han absorbido por completo, transportándome a la campiña inglesa del siglo pasado y presentándome a unos personajes que igualmente podrían haber sido personas de carne y hueso.
Y han sido las prácticas mi verdadera prueba de fuego en el aspecto práctico de la traducción, ya que me han enseñado lo esencial acerca de mis propios puntos fuertes y débiles y me han animado a poner toda la carne en el asador. La traducción de “Monkey Nuts” como “Mona Sarnosa” (el juego de palabras, en general), una decisión compleja pero sin dejar de ser acertada, ha supuesto un hito en mi experiencia como traductora de juegos de palabras, aguzando aún más esta destreza, por no hablar de las correcciones realizadas en mis traducciones de tiempos verbales y mis elecciones de traducción para el pronombre “you” como “tú/vosotros” o “usted/ustedes”.
En resumen: si el TFG fue mi prueba de fuego de teoría como traductora, estos cuentecillos lo han sido a la hora de la práctica. Hay mucho en común entre la temática y los mensajes de Otelo (sobre cuya ópera verdiana traducida al alemán versa mi Trabajo de Fin de Grado) y los de estos dos relatos, separados unos tres siglos del Bardo, y, aún así, es fácil ver en Albert y Joe a Yago y Rodrigo de verde caqui; ídem a Maurice e Isabel como Otelo y Desdémona, siendo Bertie obviamente el homólogo de Cassio. Los nombres y la vestimenta cambian, pero la esencia de los personajes y de las relaciones entre ellos permanece. Podría decirse que mi TFG y mis prácticas externas, o al menos los dos cuentos que he traducido por completo, forman un díptico en cierto modo. Estas dos experiencias de fin de grado conforman juntas el culmen de mi carrera universitaria y un punto de inflexión en mi corta pero azarosa vida.




ARCS, COURS, AND MGW SERIES

To begin with, MGW is a three-letter acronym that here stands for Magical Girl Warrior; series (most often anime, though there are also Western/animesque versions) starring a diverse ensemble cast of girls -from kid childhood to young adulthood- battling sinister forces that threaten the peace of the multiverse.
Naoko Takeuchi codified the genre and defined its defining characteristics in her Sailorverse (Sailor V, Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Crystal), which blended the classical magical girl tropes with some Super Sentai characteristics like a team of different heroines with balanced abilities and personalities. The result was a series simultaneously aimed toward and empowering to girls with large amounts of character building and storyline that still gave focus to the battles and allowed for fanservice. A virtually-unheard-of combination at that time, the series quickly attracted a rabid fanbase with a ridiculously-wide demographic. While many early anime of the genre which followed were accused of being (and often were, at the start) rip-offs of Sailor Moon trying to repeat its success by copying the formula, eventually they evolved into unique works and a novel hybrid genre, going From Clones to Genre.
Now this article is about anime in general, the term "arc" as used in this blog, and the equivalent Japanese term "cour" ("kuuru" in katakana).
Since Kirakira Precure à la Mode has reached its arc finale and segued into a new arc this week, I thought that the opportunity to talk about anime cours could not be missed. For each and every story arc of a Pretty Cure series fits exactly into a cour of the same series: now, to put KKPCàlM as an example, as the Winter Cour ends and the Springtime Cour begins, it has brought us the wrap-up of the Debut Queue arc and the first episode of the Giulio arc. The Debut Queue arc lasted all Winter Cour long, while the Giulio arc will encompass the whole Springtime Cour.
Noun
Cour ‎(plural cours) | IPA: /kuʁ/
a three-month unit of television broadcasting
a portion of a television program aired over the course of one such period
Etymology: From Japanese クール (kuuru), from French cours. Attested in English among the anime community from at least 2007.
The word cour is used to measure the length of an anime series. In general, a single cour has 10 to 14 episodes that run during a three-month period that coincides with the seasons. That’s why one cour belongs to either the Winter, Spring, Summer, or Autumn season.
Winter Season: January, February, March
Spring Season: April, May, June
Summer Season: July, August, September
Autumn Season: October, November, December
Episodic anime are usually broadcast as either a single cour (most common) double cour, or split cour:
Single Cour: 10 – 14 Episodes
Double Cour: 24 – 26 Episodes on two contiguous seasons (e.g. Spring – Summer)
Split Cour: 24 -26 Episodes. The second cour is broadcast after a season off (springtime-autumn or summer-winter).
Why are anime broadcast in cours?
In just one word: Convenience. Creating an anime in single cours instead of full-blown 24-episode runs (or more) leaves the production company with more options. If the first cour is popular and the ratings are good, then they can follow up with a second cour back-to-back. If the fans like the show but there are certain complaints that need to be addressed, the series can go to the split-cour format and skip a season between the first and second cour (see how convenient is the use of cour and season here?) If the show is a total flop, or if the ratings are not promising, the company can conclude the show and start working on something new.

Definition1

cour [koor]
noun
  1. One of the four conventional three-month periods of television broadcasting in Japan (January to March; April to June; July to September; October to December): "Noragami" aired during the first cour of 2014.
  2. A portion of a television program aired over the course of one cour1The big reveal at the end of the first cour of "Valvrave" had me on the edge of my seat!

Usage

I'm really not sure how long "cour" has had currency in English. There are attestations from at least as early as 2007.2 I think that's not too long after the term began to see usage in English-speaking anime communities, but I could very well be mistaken.
This term was probably quickly adopted because it provides an unambiguous way to refer to a roughly 13-episode block of episodes, by contrast with "season", which (as seen here) can mean many different things in different contexts.
A cour is not of precisely-defined duration, and can, in practice, last anywhere from 11 to 14 weeks (and hence, the same number of episodes), though 12-13 weeks is most common, since a 52-week year cleanly divides into four 13-week subunits (or perhaps 12-week subunits with a week off in between).

Etymology

This usage of the word "cour" in English is (perhaps surprisingly) a borrowing of the Japanese word クール (kuuru), which means essentially the same thing as the English "cour".
Japanese kuuru is itself a borrowing, though the language of origin is not known with certainty. The most popular hypothesis is that it derives from French cours, cognate to "course" as in "lecture".Note that the English "cour" is effectively a back-formation from cours (which is singular in French), and the singular/plural distinction between "cour" and "cours" is an English innovation.
In any case, the path "cour" took on its way to English is decidedly opaque, and so it is no surprise that it doesn't show up in English dictionaries.

WHAT DOES COUR MEAN?

Cour is a word used to describe a span of anime episodes during their initial Japanese TV broadcast. One cour runs for three months and typically consists of anywhere between 10 to 14 episodes and sometimes will contain a full season if the season is short enough.

HOW IS A COUR DIFFERENT FROM A SEASON?

A cour is essentially one production block of episodes that may or may not have a break in between it and the next block.
An anime cour really isn’t any different than saying, “A batch of anime episodes” or “The first/second half of an anime season.” Each three-month cour block in Japanese broadcasting is fairly defined however with each one starting in the months of January, April, July, and October and often named after their starting month or correlating season.
Example: The first cour of the year can be referred to either as 1月クール(Ichigatsu Kuru / January Cour) or 冬クーFuyu Kuru (Winter Cour) or even 1 (Daiichi Kuru / Cour 1).

WHY ARE ANIME SERIES PRODUCED IN COURS?

Planning an anime series in a cour rather than a full-blown season provides the production team and the broadcasters with a more flexibility. For instance, if a show airs one twelve-episode cour and has good ratings, the show runners may elect to produce another cour as a follow-up.
On the other hand, if the first cour airs and it doesn't perform well, then the show can be considered concluded (i.e. not renewed), and the production team loses less money by continuing to work on a less-profitable show.

WHERE DOES THE WORD COUR COME FROM?

The original Japanese word is クール, which is pronounced kuuru (funnily enough, the same spelling and reading as cool when using the English word in Japanese). It is thought to come from the French word cours which means lecture or course and it can be easy to see how the word could have been reinterpreted in much the same way we have in English when discussing meals. We two-course meal, ​meanwhile in Japan they can enjoy a two course anime series. Sometimes if it’s extra popular, the cooks may even make an extra course!
It’s a bit of a mystery as to why some of the English language anime fandom is using the word cour over kuru. It’s possible they’re referencing the original French origins of the word.

4 COUR (50-54 EPISODES, CONTINUOUS, OR YEAR-LONG SERIES) EXAMPLES

The Pretty Cure franchise; each and every continuity is a 4-cour or year-long series, always beginning in midwinter and wrapping up around Christmas.

AND NOW FOR THE ISSUE TO WHICH ALL THIS EXPLANATION BOILS DOWN:
COUR
vs.
ARC: 
Since each cour of a Precure season contains one story arc within its 12-13 episodes, each narrative arc overlapping with a different cour (for instance, the Twilight arc of Go!Princess Pretty Cure overlaps exactly with the Springtime Cour of said series), the terms "cour" and "arc" can be used interchangeably, even though "cour" refers to the production and "arc" refers to the narrative of a batch of episodes.

ENTER GIULIO, STAGE LEFT

KIRAKIRA PRECURE À LA MODE
Episode 11 - My Own Review

ENTER GIULIO, STAGE LEFT

In the morning of the Sweets Festival day, the sinister boy from last episode is standing on the church tower as we saw him last time.

GIULIO: Hehe...

At last, the great day has come for the Kirakira Pâtisserie to introduce themselves to the community of Ichigozaka at the local Sweets Festival!!

But why did they choose riverdance music as background?
 Is it a local tradition? My headcanon says so.

AOI: It's all right, we're ready to go!
FEMALE ANNOUNCER: We now declare the Ichigozaka Sweets Festival open!
AOI (loudly): Come one!! Come all!! To the Kirakira Pâtisserie stand!!


Emily's come with her li'l friends as well.
EMILY: Hey! It's the Kirakira Pâtisserie!

Aoi also spots a familiar kindergarten teacher out for a stroll with her boyfriend.
AOI (calling out, waving): TATSUMI!! Over HERE!
TATSUMI: Oh, so it's you guys...
MIDORI: Oh my.
AOI (savvy, nudging Tatsumi with her elbow):  And Midori, too! You're on a date, Romeo, amirite?
TATSUMI (awkward): It's... it's not like that...

Soon, little Emily and the lovers are invited to try a free sample of fruitcake.
EMILY (after swallowing): Oishiii!

In the meantime, a wistful oneesama, who had hitherto been absent, throws back a wisp of long mauve hair and utters her familiar noblewoman's laugh.
YUKARI (noblewoman's laugh): How are things?

AKIRA: You're late... What were you doing?

YUKARI (noblewoman's laugh): I just went out for a walk...

NO ONE EXPECTS THE FANCLUB INQUISITION!!

YUKARI FANGIRLS: Lady Yukari!!
AKIRA FANGIRLS: Ser Akira!!


These trolls pop up like ghosts when you least expect it... can't they give their waifus at least a bit of vital space?
FANGIRL: The KiraPâti had a stall here, after all?


AKIRA: I see... Thanks for the advertising.
YUKARI: (taking a seat in the shade of a parasol, noblewoman's laugh)

Even the girls want to be served by Akira Kenjo; all customers have stars in their eyes!!

Aoi exchanges her produce with another pâtissière.


Yukari deftly catches in her left hand a flying fruitcake saucer. Everyone is left at a loss for words.
So far, we have seen Yukari Kotozume can:
brew tea the traditional Japanese style
make perfect macarons
play tennis like a pro
combine colours, shapes, and other details with incredible aesthetic sense (in fashion, cuisine, everything)
speak more than one foreign language
give sensible fashion advice
stop fires
make beautiful ornaments out of kirakiraru
catch runaway falling plates in her left hand (further confirming my theories on her ambidexterity)
(Is there any flaw -aside from that pushing herself too hard- that may be her weak spot?)
Look at them so pleased and so smug, unaware that a sinister force is looming right above their heads...

When Genchiro Usami, in a karate gi and strawberry hat, popped up at the festival to helicopter-parent his daughter (and be regarded by her as an embarrassing nuisance), Yukari gave yet another of her snide remarks in response...
YUKARI: He just cares. After all... that's what parents do.
(This remark makes me wonder more about the Kotozumes and Yukari's parental issues)

Still roosting on the church tower, the cyan-haired stripling watches the festival teeming with his prey.



GIULIO: Sweets here, sweets there... But you've had your fun.
Now it's our time!!
So he raises his little dark crystal sword, right-handed, to the sky...
Everything's more badass with skyward swords.
I mean, he didn't say BY THE POWER OF DARKNESS or anything like that,
but the effect is nevertheless impressive.
GIULIO: Now it's our time!!


The sword shoots out a projectile of purple lightning. It then radiates down, turning the sky pink and the strawberry decorations blue.
(Only one thing that I wonder... why does the sky turn pink in this series every time the bad guys steal kirakiraru? Is it due to the effect of their powers? That's at least my theory.)
Soon, all the monsters of the week we had met during this arc have been summoned back and powered up by Giulio's sword darkness lightning. Then all of them proceed (sans Giulio, still on his tower perch) to sap every treat in the festival dry of kirakiraru...


AKIRA: So... they have returned!!

CURE À LA MODE! DECORATION!!

The battle of a lifetime (at least for this arc) is about to begin!


Makiron easily brushed off Cure Macaron's yoyos this time.
CURE MACARON: Looks like someone did not check a mirror this morning...


Cure Chocolat defends a chocolatière with a kirakiraru shield.
CURE CHOCOLAT (to her opponents): Stop this mischief at once.

Both sides are equally matched in this intense confrontation...


GIULIO: So these are the Precures... (Lifting his sword): So, how will you deal with this?

All the MotWs get mind-control eyes, the black stars on their belts glow purple, and they soar at unison as the dark-clad boy raises his blade.

GIULIO (pointing that sword skywards once more): Darkness... INTO POWER!!


All the MotWs fuse and swirl together, re-emerging as only one with all their powers!
CURE CHOCOLAT: They combined!?

Looks like Giulio has decided to turn things up a notch...
After all, what is an arc finale/cour finale battle without some difficulty?

When their three juniors are soon curbstomped, Macaron and Chocolat decide to strike together at once!
Their intense kirakiraru barrage has left them exhausted, gasping for breath.
Yet it's a no sell for the combined MotWs as well...

And now there are THREE identical monsters looming behind their backs!!
MACARON+CHOCOLAT: Bunshin!!?? (The same technique as Double Team, basically)
They are, however, cut short as the beasts' whip-like arms toss them backwards.

All is lost and the Precures face defeat for the first time in forever, as their countless supporters at the festival (who do not know these heroines are the KiraPâti girls [and "boy"]!!) look on, fearing the worst of all possible outcomes...

COMBINED BEAST 1: They're only sweets; useless vessels for kirakiraru.

Right then, the Cures get back up and recover, lashing out kirakiraru at full throttle!!
AKIRA (determined): We will be your opponents!!
COMBINED BEAST 1: You meddlesome brats!

This was supposed to be a day when we gather to eat sweets. It was a special day.
The taste may fade away, but the memories, the feelings, will stay within our hearts forever.
So, no more... Our friends, our sweethearts, our families... STOP MESSING WITH THEIR FEELINGS!

At that point, a little drop of bright golden light falls between Emily's little hands.
EMILY: It's shining!
The teens next to her have received similar droplets of light.

TEEN WITH BAND-AID ON HIS RIGHT CHEEK: Us too!
The same happens to the pâtissière in the chef's hat, to Tatsumi and Midori... long story short, to everyone at the festival! The whole square fills with golden light as Giulio coldly looks on...

GIULIO (coldly): What's this?


ELDER: The sweets in people's hearts (kokoro) are glittering!! If we could bring it all together, it could become a new Precure power!!


PEKORIN (to the crowd): Everyone!! Send all your feelings (omoi) from your sweets to the Precures!
TEEN WITH BAND-AID ON HIS RIGHT CHEEK: Who said that?
TEEN GIRL WITH BOB HAIRCUT (LISA): Those five girls are the Precures, right?
PÂTISSIÈRE IN CHEF'S HAT: Our feelings (omoi) just have to reach them...
The kirakiraru spreads out from everyone's chests as little glittering brightly-coloured stars.
EMILY (releasing her kirakiraru): Reach them!! (Todoke!!)

TATSUMI+MIDORI: Reach them! (Todoke!)
EVERYONE ELSE IN THE PARK:  Reach them! (Todoke!)


The kirakiraru from everyone's hearts gathers together as a bright ball of light that gradually grows more and more...

CURE CUSTARD: The feelings (omoi) baked in our sweets live on in their hearts (kokoro). So it's true!
Gradually, the ball of kirakiraru increases in size and intensity of light...
...and said golden light engulfs it all, splitting into five strands the Precures' theme colours that reach, each one of them, its respective Precure... and each of them uses the kirakiraru to sculpt what they are imagining, as the shapes they make fuse together as one. For Cure Custard, it's cuteness as a yellow ribbon; for Cure Gelato, it's swirling around as a spiral of ice...


CURE MACARON: And beautiful! (Kirei de!)
The shape she creates is a long bâton.


CURE CHOCOLAT: With the strength/power (chikara) to protect all that we treasure!
She draws a star that sticks to the end of Yukari's kirakiraru bâton.

...and thus, from the fusion together of all these kirakiraru shapes...
 the Candy Rods are created!

PEKORIN: A new power is born!!


The soaring Candy Rods descend until they are within their respective Cures' reach.


The glass orb in each Rod serves as a kirakiraru chamber, and the star at the end for a muzzle.
Think of them as whimsical, magical handguns.
(Also, Macaron and Custard hold theirs left-handed...)


All five spin the chambers of their rods while charging at the enemy at full throttle.
ALL 5 PRECURES: Kirakira kiraru!! FULL CHARGE!!


They summon each one a different ingredient:


Cure Gelato, a swirl of batter...



Cure Macaron, a blade to slice the baked batter into five...



Cure Chocolat, flames to flambé the five slices of cake...


And in the end all five slices are stacked as a wedding cake of strawberries and cream,
that traps the MotW within as they charge towards the cake!
This is their new hissatsu. I like that it's a joint attack and no PreCure outweighs the rest in the preparation of it!

THREE... TWO... WONDERFUL...

...À LA MODE!


The Cures swirl their firing chambers until the cake lights up and turns into one in their respective theme colours (which reminds me of Dante's Purgatorio; also, the fact that Akira's/Chocolat's tier forms the base, followed by that of Yukari/Macaron, is of significance to me!!)


The cake bursts in an explosion of kirakiraru, releasing a dozen dazed and purified pixies, their belt buckles shattering and their spirits confused.

With everything back to normal, isn't it time to celebrate?


AOI: Thanks for the cake!! (Takes a mouthful) Oishiii!!!
#AoiApproved, indeed!
Though they are unaware that someone wicked this way comes...


GIULIO: Kirakiraru is still shining in people's hearts... I see... How interesting. Hehehe...


And thus, we end with a close-up of Giulio's masked right eye overlooking the scene...

MY OWN HUMBLE OPINION:
This has been the perfect wrap-up for the winter cour and the Debut Queue arc, aside from the perfect segue into the springtime cour and what I shall call the Giulio arc. All MotWs purified at one fell swoop, a brand new bishónen villain who is even more sinister and intimidatimg, a little continuity cavalcade with the few customers of the week so far (and a cameo from Lisa, the customer of next week: it's the teen girl with the bob haircut!)... right what I expect from a Precure arc finale!!
I love the new weapons; the Candy Rods are basically candy-cane-shaped kirakiraru handguns, the way it sounds!
Akira had this impressive Chick Magnet moment as a garçon, while Yukari dropped a little more of her trademark ice-cold sarcasm, including a remark on parenting that made me wonder more about the Kotozume family and Yukari's relationship with her elders...
The fact that all the muggle bystanders powered up the Precures with their own positive emotions all combined also reminds me of the epic climax of the Go! Princess Precure season finale, in which exactly the same happens. The same also occurred in the Dokidoki! Precure season finale... again, this carries the uplifting message that everyone's feelings matter and many tiny drops make an ocean.



IN NEXT EPISODE (12)

PREVIOUS MOTWS: Um num num... meowcarons...

PREVIOUS MOTWS: Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked...

LEO: Good morning, my name is Leo Kuroki.
Just one little thing that ticks me... Giulio/Leo infiltrated the chúgakkó instead of the kókó... I would have preferred the latter, but however it seems that, like in Sailor Moon, it's the secondary-school-age characters who are meant to be audience surrogates!


A new student enrolls -not at the high school, as expected-,
yet he's an Ace at sports and girls' hearts, so I'm not dejected!



Yet there's something quite sinister; the fact that Giulio's Leo...
now, will the Cures discover this and what will their reaction be, oh?


Will we get to see the Precures' new attacks?

And how will they react by finding out Leo and Giulio are one and the same person?
THE ENEMY IS... THAT POPULAR TRANSFER STUDENT!?