After noting that the remaining Yumeiro Patissiere fansubbers like to dump multiple episodes on us, they do it twice in a week, meaning I’m drowning in back episodes. But I won’t be beaten, unlike Andou.
Team Ichigo goes against Team Lemon, a precocious bunch of first-years with extraordinary talent, and some nastiness up their sleeve. Upon hearing about their backgrounds, team Ichigo is inexplicably beset with doubt, especially Andou, whose own family’s sweets background is not much compared to his opponent Kujou’s. Thus he loses sleep the night before and can barely function when the Grand Prix quarters begin.
Of course, Kujou sees him mismeasuring the sugar but doesn’t tell him. Meanwhile, Lemon cons Ichigo into using kiwi, when she’s never used it before. I said Team Lemon has a nasty streak, but you can’t blame it all on them. It was Ichigo’s fault not knowing about how to handle kiwi, while Andou has no one to blame but himself. All fair, etc. What I can’t figure out is how team Team Ichigo got so rattled even before the competition began. At the very least they usually fight on despite the odds. Here it’s almost like throwing in the towel before the match begins. Only Kashino and Satsuke don’t screw it up, and it turns into a draw. And may I say it’s kind of silly to have individual matches when there are an even number of contestents on both sides. Does the entire competition grind to a halt when they go into overtime?
And if you actually worried about who would win the rematch, the theme alone would have given it away: friendship. The first half is concerned with the Team getting a despondent Andou back to school. It’s his turn to have run away. Only Kashino hasn’t done that … yet. They find him despairing under a bridge, and what follows is a touching and often funny scene. Satsuke compares the team to a Japanese fan: Andou’s the pivot, Kashino is the frame, Satsuke is the decorated paper, and Ichigo’s the … glue? But the highlight is Kashino’s form of pep talk. When Andou would say something negative, Kashino would throw a rock into the river from the bridge above. As Andou goes on and on about how worthless he is (he’s only in the top ten in grades, for crissakes!), the splashes get bigger and more violent, until Kashino jumps into the river himself. It’s a splendid moment. Kashino isn’t even saying much and isn’t on screen until the end. Kashino goes further by making a traditional Japanese confection; it tastes terrible. There are areas where he sucks, too.
He’s not done, either. When the rejuvenated team returns (it’s as easy to lift their spirits as it is to deflate them, it seems) Lemon, the leader of the opponents, trash-talks them a little. They laugh it off, and Kashino lands this blow.
Of course there isn’t, and while Kashino’s shot doesn’t mess with Team Lemon’s efforts in the rematch, Lemon is obviously flustered. Meanwhile Team Ichigo performs like a well-oiled machine. Guess who wins?
But before it’s over, the show adds one more bit of niceness. Ichigo befriends the girl who sabotaged her kiwi dish. Just like Ichigo to do something like that, because, as is usual for this show, the bad person isn’t really so bad, just a bit messed up. Sure, it’s a little cliché, but as I’ve said before, this IS a show for children, and often it’s a good one.