Yumeiro 38, K-ON!! 14

It’s on! The Grand Prix finals! And to my intense relief, Yumeiro Patissiere 38 contains the entire struggle. No two-parters this time!

From the depths of hell, they rise ...

As expected, the introduction to the battle is all pomp and circumstance, at least I think that’s the music they were playing as the teams rose from the floor, appearing through the fog. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we watch Team Ichigo practicing through the night. Ichigo even appeals to the not-so-nice Kanajima to try her apple custard cake, baking it over and over again until Nakajima gives in and lends her some homemade jam for reference. The trouble is, everyone is progressing well, so we know there’s going to be trouble ahead.

If you saw the preview from last time, you know it’s Kashino who will cause the trouble. His chocolate Eiffel Tower sculpture is ambitious and takes painstaking work. And he hadn’t slept the night before, nor eaten anything. Still, given his drive it’s still surprising to see him faint like that, though, as I recall, Andou also nearly fainted during a match for the same reasons. And sure enough, though Kashino recovers, he can’t finish the sculpture in time, though it’s close. Kashino, usually the rock of the team, is devestated.

But, though they lose, by one friggin point, the show provides us with some moral victories. If Kashino had finished, they would have won. And Henri gives Ichigo’s work a higher score than Tennouji’s. She almost single-handedly made up a huge deficit. It helps that her rival on Team Tennouji was copying works from famous patissiers, something Henri spotted immediately. And so, Team Ichigo will also be allowed to go to Paris as the B-team. Hooray! Hooray! Finally, it’s a good ending because Tennouji, an honest character who has her own legitimate motivations for winning, gets what she wants, too. And so the long story arc ends. Next time it looks like we’ll get back to that locked recipe book and that weird spoon Ichigo picked up in fairyland.

K-ON!! 14 is an agreeable episode, where a moment of absurdity during a dream makes about as much sense as the girls’ regular antics.

Apart from the above bit of weirdness, this episode brings us the girls during summer break. Ritsu and Mugi hang out together and go to places rich Mugi would never normally go to, like an arcade or a candy shop. Mugi is beside herself with joy. Meanwhile, Yui is incensed that Nodoka ate the strawberry off her cake. She calls everyone she knows to ask them if such a thing is weird.

One of the more sensible things Yui says this episode.

Thus one plot point is set up. The second involves Mugi, who wants one of the girls to hit her (Even Ritsu is taken aback). She sees it as a sign of closeness. And so the entire episode revolves around the strawberry incident, and hitting Mugi. She tries being embarrassing, which doesn’t work. She finally justs asks, but no one has the heart to hit her. Ritsu? Yui? Hell, they get slapped around at least once per episode, but sweet little Mugi? And then the two plot things come together.

Mugi goes for Mio's strawberry.

It’s a random episode, apart from the strawberries and the desire for violence, but it holds together nicely. Yui’s pointless lines are funny (“Are there any books that will make you smarter if you eat them?”). This series is a far cry from the original.

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