Yumeiro Patissiere 48 gives us the fallout from Team Tennouji’s shocking loss in the semifinals. The outcome was surprising enough; this episode it gets even worse.
While team Ichigo is mulling over the news Miya arrives with tape of Tennouji’s match against Team Francois, four beautiful girls who wear skimpy clothing while baking. I’m sure that gave them a few points right there. Not that it mattered. Tennouji was clearly off her game, tempering badly (Kashino is shocked) and decorating sloppily. She looked depressed. Having her chocolate dress fall apart during the exhibition was just icing on the cake, as it were. Which leads to the next question: what the hell happened?
I and probably everyone else watching expected a Ichigo/Tennouji final. Team Ichigo had been chasing Team Tennouji for ages. The whole second half of the series had been leading to their showdown here. Tennouji had been expecting it too. I was a little amused that it would mean that the two Japanese teams beat all the other teams, but this is perfectly acceptable considering it’s a Japanese TV show. So to throw a monkey wrench into the expected climax, well, it’s genius, really. Well done!
Anyway, what knocked Tennouji off her pins was seeing her beloved Henri in the arms of another woman: Francois, her opponent. Not only are they acting lovey-dovey but they talk about working together when the Grand Prix is over.
But that’s not the big surprise. Ichigo and Miya fly that ridiculous pink helicopter to St. Michele (doing some quick bonding on the way) and find Tennouji despondent. Indeed, she spends the entire scene crouched on the floor. Tennouji tells them the entire sad-sack story. At this point I’m a little disappointed in her. She’s supposed to be a professional! Suck it up! But then Henri himself appears. We get to see a new side of him.
Feeling that Tennouji had been depending too much on his advice, Henri and Francois faked the love scene for Tennouji’s … benefit. Why didn’t he just tell her she was depending on him too much? No, instead he creates a cruel story to break her heart … before an important match. We get another “You must harden your heart to become a patissiere” speech like we used to get long ago. Ichigo has always countered this hateful argument with her “make people smile” defense, but Henri snickers it away while the show lights him in shadows making him look like a bishie villain from another series rather than the decent person he had been since episode one. I never expected Henri to turn on us, and I was begging for Ichigo to snap and righteously slap this dirtbag around, but instead she simply declares that her team will win.
I’m still trying to get over these events, and I have to applaud the series again for adding an unexpected twist where i didn’t expect it. Well done indeed!
So now Team Ichigo faces Team Francois, and they’re incredibly formidable, hand-picked by Henri himself and considered spiritual successors. Even if Tennouji had played to her potential she still probably would have lost. All Team Ichigo, a group of middle-schoolers, can do is work to their strengths, and do some planning. Heh. Two episodes to go. Should be a good final!