Yumeiro Patissiere 49

Like Heroman a few days ago it looked like Yumeiro Patissiere might wrap up the main story with an episode to spare. What was I thinking?

Kashino in CGI gear invites us to the finals. Okay, not really.

We’ve been to a number of fine French historical locations in this story, and we wind up at the most opulent of all: Versailles. The show is nice to give us a minute of scenery before getting down to business. It also messes with us. We see a romantic seaside tryst between Kashino and Miya which turns out to be a commercial. Poor Kashino wasn’t expecting CGI to do that. Just what we needed to break the tension before the battle between teams Ichigo and Francois. Er, shouldn’t it be Francoise?

Because after that it’s all business. Make an entremet and a plated dessert—hot and cold. They quickly assign duties and set to work. The only breaks are when Ichigo stops to admire an opponent’s technique. Otherwise it’s serious baking and serious people all over the world watching (even the Andorran team has an appearance). No one screws up. Everyone’s on their game. Before the halfway point they’re finished.

The judging is also straightforward. In fact, everything was. No rising on a platform with fog effects, no baking as performance art, they tossed all that aside. Odd that the contest does away with the frills. Maybe the organizers thought they couldn’t outdo Versailles. The desserts are simple, well, not gaudy. The judges ooh and ahh over this and that, sometimes frowning and scaring the contestants. And guess what? A tie! Who’d have guessed? The contest will bleed into the final episode after all. Should have known it.

The rematch requires individual face-offs (which no doubt will make next week’s scoring take longer) each using a different type of batter. It’s here that Ichigo as the weak link spectre rises again. Her teammates are convinced that they’ll have to make up for her defeat. I’m not sure why they’d go on like this before the most important match of their lives, but anyway. In the rematch each team member keeps a closer eye on their competition, changing their strategies to make contrasts. There’s some self-doubt moments from Kashino which is set aside by an absurd appearance from her sister. We even get the “Even more sadistic than Kashino!” line again. But other than that everyone pretty much stays on their game … until Ichigo screws up. The weak link.

We can’t be too despondent because the preview gives away a lot about the final episode, though not the outcome. Expect strawberry tarts.

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