This article is reposted from the Pretty Cure Wiki with some minor changes.
Japanese title: “Hot-blooded! Akane’s Okonomiyaki Life!”
Due to cultural differences, 8 episodes of Smile Pretty Cure! were not dubbed into English. This is the first of these episodes.
With that bombshell dropped, it’s time to wonder why. Did Saban not want to do as much work? Did they want to skip filler episodes? Did they not have the time or money to fully dub the show? Was the okonomiyaki too much for them? I doubt it; in episode 3 of Glitter Force, Kelsey called the okonomiyaki “Japanese pizza.” I could see them continuing to call it this. Maybe she could tell the others its real Japanese name, and a joke could be made out of the others not being able to remember it. Oh, well. Let’s find out what made this episode so Japanese, not even Saban could Americanize it!!
The episode begins with Akane’s dad daydreaming about “beautiful Osaka.” Unfortunately, when he tries to pick up a heavy box, something goes wrong. Just as Akane notices, we see a police siren and cut to him being in the hospital due to a slipped disk. It’s nice that we get to see Akane’s parents and brother for the first time!
Akane’s dad thinks they’ll have to close the shop because he’s out and Akane’s mom isn’t good at making okonomiyaki. Unfortunately, as her brother points out, there’s a neighborhood association meeting in which an important person is going to visit the restaurant. Akane then decides that she can run the place. With her cooking skills, she’ll save them all from peril! With that charming, fast-paced opening, we have our opening theme. It’s back to normal, so no more All Stars clips!
We cut to the Bad End Kingdom, where Wolfrun is really hungry. He notices Majorina making something in her cauldron, but it turns out that it’s made out of “lizard tails, pig drool, and frog farts.”
When Wolfrun refuses like anyone would, Majroina gets mad and throws a magazine at him. Coincidence has it that the first spread Wolfrun sees is an ad for okonomiyaki. Wolfrun decides to get some and squash Pretty Cure at the same time and lauds himself as a genius. We then see exactly how the villains get from the Bad End Kingdom to Earth. They run off a platform/runway thing and jump into the air, where they float to their destination. We’ve seen them float before. Why not?
Also, where’s Joker? He was so interesting in episode 6, then he disappeared. What happened?
We get our title card. Rather than the translation I came up with, the subbers translated it as “Akane’s Fiery Okonomiyaki Life!” It’s pretty much what I said, except the words I typed were in the same order as the actual Japanese text. I understand the subbers wanting to make a one-sentence title for once, though.
We cut to school. The girls say, “Akane’s running the store!?” but they complete each other’s sentences. This isn’t realistic, but it happens in every Pretty Cure season, so I’ve learned to deal with it. Miyuki and Yayoi say they’re proud of Akane. When Akane says, “That’s not really it… but if you insist!” Nao, for some reason, says that’s not what she’d call modesty. It is, at least, I think…
Akane says the worst day is going to be Sunday because the chief of the neighborhood association has organized a meeting at her restaurant then. Reika says he’s a connossieur of dining. Miyuki doesn’t know what that is, so Nao clears it up. Akane says that because the chief said her father’s okonomiyaki is the best in the world, she has to make stuff just as good. When Yayoi says that her mom says it’s better than anything she could make at home, Miyuki and Candy want to eat some. Akane, fired up, decides to give the others a feast after school.
We cut to that very feast, where we see Akane making the food. Miyuki is impatient, but Nao and Akane tell her to wait. Reika then notices that the store is named Akane, too. Akane explains that they made the store the day she was born and wanted to be as special as her. Fun fact: in a previous season, Yes! Pretty Cure 5, there’s a character named Komachi who also has a shop named after her.
Anyway, after Akane impresses her friends by perfectly flipping all four okonomiyaki, the girls finally enjoy their meal. They all absolutely love it. Then, Akane spots her brother and forces him to introduce himself to the guests. His name is Genki, which is also an adjective translating as “lively” or “energetic.” I wonder if he’ll get a name in the dub?
Genki is at first reluctant to say anything, but he then says that Akane must be bringing up so much trouble for them. Akane gets mad, and the other four girls laugh. He then helps himself to Akane’s okonomiyaki, and says that while it isn’t like Dad’s, it’s still good. Akane tries it herself, and despite all the compliments, says that her food is no good for the chief. When Akane wonders why, Genki says that Dad had a secret ingredient, but he doesn’t know what it is. Rather than calling her dad like a normal person, Akane tries to find it herself. Her friends offer to help.
Reika first comes up with an idea that you should use sweet ingredient to compliment spicy ones and vice virsa. Nao agrees, saying that her family uses apples in their curry. As Akane, Nao, and Reika debate what to put in, Candy points out that the sauce is spicy, so Yayoi and Miyuki decide to use the Pudding Décor from last episode to sweeten it up. You know, they’re going to get a new Cure Décor this episode. How are they going to explain the new Glitter Charm in the next episode of Glitter Force?
We then get a montage of the girls making all sorts of different varieties of okonomiyaki. Unfortunately, none of them work for Akane. As the girls muse about what to do, Akane’s sunny disposition surprises everyone as she yells excitedly about what a good cook her dad is. She talks about how his food is so good, it puts a smile on everyone’s faces. After realizing she can’t find the secret ingredient herself, she decides to “stop being stupid” and ask him herself.
Meanwhile, Wolfrun is happily strolling along, looking for dinner. We get a funny gag where he tries to go into a fancy restaurant. The woman at the front tells him to remove his “mask” because it will scare others. When Wolfrun happily declares that scaring is what he does, he gets politely kicked out of the store. I honestly feel bad for English-language viewers who never got to see this episode. It’s so funny!
We then get the title cards which show Cure Sunny and… an Akanbe?? Actually, I’d previously read about this episode on the Pretty Cure Wiki, so I already knew. But it’s interesting, one, to not have to see Candy for the umpteenth time; two, that it’s the Akanbe that says its name rather than the girls; and three, that the girls are scared rather than cheering.
Akane, rather than calling her dad, goes to talk to him in person, wasting valuable time. Unfortunately, he acts mean to her, telling her the store doesn’t deserve to have her name on it. As Akane storms away, determined to figure out the secret herself, her dad mutters happily that she’s easy to manipulate. Why not just outright say, “Oh, you’ll figure it out yourself?” Did he think she’d be more motivated if he pretended to be ashamed of her? I’ll never understand these parents…
Back at the shop, Akane tells the others that all she could get out of her dad was to go figure it out herself. Does that mean Akane knew he was trying to goad her on? Whatever the truth, the group tries again in another montage. Unfortunately, no matter what Akane tries, it’s never close enough to her dad’s okonomiyaki.
When Akane’s mom sees Akane up late and tired, she tries to cheer her up. She reminds her of the time Akane made her fist okonomiyaki. It was when her mom was sick. Even though the okonomiyaki was burnt, for Mom, it was the tastiest thing she could ask for. As Akane says she wishes she could make okonomiyaki that could make everyone happy, Akane’s mom looks away and smiles. Her parents are so convoluted…
We cut to day, where the girls are helping Genki and Akane with an okonomiyaki stand. Genki is running the stand, while Akane is making the food with Nao and Reika. As Akane calls Genki to tell him she’s bringing over some of the food, Wolfrun is floating in the air. The poor guy hasn’t eaten for three days! If he has to subsist off of frog farts, it’s probably only a matter of time until he joins the good guys. After he smells okonomiyaki, he summons a Bad End so he can eat some without being chased away. As he descends, the girls notice him and transform. Peace, by the way, goes with paper.
Wolfrun turns a pitcher and a broom into an Akanbe. It uses its spoon to create a wind so strong that Sunny can’t get close. The Akanbe then shoots sauce at her, which turns into glue and gets her stuck against the ground. It tries to do the same to the Happy and Peace, but March uses her super speed to grab an umbrella and deflect the glue sauce.
Wolfrun then notices the okonomiyaki the girls brought and eats all of it. Sunny is mad, of course, but I’m honestly happy for the poor wolf. If Sunny knew he hadn’t eaten in three days, she might be more forgiving. Then again, if Wolfrun had just asked nicely instead of attacking them, she’d definitely be more forgiving.
Wolfrun’s newfound energy causes the Akanbe to become stronger. It slams Happy, Peace, and March into a wall and splatters them with glue sauce. Beauty is the only one standing when Wolfrun says the food isn’t half bad. At first Sunny is happy he likes it, but then remembers who she’s talking to and gets mad again because she made the food. Wolfrun says it doesn’t matter who made it, and Akane contests that, saying that it’ll never be as good as her dad’s food. As she says this, she somehow gets up off the ground. I guess anger melts gluey sauce.
When Wolfrun says it’s useless worrying about stuff like that, March and Peace protest. When Wolfrun wonders why the girls are getting so upset over Sunny’s failures (wait, how does he know that they’re failures?), Happy yells that they’re not failures because Sunny put all her heart and soul into them. This brings Sunny to her senses. She loudly declares that she found her dad’s secret ingredient: wanting others to enjoy the food.
Wolfrun gets bored of the “monologue time” and orders the Akanbe to attack. Fortunately for our heroes, the Akanbe waits patiently for Sunny to tell Beauty to fire Beauty Blizzard at her, Beauty to ask why, and Sunny to say, “Just do it!” Beauty does so, and Sunny emanates a firey aura, turning the snowy attack into water, which washes the gluey sauce off. Not that it mattered, anyway; Sunny could get up just fine despite the sauce.
Sunny then gets excited and creates fire. She gathers it into her hand and punches the Akanbe several times, sending it into the air. She then leaps after it and finishes it off with Sunny Fire. Usually, when she does this attack, she runs and jumps before spiking the fireball at the enemy. Here, since she’s already in the air, that part is cut out. As the Akanbe dies, she celebrates as she falls back to earth.
Candy catches the newly-freed Umbrella Décor and Wolfrun teleports away. Interesting tidbit: as he teleports away, he says, “Purikyua-me!” which the subbers translate as, “Damn you, Precure!” Not only do I prefer the term “Pretty Cure,” but given that this show is for kids, the word “damn” probably isn’t appropriate. It can just as accurately be translated as, “Curse you, Pretty Cure!” “Darn Pretty Cure!” or “Stupid Pretty Cure!” There’s so many ways to take it!
Translation nitpick aside, we cut to the neighborhood association meeting. The chief tries some of Akane’s okonomiyaki, and after a pause, he declares that it’s delicious and that Akane truly is her father’s daughter. Just as his partner says his agreement, Akane’s parents come home from the hospital. Her dad is proud of her cooking. When Akane declares that she knows his secret ingredient, her dad asks what it is. As payback for before, though, Akane refuses to tell. Everyone laughs and the episode ends.
Overall: This was a fast-paced and humorous episode. I’ve rediscovered my love for Akane! Her bubbly personality and slight narcissism sold this one. Plus, the fight scene was fun to watch, especially at the end with Akane’s fiery attacks. It’s a darn shame this episode was never dubbed. I’m guessing it’s because of its focus on okonomiyaki, but as I said at the beginning of the episode, they could have worked around that. It’s a shame that there’s so many non-Japanese viewers missing out on this wonderful episode.
Next time: The team becomes super tiny!