This article is reposted from the Pretty Cure Wiki.
Japanese title: “Summer Festival! The Big, Big Flower Blossoming in the Night Sky!”
This episode concerns a Japanese holiday called the Summer Festival. This is a type of Japanese festival. Japanese festivals don’t have set uniform dates; each neighborhood chooses its own date and customs. Summer festivals have occurred in several Pretty Cure seasons. They take place at night and involve numerous food and game booths.
The focus on this foreign holiday is likely why this episode wasn’t dubbed. However, episode 21->18, which focused on another Japanese holiday called Tanabata, was dubbed. Why did 21->18 get localized but not 26? I have two guesses. First of all, 21->18 was a plot-important episode; Joker/Rascal kidnapped Candy, setting off the chain of events requiring the team to face Pierrot/Nogo. Second, the only ones seen celebrating Tanabata are the main five. In the dub, it’s implied that the other girls are only celebrating it to get to know Chloe’s culture better (Chloe says her family celebrates the holiday). This means the dub doesn’t have to explain why a huge crowd of Americans is celebrating a Japanese holiday. In this episode, I’d imagine they’d have to.
Anyway, on to the episode! We start right in the festival, where Candy is admiring Miyuki’s clothes. Miyuki explains that it’s a yukata, a traditional Japanese outfit worn during the summer, on outdoor events, at traditional inns, and after baths.
Then, Akane and Nao come over. Miyuki admires their yukata. Akane says proudly that her dad bought it for her when she hugged him. Nao, however, is more embarrassed by wearing such a fancy outfit, but Miyuki tells her the yukata suits her.
Yayoi and Reika join, too. Akane says that Yayoi is cute and that Reika looks like a yamato nadeshiko (a traditional Japanese personification of the ideal woman: she’s usually of a high upbringing, polite, and loyal to her father or husband, but she’s also got inner strength and is determined to protect those she loves by subtly manipulating others. I can’t explain it well; the link leads to an article that does a better job. Suffice it to say that Reika sounds like one of them).
At Candy’s insistence, Miyuki uses the Dress Décor to give Candy her own yukata. What bugs me is that now, the Dress Décor has been used twice, but the other Cure Décor from episode 24->21 hasn’t been used at all. Plus, there’s the Cure Décors from last episode to acknowledge. Will Toei be able to incorporate all three unused Cure Décors this episode!? Keep reading to find out!
After the opening theme, we return to the festival. We get a look at some games, and then we see Nao’s dad (who, by the way, is shirtless and covered in sweat – are we supposed to be attracted to her dad!?) playing drums in a group. Nao cheers him on, and Candy asks what they’re doing. Miyuki tells her that they’re taiko drums (taiko is actually the Japanese word for drum, but outsiders use the term to refer to a subset of drums called wadaiko. Ensemble drumming, seen here, is called kumi-daiko.)
Like me (and hopefully you), Candy is excited by all the new things she’s never seen before. The girls are excited to show her everything. They tell her the biggest event is the fireworks. Candy asks what fireworks are, and Miyuki describes them as big flowers that explode in the sky. After that, the girls run off to see what there is to see.
We get the title card. It translates the title as, “Summer Festival! The Giant Flower Blossoming in the Night Sky!” However, the title contains ōki, the Japanese word for “big”, twice.
After that liberty, we return to the summer festival once more. Miyuki introduces Candy to cotton candy, and she loves it. Meanwhile, Majorina is eating a candy apple and is shocked that it’s better than her poison apples. She looks around at all the people, anticipating bringing a Bad End to all of them.
Then, she spots the main characters. They’re playing a traditional summer festival game where you try to catch as many goldfish as possible in bowls without ripping the net you’re using to catch them. Reika happens to be extremely skilled at this game. Candy tries, too, but she immediately rips the net and gets frustrated, only calming down when Miyuki gives her another net.
Majorina refuses to lose, and after much effort, she catches a goldfish. She wants to eat it, but the man running the station tells her she can’t eat goldfish. Majorina angrily dumps the goldfish back in the pool, saying there’s no point in catching fish if she can’t eat them.
The girls visit another game. This one involves shooting a cork out of a gun. If you knock over a prize with the cork, you get to take it home. Nao shoots for some milk and caramel candy and wins it. Akane then shoots and hits a portable gaming system, but it doesn’t fall over, so she doesn’t get it. Miyuki and Candy then try together. Candy wants an elephant toy, but they accidentally knock over some natto gyoza candy instead. Yayoi is impressed, but Candy is upset. Majorina tries, too, but instead of getting the natto gyoza candy she wanted, she wins a trip to Guam instead and gets mad at the guy running the stand.
The girls then visit a guy who makes candy shaped like anything. (I wonder how many inappropriate requests he gets?) They’re amazed. Miyuki asks for a candy stick shaped like Candy. Once he’s done, she gives it to Candy. It should be noticed that while Miyuki passes off Candy as a plush, Candy speaks in front of the candy man multiple times and he somehow doesn’t notice.
After that, they go yo-yo fishing (using hooked sticks to fish for balloon/yo-yo things?), which gets the slideshow treatment. Meanwhile, Majorina is moping about how nothing is going right for her. We cut back to the girls sitting on a bench. As they discuss which delicious foods they should try, Candy is distracted by a mask stand and runs away. It’s only after this that Reika realizes she’s gone and Miyuki looks around for her. Meanwhile, a man confuses Candy for a prize in a game he’s running, and Candy panics as she’s placed on a table and has to act as a toy.
The eyecatches show Princess Sunny and the same picture of Candy and Pop as before.
We cut back to the festival, where the girls are having trouble finding Candy. Yayoi finally spots her on the game table. My ideas for rescuing her are for Candy to make a run for it (the others would write it off as a trick of their imaginations) or politely telling the game runner that Candy is their lost toy that they dropped and asking him to return her. Instead, Reika proposes playing the game to win Candy, thus wasting 300 yen.
The girls each take their turn. Reika is all serious, but when she throws her ring, it lands on the game runner and she says the path to ring tossing is a tough one. Yayoi then tries, winning not Candy but the action figure right next to her. The action figure is of the superhero that appeared at the beginning of episode 9 with her alarm clock. Nao tries, but she get freaked out by a ladybug, causing her ring to go all the way to land on Majorina’s mask. Akane goes next. Her ring lands right on Candy, but her head is too big for it to go around her, so it bounces off. A nervous Miyuki is the last to go. Her toss is off, but Candy uses her ears to catch the ring and allow it to go around her. Wasting the 300 yen is still stupid, but at least it gave is this entire hilarious scene.
Having retrieved Candy, the girls get out of there and Candy cries into Miyuki’s arms. However, Majorina is there to summon a Bad End. The girls transform in a short cut and Peace chooses paper. In response, Majorina turns a mask, two yoyo-fishing things, and a ring into a Super Akanbe. It shoots rings at the Cures. One of the rings tightens itself around Peace, but Sunny and March kick rings back at the Super Akanbe.
The Super Akanbe proceeds to beat everyone up, including Majorina. On the ground, Happy asks why Majorina wants to destroy the festival. Majorina replies that the festival is no fun. This gets the Cures mad. Happy, Peace, and March say they won’t let Majorina destroy the festival, Sunny says it’s Candy’s first festival, and Beauty says it’s an important summer tradition for everyone to enjoy. Then, they all use Rainbow Burst. Well, that was a short and anticlimactic fight. I was looking forward to Majorina making her second-half debut, too…
Anyway, the Elephant and Pudding Décors from last episode of the dub are won! An angry Majorina teleports away, and the girls prepare to see the fireworks. We then get a long montage of the entirety of Nanairogaoka watching the fireworks. Candy is incredibly pleased. I’m happy for her because when I was Candy’s age, I was terrified of fireworks because of how loud they were. It’s only now that I’m older that I appreciate them. Anyway, Miyuki says that it’s ultra-happy that they got to see the fireworks, and the episode ends.
It should be noticed, however, that like “Yay! Yay! Yay!”, the footage of “Full Bloom*Smile!” changes every episode. Last episode had Happy and Peace eating strawberries and Happy dancing in front; this one has Sunny and March doing sports and Sunny dancing in front.
Here’s the version from last episode:
And here’s the one from this episode. It sucks that text from the credits blocks the footage.
Overall: The summer festival hijinks were a blast to watch, but the fight scene and the ending were rather lackluster. I already went into the fight scene, but the firework montage just wasn’t that impressive or heartwarming, and Miyuki’s narration at the end felt tacked on. The part before the fight scene is still great, though. To be honest, Saban could have dubbed this episode. Sure, American towns don’t celebrate Japanese festivals, but it could have been explained as Chloe using her prowess as the student council vice president to create a replica of a Japanese festival to unite the students and their parents while educating them about her family’s culture.
Next episode: The girls visit Miyuki’s grandmother’s house!