The Miracle of Bubble Freedom
I forgot how good this episode was until I just watched it now. Anyway, after 37 long, arduous, painful weeks, all MiyakoxTakaaki fans around the world get the one episode they’ve been dying to see. Anyone else think this was all a clever ploy of Toei? You know, have it air at the last second in order to “force” people to watch the entire series? Also, since this has been bugging me to get it done, this is done rather off-the-cuff, so expect lots of my thoughts to be inserted here and there.
The episode begins with Takaaki, in monster form, if you didn’t remember, running through the forest. Upon looking at his reflection in the water, he begins to have memories from his encounter with Bubbles. We go back to civilization, where Momoko suggests to her two friends to accompany her to a popular donut cart in the park. (O.O Holy smokes! I now realize why it’s called a donut. [shot]) Kaoru warns her about what happened when she overate sweets yesterday and says she may get fat. Hmm…did this happen after part 1 of episode 29 (the dentist one)? It sure would explain the iffy drawing. At the park, Momoko orders the super macho ginormous (now going to be an actual English word) extra-large donut, much to the disbelief of the others.
As she eats, Miyako mentions that the park reminds her of Taka-chan, who Momoko refers to as the Bubble Prince instead of the Bubble Knight from before. She begins to reflect on the time they were together, and Momoko reminds her that the two will one day meet again and gives Miyako candy to cheer her up. Insert another “You’re going to get fat” line from Kaoru. Later that night, as the rain begins to fall, Miyako once again wonders where Taka-chan is. She then gets a call from Professor Utonium relaying that he had found some info on Takaaki. At Okanoue Hospital, the girls talk to the nurse who took care of Takaaki about the incident half a year ago. This refers to the monster appearance. They find out that Takaaki had been hospitalized for seven years due to a chest disease. They also find out that Takaaki was like an older brother to the kids in the hospital, but since his treatment takes a while, all the others left before he did. According to the nurse, the disease was curable, but th patient needs to focus on recovery.
Back in the forest, Takaaki runs around some more and comes across a ball that was thrown by two kids. He throws it back, and a game of catch ensues, with Takaaki still in hiding. The kids eventually head into the trees to find the mysterious thrower but run away scared after coming across the monster. Takaaki follows them to a gathering, all the while trying to exxplain that he means no harm, but everyone deserts him. All alone again, he rembers that the girl in blue didn’t run away from him. He heads back to Shirogane Park, where everyone runs away…again. At the lab, the girls get the notice that a monster has appeared and fly off. When they arrive, Takaaki demands to know who she is, but when Bubbles refers to him as Taka-chan, he asks why he know his name. She explains that they both have the same power and, against the protests of Blossom and Buttercup, she returns to Miyako form. This helps him remember. Fade to black for commercial break. You don’t see that much in today’s cartoons, especially at such a point.
Second half. Miyako and Takaaki are having a conversation, while Blossom and Buttercup eavesdrop. Blossom changes the name this time to Bubble Shogun and gets closer to hear more. Miyako explains that no matter how hard she tried, she was never able to replicate the Bubble Freedom trick. They both mention that neither has changed a bit, but the other two girls don’t believe it. Takaaki explains that he was hospitalized the day after they first met (convenient timing) and hated every day afterward, since the disease was never cured, no matter what the doctors said. He enjoyed his new form, since it allowed him to be free, just the way he wanted, but since everyone kept running away from him, he was still lonely. He thanks Miyako for the first conversation he had in half a year and begins to leave, but Miyako stops him, reminding him about the yubikiri promise from before. She knows how to return him to normal (she does?) and wants to take him back to the hospital to cure the disease. Takaaki realizes that Miyako doesn’t understand his pain and refuses to return. He loses control and attacks, but Buttercup dives in to save her. She wants to calm him down, but Buttercup suggest she stay out, unable to fight with such feeling inside her. She reminds Blossom about his speed and strength and orders her to cooperate. (Kerg: “The leader is being led! Muahaha…”) The two unleash a flurry of attacks to slow him down…
…but they fail to work. They both get hit hard enough to paralyze them and are unable to move away from the looming monster. Cut dark, gloomy scenery and ominous music. Insert bright colors and peppy tunes. Return to the former. The downed girls try to stop Bubbles from going overboard, but she attacks anyway. A failed Bubble Boing leads to her being slammed into a tree. She attemps a Balloon Catcher instead, It seems to work, but Takaaki breaks free and tries another attack. He hits a tree instead, and Bubbles has to dive into the mud to get out of the way. Takaaki then goes into hyper anger mode and sprouts wings of evil.
Blossom and Buttercup insist on Bubbles running away, but she refuses. Just like the Takaaki who protected her from the bullies, she will not run away without a fight. Takaaki finally understand that he also must not run away from the disease and asks to be returned to normal.
And so, Bubbles utilizes the Bubble Freedom Finish attack (didn’t she say she didn’t know how to do this?) to absorb Takaaki’s black aura and send it floating away. The weather clears and the two are reunited. Yes, Kerg, I know he calls her Miyako-chan while she is Bubbles, but would you expect someone who has been hosptialized for seven years to know about the PPGZ?
Back at the hospital, Momoko suggests spliting her snacks in place of bringing Takaaki flowers. The snack in question is another mondo donut. Kaoru remarks that sweets are the right cure for any Momoko illness. Just before entering the room of Takaaki Ayukai (OMG, his full name is revealed! :p), Miyako stops, because she’s embarassed. Momoko then goes into a spiel of how sharing canding will make their bodies and souls into sweets. Aww… Anyway, the door is opened by the nurse, and Miyako, too paraliyzed to move, gets pushed in, where the two just smile at each other. Happy endings for all!
Like I stated above, this was much better than I remembered it being. Attacks were cool, but the drawing was just too iffy and didn’t match the awesomeness. If only it were like episodes 8 or 21 (36 bugs me for some reason).