REVIEW: ‘Tropical-Rouge PreCure,’ Episode 4 – “Cure Papaya Pops Out! This is My Tale!”

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tropical-Rogue PreCure Episode 4 - But Why Tho?In the last episode, viewers got to know Suzumura Sango, Manatsu’s new friend at Aozora City middle school. Sweet but lacking in confidence, Sango rose to the occasion as Cure Coral, overcoming her hesitations as a new legendary warrior. Now, in Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4, viewers will meet the next Pretty Cure: Cure Papaya.

Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4, “Cure Papaya Pops Out! This Is My Tale!” starts with a brown-haired girl reading, aptly, The Little Mermaid. I say aptly because it’s immediately clear that we’re about to meet our next Pretty Cure, which isn’t a spoiler if you’ve watched the OP once or twice. Plus, it’s in the episode title!

Post-OP, we’re back with Sango and Manatsu. Both are still debating which school club to join. Naturally, Manatsu still wants to do them all, but that’s to be expected. After all, all the school clubs are so tropic-cool that Manatsu can’t help but want to live her best tropical life! Thankfully, best mermaid Laura has a suggestion: Manatsu should create a club.

The Pretty Cure Club.

Of course, that’s not possible since being legendary warriors of the Grand Ocean must be a secret. They can’t just make a club that basically exposes their magical girl abilities…or can they? 

This kicks off the central dilemma of Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4. Laura’s still on the hunt for more cures and has charged Manatsu and Sango with finding the next Cure. This leads the girls to the school library, where they hunt for anything “Pretty” and “Cure. Quickly, they realize that it’s not going to be an easy task. Good thing they bump into Ichinose Minori, a second-year honors student who’s quite reserved.

Just like Sango, Minori is quite different from Manatsu. She’s also the studious member of the Pretty Cures. Unlike both Sango and Manatsu, she’s quite emotionally reserved. In fact, Minori hides her passion for fairy tales and femininity behind a calm, cool demeanor. Yet that passion comes to a head when Manatsu finds a story Minori’s written and gushes about it.

You see, Minori is so sure that mermaids are just a myth, even though the viewer knows about Laura and the entire Grand Ocean. From her perspective, Manatsu’s eagerness to talk about her novella seems like she’s teasing her about mermaids. It also hits on a rather painful memory for Minori. However, it’s easy to understand why Minori’s feelings were hurt. After all, no one likes to be teased about their passions, and no one likes painful memories.

Thankfully, this isn’t curtains for Manatsu, Sango, and Minori. In fact, in the back half of Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4, the girls meet again at a museum filled to the gills with mermaids. Just like in episode 3, Minori spots Laura…a real mermaid. The entire sequence is hilarious, a strong reminder of why Tropical-Rouge PreCure is just so darn enjoyable. 

Jokes and gags aside, this leads to Minori giving a bit of backstory into her favorite story. Of course, Laura overhears her and reveals her true mer-ness to Minori, who’s immediately charmed. Wisely, Manatsu takes a chance to invite Minori to become a Pretty Cure, in part because of her love of mermaids and their blooming friendship. But Minori doesn’t have a lot of confidence.

Make-up returns to help instill a bit of strength, which, honestly, I really like. I mentioned in the premiere that there’s definitely an important conversation to be had about make-up. However, I do think that for many AFAB viewers, make-up can be quite powerful. 

For some, it can be a shield. To others, it’s battle armor. For most, it’s just accented or playing around with how they want to present. Overall, I don’t think it’s bad that the girls of Tropical-Rouge PreCure derive strength from femininity. In fact, I think it’s great and offers a body-positive message to young viewers.

That same femininity allows Minori to take the stage as the titular Cure Papaya, with a full transformation sequence that looks super cute. Whereas Manatsu and Sango’s transformation sequences are truncated, Cure Papaya gets an entire sequence filled with sunny yellows and lots of papayas. As I said, it’s super cute, and honestly, it might be my favorite transformation sequence thus far. 

The action that follows after Cure Papaya arrives on the scene is downright some of the best. It’s so smooth and so fluid. Toei really is throwing money at this new iteration of the franchise, and boy howdy, does it show. I was in awe right up until the credits rolled. If all future episodes of Tropical-Rouge PreCure are like this, then I’ll be a very, very happy fan.

Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4 was enjoyable. I like the gags, I like the humor, and I like the earnestness of the series. Minori’s introduction was good and subverted a lot of tropes. Honestly, most anime would make Minori into a bit of a wallflower who hates herself. However, I think Minori has a great deal of self-esteem. She’s quiet but not self-deprecating. She’s shy and reserved but doesn’t constantly trash herself. I think that’s really critical for younger viewers, which is why I ultimately gave Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4 the rating I did.

In the end, Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4 is yet another stellar entry into this new PreCure series. I really loved Minori and get the feeling that she’s going to be my favorite character. Her character was well developed, as are the other girls showcased thus far. Additionally, Minori’s transformation was just as fun as Manatsu and Sango’s, with many playful elements. I can’t wait to see more of Cure Papaya in action! Hopefully, she’ll get to retake the spotlight soon.

Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

In the end, Tropical-Rouge PreCure Episode 4 is yet another stellar entry into this new PreCure series. I really loved Minori and get the feeling that she’s going to be my favorite character. Her character was well developed, as are the other girls showcased thus far. Additionally, Minori’s transformation was just as fun as Manatsu and Sango’s, with many playful elements. I can’t wait to see more of Cure Papaya in action! Hopefully, she’ll get to retake the spotlight soon.