November 30, 2009
This episode begins with the princes finding out that Ichigo has never made pudding before, and Kashino shudders at the possibility of having to team up with Miya. Well, there’s nothing to be done other than Ichigo taking a crash course in pudding making from Vanilla, and the other sweets spirits, Ichigo vows to do her best over the next two days.
Well, Ichigo’s first batch turns out in typical Ichigo fashion, a complete failure. The sweets spirits and the princes offer Ichigo encouragement and good advice for her next try. While Ichigo is practicing, we see someone taking a hidden cell phone picture and sending it to Miya who mocks Ichigo for being a beginner.
Then we see that Miya only uses the finest ingredients available to make her pudding, and she even has a high school oven installed in her practice area. We also get the names of Miya’s henchboys, Satou and Shiotani; they are there to serve their Lady. Then Shiotani asks Miya why go through so much trouble for Kashino, she tells them it’s none of their business and leaves.
Then we see a flashback of the welcoming ceremony for first year students where Kashino told her that her pudding was terrible and he was surprised they let her in the school. Miya says that was the first time anyone told the rich girl what her cooking really tasted like, everyone else just showered her with false praise. Miya says that’s all in the past because she really trained hard and improved her skill and she wants to show Kashino that she’s changed.
The next morning, the princes go to the kitchen to check on Ichigo and they find her and Vanilla sleeping on the floor. When Ichigo wakes up she tells them she spent the whole night making an incredible amount of pudding, and she even used up all the pots and pans in the entire kitchen. When everyone tastes Ichigo’s pudding they’re all pleased with the outcome, but Ichigo isn’t. Ichigo says that there are still flaws in the pudding even though she baked them exactly the same way. The princes tell Ichigo that each oven in the kitchen has its own quirks and you have to figure each one out. When Carmel says she likes a pudding that Ichigo thinks she made too sweet, Ichigo gets an idea and tells the princes that she has to do something tonight.
Well, the next day, Ichigo and Miya are told they have two hours to make five servings of pudding and the chairman will judge the outcome. As the contest begins it really looks like Miya is cooking like a pro and will easily defeat Ichigo who seems to be making mistakes. Once the puddings are placed in front of the Chairman, he begins with Miya’s pudding, and he can tell that Miya used the best ingredients Next is Ichigo’s turn, when the Chairman tastes Ichigo’s pudding he gets a very surprised look on his face, Ichigo thinks she’s lost, and Kashino thinks that Ichigo’s made her pudding too bitter.
When President Tennouji announces Ichigo as the winner Miya demands to know why. The Chairman shows Miya that her pudding had cavities while Ichigo’s didn’t, and the chairman tells Miya that her oven must have cooked hot. President Tennouji tells Miya that Ichigo came to the high school kitchen last night and practiced all night in the kitchen. Miya then tells him that Ichigo’s Carmel topping must be bitter, and Ichigo tells her she made it that way after seeing how the Chairman like to take his coffee and what snacks he likes, so she made it bitter.
Miya says it’s not fair that Ichigo looked into what he likes, but the Chairman tells her that the single most important thing about cooking is understanding what makes people happy. Later, Kashino tastes Miya’s pudding and tells her she’s improved, and Miya gets pissed and tells Ichigo that she’ll defeat her in the Grand Prix and runs off.
Later, the President comes up to Ichigo and the princes and tells them that she knew they’d be alright because they had sweets spirits with them, and they see that she has her own sweet spirit, Honey. Well, Ichigo is really happy but the princes tell her to not get too cocky, and review her pudding basics before she forgets. Ichigo says she’s OK now and she looks forward to entering the Grand Prix with them and winning. Kashino tells her sorry but at her level they won’t even make it past the first round and the others agree.
As they walk off, Ichigo is saddened because she wonders why they won’t recognize her? Vanilla tells her that she must understand how they feel and they’re being tough on her for her own good. Ichigo yells at Vanilla that she’s supposed to be her partner and understand her, Vanilla gets mad at Ichigo and says she’s not her partner anymore and leaves. In the next episode preview it looks like Ichigo got so pissed that she left the school and returned home and goes to work with her grandfather, and it also seems that Vanilla and the princes soon follow. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, Ichigo won her first one on one battle and seems to have gotten a long term rival in Miya. I have to say that after episode eight I really didn’t like Miya, but after watching episode nine I like her a lot more, she really did work hard to perfect her skills. I think that Miya’s problem is that she’s just a little too pushy for Kashino, and she needs to let her cooking do her talking.
While Ichigo experienced the thrill of victory she also experiences the disappointment of not receiving the princes approval, while Ichigo tries hard she’s not up to their level and they let her know it. I really didn’t like how tough they were on my girl Ichigo, at least they could have gave her a little more props for winner her battle with Miya. The sweet princes should understand that Ichigo does bring something to the group that they lack, she has the ability to sense what people really need, and the princes in many ways are too reliant in their skills to think that they’re missing something.
In many ways Yumeiro is very old fashioned when it comes to boy/girl relationships. In this modern day, I don’t understand why Ichigo and Miya have to base their self-worth on whether or not the boys acknowledge their abilities, I really don’t think that Kashino gives a shit whether or not Ichigo or Miya likes his cooking.
November 29, 2009
This episode begins with Sylvette having a flashback of her brother vowing to work hard to become Head Bee so she can live better and walk again, Sylvette thinks to herself what did he accomplish by losing his heart. Lag walks in on Sylvette crying and they reach out to one another, and Lag spirit amber eye charges, so he fires the shot at Gauche’s gun.
Then we get a flashback/vision of Lag talking with Gauche about his mother, Sylvette’s birth, his lack of previous memories from before Sylvette’s birth, and why he became a Bee. We Also see flashbacks of Gauche’s battles and his deliveries, and his fights seem to take a ever growing toll on him. Then we see Gauche asking the Head Bee for ever more work in order for him to get a job in the capital, and we also see Aria telling Gauche that she’s worried about his heart.
Then the scene changes for a bit to Conner, Niche, and Steak where we see that Conner easing Niche’s worries about Lag. Back inside Sylvette’s house Gauche’s gun is still giving off memories where we see Gauche being followed by some suspicious characters. After giving them the slip we see Gauche buying a new custom revolver and being warned that the new gun will use more heart than his normal gun, and we also see that the seller telling Gauche that his old gun is worth a lot of money if he wants to sell it.
After eating a meal with the merchant, Gauche tells him that he’s heading off to the capital this weekend, and Gauche refuses to sell his old gun. The merchant asks Gauche if he was followed. Yes. The merchant tells Gauche that they are rumors of a anti-government group called “reverse” forming that wishes to reform the current government, and he tells Gauche that the word is that they’re targeting Bee’s that work in the capital.
Then we see Gauche giving his gun to Sylvette and telling her that if his good friend comes calling please give him this gun, Sylvette asks if it’s the crybaby boy her age? Yes, his name is Lag Seeing. As Lag reaches for the “memory” all the memories and illusions vanish.
A tearful Lag tells Sylvette that no matter what happened to Gauche he’ll become a Bee and travel the world and find and return Gauche to her. Sylvette tells Lag that he’s first person she’s met that’s a bigger crybaby then her, and she give Gauche’s gun to Lag. She also tells Lag that she’s sorry for not giving it to him earlier because she was afraid of a flood of memories about her brother.
Once Lag returns to the wagon he’s in better shape and thanks Niche for her help, and that he’s counting on her in the future. Inside the Bee Hive, the Head Bee informs Lag that having passed his exams he is hired as a full-fledged Bee, and that only he and Jiggy come from Yokada. Lag tells them that his dream is to deliver hearts and dreams, and his goal is the same as Gauche’s. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, while this episode answered some questions it also raised many more, like did Gauche lose his heart or did he find out that the government of Amberground is corrupt, or is he dead? Another interesting question is why Gauche felt it necessary to get a more powerful gun that drains even more heart than normal? Also, I would like to know why Aria didn’t go looking for Gauche after he disappeared if she was so close to him.
Regardless of the new questions, I’m glad that Letter Bee seems to be reaching the meat of its story; Lag finding and returning Gauche to his sister. Well, Letter Bee sure is a shonen series because every female except Niche is racked and stacked whether or not they’re thirteen or thirty. The only thing that separates this series from a normal shonen series is that our male protagonist cries more than any male lead I’ve ever seen, and for a while I couldn’t figure out who was supposed to be the girl, Lag or Sylvette?
I also worry about Niche’s long term future, while she claims to be Niche’s dingo her feelings have to go deeper than that, Niche is a girl after all. While Niche may be the “child of Maka” she has to feel more than just loyalty towards Lag, and I wonder if she’ll get jealous or emotionally hurt if Lag becomes romantically attached to Sylvette. Maybe, we’ll see a Conner/Niche relationship develop or maybe Niche will be happy just being a dingo.
November 28, 2009
This episode begins with Ichigo seeing Rumi off for an overnight trip home, and on her way back from the bus stop she runs into Kashino who tries to put a little fear into her because she’ll be spending the night alone. During the night the only thing Ichigo ends up frightened of is a bad dream featuring, guess who, Kashino. The next morning Ichigo runs into some girls from group B who invite her to join them for walnut gathering, Vanilla tells Ichigo to be weary but Ichigo blows her off. Once the girls are deep in the woods they set Ichigo up by leading her to some walnuts then ditching her in the woods.
Well, Ichigo doesn’t really know her way back, so she and Vanilla try to find their way back and Ichigo grows hungry. As Ichigo grows weaker she hears piano music in the distance, and after several encounters with forest creatures the music leads Ichigo back to the school. As Ichigo makes it to safety she passes out from hunger and exhaustion, and while she’s fading in and out of consciousness she dreams that she’s seeing the queen of the sweets spirits.
When Ichigo wakes up she finds she’s in bed and that it’s not the queen of the sweets spirits that has rescued her, but none other than the President of St. Marie and Henri-san’s prize student, Tennouji-san. She tells Ichigo to rest, but Ichigo’s too nervous, and also too excited to rest. When Tennouji sees that Ichigo is still weakened by hunger she tells Ichigo that she was in the process of making a Souffle, and would she like to share some with her? As Ichigo watches Tennouji complete her souffle she marvels at her skills. Did I forget to mention that Tennouji has a complete mini kitchen in her room?
As Ichigo looks around Tennouji’s room she sees that it contains a trophy case loaded with all the prizes that Tennouji has won in cooking competitions. Tennouji tells Ichigo that those are just ornaments, and that she only works hard for the acknowledgement of one person……..Ichigo assumes that it’s Henri. Once the Souffle is done, Ichigo and Tennouji dig in and Ichigo’s special sense of taste kicks in, and she is almost able to discern exactly what the ingredients are. Once Ichigo’s strength has returned she thanks Tennouji for her help and leaves, Tennouji wonders what hidden abilities Ichigo is hiding behind her innocent smile.
Once Ichigo returns to her room she discovers that Rumi has returned from her trip home, and Rumi has a hard time believing that Ichigo spent time with the President. Rumi tells Ichigo about how Tennouji will be competing in St. Marie’s biggest contest, the cake Grand Prix, the winner gets to go study in Paris. Wow, Ichigo says that she wants to do something like that in high school, and Rumi says she can enter as a middle school student, the princes did last year. Rumi goes on to tell Ichigo that the princes entered the competition with a girl named Ojou-san who Kashino hates.
As Ichigo is talking with the princes during cooking practice, Kashino is dogging her ass by calling her a fool for falling for the walnut thing, and Ichigo tells him to partner with Ojou-san. Kashino goes into shock over the mention of the name, and Ichigo asks the other princes what happened. Well, they tell her that Ojou-san is actually Koshino Miya-san, a third year middle school student and daughter of a large Japanese industrial cooking company that had the hots for Kashino and managed to get partnered with them for last year’s Grand Prix. She caused such problems for Kashino and them that despite their best efforts they couldn’t succeed, and now Kashino’s hatred for women has grown even larger. Hanabusa tells Ichigo that if they partnered with her they might be able to succeed, but Kashino says that they need to do an exorcism first.
So, Kashino lead then to the school’s cafe for snacks, they suggest Ichigo try the President’s angel pudding, and Ichigo says since the President’s souffle was so good she’ll try her pudding. Well, the princes are quite shocked to find out that Ichigo got to eat a special creation cooked by the President. Soon, a waiter arrives with pudding for their table, and Ichigo digs right in while the princes wonder why they’ve gotten food even though they haven’t placed their orders yet? Well, Ichigo thinks the pudding tastes great, and Kashino agrees when none other than Koshino Miya-san arrives and asks Kashino what he thinks of her pudding?
Well, Kashino goes into shock, and Miya tells him that she’s worked hard at improving so they can enter the Grand Prix and win the study trip to Paris. Kashino tells her that he’s sorry but they’ll be partnering with Ichigo this year.
Miya insults Ichigo and her skills, Vanilla jumps to her defense, and we see that Miya can somewhat hear Vanilla. The princes offer Miya a sample of their cake and she again insults Ichigo and Henri’s judgement.
Ichigo can’t take it any longer, and Miya to take it back, and she tells Miya that she’ll make a pudding that tastes even better than her’s. Miya says fine, if Ichigo succeeds she’ll take it back, but if Ichigo loses she gets to partner with princes. Ichigo says, fine, and Kashino and the other princes try to stop her bet.
Just as all hell breaks loose, President Tennouji shows up and tells them to stop their foolishness, but Miya demands the contest. Tennouji is about to refuse the contest when the Chairman of the school intervenes saying that he likes determination in his students and he’ll judge, so Tennouji tells them that they’ll make a basic custard pudding and be judged using high school standards and have only three days. Miya tells Ichigo that it’s natural she’ll lose, and Ichigo reaffirms her vow to win. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, I was wondering how long it was going to take for Ichigo to get a true rival, and it looks like she’s finally here. While Ichigo has received a little ongoing mean treatment from the girls in group B it hasn’t too serious, but the appearance of Miya heralds Ichigo’s first real test. What I found really funny about the Ichigo vs Miya challenge is that while they’re fighting for the right to work with the princes this is really a battle over Kashino. So, it seems that in the past Miya had no talent and all she did was fawn over Kashino and screw stuff up, but for some mysterious reason she’s suddenly had a vast jump in talent. While Miya claims that she’s undergone special training with skilled Patissieres I’m not buying it, she’s either having her “boys” doing the baking, or she’s somehow managed to get a sweets spirit of her own, remember she sort of heard Vanilla.
I’m really getting the feeling that Kashino’s tsundere behavior towards Ichigo stems from his bad experiences with Miya and sooner or later Kashino will fall victim to Ichigo’s sweetness. I also found President Tennouji to be an interesting character, loaded with tremendous talent but also having a infatuation with Henri. Tennouji seems to understand like Henri that Ichigo is hiding huge future potential. I just hope that she doesn’t view Ichigo as a rival that would make her seem childish, so what I’m hoping for is that Tennouji becomes sort of role model for Ichigo.
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