PriPara 134

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It’s a beautiful day for a singing competition with your sister.

As the show continues winding down, it’s wrapping up plotlines that have been fermenting since late season one. And with today’s episode, we finally reach the idol battle against her sister that Non wanted. Her chance to prove that she can be better than Lala at everything, with two quirky new friends to help her. She… doesn’t do that. Lala’s protagonist powers are just too strong, and as interesting as it would have been to have Non Sugar take on Tricolore in next week’s episode, Non doesn’t have nearly as much of a personal stake in a battle against Hibiki and Falulu.

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As is the case with a lot of these episodes, training took up a big portion of the runtime, with Non Sugar getting most of the plot here. Which lead to a funny/heartwarming moment when Pepper’s mom mailed herself over to Japan to watch her daughter compete in the Divine Grand Prix. With the wrinkle that, again, Pepper’s mom is An Actual Lion. One who behaves almost exactly like a human mom, but still freaks more than a few people out by being in the audience. Good thing Cat can translate what she’s saying.

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There was also this one scene where two girls come up and offer treats to Non Sugar and Solami Smile without speaking a word. The look in their eyes – and the intuition of the teams – lets them catch on that this was Janice and Jewelie returning to Earth for a brief moment to offer some support to their girls. Of all the battles in the Grand Prix, they have the highest stake in this one, for obvious reasons. The Valentine’s day element of this episode wasn’t super heavy. It was used just sparingly enough to allow the real main plot to run its course. Nothing as over the top as Operation Have Galumageddon Eat All the Chocolate like last year, when that happened in the middle of the CelePara Rebellion. Good times.

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Even though Non lost, it was a graceful loss. Her sister acknowledged her skills as an idol, and the three of them pledged to keep moving forward. Shame that “moving forward” will largely happen off screen. But, the book is finally closed on the Non storyline. A tale of doppelgangers, the return of plot elements that looked like exposition, and the jungles of Africa. While S3’s tone wavered a bit at times, the Non plot was definitely one of its stronger elements, because Non herself had enough character to anchor it after being in the background for so long.

But the time has come to move on. Speaking of the CelePara Rebellion, Solami Smile and Tricolore are set to duel. Two high-level idols go head to head in a battle that’s not even the final battle of this Grand Prix, much less this season.

Oh, and Dressing Pafe is training in the mountains somewhere. They’ve got a week or two to get back before the real competition starts going down.

NEXT WEEK

See above. We’re approaching the finals of the finals.

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