CONTENT WARNING: MARTIAL ARTS VIOLENCE AND SOME LANGUAGE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
"Any progress yet?"
Fatale said, "No, Monsieur Thirteen. I was beaten back by existing Cures whose beef is not normally with us. They were helping that cursed pair fight me off!"
Thirteen said, "I see. Stay on alert in case those Cures return to cause any more trouble."
Fatale said, "Yes, my liege."
As she departed, Thirteen bellowed, "SUMMON TEST SUBJECT NUMBER 45!"
Number 45, named Rhythm, appeared before Thirteen. The brunette wore a bun in her hair and a black leotard. "Вы называете?" (You called?)
Thirteen said, "You are the first human test subject who I am sending to crush Pretty Cure, selected especially for this task. What are you going to do with them?"
Rhythm said, "Я собираюсь удар задницу." (I'm going to kick some butt.)
Thirteen said, "Good call. You may go."
Rhythm said, "Сэр, да, сэр!" (Sir, yessir!)
OP: "Danzen! Futari wa Pretty Cure Dragon"
"Ginnastica ritmica - Rhythmic Gymnastics"
Meanwhile, at Ichiban, one of the students, named Ilaria Giannini, was minding her own business and wasn't looking where she was going.
Then she managed to bump straight into Eileen Fields.
"Oh, I'm sorry! Was I in your way?"
Ilaria said, "Not that I know of."
"Take my advice: if you want to avoid getting rammed into, try not to blend in so much like the other background characters."
"Many of us have lives too, you know, outside of classes!"
"It ain't very obvious to the viewers, see, if you don't appear in more than one scene. Where did you learn to be a character, the Background Blending School for Gooks?"
"That's not very nice!"
Before she knew it, Eileen felt a foot strike her head from behind. The foot belonged to Rica Watson. "Not only is that word an insult to Asia, you just tagged a European with that epiphet! You ass!"
Eileen said, "Come on, I can't be expected to know everything, now, can I?"
She then left. Rica said, "I've said it before, and I'll say it once more: she's quite the screwy little quim."
Then a black blur zoomed right by her. She jumped out of the way just in time to avoid being mowed down. "Who the hell was that?"
"Pardon me, but is this Ichiban High School?"
If you can read that, you'll probably be very pissed off with Rhythm for fooling you into thinking she was a monolingual Russian-speaker.
"Please, girls, don't be so hasty. Our match is only in one week."
One of the girls snarled, "Don't you read the news? There was a bulletin telling us to watch out for a black storm hurtling toward Millennium City from Russia and that she was a dirty fighter!"
Rhythm seemed confused. "Black? Must be my clothes."
Another girl snarled, "And I suspect you put it there yourself as a childish prank typical of Eileen Fields!"
The third girl snarled, "You're going down, suka!"
Rhythm said, "(Finally you speak my language! Please don't rush.)"
The girls charged at Rhythm, yelling, "Prepare to die!"
Rhythm said, "(That you may understand what I'm trying to tell you, I shall speak sign language.)"
Rhythm took her ribbon and whipped the girls with it several times before Ryan and Susan dropkicked her from opposite sides simultaneously without her ever noticing.
Susan asked, "Don't you think that's enough, since you've already won the fight?"
Rhythm said, "You seem to be a pair of extraordinary girls, to sneak up on me like that. Well, good for you, because I won't treat you girls with ordinary courtesy!"
She then attacked Susan, but Ryan proceeded to sweep her leg for the effort. She dodged gracefully. Ryan then talked with his hands.
"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?"
"I make the impossible possible," Rhythm said. "Kendra Cocolova. Remember that, my pretties, if you want to live long."
Then she departed through the just-repaired school window as Ryan and Susan approached the girls she had been beating up. Susan asked, "Are you all right?"
Ryan noticed a familiar mark on their tracksuits. He muttered, "The rhythmic gymnastics club…"
"A travesty! Every member of the team injured by the black blur! Ambushed! Whipped! Thoroughly creamed! Now we're going to have to withdraw…"
As Ryan, clad in a pink leotard, was exercising to a videotape, the rhythmic gymnasts aired their grievance to Susan. "Oh, stop sniveling. So you want me to take your place?"
The leader yelled, "Please, Susan, there's nothing else we can do! See, we're next due for a martial rhythmic gymnastics match!"
Ryan picked up a signboard and showed its lettering to the rhythmic gymnasts.
"EXACTLY WHAT IS MARTIAL RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS?"
"Exactly what is it? It's a martial arts style with the graceful techniques of rhythmic gymnastics!"
Susan said, "I don't know what you're getting at, but if it's to preserve your honour, sure, I'll avenge you three."
The leader said, "Thanks!"
Susan said, "I'll be training at my mother's dance studio if you're interested in watching."
At the dance studio, Susan got together several apparati and walked to the center of the studio. She said, "Watch closely, you two, because this is going to bring about sweet payback courtesy of Ichiban High!"
As Susan started practicing, Rica muttered, "Some sweet payback. I can handle the Goddam thing."
Rica was referring to the hoop Susan was practicing with. Rica yelled, "NO NO NO NO NO! What in Pete Sampras is going on? This isn't about conveying a balletic grace; it's about being combative!"
Susan stopped what she was doing. "You were listening?"
"Listening? Hell, it was part of my training! Never entered any competition, though; to me, martial rhythmic gymnastics was just something I could incorporate into my fighting style and still look badass in the process! Allow me to demonstrate the ribbon."
Picking up the ribbon, Rica whipped it in Ryan's direction. He jumped up in shock, emitting two straight variations of the Wilhelm scream. Rica simply said, "Pay more attention next time, limey!"
Ryan said, "Simply speaking, that was damn cool!"
Later, Rica, who hadn't changed clothes once since accompanying Ryan and Susan to the Chan residence ("Leotards just aren't my style!"), seemed confident in Susan's ability.
"Enough drilling for today, Miss Chan. I see you're doing quite well with the ribbon. We'll work on the hoop and the other apparati later. In short, you're making progress like it's nobody's business."
Susan said, "Thanks, Rica."
Rica said, "Now let's get back to our dormitories and get some shut-eye. Your big day's in one week to avenge the black blur's slight against the rhythmic gymnastics squad."
As Ryan, Susan, and Rica were walking back to Ichiban High, the same girl that had earlier accosted the rhythmic gymnastics squad stalked them.
"(So the rhythmic gymnastics squad selected Susan Chan to substitute for them, huh? Looks like they've given me a very good excuse to go after Pretty Cure.)"
Once Ryan, Susan, and Rica were in their dormitory, they turned in for the night. Rhythm wasn't about to let that happen, though.
Susan opened her eyes to see Rhythm right above her. "What the hell are you doing up there?"
Rhythm said, "Me? Oh, I just snuck into your dormitory while you were turning in for the night, so I could issue my challenge to you… Pretty Cure."
Susan jumped out of bed. "Damn you, you intruder!"
Rhythm said, "I wouldn't call it intruding. I came here for a reason: so we can fight in all fairness!"
With that, Rhythm sent a wooden bokken down on Susan, who was forced to pirouette in order to dodge. "You call that fair?"
She picked up the bokken and threw it in Rhythm's direction. Rhythm said, "Nice throw for a girl."
Susan snarled, "Sexist even to your own kind, aren't you?"
Rhythm said, "As good at the martial arts as I hear. See you next Tuesday!"
As Rhythm left, Susan closed the door and muttered, "Of all the insolent… how dare she wake me up! I will train harder, mark my words--so I can put her star-sized ego to rest! Then we'll see who's laughing!"
As Susan was walking with Juanita and Kelly to homeroom the next morning, the late-night intrusion by Rhythm was on Susan's mind.
She was trying to forget about it, though. "I hear, Juanita, that you've been teaching Ryan the art of Japanese dance during our off time. From what I've seen, you're a pretty good teacher."
Juanita said, "Gracias, Susan. Ryan's been such a good student."
Suddenly, Rhythm appeared in front of the group. "You again. Is it Tuesday already?"
"No, but I just wanted to get to know Ryan Lee better."
"Yeah, well, her fists of fury is the only way for you!"
Two feet landed on Rhythm's head. One belonged to Ryan, the other to Rica, to whom the voice also belonged. Clinging to Ryan, she continued, "And don't think you can try to attack one of her girlfriends before she's due to compete against you on my watch!"
Rhythm asked, "Oh? Is she lesbian!"
Rica yelled, "She's bi, and so am I!"
Rhythm said, "I happen to be bi to, so here's the deal, Susan: if I win, Ryan Lee goes steady with me!"
Susan said, "All right, then. But if I win, it's understood Ryan belongs to me!"
Rhythm said, "What about her? It's understood. Прощай! (Farewell!)"
Rhythm left through the sheet glass placed after she had smashed the window a second time following her first visit. Rica said, "Don't worry, Susan. I'll make sure you're fighting fit to give her hell."
Kelly said, "Yeah, don't let Natasha, or whatever her name is, get you down."
Susan said, "If it's for Ryan… I'm gonna win this match for sure."
Come Monday night, Susan had mastered a lot of the skills needed to compete in the next day's martial rhythmic gymnastics match. All she needed now was some more practice.
And who better to practice on than the one she was fighting for? That's right.
Ryan, still wearing his school uniform, was being used as a punching bag for the practice session. As Susan threw every apparatus within her reach in his direction, including the clubs, the ribbon, and the ball, he just stood there. Then the ribbon went his direction…
Susan ran up to him. "Are you all right?"
Ryan said, "Yeah, I'll be OK. Just try not to hit the balls."
Rica said, "Yeah, Susan, try not to scratch his balls practicing for tomorrow's martial rhythmic gymnastics match!"
Susan said, "Oh, please. I don't have to listen to your snarking in the middle of practice. Or do you want to take his place?"
Rica said, "No thanks! We're good."
Susan said, "See, I do need someone to practice on, and I do need to be careful, but the last thing I need is outside interference! Now, Ryan, what shall I use on you next?"
Ryan said, "The hoop, I guess."
Susan said, "You use it for defensive purposes, I'll use the clubs and ribbon for the offensive. Now then, let's go at it!"
The two started attacking and blocking each other with the apparati. Unknown to them, a strange, malevolent force was watching from the shadows using telepathy to try to screw things up in another attempt to cheat her way to victory.
The ball suddenly started rolling in Susan's path by itself. Susan never saw it coming.
"Great, our only hope to avenge the rhythmic gymnastics squad just had to trip herself. What's up with that?"
Rica said, "I saw the whole thing, Kelly; the ball seemed to move by itself! I can't explain that unless telepathy of some sort was involved!"
"If it was telepathy, maybe Natasha or whatever her name is was trying to deliberately sabotage the match without having to be there!"
"She couldn't have been there anyway; Susan told her mum about how the girl ambushed her twice, including once in her sleep! I'm betting she didn't want to take any chances while her daughter was practicing for the tournament."
"Still, to make the ball roll in her path by itself is quite low, particularly for someone used to personal ambushes."
"I know. I also know her ankle's not in the shape it needs to be for tomorrow because of the incident; if anything, her only option is to withdraw at this point. I'm not about to lose my edge in the fight against Thirteen over a sprained ankle!"
"Impossible! Who else among us is that nimble, in such great shape, and knows the martial arts? Apart from the two of us, that is?"
"Wait… you mean…?"
Rica and Susan slowly turned to Ryan. Rica said, "Thanks, Kelly; you're such a great help. See you later!"
After hanging up, Rica approached Ryan and grabbed his wrist, saying, "I guess we'll be up all night practicing, huh?"
Not having once changed out of her casual clothes since showing up at the Chan residence for the training session, Rica was waiting for Ryan to emerge from the dressing room in the dance studio.
He emerged wearing a pink leotard, a pink skirt, white tights, and pink ballet slippers (the latter two coming from his school uniform). Rica said, "Hmm… nice outfit. Light to counter Rhythm's dark. Of course, I personally think you should wear a waistband to compliment the skirt."
Ryan asked, "Since when were you a fashion critic?"
Rica said, "Not really. That was just my two cents."
Ryan said, "Now let's get things going!"
Rica said, "The most important thing about martial rhythmic gymnastics is that you don't attack your opponent barehanded. It's against the rules, and it just looks tacky."
Ryan said, "Especially since I'm actually a boy."
Rica said, "We only have tonight, but the only way to master all the techniques in one go is to go at it for real. So come at me, limey!"
Ryan ran toward Rica and put his foot in her face. Rica grabbed his leg and threw him behind her. "Idiot! I said don't attack me barehanded! You in it to win it?"
Ryan said, "Well, I'm certainly not one for dirty tricks."
Rica tossed a ribbon over to Ryan. "You son of a bitch… why don't you use the ribbon?"
Ryan said, "Actually, that's not a bad idea. That said… HAVE AT THEE!"
They sparred with the ribbons for a while. It got a bit silly when the words "Cocky!" and "Horse's Ass!" somehow got formed with the ribbons.
The two then picked up a pair of clubs each and went at each other with them. This showed that they were a bit more serious about the training than before. Ryan suddenly removed his ballet shoes and threw his clubs into the air, confusing Rica. He managed to catch them and grabbed a hoop with his toes, swinging it at Rica and startling her in the process.
"Well, well," she remarked. "You're pretty good at this."
His tights were convertible. She continued, "What you just did is pretty resourceful in case you need more than just your two hands tomorrow."
Just then, Susan walked in. Ryan stopped for a moment and said, "Careful, Susan. You might fall and hurt yourself worse."
Susan said, "I see you're pretty good at this. You really haven't been watching me for a week for nothing."
"But you never learned to mind your surroundings!"
With these words, the ball struck Ryan in the back of the head. "Ow! What was that for?"
Rica said, "No need to intrude on our training session. I'm just teaching Ryan everything he needs to know about what he'll be doing tomorrow."
Susan said, "I see. Well, good night!"
And with that, she walked upstairs. Ryan and Rica picked up the ribbons again. Rica said, "I still ain't going easy on you."
Ryan said, "I never asked you to."
And with that, the training session continued throughout the night.
Next episode: "La gara - The Tournament"
- Yuki Tokiwa as Hiroshi Lee/Cure Dragon
- Nana Mizuki as Ran Chan/Cure Fortune
- Mariko Kouda as Kaori Chiba
- Tetsuo Goto as Shiban
- Toshiko Fujita as Chimei
- Ayana Taketatsu as Hyoushi/Kendra Cocolova
- Miyuki Sawashiro as Rica Watanabe
- Rica Fukami as Ai Fukuda
- Chisaki Hama as Tsuruya Kuruwa
- Marina Inoue as Hidari Fujiwara
- Additional voices:
- Rupert Grint as Ryan Lee/Cure Dragon
- Britt McKillip as Susan Chan/Cure Fortune
- Cyndy Preston as Kelly Chiba
- Matthew Wood as Thirteen
- Diane Michelle as Fatale
- Colleen O'Shaugnessey as Rhythm/Kendra Cocolova
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Rica Watson
- Hilary Haag as Eileen Fields
- Wendee Lee as Juanita Cruz
- Jessica Boone as Ilaria Giannini
- Additional voices: