CONTENT WARNING: MARTIAL ARTS VIOLENCE AND SOME LANGUAGE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Yes, a blizzard had hit Millennium City--as far as the city was concerned, it was the storm of storms, such as had never hit the city in ages.
The chill was felt everywhere. Even the boarding schools, which always kept right on functioning throughout the terrible winter weather, were not immune, as Susan Chan found out the hard way.
"I have some serious news," the gymnastics squad captain said. "Kin'iro called; they said their team couldn't make it to Ichiban for the winter gymnastics exhibition, and neither could the other gymnastics squads across the region. I told Principal Mazda about this, like a dutiful team captain. The exhibition has officially been postponed due to inclement weather."
You may be forgiven for forgetting that Susan was on the gymnastics squad, seeing that little, if any, mention has been made of it throughout the story.
Susan, wearing a wrist-length black leotard, a pink knee-length pleated skirt, white tights, and blue beam shoes, suddenly got up. The captain asked, "Where the hell do you think you're going?"
As she left the gymnasium, Susan said, "Principal Mazda should be expecting me right now; she usually is when something's the matter. I'll see if she needs anything from me."
The captain said, "Come back if she isn't expecting you!"
OP: "Danzen! Futari wa Pretty Cure Dragon ~hybrid version~"
"Il ritorni delle veterane - The Return of the Veterans"
As a matter of fact, Principal Mazda was expecting her. "You're late."
Susan said, "Sorry about that, I had to go to a gymnastics meet for an important announcement."
Principal Mazda smiled and said, "I know. While waiting for you, Mr. Lee was telling me about how he tried out a semi-fancy uniform your mother designed for a new ballet school during our last weekend break."
Susan said, "Indeed, the satin and chiffon mixed together, along with the puffed sleeves and chest bow, really will make the new school's girls look vaguely regal when the school opens. I can't wait to see how regal the ballerinas will look in the outfit when they dance."
Ryan said, "I bet they'll look regal indeed."
"By the way, Mum did ask the two of us to accompany her to the official opening of the school tomorrow, when her dance class performs The Nutcracker on its 120th anniversary. She also asked us to wear fancy ballerina dresses to the event."
Rica said, "I already got myself and Kelly tickets to the performance in question. Look for a blue-haired teenage girl in a tuxedo. That'll be me. I can't guarantee I'll be sitting next to you, limey, but if you get there before me, I'll be looking for you."
Principal Mazda said, "Anyway, let's get down to business. There's been a blizzard in Millennium City. This is one place that usually doesn't get such a heavy snowstorm. Usually. Unfortunately, heavy winds blew in, and up to six feet of snow along with it."
Kelly asked, "What are you going to do about it?"
Principal Mazda said, "I have a heavy suspicion that our old enemy Nobunaga Oda is up to his old tricks again. Mina reported that she and Jubei have the day off, and Goemon called in to say something similar. I'm going to venture to where Mina lives and ask for her assistance. You four, meanwhile, do some detective work and see if my hunch is right. If it is, Oda will see the coldest day in hell."
"I thought the impossible was said to happen on a cold day in hell?"
Principal Mazda said, "You ever read Dante's Inferno? It says that Level 9 is the coldest place in hell, and very cold indeed. What I'm saying is, when we're through with Oda at long last, what he'll experience will make today's blizzard feel like room temperature!"
Ryan said, "You said it, Principal Mazda."
"You may go."
Ryan and Susan curtsied, and Rica and Kelly bowed, before leaving.
As they exited the office, they were intercepted by Mina, who was holding a letter of challenge fresh out of the envelope. On the outside was a single word: CHALLENGE.
"I hope you understand what's going on," Mina said. "It seems we got a letter of challenge from Nobunaga Oda."
Rica took the letter of challenge and quickly read through it. "Son of a bitch! I knew it!"
Mina said, "Of course, we don't have solid proof that the letter of challenge and the blizzard are connected. I believe Emmy has left finding the evidence to you four. In the meantime, I'd heed that letter of challenge if I were you."
As Mina entered the office with the letter of challenge, Rica looked at Ryan and said, "I believe I know someone who's going out disguised as a gymnast."
"Why are you dressed as one of us when you're not one of us?"
Ryan was dressed in the same clothes as Susan and the rest of the gymnastics squad, only with pink beam shoes instead of blue or white beam shoes.
"Never mind that," Susan said. "Ryan and I have vowed to crack this case even if it takes all winter. Rest assured, you'll find out who or what was responsible for the blizzard that pushed back the exhibition."
The team captain said, "…OK. Well, we hope you make it back safely!"
Ryan and Susan left the gymnasium.
Kelly and Rica were waiting outside with Newton, Bailey, and Eileen. Susan said, "All right, let's do this. I don't want to keep our rivals waiting."
Rica said, "Good choice."
Eileen said, "I suppose you wonder why I'm here?"
She proceeded to put her hands on Ryan's waist, holding them there for a few seconds. Then she did the same with Susan, who asked, "What was that for?"
Eileen said, "Insulation. Being of the same realm as Newton and Bailey, I know the same sort of magic that they do. Believe me, you two, your leotards are going to need to insulate you in the environment we are about to venture into."
Susan asked, "What kind of environment?"
Eileen said, "A hostile winter environment. Also known as a blizzard."
Kelly said, "I'm just thankful that it hasn't reached Roland Emmerich levels."
Eileen said, "Believe me, if it did, we'd be in the day after tomorrow. Now come on!"
Outside the school, Ryan and Susan were still feeling warm despite wearing only the Ichiban gymnastics squad uniform. However, such a luxury wasn't afforded to Rica or Kelly, who in addition to their casual clothes opted to wear scarves and thick longcoats. Eileen wore a pink longcoat over her own school uniform.
Fighting their way through the cold blizzard and biting winds was surprisingly the easy part. It was moving through the thick layers of snow on the ground that proved to be difficult.
Ryan tried stepping directly onto the snow, but he fell. Eileen just laughed and said, "I can't believe you forgot that snow is just frozen water!"
Ryan said, "Actually, I meant to do that. It's too dreary out here, given the ongoing snowstorm, so it's quite obvious that someone's got to keep our spirits up."
"Be that as it may," Eileen said, "we've got to be careful. Like I said, it's no use trying to stand on the snow, since snow's simply frozen water, and just like regular water anyone who tries to apply pressure to it can and will sink in it."
Ryan said, "I know that."
Eileen said, "So beware of snow--especially six feet of it! We don't want to lose precious time to a delay caused by being buried in the stuff, now, do we?"
Meanwhile, in Principal Mazda's office, Mina handed her the letter of challenge, saying, "Emmy, I know you're a busy principal, but…"
"Never you mind," Principal Mazda said. "I was just about ready to stop by your place anyway."
"Well, I just thought I'd bring to your attention this letter of challenge to a pair of gymnasts… and to Pretty Cure."
Principal Mazda took the letter of challenge and read through it. She simply said, "Unbelievable…"
Mina said, "I know."
Principal Mazda asked, "Does our old friend Helen know about this?"
"She will, Emmy," Mina said. "She will."
Back outside, Eileen continued to lead Ryan, Susan, Rica, Kelly, Newton, and Bailey through the blizzard.
Newton asked, "How much longer are we going to have to navigate through six feet of snow?"
Bailey yelled, "I'm freezing my toes off!"
Eileen snapped, "Please remain calm! I know what I'm doing! Whoever--or whatever--caused this blizzard is close by right now, so don't panic!"
Unknown to them, the guilty party was watching them from the shadows at that very instant.
"Pretty Cure… you will pay for destroying my teammate!"
His eyes glowed red as he spoke.
Eileen suddenly pointed behind her. "I should've known you'd be behind this, Nobunaga Oda."
Rica asked, "How do you know it's him?"
"I've tailed him several times before," Eileen replied. "Once, I even bugged him to foil an attempted burglary of Goemon's store."
"Yes, I remember that one, Eileen. What other gadgets are you hiding, besides a demi-pointe phone?"
Eileen said, "I've got a walkie-talkie on me, so I can communicate with others of my kind. Usually, I don't need it. Usually, after gathering some evidence, I report directly to Cure Fortune Sr."
Susan said, "That's Principal Mazda to you, you cheeky rascal!"
Eileen said, "In case you forgot--and I imagine you haven't--Principal Mazda was the original Cure Fortune. My father masqueraded as one of Mina's classmates, and he told me about the original Pretty Cure's adventures together."
Susan said, "No, I haven't forgotten."
Eileen said, "Whatever. In any case, I hope Nobunaga Oda hasn't taken any steroids…"
Rica asked, "Don't you mean Armstrong pills?"
Then Oda emerged from the shadows. Ryan calmly said, "Um, I hate to break up a petty argument before it breaks up, but… just look over there."
Rica saw the figure in front of her and said, "You've got to be fucking kidding me…"
Oda said, "Do my eyes look like I am kidding around? Time to say goodbye!"
"Not today!" Ryan yelled. He and Susan ran toward Oda, who manifested a torrent of obstacles for them to deal with.
As she did a backflip to dodge a huge chunk of hail thrown at her, Susan asked, "Is it me, or do I suddenly feel like my gymnastics knowledge is being put to the test?"
Ryan, who was forced to pirouette to dodge a smaller chunk of hail thrown at his foot like a fastball, yelled, "Speak for yourself; I was about to ask myself the same question!"
The turns, flips, cartwheels, and jumps (and the like) continued relentlessly until a surprise attack came in that stopped Oda cold. He recognised the attack at once. He also knew two things about the attack.
One, only four humans could use that attack. Two, in order for the attack to even be attempted, two of them had to be present. "Impossible…"
There they were, two figures who appeared to be young women. One wore a pink short-sleeved Chinese jacket with a gold dragon on the front, pink arm warmers, red shorts, pink tights, and red boots. The other wore a blue knee-length kimono with a silver 7 on the front, blue arm warmers, white tights, and blue boots. Neither one appeared to look any different than they did nearly four decades beforehand.
"The golden warrior, I am Cure Dragon the First!"
"The silver warrior, I am Cure Fortune the First!"
"Together we're Pretty Cure!"
"Evil warriors of ill fortune…"
"We shall send you packing!"
There was a third figure, wearing a green frilly mid-thigh kimono, green arm warmers, green bike shorts, black tights, and green boots. "Protecting my friends, I am Cure Fang the First! Let those who worship evil's might beware my power! The bodyguard's light!"
Kelly looked toward the source of the attack and saw the three first-generation Cures standing there. "Hi, Helen. Principal Mazda told me a little about you, that after you thwarted Thirteen's schemes for the time being, you opened a ryukyu karate dojo."
Helen said, "And you would be right about that."
Rica said, "And here comes the cavalry!"
Principal Mazda said, "Do realize that Mina and I wouldn't have come out of retirement when we did, except Nobunaga Oda's letter of challenge to us has forced our hand. We honestly didn't want him to destroy the city at all, let alone with this blizzard."
Mina said, "Yep, we were basically threatened into transforming."
Ryan said, "In your situation, Mina, I would've done exactly the same thing!"
Susan said, "As would I!"
Kelly said, "And I!"
Oda yelled, "IT MATTERS NOT IN THE LONG RUN, FOR I'LL FREEZE ALL OF YOU TO DEATH WITH THIS WINTRY WEATHER!"
Readying his transformation device, Ryan yelled, "That's it! I'm steamed!"
Susan and Kelly did the same. "Dual fighting spirit!"
"Bodyguard, come forth!"
"The golden warrior, I am Cure Dragon!"
"The silver warrior, I am Cure Fortune!"
"Together we're Pretty Cure!"
"Evil warriors of ill fortune…"
"We shall send you packing!"
"Protecting my friends, I am Cure Fang! Let those who worship evil's might beware my power! The bodyguard's light!"
Oda laughed and said, "NOW we see the whole Pretty Cure family together! Now have at thee!"
For the charge, Cure Dragon was paired with Mina; Cure Fortune was paired with Principal Mazda; Cure Fang was paired with Helen; and Rica was paired with Eileen. The four pairs started attacking Oda from all sides, but Oda was able to detect them at the same time and proved to be a surprising challenge.
Cure Dragon yelled, "Unbelievable!"
Mina, who had just dodged a punch to the face, said, "Unbelievable is right!"
"I never expected him to be this tough!"
Cure Fortune yelled, "It's just… too much!"
Principal Mazda yelled, "Susan Chan, don't even think about saying the Q word!"
"I wasn't going to!"
"When I was your age, Oda threatened the city in a similar manner, and he proved to be more than a match for myself and Mina, and there were only two of us against this monstrosity, but did we ever give up!? No! You joined the martial arts club because you didn't want to be seen as a weakling just for being feminine, right?"
"Then let's give him hell!"
Cure Fang decided to give her teammates a helping hand. "I know a man who once did a film in the role of Sonny Chiba and knew a passage that I'm going to recite! Ezekiel 25:17.
"The path of the righteous man and defender is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper, and the father of lost children.
"And I will execute great vengeance upon thee with furious anger, you who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers and sisters; and you will know that I am Chiba the Bodyguard when I lay my vengeance upon thee!
"PRETTY CURE! LIGHT OF JUSTICE!"
That was enough to lower Oda's guard. Cure Fang yelled, "ALL RIGHT, YOU TWO, SEND HIM PACKING AND STOP THE BLIZZARD!"
"SILVER THUNDER! We who are different as day and night…"
"Do join together and combine our might!"
"PRETTY CURE METAL PUNCH!"
Oda was thrown all the way to Detroit by the attack. At once, the weather became clearer, and the thick layers of snow started to melt. Even the sun showed itself once again.
Pleased to see the weather become fair again, Rica removed her longcoat, saying, "Well, I won't be needing this again for the time being."
Principal Mazda saw some cars approaching Ichiban and asked, "Don't you have a gymnastics exhibition to take part in, Miss Chan?"
Everyone was at the gymnasium to watch the exhibition. At present, Susan was performing a floor routine to "Petit galop des enfants" from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Her friends gave her a round of appluase at the end of the routine.
After the exhibition was finished that night, Ryan ran up to Susan and used his hands to convey his thoughts about her part in the exhibition.
"THAT WAS VERY INCREDIBLE AND MARVELOUS, INDEED!"
"Thanks," Susan said. "I was hoping you'd join the team while you were here, so I asked the captain-elect, who was selected last week by the first years, to bring you on board starting next year."
Ryan smiled sheepishly and proceeded to talk with his hands.
"I KNEW MY OWN SKILLS WERE IMPRESSIVE! I KNEW IT ALL ALONG!"
ED: "Anataboshi (When I Come to Your Star with My Love)"
Next episode: "Lo schiaccianoci - The Nutcracker"
- Yuki Tokiwa as Hiroshi Lee/Cure Dragon
- Nana Mizuki as Ran Chan/Cure Fortune
- Mariko Kouda as Kaori Chiba/Cure Fang
- Daisuke Kishio as Shinhan
- Hisako Kanemoto as Seikou
- Tomoyuki Dan as Nobunaga Oda
- Mami Koyama as Minako Takada/Cure Dragon I
- Chika Sakamoto as Principal Emi Matsuda/Cure Fortune I
- Saeko Shimazu as Hiroko Masuo/Cure Fang I
- Miyuki Sawashiro as Rica Watanabe
- Rica Fukami as Ai Fukuda
- Shizuka Ito as the gymnastics captain
- Rupert Grint as Ryan Lee/Cure Dragon
- Britt McKillip as Susan Chan/Cure Fortune
- Cyndy Preston as Kelly Chiba/Cure Fang
- Mark X. Laskowski as Newton
- Maggie Flecknoe as Bailey
- Tim Roth as Nobunaga Oda
- Edie Mirman as Mina Takada/Cure Dragon I
- Gemma Jones as Principal Emmy Mazda/Cure Fortune I
- Joan-Carol O'Connell as Helen Masuo/Cure Fang I
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Rica Watson
- Hilary Haag as Eileen Fields
- Jessica Boone as the gymnastics captain