Tropical-Rouge! Introduces – and Swiftly Proves – Its Own Mythology

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 13 of Tropical-Rouge! Precure, "School Broadcast Flurry! Hit It, Mermaid's Song!" now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Tropical-Rouge! Precure has its own mythology when it comes to mermaids, as revealed in Episode 13. One particular piece of folklore often attributed to mermaids is that their songs can lure sailors to their doom -- a claim Laura is quick to shoot down as fiction, explaining that ships sink due to rocks, storms and other natural phenomena.

But while Laura may be correct in saying there's no malicious intent on the mermaid's behalf, her actions in Episode 13 and its titular song prove there might be more to the story than even she realizes.

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Tropical-Rouge! Precure Episode 13 wastes no time introducing the main conflict through the school's public address system, where the broadcaster uses the rumors of a mermaid being spotted around the school to branch off into explaining mermaid folklore. The topic catches the Tropical Club's ears as the girls quickly question Laura about the broadcaster's claims, with Manatsu even being so bold as to ask, "Have you ever sunk a ship before?" Minori further elaborates that, "A mermaid's sweet voice would steal the heart of sailors..." only for Laura to call the claims ridiculous. However, she does note that all mermaids love to sing, herself included.

Laura is eager to prove the innocence of her species in the matter -- and also isn't one to turn down a chance to practice her queenly duties of attention-seeking and garnering popularity. When Manatsu volunteers the Tropical Club to assist the broadcast committee with their daily lunch-hour program, Laura quickly volunteers not only to act as a host but to sing for the school as well. Sango and Asuka quickly shoot her down, however, as she'd have to reveal herself to the other students to do so.

As it turns out, Laura does indeed get her chance in the spotlight. When the broadcast committee's main host succumbs to a jumbo-parfait-30-minute-challenge-induced stomachache, an unprepared Tropical Club is forced to fill in on the fly. Their broadcast is attention-grabbing -- mainly for how much of a mess it is, and Laura can't hold back any longer. She dons a homemade floor-length skirt, making great use of the strength she demonstrated in Episode 12 to hide her fishy nature by standing upright on her tail. Laura quickly takes over as the main host, and when a Yarane-da appears she finishes the broadcast so the others can go fight.

True to her word, Laura finishes with a song. While the lyrics are innocuous (literally being about friendship), it's clear that her voice has quite a captivating effect on the whole building as teachers and students alike stop to listen. While it's short of the hypnotic effect of legends, the resulting surge of requests for her to return and sing again sheds new light on the mermaid myths from the episode's beginning.

What if, rather than a mermaid's hypnotic voice luring sailors into dangerous waters, the shipwrecks of these myths were instead accidents brought about by impulsive decisions? A mermaid swims up to the surface to sunbathe and sings as an expression of her joy -- nearby sailors hear the song and try to maneuver closer, not realizing rocks are below the surface. A huge crash occurs as the ship is dashed against the stones, startling the mermaid who then flees to avoid being spotted by humans. And so the survivors tell of what happened, painting the mermaid as the villain with her beautiful voice -- when in truth their own bad decisions caused the disaster.

But regardless of how it happened, it's clear that Tropical-Rouge! Precure's myths are correct on one matter at least: a mermaid's song will capture the heart of all who hear it, whether they mean for it to or not.

Eida Boruto
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