WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Tropical-Rouge! Precure, "Our First Club Activity! Tropica-shining Lunches!" now streaming on Crunchyroll.
When fighting evil, there's nothing more important than friendship, compassion, a mean right hook and a well-balanced meal -- a lesson that Tropical-Rouge! Precure's main cast learns all too well in Episode 8, "Our First Club Activity! Tropica-shining Lunches!" When the girls set out to learn how to make their own lunches, bad timing and a missed meal almost spell their defeat.
Of the main cast of Cures, Manatsu is arguably the least put-together. She doesn't have Sango's understanding, Minori's knowledge or Asuka's levelheadedness -- but what she does have is energy and enthusiasm. Thus, when Manatsu's mother accidentally gives her two large containers of rice for lunch, and Manatsu realizes that she's the only one of the girls who doesn't make her own lunch, she sees it as an opportunity to learn and help out. Declaring it the Tropical Club's first activity, she, Sango and Minori all quickly seek Asuka's instruction in the art of meal-prep -- with Sango previously spending so much time on one item that it's all she has, and Minori having some interesting ideas as to what "health food" is.
While the actual cooking process is filled with lots of fun scenes, such as Laura and Minori's opposite yet equally unsuccessful attempts to crack an egg, and Laura herself being mistaken as a fish about to be fried by their teacher, the real challenge comes after the lunches have been made.
Despite Laura's typical "I-want-it-now" protests, the girls trek outside with the fruits of their labor and find a nice park bench to sit at -- just as Chiron-ge begins his attack. Abandoning their food, they leap into action, knowing that the safety of the citizens is more important than lunch...
... or would be, if they hadn't also been working hard cooking all day. Other than Laura, who probably took samples as the girls were cooking, the rest of the girls most likely hadn't eaten anything prior, leaving them famished. While normally hunger is uncomfortable, but not dangerous, it actually turns out that not getting the proper nourishment affects their magical abilities in Cure form. In many ways, this makes sense, as these powers appear to draw from the girls' own energy, making it difficult for them to continue using them when exhausted by something like hunger.
This is shown visually with Cure Coral's blocking ability being substantially smaller than normal -- even breaking-- and all the girls' physical strength taking a nosedive. It doesn't take Laura long to realize that the girls are fighting poorly due to the skipped meal, and after directing them to return the Yarane-Da's icy attack back on itself, she wastes no time getting them to sit down and eat, even if it's only a mouthful.
It has the intended effect, and the girls regain enough of their strength to continue the battle and win. While the episode is a fun fantastical romp with a bit of a cooking twist, it's also a good lesson on why it's important to eat well and regularly. While it's unlikely many viewers are fighting monsters in their spare time, skipping meals unnecessarily and having an unbalanced diet can lead to a lack of energy to get the things that need doing, done.
And, as the show demonstrates, preparing well-balanced meals doesn't have to be time-consuming or hard, so long as one thinks in advance and isn't afraid to freeze leftovers for later. With all these tricks now in their back pockets, it's unlikely the girls will be caught on an empty stomach again, making them even more formidable opponents against evil.