Tropical-Rouge! Precure’s Big Bad Is Surprisingly Relatable

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Tropical-Rouge! Precure, "Tropica-shine! Motivation to the Max! Cure Summer!" now streaming on Crunchyroll.

After receiving the baton from Cure Grace in Healin' Good Pretty Cure's final episode, the stage is set for Cure Summer, AKA Manatsu Natsuumi, to take her place fighting against and taking down the ominously named "Witch of Delays." And yet, with just one line, the Witch of Delays turns out to actually be the queen of procrastination, instantly making her one of the franchise's most relatable villains, while also making sense of the villains' actions in the episode.

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Despite being just one episode into Tropical Rouge!, a fair amount about the Witch's plans and methods have already been revealed. When we first encounter the mermaid Laura, the entire Mermaid kingdom has been completely defeated, with merpeople and sea life lying listlessly on the floor. The Queen then asks Laura to take the Tropical Pact to the human world and join together with the legendary warrior, Pretty Cure, to defeat her. While the episode doesn't explain what happened, it does set up the Witch as a notable adversary.

Quick-thinking viewers will start to put the pieces together later in the episode when the first mini-boss villain summons the monster of the week, aptly named "Yarane-da," (a pun on "yaranai," which roughly translates to "I don't want to/won't do this.") The Yarane-da steals the motivation of others, and from this bit of information, we can see how the mermaid kingdom was defeated. Simply put, their will to fight back was taken from them, leaving behind exhausted shells who want to do nothing but sleep.

The villains' appearance triggers Manatsu's transformation into Cure Summer but, when they go to steal her motivation, the Yarane-da actually can't. This could be for a few potential reasons. The first and most obvious is that Cures, by nature of being a Cure, are immune. Less obvious is the idea that Manatsu was acting not on gathered motivation, but on impulse. When Manatsu leaves her father on the island to live with her mother on the mainland, he tells her to "do what's important to [her] at the moment," and it seems like a sentiment she lives by. Thus, it could be that the monster is unable to steal her motivation as she's simply doing what she wants at the moment, not working towards a long-term goal.

Upon defeat, the mini-boss retreats and Laura informs Manatsu about the Cures' role in stopping the Witch of Delays, much to Manatsu's confusion. But the show then gives us our first glimpse of the Witch herself, a giant dark mermaid. A servant reports the Pretty Cure's advent and, upon hearing the news, she roars in anger -- then flips over in her bed and says that she'll "get to it tomorrow."

In doing so, not only does she go against type for a Pretty Cure villain, but this one line explains all of her subordinates' actions in the episode. While we don't know the Witch's goals, we do know that she lacks the motivation she needs to achieve them. Hence, she and her lackeys have been traversing different worlds and kingdoms stealing the motivation of others in the hopes that they will be able to use it themselves. And, perhaps, from the perspective of this villain, stealing motivation sounds like a much easier way to obtain it than doing the hard work of working it up for herself.

Many can relate to this sort of procrastination, especially when unexpected consequences or roadblocks appear in what had previously seemed like a straight path. Often with the "straw that broke the camel's back," even the most motivated person in the world couldn't be faulted for taking a break when an unexpected obstacle interferes. In many cases, coming back to a problem after a good night's sleep is a good idea. But the Witch's tone implies a more chronic type of procrastination, which, unfortunately, is still relatable. When something needs doing, one will do almost anything to avoid it and, while procrastination can be used to do other tasks (like avoiding washing the dishes by vacuuming) that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Thus, the Witch of Delays is an unusually relatable main villain for Precure, not having (as far as we know anyway) a goal of taking over the world, shrouding it in darkness or corrupting it -- but simply taking motivation so that one day, hopefully, she can actually do the things she wants to.

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