Challenge! Heaven Triathlon
Again, Queen Ercell shows the ability to open a gateway between worlds. I wonder if she can only open a gateway between the human world and another, or if she could be mischievous and open a gateway between the sky and demon worlds.
Being princess of demons, it’s only natural for Glenda to not want to go to the sky world (“Heaven” in the dub). We probably won’t see the demon world again, so it will remain unknown what Elmina’s reaction would be toward going to the demon world. At least Glenda is a real trooper, willing to go where she has to. Or is it that she doesn’t want to be left out of the group’s activities? With her it can be difficult to tell at times. As for Elmina, she’s shown as having issues of her own at the prospect of returning to her home world.
The sky world is a rather intersting place, with the structures and people having no concept of gravity, or of up and down. The people seem nice enough, but we don’t get to know any of them in the way we did the kobolds back in the demon world.
Balizan + built-in monitor = instant video conference. One of the prior eyecatches suggested that Balizan has a wireless network range. It’s possible Elmina’s father only contacts her via Balizan’s monitor when they’re in the sky world, with the human world being out of range. Just what kind of range does an sky world robot get? Is video conferencing done via wireless network or satellite?
On connections between royalty, Queen Ercell informed Elmina’s father about the girls’ crystal flower hunt taking them to the sky world. Does she have a way to video conference between the human and sky worlds? Did she pay the sky world a visit? While Elmina’s father was informed (personally?) by Queen Ercell about the arrival of the girls, there was no mention of her contacting Glenda’s father. Instead, she had opened a gateway to the demon world without permission (if I remember it right). Elmina and Glenda’s fathers could really use known names.
Elmina and her father have a distant relationship—as if they’re not even related. This is an amazing contract compared to the other candidates: Yucie with her father always worrying about her, and cooking grand meals to impress her with; and Glenda’s father, the ever-doting dad, wanting nothing more than to see his daughter happy. By contrast, the Sky King is set in a “God of Heaven” type role. By her birth, Elmina has more expectations on her shoulders than all of the other Platinum Princess candidates combined. Speaking of Platinum Princess candidates, what could Elmina’s desired wish be? If she’s anything like Yucie and Glenda, she hopes to add a good seven years of growth to her body.
The angelic outfits with angel wings which Yucie, Cocoloo, and Glenda wear (allowing them to fly) must have been loaned to them (perhaps by Balizan). If they used their pendants to transform, Glenda’s outfit would undoubtedly be a different color. I can’t see any room for her to put her own variation on the style, though, as the outfit is already sleeveless, and with a skirt. (Side note here, the wings on these outfits can “fold in and disappear” the same as Elmina’s. Does this suggest that Elmina’s wings are part of her outfit, or are they truly part of her?)
Glenda states she’d rather be flying using her broom. I still want to know what method of travel she preferred back when she was looking for the Cerberus, complaining to Mr. Gaga about having to travel by broomstick.
Hearing Glenda’s disapproval of the apparel, Elmina just had to put in the remark about how Glenda should have stayed behind. Her words tend to be honest in how she says them, and straightforward in meaning, but they easily come off as mean, or spiteful. It’s not just Glenda she treats this way, as she spoke the same about Yucie’s inability to dance ballet well.
The people of the sky world greet Elmina, leading to Glenda figuring everyone must spoil her, and that the Sky King surely helps out when Elmina makes mistakes. It’s learned, from Balizan, that the Sky King treats Elmina equally with anyone else in the kingdom. What about the queen? She isn’t shown. We know about Glenda’s mother, but what about Elmina’s? How does the Sky Queen treat her daughter? Or did she and the Sky King separate some time ago? With Elmina’s determination to not fail, lest one disappoint ones father, would she not see her parents separating as a failure on their part? Surely this would be a “weakness” of her father, just the same as Elmina says her father has claimed no need for a “weak daughter”. All in all, Elmina is under a lot of pressure to make no mistakes. In the eyes of her father, she must do her best at everything. (I’m reminded of Mami in SuperGals.)
It’s good to see Glenda getting some good lines in an Elmina episode. When Elmina tells the others to wait while she accomplishes the first trial, Glenda’s the one who asks if Elmina has any concept of cooperation.
With the appearance of the knowledge trial’s robot, Elmina explains how job-specific robots doing all the work in the sky world means no mistakes are ever made. They’re sure strict about mistakes under Elmina’s father. It’d like to say it also goes so far as to suggest Elmina lacks any manner of work experience, but she’s a princess, and in the body of a ten year old, so she’d probably lacks work experience, anyway. (The same appears true for Glenda, as she saw it more fitting to put Mr. Gaga in charge of doing her work back in the bakery.) I’m left wanting to see Elmina in more jobs. Being a librarian does not count. It’d like to see how Elmina handles carrying a large sack of flour, with no help from Balizan. (We know she can handle carrying a tomato, at least!) I’d like to see how she does when it comes to shovelling fertilizer, watering plants, clipping leaves, and pulling weeds.
The scenes with the puzzle orbs perfectly capture the personalities of the four girls. Glenda frustrates and gives up easily. Elmina quickly solves the puzzle, having taken her time only because she thought it was too simple to not be a trick question. Cocoloo and Yucie continue to try the puzzle, even though Glenda says there’s no need with Elmina having solved it. Cocoloo is of course the next to solve it, showing Yucie how to bring it all together. The look on Elmina’s face when the two are solving their puzzles suggests her wishing she would be part of their friendship. Wishing won’t get her anywhere, of course. Not without improving who she is, and change is never easy.
When Elmina remarks at how easy the knowledge test was, and Glenda is frustrated by it, Elmina informs Cocoloo about Glenda appearing upset over something. Why does Elmina say this, and why to Cocoloo? Is she just trying to instigate things with the demon girl? It’s unfortunate there being no reason for the group to return to the demon world, so we can’t see Elmina on Glenda’s home turf.
On the physical strength floor, Elmina must have known exactly where that spiked ball would stop to remain so calm as it came directly at her. It makes me want to see how she’d react if she knew it wouldn’t stop. Something like that just needs to happen, so we can see her reaction.
Again, Elmina elects to solve the challenge on her own. Glenda is quick to take the initative, creating a sword with her magic. So, couldn’t she have created a broom with her magic to fly with earlier? Her magic obviously isn’t blocked or unusable in the sky world.
Using the puzzle orbs to stall the robots was a nice prop reuse. It impressed me to find it was Cocoloo, not Yucie, who had thrown the first orb. I’d expect that kind of action out of Yucie first. Cocoloo is definitely becoming more confident by simply being around Yucie and Glenda. (Even more impressive, one can see Yucie finally finished her puzzle.)
Perhaps Elmina has a point in suggesting she take on the challenges alone. Were she not on the team, the group would have taken longer to pass the knowledge floor, only to be stopped at the physical strength floor. With a light sword (a rapier, perhaps?) in her hands, Elmina is able to easily destroy the robots. This suggests she’s had training in sword combat, which partially negates my prior comment about not working. Using a sword the way she does, learning enough to easily solve the puzzle, and even being able to dance ballet with the skill she possesses, these all show a lot of hard work. Dancing ballet, for example, she may say it comes naturally, but such ability requires much practice to become so good at.
Wielding the sword, Elmina finally gets a louder vocal—at least in the English dub. Her yell is softer in the Japanese.
After Glenda says she would have defeated the robots in a second try, Elmina’s face suggests this to be a foreign concept to her. She knows failure is not an option, leading to an emotionally powerful flashback of Elmina’s childhood. If ever I didn’t care for her because she comes off as mean-sounding, the flashback has washed that all away. The way Elmina acts becomes instantly understood, and to be expected within the context of her upbringing. She’s expected to do well in everything (again, I’m reminded of SuperGals‘s Mami). If she develops a skill, it was expected for her to do so. If she makes a mistake, it is a failure on her part, an intolerable action. When young Elmina lost her nerve and fell, invoking her father’s rage, I could feel Elmina’s fear, but this certainly wasn’t the first time she saw her father like that. It was simply the last straw, forcing Elmina to re-examine her position in life, and vow to never again make a mistake. (So, do I name this “Elmina-Syndrome” or “Mami-Syndrome”? I guess it comes down to which came out first, Petite Princess Yucie or SuperGals.)
Although Glenda’s cait sith episode elevated her to favorite character status, the scene where she’s held captive in the cait sith’s grip, and gives her speech about how she wants to get the Eternal Tiara to wish to be an adult, so she can defeat enemies like Meow, and so her mother will come back, and so forth, that dialogue seemed forced, as if they were trying to get that information directly out to the viewer. Elmina’s dance scene, on the other hand, when she recalls her childhood, and again loses her nerve, that was real. When she dropped to her knees, crying into her hands because she failed, that was genuine. I could re-watch the Glenda scene once, perhaps twice, but it would feel too forced to see again. Elmina’s falter and crying, that I could watch over and over, because it’s natural, it flows well with the flashbacks.
Elmina may think her father is not acknowledging her abilities, but I have to wonder if that’s not true. Why did the beauty floor use the melody and dance which she messed up on as a child? Perhaps the Sky King was giving her another chance (even though he had to remember his position and reprimand her for taking so long to pass the tests).
When the candidates completed the test, their friendship strengthened. I don’t expect Glenda to be friends with Elmina, nor do I expect Elmina to be more open to joining Yucie, Cocoloo, and Glenda in activities, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Elmina wasn’t so quick to leave (such as at the beach) from now on.
Yay for Elmina talking back to her father after he verbally scolded her for failing the final test. Interesting how when Elmina asked the others to let her do the final test alone, Glenda was the first to agree to it. The other candidates don’t know about Elmina’s past, but they certainly have caught on to how she believes they must not fail, and how she doesn’t know about do-overs. By seeing and hearing the interactions between Elmina and her father, even “team-cooperation Glenda” is quick to let her do this alone. Even Glenda knew Elmina had to do this alone to prove herself in the eyes of her father, something Yucie and Glenda don’t have to worry about with their own fathers.
With Ercell’s addition of the third crystal with the first two, only the spirit world and fairy world remain. We’ve seen the fathers of all the known candidates except for Cocoloo thus far, and no mothers have been seen. Yucie doesn’t have a mother, and Glenda’s mother is away. Elmina’s mother is not mentioned. How soon until it’s time to meet Cocoloo’s father, and will her mother have a mention? There’s room for more job episodes to learn about the characters and see how they react before sending the candidates off to the spirit world, though. We haven’t see Arc since the kiss, so he should be due for an appearance in the next few episodes.