From here on out, there will be SPOILERS.

Sana reacts about how you’d expect from a kid hyped up on POWER.

Summary:

Although Sana and Ayumu have a bit of trouble having a proper conversation at first, Ayumu’s good nature eventually convinces Sana that Ayumu is a truly good person. Ayumu laments to Sana about what happened to her friend, Hatori. Upon hearing this, Sana decides to try talking with Hatori as well. Thanks to Ayumu’s help, Sana is able to pinpoint Hatori’s location.

This scene must have looked utterly bizarre to any passer-bys.

Hatori, meanwhile, is still sulking in her house when she finds that a magical door has appeared in front of her. On the other side of the door is a wonderful, colorful land. Intrigued, Hatori ventures deep in this Wonderland, which is actually a space fully created and controlled by Sana. The two eventually meet face-to-face, although Sana hides within a wooden nesting doll.

The contrast between this part of Wonderland with the rest of it is a really striking visual. Kind of wish the series could have pushed this aesthetic further.

Despite the disguise, Hatori quickly figures out Sana’s identity. Sana attempts to talk with Hatori, trying to find out if Hatori really is as kind as Ayumu claimed. However, Hatori is having none of it and tries to leave. Before she does, she realizes that Ayumu may have been the one who leaked her location. In anger, Hatori uses her powers to get Sana to confess. This instead cancels out both of their powers, causing Wonderland to collapse and trap both of them in it.

Well, crap.

In the real world, Dreams of Alice crystals are appearing everywhere, as are giant Ferris wheels. Ayumu’s and Hatori’s parents have gone out, looking for Hatori. Meanwhile, Ichijo and Zouroku attempt to enter into the Wonderland to bring the two girls back.

Well, this certainly explains the Ferris wheel in the series’ OP…

My Opinion:

The plot is finally kicking into high gear as Sana and Hatori have their second meeting. I think this is the first time we’ve gotten this good a look at what Wonderland is/looks like. It’s essentially a magical space mainly controlled by Sana. Although most of it still lies beneath the research facility (which Naito and his crew have taken over), Sana appears to be able to create portals to it at will. It seems that Sana only recently learned to do this, which either means that Sana’s powers are still growing; or that she has gained greater control over her powers due to having matured in the outside world.

Apart from being able to create portals to Wonderland, Sana is also able to control stuffed animals and speak and see through them. The scene where she talks with Ayumu through a bunny plush was oddly adorable. Speaking of Ayumu, I feel like she’ll play some big role in the last two episodes. Ayumu cares deeply for Hatori, and I think she’ll be the person who finally manages to make Hatori snap out of her despair.

I also think it’s important to mention that Hatori’s parents (or mom, at least) still appears to dearly love her daughter. It’s not shown on-screen, but it is mentioned that Hatori’s mom is out looking for her daughter (who suddenly disappeared). With Hatori being stuck in Wonderland, the “spell” over her mom has been broken, so the mom is obviously doing this of her own free will. I feel that this will be another factor in finally breaking Hatori out of her despair. (And hopefully it will lead into them actually talking it out as a family to resolve things.) But like, can you even imagine how terrifying it must be to be Hatori’s mom at this moment? We have no idea how long exactly Hatori’s parents have been mind-controlled (was it constantly since Hatori got her powers, or just intermittently?). Can you even imagine suddenly “waking up,” and realizing that a large span of time has completely passed by without you having any memory of it? And worst of all, your daughter has completely disappeared without a trace? That is every parent’s worse nightmare right there.

Overall, I thought that this episode was pretty well-paced and well-written. Hatori is acting stubbornly (and honestly kind of selfishly); but with what she’s gone through so far, I can’t really blame her for her attitude. Sana, thankfully, is willing to give Hatori a chance to change her ways. Anyway, when this series first aired, a few people were initially disappointed that Alice & Zouroku didn’t have a strong Alice in Wonderland vibe, other than some scant references to it. Well, those people are in luck; because this episode was full of Alice in Wonderland motifs. I do kind of wish we could have seen more of Wonderland itself, because it looks like a fascinating place. I’m guessing we’ll see that next episode. Will the power of love/friendship be able to save the day? I sure hope so.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

“Accidentally trapping yourself and your enemy in a strange place” sounds like the plot of some wacky sitcom. Sana, maybe trapping someone, who has been shown to cancel out your own powers, in a magical world wasn’t exactly the smartest idea.

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