Yumeiro Pâtissière Professional Episode #02 - Mania.com



Anime Review

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: NA
  • Video Rating: NA
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: NA
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Crunchyroll
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Yumeiro Pâtissière

Yumeiro Pâtissière Professional Episode #02

Yumeiro Pâtissière Professional Episode #02 Anime Review

By G.B. Smith     October 10, 2010
Release Date: October 09, 2010


Yumeiro Pâtissière Professional Episode #01
© Crunchyroll
What They Say
Ichigo, Kashino, Lemon and new partner Johnny meet together to go over ideas for sweets shops, but before they can get started Johnny gets lectured to by his Sweets Spirit Maize. Maize is very particular about etiquette, and if you make her mad she'll fry you like one of her specialty sweets! Meanwhile, Henri-sensei announced that the first street of shops will be opened in only a week, and it features none other than a branch Yumezuki run by Andoh. However, at the same time, Henri announces that all of the shops will be ranked, and the one in last place each month will be closed down! Running a shop in Marie's Garden just got a whole lot more competitive!

The Review!
Can four high school students decide on a line up of sweets shops that will actually, you know, bring in customers? We'll find out.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Thanks for the xenophobia and stab at Americans to start the episode.

True, Johnny is an incredible ass, but he's more a Japanese creation than an American one (even if some parts of the stereotype ring true).

Okay, on to the episode. The four from last time, Ichigo, Kashino, Lemon and Johnny have gathered to discuss what types of shops they'd like to see on the main street of Marie's Garden, the shopping village that Henri Lucas has built somewhere in Japan. Johnny is being lazy while the others are trying to work, but suddenly he is upbraided by a hidden presence. As if you couldn't guess it, Johnny too has a Sweets Spirit, named Maize. She apparently is a stickler for etiquette and proper behavior, though she shares Johnny's constant insertion of gratuitous English into her speech. Her specialty is fried sweets.

Now that the group has Johnny's attention, they get back to sweets shop design. Lemon suggests an open cafe, such as what she is familiar with from Paris. Kashino, with absolutely no surprise, wants to open up a chocolate shop, while Ichigo wants to open up a general sweets shop that caters to families, much as her grandmother's shop did. Johnny, with typical "American" excess, proposes that they open up a giant sweets theme park, with sweets-themed rides and all. An even more saccharin-filled Disneyland, if you would (as if that were possible). Kashino calls him out on the impracticality of the idea (where would they get the land?), but Johnny counters that all he would have to do is ask his cousin for the space. His cousin?

At this moment, none other than Miya Koshiro walks in, with her effervescent obsession for Kashino in full swing. While the "Miya acts love nuts" routine provides a nice little break, it gets even weirder when it is revealed that Johnny's cousin is Miya.

Ooooooooooooooooooooo-kay.

Johnny suggests that they just ask Miya for more financing and support while Kashino argues that they should make do with the budget and space that Henri Lucas gave them. The dispute turns into a fight, which ends when Maize, who apparently gets very fiery, literally, when she is angered, uses a scorching rebuke (literally) to end the conflict. Kashino and Johnny, somewhat singed, make their apologies to her. But this still leaves the problem of the shop that they are going to open.

Meanwhile, Henri has his own surprise to unleash: the first street of Marie's Garden will be opening up next week. The first street will feature sweets from around the world. That's not the only surprise: among those opening shops will be none other than Andoh, who is opening a branch of his family's traditional Japanese sweets shop there. The surprises keep on rolling though, when it turns out that the competition on the First Street will be very tough: the shops will be ranked and the one with the lowest rank at the end of the first week will be closed. So, it's reunion time with Andoh for a while.

At the end, the gang is impressed by Andoh, who is running a shop completely on his own. Johnny notes that where they differ from him is that his shop has strong leadership, while they are all still divided. Therefore, he suggests a competition: in the opening week, they'll make different kinds of sweets. The person whose sweets sell the best will be the leader for their new shop.

So, it's clear from these first two episodes that YPP intends to take things in a somewhat different direction. While the original series was focused on learning how to make sweets, and the importance of love in making them, the new series seems to be living up to its new name, Professional, by focusing on the more "professional" aspects of sweets-making: the business end. Talk about budgets, talk about designs, these are not issues that the middle school kids we first met would even begin to think about. We get a little lecture about the importance of checking on the plumbing at one point in the episode (leaks can lead to increased humidity in the kitchen, which can ruin the sweets and also create a health hazard).

One thing they did not do, however, in these first two episodes, was to make sweets. This is why so far, the show has not been as compelling as the original series was. One of the main draws of Yumeiro Pâtissière was the desserts that they made, both in the classroom and in the blatant Iron Chef rip off of the Cake Grand Prix. The care and attention given to the sweets was also part of the charm of the show, as we saw a group of youngsters band together to tackle things which are normally done by professionals at the end of a long period of training and apprenticeship.

Frankly, the new dispensation, with the concentration on the business aspects is far less interesting. I feel like I am watching an episode of The Apprentice. To a certain extent, these elements are easily reproducible anywhere, and thus have no unique value. You could have them planning to open up a clothing boutique or an electronics store and you could have pretty much the same exact plots so far, for the most part. What made this show different was the focus on the milieu of pastry making. That seems to have been taken away for the moment. The only things that have been kept are the stock character elements, such as Miya Koshiro's obsessive love for Makoto Kashino, which seems not to have changed from the crazed schoolgirl crush it began as two years ago (in show time).

Next week, it looks like they might actually make some sweets, but we will have to see if they actually show any of the sweets being made. The preview guarantees that we'll be watching them sell them. Frankly, that's the least interesting part, as we cannot taste these sweets ourselves.

In Summary:
While there is plenty of time to recover from it, the first two episodes have been disappointing. The unique charm of this show lay in it being closely tied to the world of sweets, a world that most of us, unless you are a professional pastry chef or are in training to become one, probably do not have much first-hand knowledge of. While they may not have been for everyone, the cooking battles provided a certain drama and tension that helped to keep the focus on the sweets. In contrast, this season seems to be taking the word "Professional" in its title very seriously, paying much more attention to the business aspects of the professional world. While that's fine in its way, it seems to be doing so at the expense of the sweets. They haven't even baked anything in these first two episodes. If you want to talk about the mechanics of opening a shop, you could do that just as easily with clothing or electronics or trinkets. There is nothing unique about the experience of running a shop. Character elements, such as Miya Koshiro's stalker crush on Kashino or the hot temper of the newly introduced Sweets Spirit Maize, are not going to be able to carry this show by themselves, as the former wore out its welcome already in the first season, and the latter, if repeatedly used, will likely head into that territory quite swiftly. My message to the writers is: start baking some cookies.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

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