The journey through the Sweets Kingdom finally comes to an end. And we learn how Sweets Spirits are born.
What They Say
The final journey on the tour is the Egg Home, where all the eggs for the entire kingdom are produced. But it turns out that the placed is not just needed for a tasty omelet, and everyone learns an important life lesson. The next day is the advancement exam, and the judging is extremely harsh. Kasshi and the gang make it to the final tasting, but the judges notice something that seems out of place in the dessert... What does the Sweets Kingdom really mean to them?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's on to the final stage of the trip, to the Egg Home. It's a rather elaborate structure suspended in the middle of a rift valley that looks like a giant Faberge egg. Inside, there isn't really all that much to see, but the gang meets the Director of the Egg Home, who agrees to show them where the high quality eggs needed for making sweets are. They get a tour of the place, though Kasshi is impatient and just wants the eggs and then go. But the Director wants to show them the other important function that the Egg Home has for the Kingdom. In a special lower chamber, the Chamber of Trials, couples who wish to have a child must walk across a bridge to an uninhabited island, spend a week facing danger together, and then come back and pray to the Egg God for an egg of their own. It would appear that Sweets Spirits are born from eggs.
Of course, not every couple is blessed by the Egg God even if they survive the trial. So, it takes a lot of love to have a child. Cue the Very Special Episode music. Afterward, the Egg Director gives the Jerks a basket of his best eggs for making sweets, and the whole gang, having learned a very special lesson, returns home. The Jerks then go off and prepare for the exam tomorrow, while the gang do...nothing. Though there is one last surprise. During the past couple days, there has been someone tailing the group, but not in an evil way. This person has even been providing them with vegetables at times. Who is this mysterious spirit? (We know it is a spirit, since the wings were once visible).
It was Kasshi's mother who has been tailing them the whole time, watching after the group and providing them with extra supplies. It's now revealed that she managed to convince the Master of the Forest to taste the cake when they were in trouble in the Baum Forest. She provided them with vegetables, and even just now was there to deliver a nice soup for the Jerks. His mother wants him to pass the exam, but did not want to put any pressure on him, which is why she has been quietly supporting him from the shadows.
So, the day of the exam comes, and the Jerks are there with the other candidates. The judging is very harsh, with a panel of three judges. If even one says no, the team (as the Spirits work in teams) is failed. Kasshi, Andy and Narci make it to the final round. Their plate of sweets representing the entire Sweets Kingdom is going well, but the judges seem to balk at the inclusion of sweet potato in the mountain they made (the plate of sweets looks like the Sweets Kingdom), sweet potato from Kasshi's mother's farm. It is not quite fitting with the theme, so the judges think. Kasshi makes an impassioned speech about how his mother's farm for him is something you can't separate from the Sweets Kingdom, leaving the judges in a quandary. At this point, the Queen steps out and offers to make the final decision. She notes that there is something to what Kasshi had said about his mother's sweet potato representing the flavor of the Sweets Kingdom as well. And so, they pass.
Even though they pass, Kasshi and the other Jerks decide that they are not going to go to the Human World and find partners. Instead, Kasshi and the others want to open up a shop in the Sweets Kingdom that will use vegetables to make sweets. Vegetables from his mother's farm.
I guess this is one of those Very Special Episodes, where we have lots of heartwarming sentiment about the importance of family and the bonds that connect parents and their children. While a touch on the sappy side, it is still a fairly well executed episode. The sweetness does not quite reach the level of treacle, while still effectively conveying the feelings with sincerity. This will be one of those episodes which could be watched with family, unless you're so cynical that such things will make you nauseous.
Our journey through the Sweets Kingdom comes to an end with a trip to the Egg Home. It's not just the place where eggs that go into everything from rice omelets to fine cakes come from. It is also a very special place for Sweets Spirits, for it is here where couples who wish to have a child come as well to ask the Egg God to bless them with an egg of their own, one that will become a Sweets Spirit. Then comes the final exam, where Kasshi shows that despite his gruff and annoying exterior, there is a sappy core that loves his mommy. This is definitely an episode heavy on the sentimentality, where you afterward are meant to think of your own parents and the love that you have for them. At least we're not knee deep in retail sales management.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard