After the thoroughly enjoyable New York arc, we are unfortunately back
to Marie's Garden, the shopping district that Henri Lucas is overseeing
in Japan somewhere. The first episodes of this new series started there,
with the new Team Ichigo squabbling among themselves. Now we are back
here, alas. I say alas since we come back to one of those outrageously
contrived challenges that sometimes make their appearance in poorly
written shows that have writing staffs who are out of ideas.
In this particular instance, Miya Koshiro, the Heiress to Chateau Seika, a large international sweets conglomerate, and major corporate sponsor of Marie's Garden (and the whole St. Marie's sweets empire as we know from past episodes), has decided to set up her own shop on the Main Street of Marie's Garden, which was supposed to be the province of Ichigo and friends. Her purpose was easy to discern from the get go: yet another attempt to win Makoto Kashino's heart, even though he has shown absolutely no romantic interest in her, and likely never will. But she puts a challenge before Kashino and Ichigo: if her shop sells more than their shop during the opening week, Makoto will have to marry Koshiro. As if things aren't bad enough, since Koshiro has limitless pockets of cash to rely upon, she has also brought over Johnny, the alleged member of Team Ichigo, but who is also Miya's cousin, to her side, with the promise of unfettered funding so that he can create the shop of his dreams. While Johnny is an annoying ass and I'm glad he's gone for the moment, he is also a somewhat talented pastry chef and this only adds to the challenge faced by Team Ichigo. Johnny has his own side wager in play: if Miya wins, Ichigo has to date him.