Yumeiro Pâtissière Professional Episode #09 Anime Review

As Ichigo and the gang try to figure out how to help Mari, they look at all of the main factors, including the location of the shop (in Midtown, which is a problem as the foot traffic is mainly tourists, not people who live in the neighborhood who could be built into a regular clientele) and cost. It appears, however, that they can't do anything about either, since, well, they can't move the shop, and Mari refuses to consider lowering prices as that would require her to use cheaper ingredients, a sacrifice she will not make. It would seem that the plan to get her shop back on its feet is not going to progress easily. Added into the mix is that it seems that Mari is still fixated on Henri Lucas, to the point that it is affecting the taste of her sweets. Most people are incapable of noticing it, but Honey (her Sweets Spirit) and Ichigo (with her Palate of God) both realize there is something off in the flavor of her creations. Honey later confronts Mari, telling her that the turbulence in her heart is entering the tastes of her sweets. Mari has a lot to deal with emotionally, being depressed at her current failure, and yet another emotion, explored only briefly in the original series, surfaces again: her deep jealousy of Ichigo Amano. This time, the jealousy is centered on Ichigo's strong support network of friends, while Mari has no one she can talk to. Keeping all of that emotion bottled up inside is not good for a person, and it really looks like she is headed for a nervous breakdown, not too uncommon in emotionally stunted princesses such as herself.

Just when you think Mari is about to fall into a deep depression, she happens to meet up with an eccentric character, a dancer named Linda who has been seen hanging around the shop several times before. Linda had never been able to get up the courage to enter the shop before, as she had been intimidated by the high class feel of Mari's place. But she happens to look in on the shop now, which was closed for the day for the brainstorming session, and happens to attract Mari's attention fully (Mari had noticed her hanging around before), and this time Mari goes out to meet her. She discovers that Linda had originally been drawn to her shop after an unsuccessful audition for a musical nearby (which would put Mari's shop not too far from the theater district). The young dancer was captivated by the beauty of Mari's sweets, seeming as they did to be a group of elegant dancers at a ball. The chat somehow lightens Mari's spirits and helps her to find something that she lost.

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