Today is Day 17 of our magical girl marathon, and we will be looking at one of my favorite magical girl anime, Tokyo Mew Mew. This one is particularly special for me, because I saw the entire series in elementary school (subbed not dubbed). It, along with Sailor Moon, is what paved the path for my love of frilly, cute, badass heroines, and eventually lead me to others like Shugo Chara and Madoka. Sadly, the BlogBarista does not hold a love for this show as adamant as my own.
-What is this cartoon about?
The show starts out with your average middle school girl, Ichigo Momomiya, going out with her crush, Masaya Aoyama. They are enjoying their day at an endangered animal exhibit, but unbeknownst to her she has been targeted by two men. An earthquake (and some mysterious light) knocks her out, and she awakes to find that she has cat-like abilities. It seems her DNA has been scrambled with that of the Iriomote wildcat, and now she can transform into a cat-eared, pink haired warrior named Mew Ichigo. She and four other girls chosen to posses these “Red Data” animal DNA for the Mew Project, Earths only hope to fend off the aliens and their leader known as Deep Blue. As she works part time at a pastry shop, the MewMew Headquarters, she meets interesting characters and pretty much goes through the magical girl story of love, friendship, shocking personas, and defeating a new Chimera creature each day.
-Who are the central characters?
Ichigo Momomiya (pink) at first feels like another Usagi. She is hyper, cheery, madly in love, sweet, and a klutz (she even has pigtails); however, she is not the crybaby type and turns out to be very headstrong, brave, and hard working. She is the leader of Tokyo Mew Mew, but she’d rather spend her free time shopping or with Masaya. She loves sweets and eating in general, except for carrots, and she transforms into a pink, cat themed heroine, Mew Ichigo.
Minto Aizawa (blue) is initially the small, spoiled, rich, snobby character, but eventually you learn that she is empathetic, very caring, but headstrong. She loves dancing ballet (which is evident in her transformation), and she loves French food, which is cliched for the rich character. Her DNA is mixed with the Blue Lorikeet, and she becomes Mew Mint. She also idolizes Mew Zakuro.
Retasu Midorikawa (green… literately her name is Lettuce Green River) is the character I feel is forgotten at times. Looking at her, no one can guess that her animal DNA is a Finless Porpoise. Actually, I thought she was some bug at first. She even has one of the shorter transformations, which is disappointing. Anyway, she fits the cookie cutter personality of the smart girl. She is shy, sweet, polite, and positive, though she has little confidence in her own abilities. She speaks formally to everyone, even family, and she doesn’t fight as Mew Lettuce unless it is to defend someone. Her favorite food is shiitake mushrooms. The unique thing about her, however, is that she has a crush on Ryou Shirogane. Blog Barista really liked her and cheered for them to be a couple.
Bu-Ling Huang (yellow) is the youngest MewMew (by like two years) and is Chinese. She loves doing acrobatics, which is what her fighting simulates. She also loves playing, because she is the “child” character, which is immature, full of energy, and hyperactive. This matches the Golden Lion Tamarin DNA scrambled with hers. Her favorite foods are tientsin/sweet chestnuts and pudding, and like any kid she dislikes onions. Her outfit is Chinese themed, she becomes Mew Pudding, and her love interest is one of the aliens, Tart.
Zakuro Fujiwara (purple) is a model and actress who speaks many languages and is idolized by young girls. She has a hard past, however, being left alone as a child and losing someone close. She also has a lot of church themes and symbols, visiting the church when she is confused. She is the “loner” character, who refuses at first to fight with the Mews, but later becomes the mature, calm older sister character. She likes watermelon, milk, and the internet, but hates natto (fermented soybeans). She is Mew Zakuro, and her DNA contains that of the Grey Wolf.
Quiche Ikisatashi is one of the three antagonists working for Deep Blue to “reclaim” Earth. He is carefree, clever, and playful, though as a child he was always sad. He also seems open-minded, but then again he wants to destroy mankind. He even as a cruel sense of humor, playing with his opponents (he’s sadistic). Even though he teases Ichigo a lot (even a little possessive of her) and wants to wipe out humanity, he is actually very kind and only wants to help his people, family, and friends. He acts for what he thinks is a noble cause, so you can’t actually hate him. Throughout the series Quiche is shown to have developing feelings for Ichigo, whcih alternate between love and obsession.
Tart Ikisatashi is another one of the alien antagonists. He is a crybaby and hates being called small. He argues alot, mostly with Ichigo, and acts very childish and rude. He is similar to Bu-Ling as they both like having fun and playing games, though he likes to make people cry. He also laughs a lot and throws tantrums and has a curious personality. He has a crush on Bu-Ling.
Pai Ikisatashi is the last of the alien antagonists. He is the calm, serious, and analytical character, who does not express is emotions and rarely smiles (God hes the Spock of Tokyo Mew Mew). His mission is to wipe out humanity, and though he seems emotionless, he shows interest in Retasu.
Keiichiro Akasaka and Ryou Shirogane are the two mysterious men who recruit Mew warriors. Kaiichiro is the main leader of the Mew Porject and he is the baker in Cafe Mew Mew. He is calm and sympathetic, often seen as the gentleman with excellent taste and manners. Ryou is the genius in this partnership. He is stubborn, rude, headstrong, sarcastic, and anti-social though he cares a lot for the Mews. He is the closet thing to a magical creature, because he helps the girls and advises them (though there is this ball of floating fluff). He the love interest of Retasu and Ichigo at one point.
Masaya Aoyama is Ichigo’s love interest. He is popular at school, polite, and calm. He is an interesting character (that is ALL I will say).
-How is the Artwork?
The artwork looks old, but its so cute. The transformations are great and the little CG they do just works with the simplicity. At first you think it would look cheap and badly done, but the animation is actually great.
-What makes the cartoon awesome?
Even though its cliched, it is pretty unique at times. The drama is not overly done like in Mermaid Melody, and though it resembles Sailor Moon, this is the only animal DNA based magical girls (so its more like unrealistic science magical girls). I also like that the entire show follows two themes: nature/animals and sweets. This is a great cartoon and just one more magical girl to add some variety to the genre.
Check it out!!