Fushigi Yuugi OVA 1 Review

Fushigi Yuugi OVA 1

Plot: Some time has passed since Miaka left the Universe of the Four Gods. She studied hard, got into a good school with Yui, and she has been reunited with a reincarnated Tamahome in her world. As she proceeds to live her life happily with Tamahome at last, the book of the Universe of the Four Gods gets stolen, the story starts back up again, and Tamahome is transported back into the book. As a chain reaction unfolds before their eyes, can Yui and Miaka, the former priestesses of Seiryu and Suzaku, fix this terrible mess?

Breakdown: I really liked the ending of Fushigi Yuugi the TV series. It wasn’t too mushy, everything seemed wrapped up nicely – it was good. Why they had to continue the series is beyond me. From all I hear about the OVAs they’re just pointless continuations of the TV series. But, whatever.

Since I count each OVA as a separate series, OVA 1 is on the chopping block first. Since it only has three episodes I’ll go through each one.

Episode 1

Tamahome, Keisuke, Miaka and Tetsuya are on their way to visit the previous priestess of Byakko, Suzuno’s, grave. They arrive, and Tamahome keeps hearing someone call his name. As they reach Takiko’s grave, the woman who was the Priestess of Genbu, he hears his name again. He hears Takiko’s voice speaking to him before he glows red and begins to disappear. Miaka runs after him, but she can do nothing as he disappears.

Miaka, Keisuke, and Tetsuya later learn that the book has been stolen and someone must be continuing the story. They surmise that eventually Miaka and Yui will be dragged back into the book as well.

Stopping myself right here, this is very confusing. I’m having trouble understanding what exactly was going on with the whole priestesses thing. Why was Takiko’s grave disappearing, and why exactly can other girls take the place of the priestess?

Tamahome finds himself back in Konan. Confused and looked upon oddly since he’s now wearing clothes from Miaka’s reality, he goes to see Hotohori’s wife, the now empress of Konan, Houki. As he arrives at the palace, he learns that 50 years have passed since the day Fushigi Yuugi ended.

He meets Hotohori’s great-grandson who is insanely excited to meet Tamahome after hearing so many stories of the celestial warriors. He brings Tamahome to the Suzaku shrine where all of the holy artifacts held by the old Suzaku warriors are held. As Tamahome approaches the shrine, a bright flash of red light from the shrine knocks him away.

The prince demands to know who Tamahome really is since a Suzaku warrior would not be denied access to the Suzaku shrine like that. Since Tamahome yields no explanation nor any way to identify himself as one of the Suzaku Seven, he gets taken away and whipped viciously for his crime of being an impostor and fooling the prince.

Tamahome wanders around and heads to the mountaintop where Taiitsukun used to be to see if she has some answers, but all he sees is a mountain. He remembers Taiitsukun’s words that people with evil hearts could not see her temple. He then meets a girl nammmmeeed…..Kaen? That right? She’s waiting for him at the mountaintop and says that she’s been waiting a long time for him to return.

For Nakago to return.

Nothing really to say about this episode. Except that I was really confused by the whole priestess thing. I just don’t get why Takiko’s grave was disappearing as if she never existed. And if she was erased from existence, wouldn’t that cause some sort of terrible domino effect or something? I really don’t get it.

Episode 2

I’m going to skip most of the stuff that takes place in the real world. It’s mostly just Keisuke, Tetsuya, Yui and Miaka talking about stuff we already know.

Tamahome is immensely confused as to why this girl is mistaking him for Nakago. She explains that something must’ve happened when he got resurrected and his memories got switched with Tamahome’s, but Tamahome refuses to believe it.

Kaen tells him that if he thinks she’s a liar he might as well kill her. Cuz, ya know, that just makes sense.

Kaen gives him some wine with medicine to help him heal from his wounds and he goes off to bed.

Anyhoo, Kaen sneaks into Tamahome’s room and takes off all her clothes. She’s offering to have sex with Tamahome to increase his life force and maybe help regain his memories. Tamahome vehemently refuses and orders her to leave.

Kouji and the gang of bandits Tasuki used to hang around with linger outside waiting to strike. They all attack Tamahome, believing he’s Nakago as Kaen does. Tamahome tries to defend himself from the assault, unwittingly unleashing Nakago’s powers, killing all of the gang and leaving Kouji barely alive. Tamahome holds Kouji as he lay there dying and apologizes to him. He tries to ask Kouji about what’s going on, but Kouji just reinforces what everyone’s been saying. However, he states that only a year has passed since the end of the previous series, not fifty.

He also explains why Tamahome looks like himself, but everyone sees him as Nakago – because the man who looks like Tamahome is really what everyone believes Nakago to look like and vice versa. Kouji tries to kill Tamahome by detonating a bomb on his belt, but Tamahome escapes unscathed under a shield of his life force. Distraught of what this may mean, he retreats to his room and asks Kaen to bring him more wine.

We then see Tomo standing over the real Tamahome who is unconscious and trapped in an illusion of his making.

Meanwhile we learn that Yui is being set up by Tomo to be the next priestess of Genbu. He’s been controlling her through the earring that Nakago left behind. Yui stole the book, opened it again and now she’s back inside the book. Miaka is set to go after her.

Episode 3

Miaka reenters the book, and Keisuke and Tetsuya resume their roles as book readers.

We learn that Tomo was working for someone named Tenkou who promptly kills Tomo (Even though he was just inhabiting someone else’s body as a spirit) for failing to kill Tamahome with the illusion since Nakago’s spirit appeared to stop it.

Tamahome escapes the illusion, but is dying from poison. Tasuki and Chichiri arrive on the scene to help, with all of the Suzaku Seven appearing soon after since all of the warriors collect when the priestess returns and Miaka appears soon after.

Why did Nakago just randomly appear? Why did Suboshi possess Amiboshi? (Yeah, that happens) I was beginning to think that maybe all of the Seiryu Seven were collecting because Yui was returning, but that can’t be because A) the rest of the warriors didn’t appear, but Nakago, Tomo and Suboshi/Amiboshi kinda. Soi, Ashitare and Miboshi didn’t come back. And B) She’s really no longer the Priestess of Seiryu anymore if she’s being used as the Priestess of Genbu now. And why didn’t the warriors of Genbu assemble if that’s true? I don’t understand.

Tenkou arrives on the scene, apparently he’s the master of the four gods or something, and he’s like…really big. A small attack on his part occurs. Ami/Suboshi sacrifice Amiboshi’s life to free Yui. (Which really sucks. I’m glad they’re together now, but I’d prefer he be with that nice couple and live in peace.) He dies in Yui’s arms after proclaiming that he loves her. Yui asks him why he never said so before, even though he has said it before in the TV series.

Yui summons Genbu and makes her wishes. Tenkou gets sealed away, Takiko gets revived, but she still has one more wish.

Taiitsukun explains that Tamahome being with Miaka in the real world has caused problems between the worlds or something and something about the 100 years cycle of the priestesses.

If they want to protect the worlds from anymore suffering, they have to seal the worlds off from each other forever and be apart. (By the way, the only wish that the gods can’t grant is for two people born in different realities to be with each other in one or another reality. That’s why Yui just can’t wish that they can be together. Talk about plot convenience. Or inconvenience, really.)

Tamahome gives his ring/the shinzaho back to Miaka after she has an epic temper tantrum. It was sad at first but then she just got too whiny and irritating. Yui makes her wish, and, as they’re going home, Yui tells her to return the ring back to where it belongs. Miaka drops it back into the book.

Miaka and Yui return to school after a bit of time passes. They decide to ditch school for the day and go out. They head to a restaurant, and dialogue from Taiitsukun to the Suzaku Seven gets intertwined. She explains that Tamahome’s going to be reborn into Miaka’s world, but without any of his memories from – amnesia? Honestly? Ughh…

She explains that the only way Tamahome can be with Miaka in her world is to be completely reborn in her world, without any of his original memories. The catch is that, duh, he won’t remember her so even if he somehow found her it wouldn’t matter because he wouldn’t know her. The only way for him to regain his memories is to collect seven crystals which contain his memories—AND the clich’e “we must collect (a) to achieve (b)” plotline too? And of course they’re crystals. Everyone call your favorite Final Fantasy characters.

The OVA ends with Miaka and Yui in a restaurant, about to be served by a waiter who happens to be Tamahome’s reborn self, Taka.

Why Taiitsukun couldn’t have told Miaka that she could do that before Miaka left is beyond me but I guess this way makes for good TV.

Despite the confusing parts and me wishing they just left the series where it was, this was fairly enjoyable. The ending villain was fairly lame and just kinda ‘there’ though. I know it was a set up for OVA 2, but still.

I’m also happy to report that Miaka was actually pretty tolerable during this OVA. She was still annoying some places, but not unbearable.

I’d really like to understand how the whole time in the book vs. time in the real world thing works. From what Miaka said in the previous series, one day in the real world seems to equal six months in the book, but that caused all sorts of weird inconsistencies in the TV series and it’s just as confusing here.

The Hot Springs Shorts

At the end of each episode was a short animation showing the two sets of warriors, Seiryu and Suzaku, on separate bus rides to a hot spring. These were hilarious additions to this OVA. Seriously, I wish they just made a whole series of these. I looked forward to these shorts way more than the actual show. I won’t explain what each short is, but they’re really funny, especially if you watch the TV series first. They break the fourth wall plenty of times too and even refer to some of the characters by their voice actor’s names.

Art and Animation: The art and animation was basically the same as the TV series, except slightly better. OVAs usually do have slightly better art than their original series.

Music: On par with the TV series. However, instead of the trumpets and synthesizer music of the old ED, we get video synced...trumpets with piano music. Also, when the tempo of the trumpets speeds up, the video syncs get zoomed in and effects get added to it. Imagine a newbie AMV maker with Sony Vegas got ahold of this show plus the ED and that’s it.

Characters: There are no real new characters to talk about except for Tenkou and he’s as bland as Nakago. Yui and Miaka are both less annoying though.

Bottom Line: This OVA is pretty enjoyable, and I’d rate it high simply for the ending shorts. It is essentially a buildup to the second OVA, though, and fans of the TV show may be put off simply from the fact that they’re continuing the story instead of ending it where it was.

Additional Information and Notes: The OVAs (the first two anyway) don’t differentiate in their information from the regular TV series outside of their episode number and year.

Episodes: 3

Year: 1996

Recommended audience: Torture, nudity, implications of sexual advances, Tomo gets shot through the head…


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Sailor Moon (DiC) Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison


Plot: Usagi is an ordinary junior high school student. She’s the type to goof off and get bad grades while she daydreams all day. Until, however, a talking cat named Luna informed her that she is really Sailor Moon and that she has to use her magical moon powers to help save the world. Usagi’s friend Naru gets attacked by an enemy as Usagi learns of this. Can she save her friend or will her inexperience prove to be her downfall?


Title Change: Crybaby Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation is changed to A Moon Star is Born.

The opening has been replaced. However, the song in the dub keeps the melody from the original song. It’s redone slightly, mostly the inclusion of electric guitar, but it still retains the original melody.

That being said, the clips in the background are different, and the lyrics aren’t translations of the original lyrics. The new lyrics basically explain what the show is about. Sailor Moon fights evil, she’s in love, she has friends who also fight evil, here are their names, you’re watching Sailor Moon. Cliche-type lyrics, but it’s certainly an ear worm. That can be credited to using the original melody, though.

Also, the dub opening has the words “From a far away place and time, earth’s greatest adventure is about to begin,” in a Star Wars-like text crawl before the theme appears.

The dubbed opener has all of the Sailor Scouts (Well, at least the ones introduced in this series.) included whereas the original’s, for this season anyway, has only Usagi, Ami and Rei.


Name Change: Usagi Tsukino is changed to Serena Tsukino in the dub. This is a bit disappointing because her name actually has meaning. Usagi Tsukino essentially translates to “Rabbit of the moon” This is poking at an ancient legend, Usagi’s hairstyle, nickname and role as Sailor Moon all at once.

Serena is actually an ironic name for her to have, in my opinion. Serena essentially means peaceful, serene, calm, and Usagi is anything BUT that. The only reason I can see for this is because oooOOOoohhhspoilersoooohhhhHHH, she’s actually Princess Serenity’s reincarnation. The problem is that Princess Serenity has a completely different personality from Usagi. I’m not denying that Usagi can’t shed her hyper crybaby dumplingheadedness when the time calls for it, but it’s not a very good representation of her actual personality the rest of the time.

The episode starts out with showing Usagi sleeping for a bit as she tells us her name and characteristics in narration. She does this at the opening of every episode with the addition of her Sailor Moon identity explanation. Then she wakes up and goes downstairs.

In the dub, we get the entire backstory to the series, skip Serena’s intro and just jump straight to her waking up and going downstairs. I especially love this little story because it spoils so much.

The opener spoils enough in terms of who the other Scouts will be, but this story shows us Artemis, the rest of the Sailor Scouts including MAYBE Sailor Neptune? She’s in the picture with Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion, I think. Queen Serenity, the identities of Princess Serenity and also Prince Endymion (Kinda makes the plot point of finding the moon princess moot when you know that it’s Serena. Of course it’s also obvious in the original, but not as much. Only way it could be MORE obvious is if DiC changed Endymion’s name to Darien. Ahahahahahahahaha……..But they’d never be that dumb, right?)

The opening narration is also skipped in all subsequent episodes.


DiC adds a glow effect to Luna’s crescent mark as Serena takes the bandage off.





They edit out where Usagi and Luna stare at each for a bit. They also edit out a front shot of Luna as she walks towards Usagi. They also add inner monologue coming from Luna. They also edit out the school bell. They also say I say ‘they also’ too much.

Entire Series Edit: They add in a lot of transitions where there aren’t any in the original. The transitions are usually cutting away to Sailor Moon’s tiara or flip transitioning in Queen Beryl’s crystal ball. They’re also EXTREMELY 90s-esque.

They skip showing the sign of Usagi’s school as well as her complaining that she’s forced to stand in the hall because she was late. She looks around the hall for a bit before deciding to eat because she missed breakfast.

In the dub, they cut straight to her about to eat. This is made even weirder because they add in dialogue like she’s talking to someone asking if they’ve seen the new Sailor V video game. She’s alone in the hallway, why couldn’t they have just made her say she was hungry?

Name Change: Naru, Usagi’s best friend, is changed to Molly. Also, they gave her one of the worst English dubbed voices in history. It sounds like Harley Quinn going through a blender.

Name Change: Umino is changed to Melvin because that’s what all nerdy kids need to be named.

This next scene is a mess. In the original, Usagi doesn’t know anything about Sailor V. When Naru tells her that Sailor V appeared again and saved a jewelry store from being robbed, Usagi gushes, but then wonders who she’s talking about. Naru yells at her for getting excited if she doesn’t know who Sailor V is. Umino pops up and explains that Sailor V is a heroine who has been popping up lately to stop crime in the area. Sailor V then pops up on screen three times as ‘Sailor V’ is said in the background. Then Usagi and Naru gush about gems. Umino also doesn’t realize that Usagi failed the test until Naru brings it up.

In the dub, Molly never yells at Serena, Sailor V is never brought up, Melvin already knows Serena failed her test and offers to be her tutor while Molly makes the suggestion of going shopping until Serena’s mom forgets about the test even though the dub teacher says her mom needs to sign it and bring it back in. Also, they add in way too much dialogue on Melvin in the final shot of that scene. He only says “Usagi-chan” in the original, but they make him say a whole sentence in the dub. He only makes one lip flap and yet they make him babble on.


Entire Series Edit: They add weird plasma ball effects to Beryl’s staff.





They add a picture of the city to Beryl’s staff after Jadeite shows up.

They edit out a picture of a building before they cut to the jewelry store.

They edit out a frontal shot of Jadeite and his hand absorbing the energy.

Molly: “Serena and I came to see the…”

Serena: “…Rhinestone jewelry!”

God forbid you just translate the words and try to make them fit the mouth flaps properly instead of making awkward dialogue like this.

In the original, after Usagi and Naru get mobbed at the jewelry store, Usagi says she really wants that ring since it’s 30,000 yen when it usually runs for 500,000 yen. They go back and forth about how her dad won’t pay it, especially since she failed her English test and she’s already used up her allowance.

In the dub, they talk about how Molly’s mom is acting strange. This is actually funny because Molly says “I dunno, but I’m really worried” with a giant smile on her face. Molly also gasps and says “Where are you going?” when Serena makes no indication that she’s leaving. (Also, why would that make Molly gasp?) Serena says she’s going home to take a nap.

The prices, by the way, are horribly off. In the original, the ring is usually 500,000 yen, roughly 5,700 US dollars, but she’ll lower it to 30,000 yen, roughly 350 US dollars. In the dub, she says she’ll sell the ring to her for 10 DOLLARS. That’s quite the jump, DiC.

Why did Serena throw that test away? Her teacher said she needed it back signed in the dub. You’ll get in even more trouble if you throw it away, moron.

Even though Mamoru is kinda rude to Usagi in the original, he just tells her to study harder after seeing her grade. He doesn’t call her stupid or lazy like Darien does. They also change Usagi’s nickname ‘Dumpling Head’ to ‘Meatball Head’ because America doesn’t have dumplings apparently.

They edit out a faraway shot of Mamoru as Usagi turns around. She also calls him a weirdo in the original, not ‘cute.’ Also, nice song cue on Darien. It was no secret he was Tuxedo Mask, but adding that song cue just makes it too obvious.

They edit out a repeat of Sailor V popping up on screen doing various poses.

Entire Series Edit: They edit out the commercial break eyecatch in the dub. Which is weird. They purposely add in transitions, but they can’t keep a cool eyecatch?


Usagi’s English test is changed to Algebra…..Ya know, we have English class in America too.

They edit out the shot of Usagi’s family name plate. They also add that Melvin and Serena stayed up all night studying.

They edit out the introduction of Usagi’s little brother. He kicks her in the butt, asks her if their mom locked her out again, then says he wishes he had a better sister before going in the house. Usagi then yells at him and tries to Sailor V Kick him but he shuts the door, causing her to hurt her leg. This entire scene is cut out.


They don’t include some dialogue from the original where Luna thanks Usagi for taking off that bandage. They also omit her saying that having her crescent mark being covered makes her unable to talk and lessens her abilities.

In the original, the words that trigger Usagi’s transformation are “Moon prism power, Make-up!” In the dub it’s just “Moon prism power.”

Right before Luna and Sailor Moon go after Naru, Usagi points to herself and basically says “Eh?” In the dub, they make her say “Okay,” which makes it look awkward because her words aren’t matching her facial expression.

It’s at this point that you truly realize DiC sucks at lipsyncing. They just do.

In the original, one of the mind controlled women comes after Usagi with a broken (beer?) bottle. In the dub, this is edited out and replaced by Morga attacking her instead. Because of this, the scene where Morga attacks is repeated in another scene a minute later.


Sailor Says: The dub adds this cheesy ‘message of the day’ segment to the end of each episode called “Sailor Says”. Today was all about putting your mind to something to achieve it….which is weird, because she was just handed magical powers, cried half the time, needed to be saved before just saying a line to defeat the enemy. It’s not like she put much effort into it. She was brave to at least go there and try to confront the threat, though.

Eventually they run out of ideas for this segment and just let it repeat.

The ending theme song is replaced by repeating the opening song. They also replace the ending animation and just add show clips in a picture-in-picture box.

They don’t include next episode previews in the dub.

Coming up next, a fortune-teller is taking the city by storm, but it’s really Jadeite’s demon taking people’s energy. This episode was never dubbed, but I’ll be talking about it for completion purposes.

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Fushigi Yuugi Review

Fushigi Yuugi

Plot: Miaka Yuki is a normal middle school student who is currently trying to get into the same high school as her best friend, Yui Hongo. One day, Miaka and Yui stumble upon a book in their local library called The Universe of the Four Gods. As they read it, the book magically sucks them in to the world of the Universe of the Four Gods.

Yui is transported back to their world rather quickly, but Miaka is stuck in the book world. Through reading the book, Yui is able to follow Miaka’s exploits in the world and finds that she is also physically connected to Miaka and feels much of what she feels. Miaka discovered that she is the prophesied Priestess of Suzaku – the one who will join the seven celestial warriors of Suzaku to summon the legendary god, Suzaku.

Along the way, she falls in love with the celestial warrior, Tamahome, and eventually has to deal with the forces of the celestial warriors of Seiryu, led by the Priestess of Seiryu, her best friend Yui.

Breakdown: I have such mixed feelings about this show. I’ve never come into contact with a show that can make me rage so much yet in the end I can still say that I’d watch it all over again, especially when it’s a moderately long show.

I could go into a long rant analyzing every single episode, but, this being a fairly long show, I figured I wouldn’t do that. Instead, I’ll just place any and all criticisms into specific categories – characters, animation/art, story, plot, and music.

There are also three OVAs to Fushigi Yuugi, but since I count each OVA as a different series, I’ll be reviewing them all in separate reviews.



Let’s start with the Suzaku warriors.

Miaka: HOO BOY starting off with a doozy. I can already feel the veins in my forehead popping up.

At the beginning of the show, Miaka’s no more annoying than any other female protagonist. Average ditzy student hanging out with her friends, you know the drill. She’s fine at this point. Until one day she comes across a book called “The Universe of the Four Gods.” She and her best friend, Yui, start reading the book, and that’s where her adventure begins.

She goes zero to sixty in record time in reaching her massively annoying form after that. She’s almost always yelling in her nails-on-a-chalkboard voice. Throughout the entire anime, she gets attacked by practically anything that moves. If a male character comes into contact with her, they either instantly fall in love with her or they want to rape her to keep her from summoning Suzaku. (Cue the Seiryu boys) Seriously, there’s a good string of, I wanna say 10-15 episodes that are pretty much dedicated to finding a way to steal Miaka’s virginity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at a point, it just sounds like a bad hentai plot.

The reasoning behind this is that the priestess of any god needs to be a virgin in order to be able to summon their respective god. So yeah, Miaka’s basically a rape target for a while so that they can prevent the summoning of Suzaku. How nice.

In addition, she is 100% useless in any battle situation. The only thing she’s useful for is getting attacked so someone, usually Tamahome, can save her. If she ever does do anything useful, it’s usually because of someone else’s power. IE, she’s saved herself a couple of times through Nuriko’s magic bracelets, and she once saved herself through use of Hotohori’s sword. But then she ends up fainting or something afterwards.

I used to think Kagome from Inuyasha or Sakura from Naruto were useless. At least Kagome knows some archery and has some powers than have even taken Naraku out at some points. At least Sakura actually has some semblance of abilities even over that of her friends, and becomes more useful later. I know that Miaka’s a spindly middle-school girl and it’s understandable that she’s like this, but Miaka doesn’t even ask to be taught how to fight or protect herself or anything. Surely there’s some magic or tool she can use to at least protect her a little until the Suzaku Seven come for her, but nope. What’s worse is that she just blindly runs into crap with no idea what she’s doing only to end up getting hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, she gets hurt, gets sick, faints for whatever reason, or acts like a total klutz in nearly every episode. We get it – you’re the damsel in distress.

Oh right, I should mention that she has this terrible speech impediment. Tamahome has the same thing. There’s no known cure. You see, she has to add “Tamahome” to the end and beginning of every sentence, and on many occasions she needs to yell it at the top of her lungs. Even if the situation has NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM.

“Hey, I wanna have rice for lunch…” *takes bite of rice* “….Tamahome….You should be here enjoying this rice with me….”

“Ow I got a papercut…..Tamahome…help me.”

“Tamahome….Tamahome…TAMAHOMMMEEEEEEEEEEE—” Shut up!

Like I said, Tamahome has caught this as well, except he has to say “Miaka”

While on the subject of Miaka and Tamahome, I’ve never seen a more annoying relationship. If I had a dime for how many times they’ve broken up, gotten back together, were separated, and then reunited I could actually afford to buy a bicycle in Pokemon instead of wandering around looking for a bike voucher.

Several times I was hoping Miaka would just go to someone else. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of guys who are in love with her. Hotohori, Nuriko, Amiboshi, I think I’m forgetting some, but you get it. Plenty of guys proclaiming they love you – go off with them and let this drama fest be over.

But, of course, I knew that wouldn’t happen. I knew they would end up together and live happily ever after. I just got so sick of their relationship at a point. To be fair, they do have a very good romance when they’re not being annoying…..which doesn’t happen all that often, but still. There was plenty of chemistry between the characters and you could always tell that they were genuinely in love.

The constant thing of Yui being in love with Tamahome as well and wanting to take him away from her at all costs wasn’t helping either. Yui’s reason for claiming she’s practically entitled to him was just stupid. “I was in love with him first! I should have him! Nanananan!” What are you, four?

How do you know you fell in love with him first anyway? So you fell in love with him the instant you saw him? Miaka could’ve had it the same way. You both met him at the exact same time.

Okay, enough badmouthing, time for some positive.

Miaka is a brave girl, I suppose, but she’s brave in the sense of ‘stupid with love’ brave. If Tamahome’s in danger, she will brave even the most horrible things to get to him. The problem with this is that she has nothing to back this up and almost always requires a rescue afterwards. So, though it is noble, it also puts her in way more damsel in distress moments. She doesn’t think things through in this regard and tends to make matters worse.

Miaka is caring, even to her enemies if she sees something good in them. Her heart is in the right place. She wants to do whatever she can to help the world inside the book and help Yui.

And uhh…..I got nothing else.

For a long time she was so annoying to me that I thought she was my list topper as most hated female protagonist….but oh no…..That was before……During much simpler times…Before I saw…..her.…..But that’s for another review! 😀

Tamahome:  Tamahome’s pretty okay. There’s really nothing fantastic about him, and he’s pretty funny in the first handful of episodes because of his obsession with money. Of course, it gets slightly less funny when you realize that he’s obsessed with money because he’s trying to save it for his poor family – several younger siblings and an ill father.

Later, he just gets kinda bland. His one mindset is to protect Miaka, so his personality after a certain event happens just turns him into a cookie cutter “Knight in shining armor in love with the princess…err priestess.” Actually, considering he’s a character in a book, that might be extremely fitting.

Other than the aforementioned speech impediment (MIAAAAAAAAAAKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!) nothing really irks me about him that much. Sometimes he’s almost as dumb as Miaka is, though.

Hotohori: I was actually rooting for Hotohori to get with Miaka over Tamahome at a point. He may be kind of egotistical and in love with his looks on rare occasions, but he is noble, kind, loving, and yes, he is very pretty.

In fact, Hotohori, feel free to quote Sesshoumaru from GangXingba’s Inuyasha Episode Infinity.

Hotohori: “God, I am so fucking pretty.”

Hotohori  never wanted to be emperor. He was never truly loved by anyone, and felt that if anyone actually did show him affection it was because of his title.

He then heard the legend of the Priestess of Suzaku and fell in love with her before he even met her. He waited for the day she would appear in this world, deep in the belief that they would fall in love and live together forever.

Despite some overhanging chance at this relationship during the first 15-20 episodes, of course, this never happens. Hotohori is as noble as can be about it, though. He not only willfully steps aside, he also swears to do anything to protect Tamahome and Miaka’s relationship. All he wants is for her to be happy.

Being fair, while I enjoyed their relationship more than Miaka and Tamahome, Hotohori is mostly in love with an idealized version of her that he had before he knew her name or what she looked like. While I still believe they could work very well together, that’s not really a basis for a healthy relationship.

My biggest problem with Hotohori is, despite being a central character for the first few handful of episodes, he’s quickly negated from 98% of the show until the characters return to Konan. The reason for this is that he’s the emperor of Konan, so he can’t really leave Konan for that long. When they get back, we’re thrown a huge curve-ball – Hotohori got married and impregnanted his wife while they were off getting the Shinzahos (Magical items needed to summon the gods).

Guess he really is over Miaka.

Nuriko: Nuriko is a crossdressing, funny, strongman. He started crossdressing when his little sister died because he wanted to keep her memory alive.

Initially, Nuriko was an annoying pain in the ass. While acting like a girl, he was mostly a bitch. He hated that Hotohori gave much of his attention to Miaka, while Nuriko had been in his harem for years and he never paid any attention to him.

Nuriko is in love with the emperor, and, later, he develops a small thing for Tamahome as well. As you can guess, this causes even more jealousy towards Miaka as Tamahome also didn’t return any attention to Nuriko and paid all of his attention to Miaka.

Nuriko basically did everything he could to be mean to Miaka, even as Miaka was only trying to be his friend. Eventually, the two become best friends, and it’s when this happens that Nuriko actually becomes a more likable character.

Nuriko later confesses that he loves Miaka. When he’s stating this, he claims it’s a brother-sister kind of love, but the fantasy he has before he dies says otherwise. Sure, in the fantasy, they’re off shopping and having fun like best friends, but it’s more like a date. I even believed they would kiss at the end of it. It’s really left open to interpretation.

About midway through the show, Nuriko dies a very tragic death. Nuriko’s death has a huge impact on the characters and the show. In fact, out of all the characters that die, I believe Nuriko’s death has the biggest homage to the character. He basically gets a whole episode dedicated to mourning his death. I don’t think anyone else gets more than a few minutes.

I almost cried when Nuriko died, which is a testament to the show’s writing to have me nearly crying over someone who initially grated my nerves.

Hotohori said he felt Nuriko’s presence when he met his bride. Almost as if he was introducing them. This is somewhat creepy because Houki, Hotohori’s wife, actually looks a lot like Nuriko.

Despite a fan’s hopes that this is somehow Nuriko and that he finally got his wish to be the emperor’s wife, it’s not. But let’s save that for the OVAs.

Chichiri: Chichiri’s an awesome character. He’s like Miroku from Inuyasha if he wasn’t a pervert, was 100x more powerful and was more cartoony.

Chichiri’s face was scarred and his left eye was gouged out a few years before he became a Suzaku warrior. He was engaged, but his fiance kissed his best friend before they got married.

This enraged Chichiri and sparked a huge fight between the two. During a flood, he tried to save his friend from the rushing waters, but a log smashed into Chichiri’s face, gouging out his eye and scarring him. Because of this, he lost his best friend in the rushing water. Chichiri wears a mask that can move as naturally as an actual face. With this mask, his eyes become slanted slits, like how some people draw fox eyes.

Chichiri is often comic relief in addition to Tasuki, but he’s also very useful in terms of power and wisdom.

Something that bothers me in the English version is that he says “Ya know” way too much. I know in the Japanese version this is an occasional quirk, but he does it all the time in the English version.

Tasuki: Tasuki is awesome. He’s a former bandit and a loudmouthed jokester who provides much of the comic relief throughout the show. Don’t take him as dumb comic relief though – he’s a strong warrior with the powers of flame whose sense of honor is rivaled only by his stubbornness.

He also knows when to be serious and dearly cares for all of his allies, openly crying or otherwise showing great emotion when one of his own is dying, hurt or dead.

Mitsukake: He’s a doctor.

Chiriko: He’s a kid.

Next up–……Oh, you want more on those two? Tough.

Mitsukake and Chiriko get little to no attention during their whole run up until their deaths. And even when they die, it’s like it doesn’t matter. They’re utterly ignored. For example, Mitsukake and Chiriko were given special weapons along with the rest of the Suzaku Seven, but for the life of me I don’t remember what they were. I only remembered Chiriko’s was a scroll because he said to use it in his place after he died. I still don’t remember Mitsukake’s.

Mitsukake is, indeed, a doctor with the power of healing. His tragic backstory is that he tried to save his beloved Shoka from a disease, but got to her too late. She passed away while he was off in another village treating patients. He gives up medicine because of this until he’s recruited for the Suzaku Seven.

His entire role after he gets recruited is to heal someone if they’ve been severely wounded. That’s it. He’s a prop in the background along with Chiriko the rest of the time.

In the last episode, Tamahome is listing off everyone’s strong points, like Tasuki’s courage and Chiriko’s wisdom. As he says Mitsukake’s name, he follows it up with….



Even more insultingly, when Miaka is told that Mitsukake is dead and Hotohori is dying her reactions are as such.

Miaka: *blank face*

Keisuke: “Mitsukake is dead.”

Miaka: *no change in expression*

Keisuke: “And Hotohori is dying.”

Miaka: *gasp* 😯 *cry cry cry*

Maybe he wasn’t the most important of the Suzaku Seven, but he deserves more respect that this.

Chiriko’s only talent, that’s shown in like, one episode, is that he’s smart. End of story.
He’s a young child studying to be a government official. That’s it.

He gets less attention than Mitsukake and that’s just pathetic. He only gets one episode to introduce himself, and he’s basically the equivalent to a lamp until he dies.

In fact, Amiboshi, who masqueraded as Chiriko to trick Miaka and Suzaku Seven, got WAY more screentime while pretending to be Chiriko than the real Chiriko did. That. Is. Sad.

During neither death do you feel sad in the least because you never got to give one iota of a damn about these characters.

Onto the Seiryu warriors.

Before I start, though, I wanna ask, why exactly are all the Seiryu warriors, barring Amiboshi, complete jackasses?

The celestial warriors are supposed to be noble, kind and great warriors no matter what god they’re serving. Everyone in the Suzaku Seven are, and everyone we’ve met of the Genbu and Byakko seven were. Everyone in the Seiryu Seven just seems to be a bunch of assholes. Why? I know they’re the antagonists of the story, but why?

Yui: Yui was a cool character in the beginning. She got sucked into “The Universe of the Four Gods” along with Miaka, but on the first trip there she was only there for all of 10 minutes before getting transported back to her world. She then reads the book and follows Miaka’s story until Miaka gets transported back. However, as Miaka returns, Yui gets trapped in the book.

Miaka doesn’t realize this and spends a good day back in her world before she figures out that Yui’s missing (Derp) and even longer before she realizes she’s in the book (Derp) so she goes back into the book to save her. She realizes that six months have passed in the book since she left since time works differently in the book than it does in the real world (this causes many weird contradictions later).

In that time, Yui wasn’t as lucky as Miaka. Whereas Miaka had Tamahome and her warriors protecting her from almost the minute she entered the world, Yui found no one. She was attacked by a gang of thugs and almost raped. Nakago saved her before anything happened, though.

She believed she was raped since Nakago deceived her. She tried to kill herself by slitting her wrist, but she was, again, saved by Nakago. He then slowly brainwashed her into believing Miaka was the cause of all her misfortunes in this world and believed that the only reason she went back into the book was for Tamahome. (Which…she is sorta guilty of, kinda. I mean, while Miaka is back in her world, she spends more time thinking of Tamahome than where Yui is, and when she returns to the book she spends more time thinking of Tamahome than Yui, who might very well be dead by that point.)

Yui then became a major bitch, set on nothing but revenge against Miaka and taking Tamahome away from her.

Yui’s overall annoying from when she becomes the Priestess of Seiryu to when she finally learns the truth. She does anything and everything to keep Miaka and Tamahome apart, and, considering their relationship track record, that got old so fast.

Yui and Miaka have a great bond, despite all of this. After she realizes the truth, their friendship proves to be stronger than ever and she finally loses her bitchy, whiny attitude.

….Well, kinda. Late in the anime she admits that she never believed Miaka betrayed her (WHAT?!) She was just jealous that Tamahome was taking Miaka away from her. As Miaka became happy with Tamahome, Yui became more alone and miserable. Basically, she’s implying that she wasn’t trying that hard to separate them because she wanted Tamahome for herself – she was trying to separate them because she wanted Miaka to be as alone as she was.

Healthy relationship you got there. “I’m not mad at you, Miaka, and I never believed for a second that you were the cause of my misfortunes, but I hope to God you end up alone and miserable as I have been!”

So….yeah, she kinda adds a spice of bitchiness as she redeems herself, but yeah. At least she did more or less redeem herself.

Nakago: For the main villain of this anime, he sure is bland. Yeah, he does things you hate him for, like try to rape Miaka, use Soi as a tool, use Yui as a tool, doesn’t give a damn about his allies, even killing one because he was no longer of use, but he’s so bland.

He’s a monotone, pretty boy villain with aspirations to gain the power of a god and rule the world. That’s about as cliché as cliché’s get. His voice doesn’t help things either. No matter if he’s happy or mad or whatever, he never sounds any different. I’m pretty sure he’s meant to sound monotone and emotionless, but how can you be scared of him when he talks like that?

In addition, he is way too overpowered in my opinion. I believe that all the warriors should be evenly matched or at least KIND OF evenly matched in terms of abilities. They don’t have to have the same amount of power as the rest, but same amount of usefulness would be nice. Yet Tamahome reigns over the Suzakus and Nakago reigns over, well, pretty much everyone.

Also, I find it pretty dumb that they don’t even beat Nakago fairly. They have to seal Seiryu away in Chiriko’s scroll (It actually had a purpose!), making him powerless before Tamahome beat him.

I read on Wiki that Nakago was the series creator, Yuu Watase’s, favorite character, but for the life of me I can’t see why. They save his backstory for the very last episode and expect us to have pity for him.

When he was a child he saw his father be killed and his mother raped before him. He went nuts with his Seiryu power and blasted all of them away, including his mother while she was still alive, and his father’s body. After that, he was sexually molested by the emperor of Kutou.

It is awful that that stuff happened to him, but I don’t have any more sympathy for him that I would any other villain origin story that was like that. Abuse is terrible, but it doesn’t give you a free pass to be a murdering, manipulating, near-rapist. On top of all that he’s still an asshole and insanely boring. I really don’t get the appeal.

Suboshi: Suboshi seemed pretty okay. I liked him about the same as Amiboshi, until he went darkside.

His twin brother, Amiboshi, was a spy in the Suzaku Seven, as I’ve already mentioned. He pretended to be Chiriko, the final unknown member of the Suzaku Seven, in order to screw up their plans to summon Suzaku. After being found out and chased out of the building, Amiboshi dropped himself into a rushing river and was presumed dead. Suboshi, feeling the link of his twin brother being severed, went insane with grief.

Blaming the Suzaku Seven, assuming they had killed his brother, he went after them for revenge. Seeking Tamahome out specifically, Suboshi viciously murdered Tamahome’s three younger siblings (All ranging from about 4-7 years old) and his ailing father in cold blood.

And that’s about where I dropped off that wagon. I don’t care how much one person meant to me, even if they were taken away by someone, I would never murder innocent children and a sick old man to exact revenge. That’s way too far. And to feel no remorse for your actions, even at death, is appalling. I wonder how Suboshi would’ve reacted if he knew that Tamahome didn’t murder Amiboshi or even try to.

Something I still find weird though is how did Suboshi felt the link being severed if Amiboshi never actually died? And wouldn’t Suboshi be wracked with guilt knowing he killed children and a sick old man when his brother never even died? Even if he still believed Tamahome tried to kill him, you’d think it would affect….in some way….at all….in the least.

Amiboshi: I basically explained Amiboshi in Suboshi’s description, but there’s more.

Amiboshi didn’t really die in that river. He survived and was cared for by an elderly couple. They took him in as their son and named him Kaika. Amiboshi pretended to have amnesia and decided to live in peace with them until Miaka showed up. They wanted her to be Amiboshi’s bride, and Amiboshi wanted that too so that they could both live in peace, away from all the war and fighting, but she refused. He later went on to be an ally, but Suboshi gave him the juice of the forgetfulness leaves so he could live with that elderly couple in peace forever.

I like Amiboshi. In fact, to be honest, I kinda wish he was Chiriko. He sure is a lot more interesting than the real one and powerful to boot. When Amiboshi revealed himself to be one of the Seiryu Seven and “died,” Chiriko just popped up like “Hey I’m the real one!” and everyone was like “Cool. Well, no time to develop your character any. Let’s go do stuff.”

Also, making Amiboshi one of the Suzaku Seven would’ve made for a great storyline. One twin on the Seiryu side, another on Suzaku. The drama practically writes itself.

Soi: The only female Seiryu member and one of the few known female celestial warriors period, Soi is a sex doll, basically.

Yup. Sex doll. She controls lightning, but she also has skills in life force technique, as seen when she constantly sleeps with Nakago to improve his life force (Because of course that’s a thing.)

She was sold to a brothel as a child and Nakago saved her before she did anything. Thus she grew up to love him no matter who he slept with or focused on. So…he saved her from a life of having sex for a living to….basically have a sex for a living. Gotcha.

I didn’t mind her that much. In fact, she was probably the most human of the Seiryus barring Amiboshi and Suboshi. And she actually does have some moments with Nakago that show his softer side. I just don’t like how she was treated.

The other Seiryus really aren’t all that important. There’s Tomo, an illusion master, Ashitare, a werewolf-man thing and Miboshi, who can possess people, seemingly making him immortal, and summon demons.

In terms of other characters back in the real world, there’s also Miaka’s brother, Keisuke, and his best friend Tetsuya. They begin following the story of the Universe of the Four Gods after Miaka returns to the book. They investigate the story behind the book, having a few adventures themselves. Keisuke’s pretty cool. A lot better of a sibling than most anime characters. Tetsuya’s…..I wear my sunglasses at night. So I can, so I can—Oops..I mean, he’s cool. I like him as much as Keisuke, but he does wear his sunglasses 24/7 for no real reason.

Story: The story is very interesting. There’s an entire universe within the book of the Universe of the Four Gods. There are priestesses of four gods; Suzaku, Seiryu, Genbu and Byakko, that get transported into the book to summon the respective beast/god by bringing together all of the celestial warriors of their respective beast and save the land.

There are a few key points of the story I wish they would change though.

1: Did we really need such a strong push on that whole “The priestess must be a virgin” thing? That calls for so much attempted rape and believe me, it happens. Attempted rape. No actual rape happens, no worries. It gets kinda tiring when a whole arc of the series is dedicated to trying to rape Miaka so she won’t be able to summon Suzaku.

2: Did 80% of the male characters really need to fall in love with Miaka?

3: I am well aware this is a shoujo series, but for the love of god some of the romance scenes are very overdone and cheesy. Hold the phone – Tamahome’s and Miaka’s are. If you pair anyone else up, even if it is Tamahome OR Miaka, it’s fine and pretty well done. However, Tamahome’s and Miaka’s relationship gets so corny sometimes. It’s a beautiful love when done right, but so much is tiring and cheesy and boring. Maybe that’s just me, though.

4: Why bother with that whole “giving them new amazing weapons” thing if you were going to do little with it above the whole thing with Nuriko’s bracelets? I still don’t know what Mitsukake’s item was or what it was supposed to do. They get no focus, no real explanations, and they just seemed to be thrown in there for nothing.

Other than those factors, I really did enjoy the story, and ending was good. Not overly dramatic, just about right. Even the ending goodbye to all the warriors was well done and not overly sad. Though I still believe Chiriko’s goodbye comment was out of place. I get that his only focus was being intelligent, but when everyone’s giving heartfelt goodbyes and you spring up with “Do you really think studying is boring, Miaka?” I just…ugh. Even Tasuki’s was better with his semi-snarky goodbye, but that’s because we would never expect a sappy goodbye from him.

However, they did kinda ruin the ending by adding three canon OVA’s on top of it to continue the story, but that’s a speedbump we’ll get to later. On it’s own, it’s a very solid title.

Art and Animation: The art for the manga is awesome.

The art for the anime is….okay. The times when they’re freezing on one scene are decent, but for the rest it’s just okay. The art’s nothing to write home about and the animation is pretty stiff. Even though there are quite a few intense hand-to-hand battles, it usually gets boiled down to the ol’ *punch* *black screen* *flash* *frozen scene of someone getting punched with flashing background*

It’s not terrible, it’s just okay. And that sums up classic Studio Pierrot in a nutshell.

The ending credits’ art is fantastic, though. However, it just looks like they took art from the manga, plastered it in the end credits and streamed clips from the episode in the corner.

I have my qualms with the music. It’s not horrible, but there are so many times when the music was inappropriate. Like when Nuriko’s about to die, there’s this irritating poppy 80s-esque music playing in the background. Even when it’s a terribly emotional episode, you still have that damn ending theme song cue. Imagine you just went through this emotional episode and, always before the episode even ends, about 20 seconds before the credits roll, it goes DADADADADADAAAAAAAAAA in trumpets then the synthesizer plus trumpets go on for the ending. I was really annoyed by this, especially in episodes where someone died.

The overall music is okay, but still that pissed me off a great deal.

Bottom Line: Overall, the series is quite enjoyable and a classic to many. Like I said, despite the fact that this series gives me a lot of rant fodder, it’s still an enjoyable watch and I’d gladly sit down and watch it again sometime in the future.

Additional Information and Notes: Fushigi Yuugi: The Mysterious Play was based on a manga by Yuu Watase. The anime series was directed by Hajime Kamagaki and was produced by Studio Pierrot. The series is currently licensed in the United States by Media Blasters.

Episodes: 52

Year: 1995-1996

Recommended Audience: There’s attempted rape scenes, mentions of rape. There is one rape scene in which rape is actually occurring. Nakago’s mother is getting raped in one scene, but you can’t see a thing or hear anything suggestive – you just hear her pleas for help. I never would’ve known she was being raped if I hadn’t read it on Wiki, that’s how subtle it is. Some consensual sex is attempted, only one actual sex scene occurs, and you can’t really tell they were having sex unless you’re really paying attention. There’s also swearing, violence, murder of young children, implied child molestation, some waist-up nudity. The atmosphere’s pretty heavy at certain points too.


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Tokyo Mew Mew Review

Plot: Ichigo Momomiya is a normal junior high school student. She’s klutzy, head over heels for a great guy, and loves to eat. One day, while out at an endangered species exhibit at the zoo with her crush, Aoyama, an earthquake occurs, and Ichigo as well as four other girls find themselves bathed in a weird light.

She falls unconscious and has a strange dream about fusing her body with a black cat, but brushes it off for the most part. Until, that is, she starts displaying weird cat-like traits such as landing on her feet after huge falls, chasing butterflies and developing an insatiable hunger for fish.

After meeting Ryou Shirogane and Keiichiro Akasaka, she learns that she was infused with the DNA of the endangered red data animal, the iriomote wildcat. Shirogane and Akasaka explain that this fusion allows her to transform into a Mew Mew – Mew Ichigo to be precise – a powerful heroic cat girl.

She is tasked with defeating chimera animals—alien parasites that have infected animals and turned them into monsters. Along the way, she meets up with the other four Mews – Mint, infused with the power of a blue lorikeet, Lettuce, fused with the power of a black finless porpoise, Pudding, infused with the power of a golden lion tamarin and Zakuro, infused with the power of a grey wolf. Together, they have to defeat the chimera animals and the aliens who are controlling them to save the world.

Breakdown: Tokyo Mew Mew, at face value, really doesn’t do much to change up the magical girl formula. The formula is changed a bit in that it’s not really magic, it’s science. Though, to be honest, it might as well be. Call it science all you want, this is still a magical girl anime. There’s no way science is making these weird attack powers and magical girl outfits.

It’s also rather formulaic in its characters. The lead is about the same as most magical girl lead stereotypes. As I said, she’s klutzy, loves food and is deeply in love with Aoyama with their relationship eventually becoming a key focal point in the series. However, she doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as Usagi from Sailor Moon used to, and she knows full well when to stick to her guns and fight and not obsess over petty stuff in the middle of battles.

It is annoying that Ichigo gets so much favoritism in terms of…well, practically anything. She gets to be the leader for no adequately given reason. She gets to know what animal she’s fused with immediately (we have to wait until episode 17 for everyone else’s), she has weird animal traits outside of transformation while the others get nothing (Well, it’s hinted that Zakuro can maybe speak to canines, and one episode shows that Mint is able to talk with birds, but that’s it.) Shirgogane and Akasaka said it might be because Ichigo’s a better match for her animal than the others are with theirs, but I call bull since they said at the beginning of the series that they all had to be perfect matches.

She gets two different attack items and three attacks while the other Mews never get anything new, and it seems like the other Mews are fairly useless on their own and always need Ichigo to finish off the enemy or save them.

There’s also the fact that Ichigo has a reverse-School Days effect on her. So many guys in the series are attracted to her. Kisshu, Aoyama, Shirogane, and The Blue Knight.

Aoyama’s a good character, but he’s a little too good.

Like many male leads in magical girl anime, he’s seen as perfect by many girls, and he is way too perfect to me. He has no weak points that I ever saw. He’s not bad at anything, he never got annoying, he has a handsome character design, he has a comforting voice, he’s a great person, he’s a great boyfriend to Ichigo. He’s just…perfect.

He doesn’t even fall into the trope of the guy whom the main girl hates at first then eventually falls in love with. They both mutually like each other from the start. And there’s no real drama in their relationship. Granted, yes, the whole secret of the Mew Mew thing does cause some wackiness and minor tension, but when he finally finds out it doesn’t shake up things that much and he’s very accepting of her.

And also, there’s something very convoluted about his character.


Aoyama is secretly a character named The Blue Knight. And you can guess just by the name that he’s our resident Tuxedo Mask for the series. Pops up in the nick of time to save the girls, usually Ichigo, from some danger then ‘leaves the rest’ up to them.

However, The Blue Knight never got quite as annoying with this trope as Tuxedo Mask did. He doesn’t appear nearly as frequently as our tuxedo’d friend did in the early days of Sailor Moon. Aoyama has no idea that he’s The Blue Knight. He transforms into him whenever he senses that Ichigo may be in danger. Aoyama always loses his memories of becoming him and doing the things that he does.

That’s interesting and pretty unique, albeit confusing…..but that’s not all!

He’s also our main baddie, a mysterious alien named Deep Blue. And by ‘mysterious’ I mean he spends 95% of the entire show being nothing but a silhouette. How this works exactly is beyond my understanding. I just remember being really confused during the scene where they try to explain it. He also has no knowledge of being Deep Blue, either.


Next up is Mint. I don’t care for Mint. She’s kinda our Rei-ish-kinda character since she’s the one who’s always butting heads with Ichigo but really has a heart of gold. I don’t really like her much because she’s a snotty rich diva for a good chunk of the show. She does get less annoying and has some sincere moments, but for the most part she’s irritating.

She does little work at the café, instead choosing to sit around drinking tea most of the time, yet she still has the nerve to order Ichigo around.

Lettuce is your standard shy glasses girl. However, despite the fact that she is as such, she’s not noted as being particularly nerdy or intelligent. She likes to read, but she never does anything to imply that she’s supposed to be the token ‘smart one.’

She does have some moments to shine in the series and one or two moments that really show how much she’s changed as a person. In particular, when she gets exposed to Mew Aqua, which temporarily turns her into a mermaid. Other than that, she’s just nice. Also her music selections are really cool.

However, one thing that really riles me up about her is the fact that she cannot swim.

Remember how I mentioned that it didn’t seem fair that Ichigo was the only one who actually seemed to get any animal traits outside of transformation? Well, the series seems to realize that and outright slaps you in the face with it by making Lettuce, the one who is fused with a finless porpoise…..unable to swim.

She doesn’t even gain the ability when transformed, which is stupid. She has to gain the powers of Mew Aqua and turn into a mermaid to gain that ability. Ichigo can survive falls like she’s Gumby, even if that really isn’t something a cat would be able to do at certain heights, yet Lettuce can’t swim. She does learn, but it’s a skill not a power.

Pudding is probably the most unique one of the group. She’s fairly younger than the rest, and she’s very hyper and goofy. Pudding does get a little grating sometimes, but she means well and is sometimes really funny.

Pudding also has a fairly sad backstory. Her mom passed away years ago, and her dad is off training in martial arts somewhere, so she’s tasked with taking care of her several younger siblings. Yes, that does sound suspiciously like Brock’s backstory in Pokemon, but, unlike in Brock’s story, her dad seemingly never returns.

Zakuro is slightly older than the other Mews and is actually a fairly well-known model. (The very flimsy reason why no one realizes that Zakuro works at the café is because her work attitude is awful and none of her fans would believe that the rude waitress is the model Zakuro. Foolproof.) She does some evil-battling on her own as Mew Zakuro despite the fact that that makes no sense to me.

Why is Mew Zakuro able to do tons of stuff on her own with no problem whatsoever when the other Mews have to rely on Ichigo? And where did she get the transformation pendant when Masha’s supposedly the one that doles them out?

Zakuro’s more mature than the rest and is, no pun intended, the lone wolf. She rarely laughs or even smiles, but she is a true friend to the other Mews.

Mint has a huge crush on her, but she returns her affections as a big sister figure.

Shirogane and Akasaka are pretty likable, even if Shirogane’s kinda rough around the edges. Like you’d expect, they’re both pretty boys, but both are very intelligent and kind and caring to the Mews. They stay on the sidelines quite often but aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty if the situation calls for it.

Finally we have our villains. This is actually one of the main changes that the show brings to the table to differentiate itself from other magical girl anime. The villains, while also seeming like traditional villains at face value (Here’s a monster of the week!–oh you beat it? Witty banter! Bye bye!) are not really your average villains. Yes, there is monster of the week stuff. Yes, they do answer to some shadowy figure. Yes, it does seem like their main goal is taking over the world.

But they actually have a fairly good reason for taking over the world.

They used to live on the earth until a series of disasters forced them to leave. They fled to another planet that they thought would be a viable home for them, but it turned out to be even worse in regards to environment as the earth. Some of the aliens (their species is never named) came back to earth after several thousand/million years of suffering on their temporary planet.

When they returned, they found the earth had been taken over by humans and started ruining their planet with concrete and pollution. (There is a slight environmentalist/save the animals slant to the show but it’s not terribly preachy)

The aliens, whom technically are not aliens, are Kisshu, Taruto and Pai – under the command of a mere voice who promised them their home back, Deep Blue. (Slowly, Deep Blue does become a shadowy figure and eventually his actual form. He’s in a weakened disembodied state at first and needs to slowly regain his form.) He orders them to start collecting the mysterious power of Mew Aqua to take their planet back. Their search and subsequent attack on humanity put them at odds with the Mews, causing a constant battle between them.

You do feel bad for Kisshu, Taruto and Pai as you learn of why they’re doing all of this, and eventually they even become pseudo-good guys.

Kisshu is the main alien to deal with in this series, especially during the first half. He’s actually a pretty funny character (I love when he calls Ichigo “Honey”). He’s the kind of villain who loves to play around but is also really passionate about their goals. Kisshu also has a crush on Ichigo. This crush is not reciprocated since Ichigo loves Aoyama, but I do admit it’s an interesting pairing.

Taruto is like the bad-guy Pudding, except he loves to cause trouble on purpose instead of on accident. He and Pudding actually do become a somewhat of a thing, at least good friends, later on.

Pai is rather forgettable. He has little in terms of personality and is very monotone and serious. He’s the most intelligent and strategic of the group.

The ending is good, even if one scene at end is horribly animated for some reason. One part is really cheesy and works on magical girl romance anime logic, but I can’t really fault it that much as those kinds of scenes are expected in these types of anime. But the very, very ending is left open.

Art and Animation: Don’t expect anything special. It’s very sub-par. The bright colors are nice, and I do like some scenes, but it’s never reaching the point of being impressive. The artwork does get better later on, but it’s fairly typical shoujo fare. This is especially apparent in ‘important’ episodes. I got downright impressed at some points…….I still think Mint’s outfit looks like a towel, though.

As for animation, like many magical girl anime, there’s a lot of the footage is recycled due to constant transformation and attack cutscenes. The actual animation itself is just okay, but it does get pretty bad sometimes like with the aforementioned scene in the last episode.

Music: Average magical girl-ish music. Nothing wrong with the soundtrack as far as I can tell. The overall soundtrack grew on me more over time and rewatches, and the ED is particularly catchy.

Bottom Line: All in all, and all ranting, questions and blathering aside, I fully enjoyed this series. It’s a great magical girl anime. I especially like that they kinda instilled a sense of a +Anima type of sense to the story. I really love that manga.

Additional Notes and Information: Tokyo Mew Mew is based on a manga of the same name written by Reiko Yoshida. The series was directed by Noriyuki Abe and was produced by Studio Pierrot.

The series was licensed for the awful English dub by 4Kids, but 4Kids only dubbed 26 out of 52 episodes because they lost the license because they’re awful.

On the topic of the manga, there was actually a sequel. Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode showcases a new Mew Mew named Beri/Berry (All of the Mews are named after foods – Ichigo means strawberry and Zakuro means pomegranate) who is fused with both a cat and a bunny. Cat because I guess the leader absolutely needs to be a cat, and bunny to differentiate between her and Ichigo. It could also be a throwback to Sailor Moon.

Ichigo doesn’t appear much in this manga as she’s studying overseas with Aoyama, thus Beri has taken over leadership of the Mews despite the fact that the other Mews have far more experience.

Episodes: 52

Year: 2002 – 2003

Recommended Audience: Is there really such a thing as a magical girl anime that’s not suitable for children? Puni Puni Poemy maybe, if that counts as magical girl, but it’s really a parody.

Anyway, no swearing, little violence, no nudity (barring transformation scenes, but it’s nothing worse than Sailor Moon. In fact, it’s probably less so since these girls are younger than the girls in Sailor Moon thus none of them have particularly prominent chests, Zakuro excluded a little.) There is some blood later, as Kisshu gets seriously wounded, but it’s not that much. Later someone gets run through with a sword too, but no blood or wound is seen. 6+

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Wasurenagumo Review


Plot: One of four anime created from the 2011 young animator training project, this is story of a girl-like spider demon who is sealed in a book and reawakened many years later by a used book dealer and his young friend Mizuki.

Breakdown: This goes to show you that just because something is from a bunch of students, doesn’t mean it can’t be a really great anime….even if the ending is really weird.

Wasurenagumo is about a young spider demon who look likes a very tiny girl (about the size of a cat), but with spider legs and a spider torso. After a warrior defeated a giant spider demon many years ago, letting it get away while horribly wounded, he discovers a small baby spider demon amongst the carnage that looks like a young girl. He finds himself unable to kill it and takes it away to care for himself.

He feeds the demon, who is rather cute and kind, but mute. He cares for it for a while, but soon discovers that men in the villages are going missing. As he investigates one night, he finds a man wrapped in web being eaten by the young girl. To stop her, he seals her away in a book.

Many years later, a used book dealer named Suzuri and the granddaughter of the landlord of his apartment, Mizuki, crack open the book and accidentally unleash the girl. Suzuri is rather charmed by the little girl while Mizuki is terrified of her.

They have to find out what they should do with the child while it gets increasingly obvious that this girl is doing something to Suzuri yet he doesn’t notice a thing.

This OVA was something interesting to say the least, and I sincerely applaud the artists and animators who worked on this. All of the art is gorgeous, and the animation is fantastic. These guys are going to go on to do great things.

This anime is really a great story to tell around the fire. The ending comes right out of left field. I won’t spoil it, but it surprised me.

The music is decent. Not memorable, really, but fitting.

The voices are all great, especially the little girl.

Bottom Line: This is a great anime for anyone looking for something different that is well-made and short. Perfect for Halloween and great for anyone with an appreciation for art and animation.

Additional Information and Notes: Wasurenagumo was directed by Toshihisa Kaiya and was written by Daishirou Tanimura. It was produced by Production IG.

Runtime: 20 Minutes

Year: 2012

Recommended audience: There’s no nudity, no swearing, some scary images and violence, 13+

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