Plot: The Mew Mews have already been established, and Zoey, our main character, has a date with her crush Mark, the most perfect guy to ever perfect. The enemies, the Cyniclons, have targeted five trees that are infused with a poison to poison the entire city. One of the trees is very special to Mark, so Zoey’s all sadface. Mark finds out that Zoey’s a Mew Mew and is cool with it.
Preface: Okay guys, this dub is quite literally mutilated. Episodes are changed around, scenes are misplaced, lots of things are changed, this is going to be a nightmare to compare. But hey, at least it’s only 26 episodes. Yay for the original creators not letting these bastards get the second season! Forgive me if things are wrong or off-kilter, I’ll have to change up my comparing style for this show. Thank you.
Also, I’ve watched the entire series before in Japanese, but never have I ever watched Mew Mew Power before now.
Entire Show Edit: The opening of the original usually has these short recaps of the backstory. Early episodes have backstories on the aliens and the beginning of the world and red data animals. Later episodes have generic recaps like “I’m Ichigo. I used to be a normal girl until magical girl stuff happened etc.” The dub omits this.
Series Title Change: Tokyo Mew Mew has been changed to Mew Mew Power because OOOHHHH JAPAN!! AHHHHHHH!!
Entire Show Edit: Typical 4Kids fashion, hardly any silence and tons of extra dialogue and music. Much of the music, if not all, I’ve hardly seen any of the dub, is replaced by blechy tween girly 90’s-esque music. Which is a damn shame because I love the original BG music….
Wow, we’re just starting off on an AWFUL note. They add this horrifically awful text on the opening screen for the dream that looks like it belongs in a parody of an old 80’s show.
In the original, Ichigo’s transformation phrase is “Mew Mew Strawberry, METAMORPHOSIS!” in the dub, this is changed to “Power pendant, activate” which really makes me want to scream out “Form of…a Mew Mew!”
Entire Show Edit: In the original, Ichigo’s fighting declaration is usually a variation “I’ll serve you until you get sick (of me) ~Nya” at least it is in this episode. I guess that’s supposed to be a throwback to the fact that she’s a waitress. In the dub……*sigh* The dub changes this to…………………..*deeper sigh* “Mew Mew style, Mew mew grace, mew mew power in your face!” ……I need a minute.
-One Minute later-
……Okay I’m fine now….I just….that is so awful….so awful…..awful…..ful….
Name Change: Ichigo Momomiya is changed to Zoey Hanson. This starts a disappointing trend because the names of most of the characters have some meaning. Ichigo means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese, which compliments her red hair when she’s human and her strawberry-esque look as a Mew Mew. Going even further with that, Momo from Momomiya means ‘peach’ which could allude to her pink theme as well. Her last name altogether translates to ‘Peach shrine’.
Attack Name Change: In the original, one of Ichigo’s main attacks, which she does in this dream, is Ribbon Strawberry Check. This is changed to Strawberry Bell FULL POWER!
Entire Show Edit: Ichigo tends to say Nya (Japanese Equivalent of ‘meow’) a lot in the original. The dub doesn’t mirror this. I’m actually okay with this, because I know saying “Meow” or “Mew” constantly would get irritating in this dub. In the original it’s actually natural and cute.
Oh dear God…..Aoyama/Mark sounds HORRID in the dub….4Kids does realize he’s 13 right? Not a 45 year old banker from Florida? Seriously, holy crap. His dubbed voice is so ridiculous. It’s eons older than he actually is. Wow….just wow. Wow.
Name Change: Masaya Aoyama is changed to Mark…..Enterlastnamehere….Seriously, he’s a focal character yet gets no last name. Nice. To give some meaning to his name, Aoyama means ‘blue mountain’, and the blue part likely points to his true identity(ies), which I won’t spoil just yet.
In the original, during the shot of Ichigo’s Mew Mew dress, Aoyama says she’s wearing a frilly dress. In the dub, Mark points out that she has a tail instead….To be honest, the dub kinda makes more sense as something to point out. If you look at her in her Mew Mew outfit and the first thing that you point out is the dress, you need to get your vision checked.
Ichigo doesn’t yell out that she’s a Mew Mew at the end of her dream when she wakes up in the original like Zoey does in the dub.
4Kids never keeps a theme song, so how did they do this ti—awful. Horrid. Terrible. Mind-numbing. Garbage. Just urgh. Granted, I’m not in love with the original theme song either, but this tripe is….well, tripe.
First off, the melody is so pop-girly-pre-teen-ish that it physically hurts me.
Next, the lyrics are so cliché I’m convinced that someone just took a box filled with commonly said girl phrases in the ’90s and went crazy. Oh and “we can save the world if we collaborate” 4Kids, if you think your audience is so stupid, why do you keep throwing out words like “Collaborate”? Oh and the gem of the theme song is the main chorus. Basically the title of the song is called “It’s hard to save the world when you’re falling in love.” or just “When you’re falling in love.”
You know, in my original Tokyo Mew Mew review, I actually praised Ichigo because, unlike a lot of other magical girl anime stars, despite the fact that she was head over heels for Aoyama, she still knew when to cut the crap and fight. She didn’t stop in the middle of battle to go all gooey for the Blue Knight or Aoyama, she pushed it away and did her business. Now you make a theme song that basically takes away all of that praise and makes her seem like that kind of hero. Nice 4Kids, real nice.
If there’s one thing I’ll say for it, the song’s definitely an ear worm. The music staff at 4Kids really seems to have a knack for making catchy tunes at least.
In the original episode 12, the story followed a previous episode where the girls basically outed themselves on national TV. They all appeared on a show by accident, and Ichigo decided to make the best of it and do her pose and say her catchphrase to basically announce their presence to the city.
As Ichigo’s worrying that she said too much in her dream, the kids around her start quoting what they saw on TV, and then she starts worrying if she overdid it on the show.
In the dub, since this is episode one, the kids are all talking about Zoey saying Mew Mew stuff in her sleep. Which, if anybody would bother putting the pieces together later on, would mean that down the line this would essentially out her and her friends.
Because of the aforementioned change, a flashback of the scene on TV has to be edited out.
In the original, hearing one of the boys say the one with red hair in the middle (Ichigo in terms of the TV show, which doesn’t make a lot of sense because her hair is clearly bright pink when she’s transformed) was cute, so she starts smirking. Her friends ask her why she’s smirking and they go back and forth stating she is smirking (which she is) and her denying it.
In the dub, again because of the change, she’s basically stressed out so badly that she apparently put mustard on her pizza and her friends call her a freak. She denies it and thus the back and forth.
Zoey: “What else could I possibly have to do!? It’s not like I’m off battling monsters or something!” Okay first of all, could she sound more bitchy in this scene? She flies right off the handle. Ichigo is riled up, but she’s much more embarrassed than she is rude.
Second, I can give her a pass for saying the Mew Mew stuff in her sleep, even if the original didn’t, but outright saying that for no reason whatsoever makes her seem so stupid that Patrick from Spongebob would have a PhD compared to her. The original just has her state that she’s bored and has absolutely nothing to do.
In the original, Ichigo asks why the tree is blooming because it’s only June and none of the other trees have done so yet. Aoyama then explains that nobody knows and that a college actually sent a team out to investigate the phenomenon.
In the dub, Zoey asks Mark why it’s blooming already since it’s not even spring yet. (Boy, those are some awful light clothes to be wearing in winter. T-shirts and skirts and not a jacket to be found. No snow either. Wow.) Mark then explains that the tree is over 100 years old, and that his grandpa proposed to his grandma under the tree because it reminded them of their old home or something.
Immediately after that, Aoyama tells Ichigo to listen and they hear a cicada chirping in the tree. He tells her that it must’ve woken up early due to the tree changing. He asks her if she knows why a cicada chirps and she says it’s to attract a female cicada. He then gets very somber and states that it’s sad that the cicada is chirping all by it’s lonesome for a mate when no one is around to hear his call. He’s saying “I’m here.”
In the dub, Zoey basically tries to flirt with him, Mark ignores her for a second and then tells her that his grandfather used to tell him that people are like trees in that every one is unique and that everybody should be themselves. He asks Zoey if she agrees and she says yes.
Immediately after that, Aoyama apologizes for talking so much and says that, since she went to the tree with him, that he’s hers for the rest of the day and that they should go somewhere together.
In the dub, he also apologizes for getting all serious, then says that he’s probably going to do his science fair project on why the tree is blooming so early and that he’d love it for her to be his partner.
In the café, Pudding asks Ichigo why she’s smirking. Again, like earlier, she denies it even though she clearly is and walks off to a customer. Pudding asks if something good happened.
In the dub, Kiki asks Zoey if something happened because she’s acting weirder than usual. Zoey responds that she’s completely normal, and it’s not as if she has a crush on anyone.….I’m starting to think this is going to become a regular thing, her spouting off stuff like this. First, she spouts out the stuff about being a Mew Mew in her dreams, then she spouts out the stuff about fighting monsters to Mark, now she spouts out that she likely has a crush on someone. Geez.
Name Change: Pudding Fong is changed to Kiki Benjamin. I’m supposing that Pudding is meant to point out her yellow-ish hair color/theme and sweetness? I couldn’t find out if ‘Fong’ has any substantial meaning.
Name Change: Mint Aizawa is changed to Corina Bucksworth. (4Kids was trying to be cute with that. Mint’s rich….Buck’s worth? Get it?) Mint is probably a throwback to her blue/light blue color scheme. Some variations of the name Aizawa include the word ‘Indigo’, which could further poke at her blue-ness. The name full out means ‘fellow swamp’ or ‘indigo swamp’ but I’m not sure how ‘swamp’ fits in there.
Name Change: Lettuce Midorikawa was changed to Bridget Verdant. Lettuce is obviously a throwback to her completely green color scheme. Midori is also the Japanese word for ‘green.’ Midorikawa full out means ‘Green river’, which could also allude to her gentle and peaceful nature.
To be completely fair, 4Kids kinda kept the green theme in her name. Verdant actually means lush and green pastures. Since they included this in Lettuce’s new name I went back to see if they did anything similar with the others and nope. Corina means ‘Maiden,’ Kiki means ‘New Beginning,’ Zoey means ‘Life’ and Renee means ‘Reborn’….Huh, what’s with this life theme?
Name Change: Zakuro Fujiwara is changed to Renee Roberts. Zakuro is the Japanese word for pomegranate which is purple-ish, alluding to her color scheme. Fujiwara means ‘field of wisterias’, which are purple lilac-like flowers, further alluding to her color scheme.
Name Change: Keiichiro Akasaka is changed to Wesley J. Coolridge the Third….Wow. I don’t think his name is much of an allusion to anything, but it can supposedly be translated as wisdom, knowledge, respect, teach and more which are all traits that Akasaka has.
Akasaka literally means ‘red slope’, which doesn’t really allude to anything about him. There’s actually a weird note about Akasaka. The dub gives nearly every character an age bump, but Akasaka is actually made to be younger in the dub. In the original, he’s 22. In the dub, he’s 17, which kinda makes an issue later on when we learn that years ago he had a falling out with his girlfriend over archeological work he had with a college professor. Granted, this could be explained by saying he’s a super genius who skipped a bunch of grades, but he seems way too grown up to use that excuse.
In the original, Ichigo asks Lettuce how they think it’s viable for Zakuro to be working there since she’ll probably be recognized as a big star. Zakuro waits the table she was assigned to and shows no personality whatsoever to her customer. Lettuce then says that it’s no problem since no one would believe that an unsociable waitress would be the superstar Zakuro. Ichigo says that’s good for her but bad for business meaning that she’ll probably have to work harder.
In the dub, Zoey wonders how Renee will adjust to going from a big star to a waitress, then Bridget points out that the table that’s being waited on by Renee is incorrect. Renee’s customer then states that she didn’t order the food Renee has. Renee asks in a real bitchy tone what she wants her to do about it. The customer says “Nothing” and Renee responds by saying “Thought so.” Wow, 4Kids. Just Wow. Why are you trying to make these characters bitchy and unlikable? Bridget then states that she could jot down some key waitressing phrases for her to try out since she probably works better from a script. Then Zoey surmises that she might benefit from rehearsing lines for her date with Mark.
Also, Kudos to 4Kids, they didn’t even touch the ‘Closed’ sign out front. I would say it wouldn’t make much sense to have a blank sign there, but 4Kids has done that plenty of times before…
Name Change: Ryo Shirogane is changed to Elliot Grant. Ryo translates to ‘Magnificent’ ‘Power’ and as most people know ‘Dragon’, so that’s giving him a bit much credit in name allusions. His last name, however, has several meanings pertaining to silver and white. It literally translates to ‘silvery-white’ or I suppose a platinum color. Shiro means ‘white’ on its own, gane alludes to money and wealth, which pokes at the fact that he’s rich.
They edit out a shot right before the commercial break of basically a cloud of dead flower pedals covering the screen in front of the tree that Ichigo and Aoyama went to.
Entire Show Edit: The commercial break bumps are actually changed instead of completely removed. The original just has the title card “Tokyo Mew Mew” then, after the commercial break, we see all of the Mew Mews in chibi form. In the dub, we get various shots of the girls taken from the original theme song shots with a small clip from the opener with “Laaalaaalala” in the background.
They edited off some insanely small text in the background screen behind Shirogane and Akasaka during the meeting.
Wesley: “And of course your leader, Zoey”…Since when is Zoey assigned the leader? And why is she leader? I mean, in the original, it’s heavily implied that she is. They’re the Mew Mews, the show’s called Tokyo Mew Mew, she’s always at the front, she gets all the best weapons and attacks blah blah, but they never outright say it. In the dub it’s like, ‘but forget all of you guys, let’s introduce the leader!’
In the original, during the exposition-fest, Lettuce asks why they chose them to be Mew Mews. Shirogane says that they didn’t choose them, they moreso found them. He says if they were chosen by anybody…then he just trails off and we get a closeup shot of the monitor with the earth on it.
So either he’s insinuating that they were chosen by nature or God. In the dub, Bridget asks how they can be heroes when they have schoolwork to do, and Elliot says that the earth is at stake and they basically need to deal with it. The closeup shot of the monitor is gone because it couldn’t have fit in in this scene…oh wait, yes it could because they said ‘earth.’ Oops. I dunno why this was changed. The implication of God, if there was one, is incredibly subtle, so religion couldn’t have been much of a factor.
The conversation between Ichigo and Shirogane is somewhat changed. The theme of her wondering how long they’ll be Mew Mews is still there, but she’s a lot more whiny about being a Mew Mew in the dub. Elliot’s also much more of an ass about the situation than Shirogane is. Shirogane basically states that they have to be Mew Mews until they defeat the aliens and he honestly doesn’t know when that is. Until then, they’ll have to cope. Elliot’s like “Be glad you have superpowers and shut up.”
In the original, Zakuro tells Ichigo that, when you’re truly in love, the other person has to get just as excited as she gets when her tail and ears pop out. Then Mint freaks out because Ichigo got special attention from Zakuro and accuses Ichigo of faking a problem to get attention from Zakuro. Lettuce says she doesn’t know what a finless porpoise is (the conversation kinda skips to that for some reason). Mint tells her it’s like a dolphin.
In the dub, Renee basically tells her that she knows a crush when she sees one, and that she’ll need to stay focused or else she’ll get crushed….Whatever that means. Then Corina basically gushes because Zoey got love advice from Renee Roberts who must’ve had tons of boyfriends. Then Bridget asks how old she is to have many boyfriends, and Corina tells her that’s not important.
In the original, Ichigo is simply thinking on her bed before she goes to sleep while talking to Masha. She’s basically saying that the whole situation is too much to believe and that she can’t believe that it’s happening right when Aoyama finally asked her out. Then she starts thinking about going out with him and wondering if it’s truly a date and what will happen when they’re alone.
In the dub, Zoey has just woken up from a nightmare where the aliens invaded and she couldn’t find Mark anywhere. Then Mini-Mew cheers and says “Whoo hoo, Mew Mews to the rescue!” Right, that’s a good response to that statement.
Name Change: Masha is changed to Mini-Mew….Masha’s name has somewhat of a meaning. Ichigo named him after Masaya.
This next scene is changed slightly. In the original, Ichigo’s dad is crying because she’s acting like nothing happened last night (The ears and freaking out and whatnot) In the dub, he’s crying because of “Injuries (he) sustained to (his) neck while trying to open her closet door last night”
In the original, while Ichigo’s on her way to school, she has this inner monologue running about how she’s going to make the best of her situation and try her best with everything. Everything’s going good with Aoyama, she’s found the other Mew Mews, and everything’s going to be okay.
In the dub, 4Kids thought “Inner monologue? Screw that! Crappy pop song? We can market that! Go for it!” Basically they run a pop song that gives the same message, barring the stuff about Aoyama and the other Mew Mews, plays with no inner monologue from Zoey whatsoever. Because of this, the drastic mood change in the original between that scene and Akasaka meeting with Shirogane is completely deflated.
All of the tiny, unreadable text on Akasaka’s computer screen is edited off. Please see the made up Pokemon Language for the reasoning behind this.
In the original, Akasaka says he’ll need 30 minutes to complete his findings for the Mews, thus Shirogane tells the girls that they have 30 minutes to close down the café for important Mew business.
In the dub, Wesley says he already has everything that he needs, and Elliot tells the girls that they need to get the customers out of there in five minutes due to a broken pipe as a health code violation. Five minutes seems very unreasonable compared to thirty minutes. At least with 30 minutes the customers can probably finish their food and drinks before needing to leave. Five minutes seems like a ‘shove them out the door’ situation.
Name Change: Kisshu (Or Kish, but I’m calling him Kisshu) is changed to Dren. Kisshu doesn’t have much meaning, to my knowledge anyway, but it is a food theme like the girls have with their names. The three main villains are called Kisshu, Taruto and Pai, which translate to Quiche, Tart and Pie.
Instead, 4Kids decided to play word games with their names. They’re now Dren, which is ‘nerd’ spelled backwards, Tarb, which is ‘brat’ spelled backwards, and Sardon, which is Nodras spelled backwards….Wait that last one is gibberish….Oh apparently it’s short for ‘sardonic’
4Kids…..Again…..You think your audience is as dumb as rocks…I can understand the Tarb and Dren thing, that’s simple enough for kids to figure out….but Sardonic?….I’ve heard that word about five times my entire life and I just barely knew what it meant, and I certainly didn’t think to connect the dots with that one. You honestly believe that kids will know what that is poking at? Oh maybe they can figure it out “if they collaborate!”
What’s more is, why start such a theme with their names if you weren’t going to keep it up? Call Pai Dren because he is the nerd, Tarb as Taruto is okay because he is a brat, but call Kisshu like Yllub for bully or Krej for jerk or something. How is he a nerd?
During the meeting to talk about the situation at hand, Shirogane and Akasaka tell the girls that they’re to each destroy one of the trees that has become the focal point for a poison infestation. The tree that was important to Aoyama appears on the screen, and they tell them that that tree is the main center of the infestation. Ichigo speaks up and volunteers to go to that tree since she’s already been there before and begs Shirogane to go. He agrees.
In the dub, Zoey is outraged that they have to destroy trees. She says she has principles and that every tree is a unique just like people, mirroring the conversation from before. Elliot says that that’s true but it has to be done. To be honest, I kinda faded out in that scene. All I heard was “Bitch, moan, whine, trees are people too.” Seriously, she sounds like she’s willing to sacrifice the whole city for five trees. Trees are great and all, recycle, save the forest, our environment is precious and should be treated as such, but saying that five trees outweighs the lives of millions of people is about as extremist as you can get.
After that, Shirogane is about to send them off, but then he remembers that Ichigo gave them a name on television the day before so he says “Tokyo Mew Mew, Sortie!” In the dub, he says “Every tree is special like people. I like that. Okay Mew Mews, protect our planet!” Will do there, Gaia. EARTH, WIND, FIRE, WATER, HEART, GO PLANET—Oh wait, wrong show. Sorry.
Hey, had your fill of dumb rhyming catchphrases? Yes? Too bad! In the original, after Shirogane sends them off, all of the Mew Mews recite their names and then say “METAMORPHOSIS!” The dub has them each say a line in this doofy catchphrase.
Mew Mew Fusion!
Mew Mew Fate!
Supernature! (what is supernature?)
Power Pendant, UNIMORPHOSIS!!
Darn. I wanted to take this opportunity to compare their transformation sequences, but since they’re all transforming at once, I’ll have to wait until another episode. However, the clips being used are changed from the original. In the original, the only one we see transforming is Ichigo because she’s the star and screw everyone else.
In the dub, we get a mashup of all of the Mews transforming probably because this is the dub’s first episode so they wanted to try to get everyone’s transformation in there. Give 4Kids credit, at least they wanted to give everyone equal spotlight.
HOWEVER, (yeah, you’re not off the hook) I do have to point something out. Does anyone remember in my Tokyo Mew Mew review where I said TMM was partially unique in that their powers weren’t supernatural, it was all science and DNA and whatnot? Though they do technically have magical powers, most of their power comes from science and technology, or what passes for it here. In the dub, the pop song being used during the transformation is a song called “Supernatural” so they’re basically saying that their power is indeed supernatural and not science based.
In the original, the poison is actually, ya know, a poison. Meaning everyone will die. In the dub, everyone will “go to sleep.”
Entire Series Edit: Kisshu’s style of dress allows you to see these clear ‘groin lines’ whenever you see his stomach. 4Kids paints all of these away.
In the original, Ichigo slips up a bit and almost does her catchphrase while seeing Kisshu, but realizes that she doesn’t have time for that, thus the pose is interrupted. They simply edit this out of the dub.
In the original, we see Kisshu standing for a second after being countered by Ichigo and then a scratch mark appears on his cheek. He then gushes and says that was amazing that she actually injured him when he was being serious and he really wants to spare her life.
In the dub, the scene where Dren’s scratch mark appears is left out, which is odd because it appears mere seconds later in another shot. He also basically just tells her that he’s stalled her long enough for the poison to take full effect.
Entire Series Edit: Zakuro’s wand is in the shape of a cross. The two sides are taken off in the dub to basically just make it a stick.
Sorry, it’s difficult to see, I’ll have a better screen shot during a Zakuro centric episode.
During Ichigo’s attack, we’re constantly back and forthing between Kisshu and Ichigo. He’s yelling at her to not do it because she’ll die if she does. In the dub, every instance of Kisshu during this scene is edited out. Also, they edit out a scene where she jumps at the tree.
In the original, we see a shot of the cicada from earlier now on its back and supposedly dying. This scene is edited out.
The end of this episode is a big cliffhanger in the original. Aoyama appears behind Ichigo while she’s still in Mew Mew form. He has a slight frown on his face as he looks at her and they stare in silence for a while as the background turns into a red light and Ichigo freaks out. We’re left hanging as to his actual reaction.
In the dub, 4Kids said “Well, screw tension.” so they repeated AGAIN the special tree crap from earlier and Mark tells her that it’s okay to be different and that she shouldn’t be ashamed. They cut in clips from another episode to give her credible reactions to this script change. Then they literally turn Aoyama’s frown upside down and make Mark smile at Zoey. The end. 😐
Oh and here’s something new. 4Kids usually removes next episode previews, but here they actually purposely put one in. The preview states that the next batch of episodes will all be the actual first episodes to see how the Mews became the Mews. Ya know, instead of doing that from the beginning like a smart person. Oh and for some reason the next episode preview refuses to say Mew Mew Power. Zoey just keeps saying “Next time on The Mew Mews” Was that like a test title or something?
Getting back to 4Kids’ actual style, the ending theme is removed and replaced by the opening theme song.
Well, that was utterly miserable. The actual episode itself is pretty damn good. There are a lot of good scenes, decent emotional struggles and hardly a stupid moment in sight. The dub, on the other hand, is enragingly terrible. It’s nothing special in regards to edits until the end where they just get insulting. That frown turned upside down thing still haunts my nightmares. Also, where the hell is the tension in the plot line of Zoey’s identity being ousted to Mark now if we have prior knowledge that he’ll be open and accepting of it?
Here’s to 25-ish more episodes of torment!
Next episode, the actual origin story of the Mew Mews.
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