Time out – 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 like 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.
Plot: Dub episode 1 (In reality episode 12): The Mew Mews have all 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.
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.
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.
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…………………..*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 supposedly 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 point 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 have issues.
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.
Theme song: 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.
Seriously, 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 90’s and went crazy. Oh and “we can save the world if we collaborate” 4Kids, if you think your audience is retarded, 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 episode 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 episode is episode 1, 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 and 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 bad that she apparently put mustard on her pizza and her friends call her a freak and 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 off the friggin’ 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 your 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 haven’t 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. Great dialogue wasted on a “special snowflake” story. Thanks a lot.
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 cafe, Pudding asks Ichigo why she’s smirking. Again, like earlier, she denies it even though she clearly is and walks off to a customer. Then 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, then 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. The fact that his name translated to ‘silvery-white’ can be alluding to his color when he becomes a cat, but his color as a cat seems slightly too dark to be that.
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.
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