Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 21 Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Mint is plagued by nightmares that make her increasingly annoyed with Ichigo’s attitude about their job. They get into more intense fights than usual until Mint snaps and leaves the team. Zakuro resorts to extreme measures to get her to come to an understanding while Kisshu and the other aliens try out Mew Aqua for themselves.

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We get a couple of shots inserted at the very beginning. To show the audience that this is indeed a dream sequence, 4Kids adds in a shot of Corina’s house as well as her sleeping in bed before we cut to the dream.

The parakeet in Mint’s dream doesn’t actually talk. It just chirps and Mint can somehow determine what it’s say.

Parakeet: “You must fly.”

Corina: “No. I’m only a girl. It’s not possible.”

Yeah, if she was a boy or at least drinking Red Bull, she’d be able to!

Also, why is it impossible? She gains her powers from a bird and has wings when she transforms. First Lettuce is all ‘I can’t swim despite having porpoise powers!’ now this? Okay, that’s quite bit different, but still.

Mint just yells ‘No, nooooooo!’ as she flies up. Corina keeps yelling that she’s falling even though the shot clearly showed her floating up and the way the clouds were dispersing indicates that she was indeed flying not falling.

After Mint’s dream, she sits up in bed and just stares quietly for a bit before lighting bopping herself on the head. This is cut.

Visuals: tmmep21screen1

Ichigo is rushing around talking to a bunch of customers whereas Zoey is bragging about how much work she just did. Also, they remove half of the scene.

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Ichigo is unimpressed by Pudding failing to balance on the ball. Zoey says they just waxed the floors, which caused Kiki to fall.

Ichigo is amazed by Lettuce’s ‘skill’ in balancing a bunch of food and plates she was about to drop. Pudding then tells Lettuce to keep up her posture perfectly to ensure that nothing falls. Zoey tells Bridget they have enough performers in the cafe and Kiki tells Bridget to stop muscling in on her act.

They remove a shot of the wall that was used as a cutaway while Lettuce dropped the plates. In the dub, she also doesn’t drop the plates.

Zakuro says there was a tip for ‘Show Time’ of 10 yen then revises it to 5. Renee says there was a 10 percent tip for entertainment and it was given for Bridget, which is weird because that literally happened a second ago.

They replace an outer shot of the cafe with a shot of their ‘closed’ sign.

Mint brings up the fact that Ichigo was late that day as retaliation for her complaining about not doing work. Ichigo says she may be human but she has the spirit of a cat, which I guess means she was lazy or slept in or something. This is changed to Corina saying she has ‘an aversion to customer service’. A small shot of Ichigo looking away to make her excuse is also removed.

Visuals: tmmep21screen3

The next scene is….basically the same, but there are shots of the cafe that are removed while Mint’s talking in an extended monologue. Also, Mint says that she’s actually more responsible than Ichigo because she’s always early while Ichigo’s always late due to the fact that the cafe acts as a cover for their superheroing, thus it’s not the work at the cafe that matters it’s being there early in case trouble starts.

Ichigo, for some reason, mocks Mint by asking if guys make her weak all over. Zoey mocks her by mimicking her saying ‘I’m so fabulous!’

The Mew Aqua (IE Magical substance of deus ex machina that everyone wants) is called….Blue Aqua….

Blue….

Aqua….

Blue….*sigh*

Do they not know what Aqua mea—It’s blue! Okay, yes, the textbook definition is a green-ish blue color, but it’s still blue. They’re basically calling the stuff ‘Blue Blue’ What was wrong with Mew Aqua? I know 4Kids changes everything because ‘we can, now shut up and give us money’ but I just don’t get it. Did the translator mishear when Shirogane said ‘Mew’ or what? It’s not like the actual substance is blue either; it’s clear/white, so this makes even less sense.

Zoey: “Blue Aqua? Isn’t that redundant?”

Elliot: “Perhaps. But it’s the best we could do on short notice.”
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You know, sometimes I have these moments when I’m doing these comparisons when I no longer hear the characters speaking. I feel like the 4Kids’ staff had a small conversation, transcribed it and made the characters’ VA’s say the lines to put in the show for no reason than to screw with some people because that is just enraging to me. Here’s what’s actually going on here.

Writer: “Okay, the name of this stuff in the original version is ‘Mew Aqua’”

4Kids’ Exec: “Change it.”

W: “Why?”

E: “Just do it. For funsies.”

W: “How long do we have?”

E: “15 seconds.”

W: “Uh.”

E: “Time’s up. Whatcha got?”

W: “……Uh….Blue Aqua?”

E: “Blue Aqua? Isn’t that redundant?”

W: “Perhaps. But it’s the best we could do on short notice.”

Seems silly at first, but is perfectly believable given the circumstances isn’t it? Either that or they purposely changed the name to make that ‘joke’ and I’m honestly not sure which is worse.

Mew Aqua is just crystalline water with such a high purity that it somehow has healing properties and other abilities. Blue Aqua is just a ‘mysterious magic substance with all sorts of magical powers.’

And upon hearing this, Corina says this.

“Magical properties? Seems pretty out there if you ask me.”

You are a group of girls given magic powers by somehow temporarily fusing your DNA with that of animals, your weapons are musical instruments for whatever reasons, and you’re destined to fight aliens who make monsters by fusing animals with aliens and the souls of humans with that of aliens. Your friend sprouts cat ears and a tail on a regular basis. Your other friend turned into a mermaid a couple weeks ago. Why is this so ‘out there’?

Shirogane just says that Lettuce was somehow influenced by Mew Aqua that time at the beach. Elliot says the same thing but adds that they’ll all eventually be able to have a higher level of transforming soon with Blue Aqua. Pfft. I wish. The other girls never get crap for powers or abilities and Ichigo can transform into a cat just by getting all flustered.

The larger crystalline form of Mew Aqua doesn’t get a name in the original. In the dub, Elliot calls it Blue Aqua Crystal. I would’ve called it Blue Aqua Sapphire myself.

Shirogane states that the Mew Aqua has the power to alter the earth’s form. Elliot again states the stuff about increasing their power to fight the cyniclons.

We get a close up of Mint clenching her hands before the scene changes. In the dub, we just repeat the shot of Mint’s worried face, but this time we get a quick zoom in because it’s all intense.

A further shot of Ichigo at the pond is removed.

Ichigo doesn’t make a lame joke about duck-sitting (Get it? Sitting duck? Hahaha……no seriously, that’s the joke she says. Even the laughter is in there.) like Zoey does.

Ichigo doesn’t ask Aoyama to keep the Mew Aqua thing a secret like Zoey does to Mark. Wouldn’t he wonder why it would need to be a secret anyway?

Aoyama’s speech is shortened…and it’s obviously dumbed up/preachified.

Mark doesn’t explain that what he has in his hands are arm bands for volunteers that pick up litter. He says he’s helping the environment by using what’s in his hand, but with the art you can’t tell what it is so you’re left wondering why this thing helps Aoyama with trash collecting. To be honest, it doesn’t even look like arm bands.

We originally cut from Ichigo and Aoyama to the cafe. In the dub, they place a scene with Dren and the other aliens talking before we cut back to the cafe.

The first conversation’s roughly the same. When we get to Kisshu he explains they he found some Mew Aqua at the beach, and it’s something that the aliens already know of. Not only that but they state that it’s responsible for the evolution of nature and humanity. Because science. In the dub, Dren just talks about how he’s gazing dreamily at his bottle of ‘Blue Aqua’.

How’d he know the name? He didn’t. He claims he named it himself. Apparently the characters on this show have the creativity of my dog’s slobber. And not only that, but Sardon makes the same ‘Isn’t that redundant?’ joke from before. A joke so nice they did it twice. Support’s going pretty hard for the ‘they gave it a dumb name for the sake of an even dumber joke’ thing. In the original, Pai is reacting because he knows of Mew Aqua and wants to know why Deep Blue wasn’t informed.

Kisshu tells the others that they should try out the Mew Aqua to impress Deep Blue. Dren says he wants to keep it a secret from Deep Blue, which is something Pai/Sardon would not do but whatever.

Mint brings up the stuff she talked about earlier in regards to being at the cafe in case something happened. Ichigo says nothing happened so it doesn’t matter. Corina is enraged that Zoey would go off on a date with her boyfriend and blame it on ‘some daffy duckling.’ I’m convinced they’ve stopped trying with these jokes. Then Zoey tells her not to have ‘a hissy’.

God, 4Kids, what’s with the soap opera music when Renee tells Corina to drop it? Also, Zakuro merely tells her to calm down there.

The next scene in the original is the scene with the aliens, so we cut straight back to the cafe after the dub’s commercial break instead.

By the way, considering the Japanese commercial is right after the scene with the aliens….wouldn’t it have been better, suspense-wise, to leave it as-is? Wasn’t 4Kids all about making tension before the commercial?

Ichigo says that a package being delivered directly to the cafe is weird and tells Lettuce to check it out. Zoey says it’s probably the milk delivery and to tell the delivery guy that the half and half was lumpy.

Ichigo doesn’t say that whatever’s in the box is probably expensive and ‘snooty’ like Zoey does. Also, Pudding’s super excited because she believes candy is in the box, not something expensive.

Ichigo just says that she doesn’t know what they can do about Mint as things may have just gone too far this time. Zoey says that she’s believed for a while that Mint is on-edge and afraid of something.

After we cut to Pudding crying about Mint’s supposed resignation, she cuts the tension by saying if Mint leaves she’ll have no one else to play with. Ichigo falls over comically and then Lettuce points out that Pudding’s just a child and both Pudding and Ichigo fall over comically. All of this is removed.

Visuals: tmmep21screen4tmmep21screen5

Because the scene is removed, the rest of it stays entirely serious in the dub.

Text is again removed from Akasaka’s computer.

Wesley: “If the aliens witnessed the transformation then surely they must–”

Elliot: “Don’t worry. They’re up to something.”

Yes, Wesley, don’t worry that the aliens might be planning something. I know they’re planning something.

Minor nitpick: Shirogane’s not the one who suggests eating lunch. In fact, the point is made that he’s too engrossed in his work with Mew Aqua and what the aliens might be planning to take a break period.

Major Nitpick: Akasaka just says he’ll make some sandwiches for them. Wesley says he’ll make Elliot a turkey….Mewwich……A mewwich…..Mew…..wich….Must retain sanity…only….five more….episodes….

Shirogane laments that he doesn’t have enough info to do anything productive. Elliot laments that he’s getting turkey again. This is said like it’s a joke, but there’s no setup. It’s not like they work in a turkey restaurant. I don’t even understand why they’d seemingly have an abundance of turkey in a cafe that seems to serve nothing but desserts and tea (And health shakes for some reason) anyway.

Zakuro knocks. Renee doesn’t. In fact, Elliot basically senses her presence somehow.

Zakuro talks about how Mint has seen and experienced a lot, and she believes that she may be overworked. In the dub, she talks about how they’re all a team and they just aren’t as strong when they’re not all together.

Shirogane asks if Zakuro is really a high school girl. Zakuro smiles and says it’s best not to question a girl’s age. Elliot says Renee’s a real team player after-all and she asks him to keep that fact between them.

A shot of the ‘closed’ sign is removed probably because they already used the shot somewhere it wasn’t meant to be.

When Ichigo says they should all go to Mint’s house, Lettuce’s expression gets all goofy and happy as she says Ichigo’s name. This is removed.

Visuals: tmmep21screen6

Elliot: “Those hoodlums are out to steal the Blue Aqua!” Hoodlums?! You’re getting your oldness on the show again, 4Kids.

In the original, they basically skip Pudding, Lettuce and Ichigo’s transformations entirely. They say their transformation prompts and then we transition to Ichigo transformed, under the assumption the others did too.

In the dub, they do a mashup of Zoey, Bridget and Kiki’s transformations with small cut in scenes at the end to allow them to play the whole Supernatural song clip. Oddly, they even throw in a clip of Zoey doing her Strawberry Bell attack at the end, which is weird, because they’re not fighting yet.

The shot of Mint sleeping that was inserted in the very first scene is taken from this scene….and they repeat it. I guess she’s REALLY comfortable in that position.

A shot of Mint’s window is removed. Also, Mint goes out on her balcony because she hears something. Corina goes out just because.

The back and forth between Mint and Zakuro is basically the same, but mentions of people dying and saying it doesn’t matter then if Mint dies now are obviously removed. The sentiment is basically kept though. I will say that Corina’s acting more selfish than Mint is.

Kisshu just notices something odd about the Mew Aqua but they don’t say what it is. In the dub, Sardon says it’s a more crystallized version…..but it’s a bubble so I dunno.

Ichigo says creating earthquakes underground will make subway workers mad. Zoey says she always knew they were vermin and now they’re working underground like rats.

*gasp* They didn’t do the motto again!

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Maybe that motto is actually so awful that even 4Kids doesn’t want to do it anymore.

Wow, 4Kids & Studio Pierrot. Nice job on Zakuro’s face/some of her face redrawn when they got rid of the cross design of her whip.

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I’ll go buy some Cheetos, she’ll probably get the munchies soon.

This whole thing with Zakuro attacking Mint was proving to her that there is a reason to fight. She cares about the lives of those precious to her, thus her fight is not useless. The dub continues on with Mint being scared of something and her admitting it.

Zakuro says, as I stated, that she’s finally found a reason to fight. She compares Mint to Ichigo in stating that, while they may think differently, they both always look ahead. Renee says it doesn’t matter that she’s scared. They all are. But that’s not a good enough reason to leave. She used the attack as a means to show her how it would be to fight an enemy on her own instead of with her team……So….you made her conquer her fears….by trying to kill her. Good job?

Nice record scratch 4Kids. Send me a postcard from Romantic Comedy Trailer Land.

Mint just thinks to herself ‘I am’ over and over while Corina thinks to herself that she won’t be afraid.

Scene shifts, hooray. I am actually being kinda serious, because, believe it or not, I like what 4Kids did here.

In the original, we see Ichigo preparing her attack and for a split second we see a split screen of Pudding and Lettuce just barely getting in a second of their attacks and then Ichigo finishes her attack. In the dub, we start off with Bridget’s full attack, then Kiki’s, we see the effects on the monster and then Zoey starts her attack. I like this because the series has a nasty habit of excluding or downplaying the other girls barring Ichigo so it’s actually nice when 4Kids decides to give them more spotlight, no matter what the actual reason behind it is.

Pai is unimpressed with Mew Aqua’s powers, but Kisshu says that what they found wasn’t actually the real deal. It was another crystalline material that only gave a glimpse to what Mew Aqua can do…..what this material is and why it has properties similar to Mew Aqua is never explained but whatever. Sardon says their hunt for Blue Aqua is off to a bad start but Dren says it’s no problem because he still has his stash from earlier.

In the original, they’re talking about the silk of their pajamas, not wallpaper. Also, Ichigo asks if Mint’s been sleeping in the huge bedroom they’re in the whole time, but she quietly states to herself that Zakuro destroyed her actual room. Also, they’ve been to her house several times. They should know what her actual room looks like. In the dub, Zoey suggests that they make s’mores and Corina quietly says to herself that she doesn’t know what those are….seriously? I thought you were a true American. From America…..In America. Zoey then asks who she’s talking to, which I guess is supposed to be her breaking the fourth wall considering Corina’s kinda angled toward the audience but not really. Thus another dub joke that fails.

There’s a slow motion shot of Ichigo flying towards Mint to hug her for being back to normal that’s removed from the dub. Hugs are bad. M’kay?

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Another of Zakuro’s cross necklaces is censored.

Zakuro tells Miki that he put on good show, implying that she made a plan with Miki to put him in ‘danger’ to help Mint snap out of it. It also implies that Zakuro can talk to dogs. In the dub, Renee verbally rolls her eyes at the girls having a pillow fight and for some reason gives a thumbs up to Micky when she says ‘Sleepovers are so 13.’ …..So 13? I think 4Kids is making up their own slang now. Also, this obviously means the implications of this scene are entirely gone from the dub.

The ending monologue by Ichigo is about how the pillow fight made them forget their worries and how they seemed to fly off with the feathers. The dub is explaining that Corina and Zoey are friends again, she’s back with the team, teamwork, friends yay.

This episode is….confusing. It’s obviously not the one where it’s implied that Mint can talk to birds, which I could’ve sworn it was. But beyond that….I don’t really get it. What was the dream about? In either version? Flying? Okay. She never flew. Are you being metaphoric? Because bitch you a bird. She’s overworked? Since when? She’s lazy as hell. Is it the emotional toll of their responsibilities? I guess I can get that. She thinks the fight is useless? Why? Since when? If not for the sake of saving the planet, completing their mission would also mean they’d never have to do mew stuff again. Dub wise, though, why would she be just getting scared now? Because of the Blue Aqua factor? Why would she think that leaving her team would quell her fear? Oh yeah, you face that alien invasion without a team. I’m sure you’d be fine. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I can’t wrap my head around the real message here. I dunno.

Other than that, the episode was pretty blah. I’m not that interested in Mint-centric episodes anyway, but this was particularly bland outside of the implication that Zakuro can now talk to dogs….something I don’t think is ever brought up again, in the anime anyway.

Next episode, it’s the end of summer and….I guess that means filler.

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