Plot: After nearly kissing a sleeping Aoyama, Ichigo suddenly fully transforms into a small black cat. She panics and runs away, mindlessly wandering all over town.
Shirogane and Akasaka deduce what is happening to Ichigo through some tufts of fur on the floor of the cafe, leading Shirogane to go searching for her.
After running through the streets in the middle of the night, barely escaping the embrace of a creepy male cat, Ichigo finds herself being taken in by Aoyama. She’s flustered by his care, even moreso when he gives her a bath, and is extremely tempted to kiss Aoyama in his sleep as he seems to call her name in a dream. Ichigo decides to give him a small kiss, but ends up accidentally giving his dog a kiss on the nose instead.
The kiss triggers her transformation back to a human, which only makes her panic more. She manages to wriggle out of Aoyama’s embrace and tries to escape out the window. However, Aoyama’s dog tries to follow her. In an effort to get him to leave, she makes a bit too much noise and Aoyama starts to wake up. Right before he awakens, the dog again gives her a kiss and she turns back to cat form.
Aoyama goes back to sleep when he sees that the noise was just the cat and Ichigo escapes out the window. As Ichigo laments on the revelation that she’ll never be able to kiss Aoyama again out of fear she’ll be ousted as a Mew Mew, the creepy cat from earlier shows up and tries to kiss her again. This time, she’s saved by the sudden appearance of a gray cat with a green neckerchief.
Ichigo is suddenly knocked into a nearby river and is saved by the same gray cat, who introduces himself as Alto. When Ichigo comes to, she finds herself face to face with Shirogane. Alto has mysteriously gone missing and Ichigo has inexplicably turned human again.
Shirogane explains that the only way for her to stop turning into a cat when kissed is to complete the Mew Project.
– So the in-canon explanation for why Ichigo is the only one of the Mews who turns into the full version of her animal is because she’s increasing in ability faster than they are and ‘maybe it only affects Ichigo, I don’t know.’ ~ Akasaka.
In essence, Ichigo’s special and the writers are too lazy to come up with a legitimate reason as to why the others are faltering and don’t go through these changes. Feh.
– Ichigo: “I can’t return to Cafe Mew Mew or home like this…”….Errr….why? Go home and they might let a cute little cat in until they find its owner (Ichigo has both her neck bell and tail ribbon still on, so it’s easy to assume she’d be someone’s pet.)
As for Cafe Mew Mew….I don’t understand why she can’t go back there at all. That seems like it would be the absolute best place to go. They know of these issues. Maybe not this severe, but still. She had no trouble telling them that she gets cat ears and a tail when she’s upset and that she has cat-like behaviors, why is it so different to show that she fully turned into a cat?
For that matter, why are Shirogane and Akasaka keeping their suspicions about Ichigo a secret from the other girls? Wouldn’t it be better to tell them so they can go help find her? At least tell them out of courtesy just in case the same thing happens to them?
Why does this whole thing need to be so secretive besides ‘the plot said so’?
– It’s been years since I first watched this show and I still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about Ichigo basically nearly getting raped in cat form by a giant creepy-ass cat. I know, this is a kids show and he was trying to kiss her, but uh, yeah, cats don’t do kissing. They don’t date. They do the nasty and don’t ask questions.
– Our mid-episode cliffhanger is….Ichigo freaking out because she believes she’ll be taking a bath with a naked Aoyama (and, technically, she’s also naked, though her clothes seem to have transformed with her so…??) Stupid cliffhanger excuse out of the way…..they’re 12…..and she’s a cat. This is very uncomfortable. Also, considering the near cat rape a minute ago, what the unholy hell is going on with this episode?
– Ichigo, of course he wasn’t going to actually take a bath with a cat. I’m sure, like most guys, he treasures his nether regions and would not appreciate the high consequences of being naked in a tub of water with a cat.
– Ya know, oddly, this is not the first anime I’ve seen with a female character being a black cat, being taken in by her love interest, and kissing her love interest while he’s sleeping, turning her into a human……..Not kidding. Sailor Moon Super S movie. Look it up. (Also, being fair, in this circumstance, she didn’t succeed in kissing the guy. Still counts.)
– This is one of the more severe issues I always had with this transformation – that kissing is the trigger for it. I gave the initial transformation a pass because it’s been shown time and again that Ichigo’s ears and tail pop out when she gets all hot and bothered by Aoyama. It makes sense because the stress or excitement of these circumstances prompts the reaction. Nearly kissing him was too much for her to handle, especially given recent developments in their relationship.
However, I do not understand or buy that kissing someone, anyone or anything, turns her back to human. That makes no sense outside of 1) being some goofy fairy tale crap meant to pander to the even younger than usual girls watching this show and 2) being a big plot device for romantic issues and causing shenanigans.
Why does kissing turn her back if nearly kissing is what caused it? If stress and excitement cause the transformation, it only makes sense that Ichigo should transform back when she’s calm. That’s what happens when her ears and tail emerge. She calms down and they go away after a little bit.
They could’ve taken the opportunity of her clearly being incredibly content with the warmth of the hair dryer and being all cozy in Aoyama’s house to turn her back. Afterall, she has been freaked out since the instant it happened and was only calm again after her bath and Aoyama went to bed.
What’s even weirder is that the kiss can be from quite literally anyone or anything. Quick peck to a dog’s nose? Works. Same dog puts his face on her mouth for no reason? Works.
From this point on, kissing anyone or anything is the trigger for her cat form. Meaning, dunanana romantic pairing roadblock, Ichigo can’t kiss Aoyama without him knowing her secret. Oh the drama.
– Great, now Ichigo’s being hit on by a random drunk middle aged man………..while in cat form…..Was he seriously about to kiss her on the lips? What the hell is wrong with this episode?!
– Oh goodie, a reprise of rapist cat.
– Alto is Shirogane. Spoiler alert and stuff. Only reason I don’t care about spilling this is because this secret identity doesn’t matter. Why is he keeping the fact that he’s Alto or has the power to into a cat a secret? How does that benefit him? He works with a group of girls who all have the powers of endangered animals, and they all get some physical characteristics of the animals when transformed. This stemming from the same project that gave him this ability. I think they wouldn’t care much nor would they blab his secret if it’s a weakness or what have you.
At the very least, you’d think he’d be fine telling Ichigo. She’s basically a kindred spirit now that she can also fully transform into a cat. Why does he obtain a green scarf when he transforms into a cat for that matter? And why does his voice seem to change quite a bit when it happens too? Ichigo sounds the same.
– Shirogane: “Why didn’t you return to the cafe after you turned into a cat?!”
Ichigo: “Hey, I’ve had it pretty rough tonight too! I had so much trouble I couldn’t even think of that!”
Uh, yes you did, you little liar. You said to yourself that you couldn’t go back to your house or the cafe but you gave no reason why. Seriously, this is a major league plot hole that they stupidly decide to bring up just to screw up in explanation.
– Why is Ichigo not asking how she’s back into human form? They’ve both established that the transformation (back to human anyway) only happens when she’s kissed. She should be able to come to the conclusion that either Alto kissed her or Shirogane did and the possibility of the second should be enough to freak her out in embarrassment because Shirogane’s part of Ichigo’s love shape.
This episode was B.O.R.I.N.G. My god. So boring. This whole ‘turning into a cat thing’ is just a flat out plot device meant for shenanigans and to drive a minor wedge between Ichigo and Aoyama now that they’ve advanced further in their relationship.
The trigger for her transformation is just silly, especially in the transformation back to human. Like I said, it is fully understandable that it happened the first time because she was damn near having a panic attack while attempting to kiss Aoyama. We’ve established that her emotions trigger mild cat transformations in her ears and tail, so the full transformation is understandable. But the fact that the trigger is not the emotional state and is purely the kiss is just ridiculous.
What makes it even worse is that Ichigo didn’t even kiss anyone the first time. She came very close to Aoyama’s lips but clearly transformed before they ever touched. So maybe it’s an emotional trigger under extreme circumstances but Sleeping Beauty rules everywhere else?
It’s also filled with a bunch of uncomfortable scenes and weird shenanigans like the rapist cat, Aoyama giving Ichigo a bath and kissing Aoyama’s dog on the lips.
Nothing important happens this episode besides establishing things that aren’t really consequential. Alto’s appearance is…something I guess, but I also never felt that was a very important piece of the plot. Truth be told, I completely forgot that aspect of his character until I got back to this episode. It just never…matters much. It’s a link/hint to his backstory, but that’s about it.
What’s even worse is that there’s no Mew Mew action in this episode….at all. The girls spend the entirety of the run time cleaning up the mess at the cafe after the last attack. Shirogane and Akasaka talk, discussing a really far fetched piece of evidence that doesn’t make much sense (She was leaving her fur behind at the cafe, which lead them to believe she turned into a cat, but she didn’t even start transforming until she was in that field with Aoyama. Why not just believe it was her tail or ear fur from the battle or something? Why conclude she turned fully into a cat?) and then Shirogane wanders around town looking for Ichigo. Meanwhile, Ichigo spends the episode dicking around as a cat. Kisshu and friends don’t even have so much as a cameo, and there’s definitely no chimera animal.
Even the most fillery of fillers usually at least chuck a cheap battle in there, but nope. Ichigo’s Cat Adventures is apparently a hopeful spin off.
What does it all amount to, really? Just one more reason why it’s super duper important to beat the aliens and complete the Mew Project? Well, damn. They weren’t really all that invested in doing it before, but now that Ichigo can’t place her mouth on her boyfriend’s mouth without turning into Figaro, it’s now imperative to take down those nasty aliens once and for all.
This has been one of the biggest wastes of time I’ve had watching an anime episode in a while. The only good spot was the scene with Aoyama was kinda sweet, but that’s about it.
And because it was so much fun, let’s continue on with slightly more Ichigo favoritism in the next episode when Ichigo learns she can talk to cats and makes it her mission to help one of them. At least it looks like we get a battle in this one.