SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 29: A Forbidden Love? I Can Understand Cats ~ Nya!

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Plot: As Ichigo’s about to board a train, she runs into a cat and finds that she can understand its speech. Later, the same cat, named Asano, appears at the cafe. It seems that her being able to understand cats is yet another side-effect of her Mew powers as she is the only one able to understand Asano.

Asano wants to ask Ichigo for a favor. He is in love with a fancy Lilac Point Siamese cat named Jacqueline. They fell for each other in a kind of Aladdin and Jasmine type of way.

Ever since their first meeting, Asano has brought her a sardine, something she couldn’t enjoy because her owners always fed her fancy cat foods. Ever since Asano brought her one to try, she’s loved them, and she started loving him soon after. One day, Jacqueline’s owners locked the windows, likely to keep her away from Asano. However, Asano was adamant to always return, day after day, with a sardine, knowing that one day her owners would open the windows again.

Jacqueline made a wish to see the world outside of her window and eat lots of sardines. Asano promised her that he’d take her on that journey the next time those windows opened. Time went on, and Jacqueline stopped coming to the window. Soon after, he noticed a sign on their gate that said the owners have moved to their condo.

He asks Ichigo if she’ll help find her and reunite them. Lettuce agrees to help too, but they’re disheartened when they can’t find the new address. Asano catches her scent and they spot a poster nearby with a picture of Jacqueline. Her owners are preparing an arranged marriage at a cat fair and are calling for possible suitors who are also Lilac Point cats.

Aoyama explains the nature of the cat fair to the girls. It’s a huge gathering of fancy cat owners who find suitable mates for their cats so they can make kittens and earn copious amounts of money selling the kittens.

Lettuce and Ichigo cook up a plan. They have Pudding paint Asano the proper colors to pass as a Lilac Point Siamese cat and enter him into the competition so he’ll have a chance at being chosen for Jacqueline’s mate.

Asano runs off when he catches wind of Jacqueline’s scent. Just as Ichigo and the others are about to give chase, Masha pops up and states that he senses a Chimera Animal nearby.

Mint and Pudding send Ichigo and Lettuce off to help Asano while they try to investigate the Chimera Animal’s location.

Asano finds Jacqueline and tries to free her from her cage so they can run away together, but Jacqueline, shockingly, doesn’t want to leave. She wants to be with Asano, but her owner now has no one left but her. Her owners were an older couple, and the wife recently passed away. Before she died, the wife asked Jacqueline to care for the husband and be by his side in her place. Because she doesn’t want him to be lonely, she wishes to stay.

Understanding her plight, Asano accepts her decision and tearfully runs away. As he runs, a tank of water is suddenly knocked over, splashing water all over Asano and revealing his true colors. He nervously tries to play it cool, but is obviously heartbroken. Lettuce vehemently encourages him to not give up just because the circumstances are bad, especially because forcing a couple together, even if they’re cats, is wrong.

As Jacqueline is being sweet-talked by another Lilac Point cat, named Michel, Asano bursts in and claims he won’t give up his love. Jacqueline rushes by Michel and quickly nuzzles with Asano. Angered at being snubbed and rejected for an unrefined cat, Michel gets possessed by a parasite alien and turned into a Chimera Animal.

Asano jumps in the way of its attack, injuring his leg in the process.

The girls transform and Ichigo uses her bell to play with the Chimera Cat, distracting it long enough to get a good shot with her Ribbon Strawberry Surprise. The Chimera Cat is defeated, but Asano is still hurt.

Jacqueline’s owner thanks Asano for protecting Jacqueline as she’s the most precious memory of his deceased wife. He explains that he remembers Asano as the cat that visited Jacqueline every day. He knew they meant something to each other, but wanted to find a more suitable suitor for Jacqueline. He realizes, after seeing Asano risk his life to save her, that he was wrong and that Asano is the best suitor for her. He takes him in, allowing Asano and Jacqueline to be a family with him for the rest of their lives.

Breakdown:

– Do they really stop trains if a stray animal gets on board? I’d get it if it was something huge or dangerous, but a cat?

– Blah blah blah, why does she get another special Mew Mew Power when the others don’t? Blah blah blah.

To clarify, it’s been implied that Zakuro can maybe talk to dogs/canines, based solely on her supposedly being able to speak with Mint’s dog, Miki, that one time, and I remember something about Mint later being able to maybe somehow communicate with birds I think, but still.

– I love how the others are all listening intently to Asano’s story even though, for the most part, all they’re hearing is ‘Meow meow meow’ over and over while Ichigo sometimes interrupts to repeat information for the sake of letting the other girls in on the conversation.

It’s even funnier because, later in the story, it’s like they understand what he’s saying even though Ichigo has given them no updates.

– What stupid owners Jacqueline has. “We’ve moved to our condo.” Yeah, that’s helpful. It’s almost like that message was purposely vague for the sake of this episode not being ‘Oh hey a forwarding address!’ *credits*

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– Okay, I am not about to add ‘Arranged marriages for cats’ in my Google history – is this really a thing? Even just a fancy rich person thing?

– Also, what a weird turn of events. We go from a fairly believable cat love story to a cat needing to stop the marriage of his lover because her owners are forcing it.

– Why does Aoyama know about cat marriage?

– Why is cat marriage so huge that there’s a massively popular fair about it?

– Aoyama: “You see, the kittens can be sold for a handsome price.” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….Money. Gotcha.

– I was going to ask what Aoyama’s point was here besides just being an exposition dump for the cat fair, but I suppose uber-activist Aoyama would be able to sympathize with the morally questionable nature of this cat fair.

– Do they really believe these snooty rich snobs will buy that a painted street cat will pass as a Lilac Point Siamese cat? Not only will the paint be pretty obvious, but these people like to analyze the hell out of these cats to make sure they’re as perfect as possible, like they do at dog shows.

I’m pretty sure they will notice. Even the biggest idiot would probably notice. It’s not just the colors either. Siamese cats have one of the most well-known and notable body shapes of any cat. Asano looks nothing like that. This whole plan is stupid.

– Wow, they literally just poofed in a Chimera Animal plot out of nowhere like they forgot this was a magical girl show.

– Who the hell knocked over that tank of water? Why is no one trying to clean it up? Did they really include the swimming cat just so we can dramatically wash away Asano’s paint?

– Again, Lettuce is acting like she understands what’s going on even though she can’t understand a word of what these cats are saying.

– Wait, this is what the Omiai (arranged marriage) thing with the cats is? Just show the girl cat and prance out the boys in front of her and see if they start porking on stage or something? Pbbtthahahah!

– And, of course, the first guy has to be a complete ego-driven douche….then again….he is a cat….

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– Behold, the only love story you’ll ever see where the dramatic crescendo is the girl proclaiming that she loves sardines.

– This Chimera Animal was extremely forced. We only met Michel a minute ago, and there was obviously no way he’d stand a chance.

– Oddly, this is one of the better designed Chimera Animals.

– I know Pudding is naturally a happy and excitable girl, but she sees Asano be clawed away by the Chimera Animal and while the others are serious, stating they need to transform, Pudding has a really happy expression and gleefully yells ‘Let’s go!’ A little sympathy, Pudding.

– Also, after the transformation sequence, she yells out ‘it’s a big kitty!’ Uh…yeah. This happened a little while ago. Pay attention, Pudding.

– Since when is Ichigo’s bell a boomerang?

– Ichigo: “Secret technique: Cat amuser!” This seems like a real ability she has because, 1) it explains why her bell is suddenly a boomerang and 2) it actually does temporarily incapacitate the Chimera Cat. In which case, no matter how silly, this is yet another power being given to Ichigo and it seems like a power that is really only useful for this one situation.

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– Nice to know that Lettuce, Mint and Pudding were entirely useless this episode. Not only did they contribute nothing to the battle, but they did nothing in this episode as a whole. You could argue that Lettuce helped encourage Asano, but I really feel like they gave her lines that were meant to be Ichigo’s considering she’s the only one who can actually talk to the cats. They just seemed needlessly shoved into the episode for the sake of having all of the girls there.

I usually like when they’re inclusive and dislike when all of the focus is on Ichigo, but not just for the sake of including them. This has been going on for like five episodes now.

– Also, again, they just transformed and battled in front of all of these people. Surely some of them were videotaping or taking pictures. You suck at your jobs.

– Yeah, tell the cat with the severely wounded leg to come to you, jackass. Get a vet, for god’s sake.

– It was sweet of him to compare their love for each other like his love for his wife.

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I have always been and continue to be confused as to my feelings on this episode. On one hand, it’s filler, but on the other hand it can’t really be ignored because it includes a new power for Ichigo (The cat communication not the cat toy thing)

On one hand, this power is never brought up again (If I recall correctly), but on the other hand it does seem like a major missed opportunity considering animals are meant to be a cornerstone of this show.

Likewise, this whole cat love storyline is pointless, but I kinda want more stories in this same vein because, again, this show is supposed to have a bit of a focus on animals. Outside of chimera animals, we don’t get many plotlines about actual animals.

On yet another hand, despite seeming really out of place in this series, I did enjoy the cat story because it’s cute and pretty sad. However, the cat marriage thing just seems ridiculous, even for this show. For all I know, this stuff does go on, but from a clueless outside observer, this just seems silly.

On one foot, the Chimera Animal sequence is incredibly forced, really short and is defeated through a stupid one-off ‘ability’ Ichigo suddenly has. On the other foot, it did serve a fairly good purpose of getting Asano and Jacqueline together.

On your foot, the other girls served absolutely no purpose today and seemed even more wedged in there than the Chimera Animal. On your other foot…..nope I think I’m out.

This episode is very much middle of the road. If they didn’t force the Chimera Animal in there and understanding cat speech wasn’t a necessity, this could easily be the plot of practically any other shoujo show. Oddly, the worst parts of this episode are the Mew Mews simply because they’re not necessary. Their part was really lazily written. I did like the main plot, though, because their cat love and even the story of Jacqueline’s owners was pretty sweet.

Rating: 5.5/10

Next episode, fortune telling!….Is that a magical girl trope too? Because I feel like fortune telling is in a lot of magical girl shows.

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