SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 33: A Fiance Appears – Pudding’s Fated Marriage!?

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Plot: Tart has created a cactus monster in the middle of the park. The Mews try to take it down, but find themselves struggling. Pudding’s about to be hit by a barrages of spikes when a strange man in martial artist attire saves her and defeats the monster with a flurry of kicks.

Tart leaves, and the man, Yuebin, reveals that he knows Mew Pudding is actually Pudding. He is a student at her father’s dojo and wishes to be named master and successor to their family’s signature fighting style, KouEnji Kenpou. In order to do that, Pudding’s father ordered him to go to Japan to challenge the only other contender for this title to a duel – Pudding.

Pudding accepts the challenge, and the duel starts. They each balance two spinning plates on two poles and take fighting stances. They fight for a bit, but Yuebin gains the upperhand and wins the duel. He reveals another condition of the duel – should he win, he’ll be chosen to be Pudding’s future husband.

Pudding is outraged by this turn of events and refuses this condition. She commands he leave at once, and he seemingly honors the request.

Later that night, Pudding goes home with some groceries for dinner when she notices a delicious smell emanating from her house. It’s Yuebin, and he’s made beef stroganof for Pudding’s brothers and sisters. He continues to butt into her life, doing chores such as picking up Heicha from daycare and even working at the cafe.

Pudding continues to be irritated by his presence, however. Not only does she not want to be forced into a marriage with him, but everyone else is enamored with him and Pudding continuously gets overshadowed.

The other Mews start to become concerned about Pudding since she seems to be getting increasingly unhappy. They ask if anything can be done about her situation and she states she won’t know until they both meet with and talk to her father.

That night, she arrives at her house to find Yuebin is being overrun by her brothers and sisters. She commands them all to go to bed, and he explains that he was trying to dust the shelves when he was tackled by them. Pudding sees her precious photo album on the floor, damaged by the ruckus. It is a photo album specifically for the only photos and keepsakes she has left of her and her mother.

She tearfully demands Yuebin to leave the house before running away.

The next morning, the Mews find her locked up on the Mew Mew Cafe balcony. She won’t come down no matter what they do.

Meanwhile, Tart and Kisshu team up for a new plan. They have detected Mew Aqua around a popular sports arena. Their plan is to have Kisshu deal with the girls at the arena while Tart strikes the unprotected Cafe.

The Mews suit up for battle, but Pudding stays behind. She claims she has to figure out her future for herself. The other girls are forced to leave Pudding behind.

Just as Yuebin is about to leave as well, Tart appears. He wraps up Pudding in his clackers, traps Yuebin in a net and takes Pudding as a hostage.

Meanwhile, at the arena, a big boxing match is underway. Kisshu crashes the party and turns one of the ring girls into a kangaroo themed boxing Chimera Animal, Chimera Punch. The girls arrive and Kisshu leaves to find the Mew Aqua. Ichigo tells the other girls to go after Kisshu while she takes care of the Chimera Animal.

She’s unable to do much against Chimera Punch, and Tart suddenly interrupts their fight. He directs Chimera Punch to use Pudding as a punching bag instead. Ichigo tries to save Pudding, but Chimera Punch sends out her joey, Punchie, after her. Pudding is able to evade the attacks, even while tied up, but Tart tightens her binds and makes her fully unable to move.

Just as Chimera Punch is about to land a good strike on Pudding, Yuebin uses a body switching technique to save Pudding and take the brunt of the assault himself. Pudding, now free of her binds, uses her custom Pudding-style KouEnji Kenpu martial arts.

Ichigo finishes off both Chimera Punch and Punchie, but Kisshu makes off with the minuscule Mew Aqua he found at the stadium.

Later, Yuebin bids farewell to Pudding and the others. He contacted his master, and he stated he need to go back to China for much more training so he can be strong enough to properly protect his wife-to-be. Pudding bids him farewell, having gained a newfound respect for him.

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– Hooray! Starting out with action today! Whoo!

– Ladies and gentlemen, the doofiest Chimera Animal ever!

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– Out of all of the Chimera Animals they could’ve had this guy attack, why a cactus monster?…Ow.

– Nice to know the Mews are actually somewhat pointless. If a fairly good martial artist can take down a Chimera Animal without breaking a sweat (Oops, I forgot to mention – Tuxedo Mask moment!) not even needing to have it be finished off by Ichigo, surely any police force would be able to defeat them without issue.

– Okay, I am fully confused now. This dude knows who Pudding is and recognizes her in her Mew garb yet he not only has nothing to say about this, but no one’s concerned that they’ve been ousted. Are they even pretending to have secret identities anymore? How can they justify the plotline about Ichigo being concerned about Aoyama finding out she’s a Mew with this in place?

Most magical girl shows have a similar issue since they hardly ever wear masks and barely look even a little different when in magical girl clothes, but this is in-your-face extreme ‘everyone knows!’ stuff.

– Wait a minute. So they’re surprised he knew Pudding’s real identity (seriously?) and he claims he knew instantly because of the way she moved. Given that they’ve never met, I guess that’s as good of an excuse as any….but still….it’s a major problem, guys.

– I thought Pudding’s father was away on a solo journey to be the best martial artist ever, yet here he is supposedly off somewhere spending way more time with other people’s kids than his own in a dojo in China.

– I love the girls’ reactions to Pudding and Yuebin starting to duel in the cafe.

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– The duel itself is also kinda funny.

– What a skeevy thing to do to wait until the duel’s over to admit that part of the duel agreement was, should he win, he’d become betrothed to Pudding.

– Proud of Pudding for pointing out that it’s completely unfair and archaic for her father to force her into an arranged marriage, especially through such deceptive means.

– Oh hi Shirogane and Akasaka! I almost forgot you existed for damn near ten episodes.

– N’aw the TartxPudding shipping. Tart’s so jelly of Mr. Hot Martial Artist man.

– It’s funny how the aliens think Mew Aqua is found where the girls are and Shirogane and Akasaka believe Mew Aqua is wherever the aliens show up.

– Yeah, why show the other Mews transforming at all? Wouldn’t want the props to think they’re people.

– Oh good, they show one-second long blips of their transformations as they enter the arena…after they’ve already transformed….

– Uh, the body switch is all ninja-y and cool and all, but Yuebin has the speed to have just nabbed Pudding and gotten them both out of the way instead of him having to take the attack.

– I actually have no problem with Pudding not even transforming for this battle because it lets her show off her regular martial arts skills…..but I’m salty that Ichigo gets the final attack….

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– Well, we can finally cut to the other girls doing stuff on their own by fighting Kisshu. Let’s see how they—he gets the Mew Aqua and escapes without them lifting a finger at him………Love. Ly.

– So, in the end, this plot isn’t really all that resolved, is it? Yuebin leaves because the show doesn’t have a place for him outside of this episode, he’s still betrothed to Pudding and Pudding suddenly doesn’t fight that fact anymore. Does she now want to be married to Yuebin or is she just more confident in her abilities to choose what she wants for her future for this to not be an issue?

Also, why do they never bring up Pudding’s photo album again? Is she not still mad about that? It’s an incredibly important heirloom to Pudding that held many memories of her and her mother, and it’s wrecked. Maybe not irreparably, but still.

– Kinda funny that Yuebin’s drive is now to be strong enough to protect Pudding when she beat up Chimera Punch by herself and is a superhero.

– How did I go this whole review without pointing out that, considering the age difference, this whole betrothal is very squicky?

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I really enjoyed this episode. It was a realistic and impacting conflict for Pudding, we got confirmation of where her father was (even though it’s irritating that he’s in a dojo in China. Can he not do that in Tokyo and be with his family? Take the weight of caring for several small children off of the shoulders of a young child?) we got a very emotional moment with Pudding and the entire plot, while having squickiness implied, was enjoyable to watch.

They didn’t make Yuebin out to be a jerk, which I think helped this episode a whole lot. If they had him be this sexist jackoff who treated Pudding like a precious flower who needs to be cared for, this episode would be unbearable.

It’s slightly annoying that he keeps turning around and making Pudding look superfluous. He defeats the Chimera Cactus, picks up Heicha from daycare, takes over her job, etc. I was especially hurt when Heicha stated she preferred to be carried by Yuebin over Pudding. He has no ill intentions, and, truth be told, it would do Pudding a world of good to have someone so helpful around, but it’s still slightly irritating, and you can tell that it’s getting to Pudding.

It’s not so much that he’s claiming he’s betrothed to her now, it’s that he seems to be able to do everything she can and do it better. I’m not sure how sacrificing himself for her makes her see this situation any differently, but status quo and all that.

As good as the main plot was, it felt horribly disjointed whenever we cut to Mew stuff. Today’s subject was so heavy that it deserved to be one of those episodes where we didn’t really get Mew stuff so we could flesh everything else out. We started the episode with Mew stuff, I think that’s good for today.

It could be argued that they wanted to put more of the TartxPudding dynamic in there, but you could’ve just added a few more lines to the encounter at the beginning and it would’ve done just as much as the second half of the episode.

Whenever we cut to Mew stuff in this episode, it just felt very out of place, like we were cutting to another episode. While there is fighting in both, the theme this week didn’t even match the overall plot. They had a martial arts theme going and then we jump to a boxing ring. Chinese culture is a minor theme too, so let’s have the Chimera Animal be a kangaroo? And yes, it’s a boxing kangaroo. How clever.

The Mew part wasn’t bad, it was just generic and screwed up the structure of the story a little. Didn’t damage the episode too much as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 8/10

Next time, Lettuce takes up doll-making.

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