Tokyo Mew Mew New | Episode 1: Wait, What?! I’m a Superhero Now?! Meow! Review

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Oh should I say re-MEW?! Ahahahahahahaha! Ahaha…Hah…..*cough*

Well, the Tokyo Mew Mew reboot came out recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t notice because it’s basically been silent on all fronts since it came out. That actually kinda concerned me. I mean, I guess no news is good news…..or good MEWS! Ahahahaha….hah….That 4Kids retrospective kinda broke me. I apologize.

But outside a few mentions here and there, I haven’t heard anyone actually discussing it. It’s like the Shaman King reboot. I barely heard a word about that once it was finally out even though people waited for it forever.

I, personally, was interested in what direction they would go with it. Would they rely more on the anime version, try to be more loyal to the manga or would they just do their own thing? Or even some melding of all three?

Well, after watching the first episode, I can tell you that it definitely seems like it’s trying to be more its own thing than anything while also trying to be more loyal to the manga than the original anime did. If it takes anything from the anime, it’s that it tries a lot harder to give the others girls spotlight, which I am very, very thankful for. So far, they’re actually getting more focus than they even got in the original anime, which is very nice.

I’m not going to be doing another AniManga Clash on this series for the reboot, but I will try to bring up the differences as much as memory allows.

As in the manga, all of the Mews are in the endangered species exhibit on the day that their powers are given to them. Ichigo is there with Aoyama on a date, and Shirogane and Akasaka choose this as their moment to shoot off their……Pbbbt Mew Mew beam or whatever that is. In the hubbub, Ichigo and Aoayama accidentally have their first kiss (which is unlike the original anime where it was changed to Quiche stealing her first kiss). After that, Ichigo wakes up to Aoyama checking up on her when a Chimera Anima attacks. I know I’ve called them Chimera AnimaLs in the past, but that was a habit born from the subs I was reading. I will refer to them as Chimera Animas from now on.

Aoyama is knocked unconscious, Shirogane saves Ichigo from the Chimera Anima and tells her about her transformation powers, telling her to transform into Mew Ichigo to defeat the Chimera Anima. She manages to do so and that’s pretty much it.

There are some key differences between the reboot and the manga and original anime, however.

Ichigo seemingly doesn’t know Aoyama at all during the start of this show. Their story is still roughly kept the same, but Ichigo seemingly knew Aoyama for a while and had a crush on him for some time at the start of both the manga and the original anime. They weren’t super close or anything, but she clearly had spoken to him a few times and had a crush on him, and she was confident enough in her standing with him to ask him out right at the start.

I’m not sure how much I care about this change. I think it kinda made their development go by a little too fast in this version. She goes from not knowing who he is to being intense about wanting to get to know him, leading her and her friends to basically covertly gather intel to asking him on a date in only a few minutes. Not saying it’s unrealistic because these are teenagers we’re dealing with, but I preferred the pacing that the original manga and anime went through is all.

However, to kinda balance that out, I did greatly appreciate that Ichigo was honest with Aoyama about the circumstances involving their date. Usually in situations like this, the protagonist would just lie and pretend that they’re interested in the stuff their crush is interested in just because they want to get all up in that goodness, especially when asked about the topic as Aoyama does to Ichigo here. However, Ichigo was actually honest with Aoyama when he asked how long she had been interested in conservation and told him that she just got the tickets to the exhibit and thought it would be interesting to go with him. She even got really into the subject matter when Aoyama started explaining everything to her.

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I do think it was kinda silly for a teenage girl to not know what “endangered” means. “Red data animal” I get because that’s not a common phrase, but most people know what “endangered” means.

Anyway, while it was the slightest bit preachy, I did like how much Ichigo got into it. Plus, this series just tends to be a tiny bit preachy by default, so it’s alright.

The second biggest change to the series kinda shocked me. Mint, for some reason and somehow, already has her powers and is teamed up with Shirogane and Akasaka before Ichigo even goes to the endangered animal exhibit. She also goes to her school and helped arrange Ichigo to be at the exhibit supposedly to set up her being imbued with the powers.

This confused me so much, and I still don’t know if I like it. In the manga and the original anime, Ichigo being given powers was like a matter of circumstance. She just happened to be the one who had a good match with an iriomote wild cat out of everyone who was there. She wasn’t a literal chosen one. However, here, it seems very much intentional. Mint even grabbed her and threw her into some other location somehow that didn’t seem like it was in the same area as the exhibit so she could test out her new powers.

On one hand, I kinda like the Mint change….at least I think I like it. I know so little about what’s actually going on there that it’s really hard for me to formulate any actual opinion on it. It does get at least one of the girls a little more invested in the overall story, and Mint got to help in the big battle sequence. Plus it doesn’t seem that Mint is nearly as abrasive as she usually is, so that’s good. I’m just wondering how this change impacts both her and the story as we move forward.

I’m also kinda confused because I sincerely doubt the other Mews got the same test-drive kind of experience, so are they getting kicked to the side again? Like “Oh we had to ensure Ichigo got to activate her powers first, because she’s the leader.” Does this mean they know who the other Mews are right now or was Ichigo the only ‘chosen one’? How did Mint wind up with Shirogane and Akasaka? Why is she with them?

I know all these questions will be answered in the future, but it really threw me for a loop. I’d think if anyone made sense to be in with Shirogane and Akasaka from the start, it’d be Zakuro given the way her character was introduced in the past, but I guess I’ll reserve judgment on how I feel about this until I know a bit more about it.

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A slight change that they made was giving Moe and Miwa stuff to do and personalities beyond just being Ichigo’s friends. One of them wants to be a journalist, and the other wants to be a counselor. Very minor, but I take what I can get. I also appreciate that they helped Ichigo learn more about Aoyama so she could have a chance with him. They seem like pretty good friends.

I like the new art and animation. I think everyone’s characters designs are pretty nice. I also like how the Mews have more different hair styles when they’re transformed. Before, they just kinda looked the same barring brighter colors, but now they get slightly different styles as well. I particularly like that Mint’s hair is being kept down in her normal state and only has the buns in her transformed state while also making her hair a little longer and wavier when transformed. I also like Mint’s dress. It finally doesn’t give off “towel” vibes. That little fringe at the bottom does so much. I also like the bows, I think those are cute.

I liked the new transformation for Ichigo. I love that the cat appears behind her when she poses. While I did think it looked really cool, I don’t think it was a good idea to have her body appear with a galaxy/starry sky pattern on her as she transforms because it comes off way too much like Sailor Moon. It also doesn’t make much sense. What do their powers have to do with space? I also liked the new animation for her attack. I thought that was cool.

The little sequence they tagged on at the end with her in the truck was funny. It was also amazing how well they captured Café Mew Mew. It looks dead on to how it is in the manga and original anime, at least on the outside. I was very impressed.

The music is pretty good. I like it. Not sure I’m fully onboard with the ED quite yet, but it’s alright.

The voice acting was also pretty good. We did lose Megumi Ogata as Aoyama, but I think his new VA, Yuuma Uchida, does a pretty good job. Despite not appearing in this episode, I also learned Daisuke Sakaguchi wasn’t back to voice Quiche (and yes, I’m switching to calling them Quiche, Tart and Pie as well) which sucks. He was so much fun in the role, but hopefully his new VA will be good. I think everyone got a voice change, but don’t quote me on that.

Not sure if it will ever see a dub. That’d be surreal, quite frankly. I’d love to see a new English dubbing studio take on TMM, but after going through all of the 4Kids dub, it’d be a very strange experience. Welcome, but strange.

So…yeah…I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s actually getting my hopes up a bit. It seems like it might be answering quite of a few of the criticisms I had about the original manga and anime. But I am treading lightly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I look forward to more, and I hope this is the start of something really great for the franchise. See you in episode two!

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Or should I say, episode MEW?! Ahahahahah!….Hahah…ha…Is there some 4Kids detox I can do?


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3 thoughts on “Tokyo Mew Mew New | Episode 1: Wait, What?! I’m a Superhero Now?! Meow! Review

  1. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised that the reboot was so good! I’ve really enjoyed the first few episodes, and I’m looking forward to watching more. I was a little disappointed with Mint being already part of the team before Ichigo, so her intro arc just got cut out, but I don’t think it will effect the over all story that much.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly, there’s just too much changed in this for me to really enjoy it, chief among those changes being the character redesigns. They’re each uniquely bad in very different ways and in some cases just excessive, worst of all being Zakuro’s inexplicable floor-length ponytail in Mew form and the fact that they felt Pudding would be better with a dress. I also feel like the entire reason everyone was aged up by several years is so the production team could more comfortably have this version be a touch fanservicier and include things like dumb accidental kiss pratfalls, which isn’t really a plus either. And maybe it was just me, but the pacing is really off in this one.

    Like

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