SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 46: New Reinforcement! Protect the Earth Together

SSBS - TMM EP 46 SCREEN3

Plot: Ichigo’s on cloud nine now that she realizes Aoyama and her mysterious savior, the Blue Knight, are one and the same. While Aoyama is happy too, he continues to be plagued by nightmares of Mew Ichigo crying uncontrollably on the floor.

Ichigo decides to invite Aoyama to the cafe since he’s now a member of the Mew Mews. The Mews gladly welcome him, but Shirogane provides a less than warm welcome as he worries about their cohesion as a group with a new member. He tells Aoyama that their mission is dire and the fate of the world might be at risk if Aoyama isn’t serious about his duties. Aoyama strongly confirms his conviction, and just in time too because Akasaka has news that requires the Mews’ attention.

A nearby river is shining brightly for some inexplicable reason. Right around when the river started shining, they detected a Mew Aqua signal, so they believe the two to be connected. The Mews, with their new recruit in tow, head out to investigate.

The water in what is supposed to be a fairly polluted river is, strangely, extremely pure. When the light shines again, Pai and Taruto show up and prepare themselves for battle against the Mew Mews for the Mew Aqua that both sides assume is in the water somewhere. Taruto dives in the water to get it.

Everyone, including Aoyama, transform. Pudding takes a pill that allows her to breathe underwater and dives in the water to start the pursuit. Pai counters by causing a massive tidal wave and directing it towards the group. Everyone but Ichigo manages to get away in time, however, she’s quickly saved from the rushing waters by Aoyama.

A train nearly falls into the water due to broken tracks, but even though it’s stopped the water is rising to such extreme levels that it will be completely submerged if they don’t do something.

Meanwhile, the Mews are getting overrun by Chimera Animal stingrays, and Taruto and Pudding are duking it out underwater for the Mew Aqua. Things get heated as Ichigo gets trapped under a pile of Chimera Animal stingrays and Pai uses a new more powerful attack that summons a lightning storm. As the electricity collects in the sky, ready to unleash a powerful bolt of lightning, Lettuce attacks Pai and tries to ask him telepathically why two groups of beings born on the same planet have to fight. Pai responds that it’s simply fate.

Meanwhile, underwater, Taruto and Pudding find that the Mew Aqua wasn’t Mew Aqua at all – it was just a light. Pudding points out that their fighting was pointless and it would be better if they just became friends. Taruto refuses, however, and decides to leave since there is no Mew Aqua. Pudding grabs onto him as he surfaces to try to get him to stop.

Pai directs his lightning towards the Blue Knight and Ichigo, but the other girls are able to protect them by creating a shield with their collective attacks. When Pudding surfaces with Taruto, she sees what’s happening and uses her Pudding Ring Inferno to soak up the lightning and render it useless.

Ichigo and BK team up to take care of the rest of the Chimera Animals. Using her Ribbon Strawberry Surprise, Ichigo powers up BK’s sword into a massive trident-like sword made of light. With one swing, he’s able to soundly defeat all of the Chimera Animal stingrays.

With no Mew Aqua, the aliens decide to retreat. The team, with their new powerful recruit, have saved the day again, but even though the storm clouds are fading away, things are about to get darker for the Mew Mews.

——————————-

– I really never fully understood Aoyama’s situation. He definitely doesn’t remember he’s Deep Blue, but he’s also never showed signs that he remembers he can turn into the Blue Knight nor what happens when he’s BK. Now, not only is he aware of his transformation, accepts it without any difficulty, and can transform at will, but he also seems to remember what happens when he’s BK now too. Is it just because he became aware of his transformation that he can do these things now? Or does his drive to protect Ichigo and the knowledge of this transformation allow his Aoyama and BK selves to work together and accept each other? Why did BK not realize who he was either?

– That opener was weird. Why cut from a scene at school to the dream without proper transition? Is the scene at school part of the dream? Was he having a dream within a dream?

– There are way too many instances of Ichigo talking about possibly having sex with Aoyama in this show. It’s only a few times, but it’s a few times too much.

– Okay so the initial scene at school was part of his dream. I guess dreams are odd either way, but that editing was just so strange.

– I can’t put off mentioning this anymore, the animation in this episode is terrible and for some reason it’s particularly bad on the eye designs. It’s like this entire episode was animated and they suddenly remembered they never drew eyes on any of the characters so they hastily put them in.

And look at this shot of Miwa. Her eyes are way too big and her entire face is collapsing into her head.

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– I always thought it was really cool that Aoyama got his own transformation sequence…..it’s very short and a little on the boring side (and what the hell is that stock sky footage when they group up at the end? Did someone leave their Windows 98 screensaver as a placeholder but then forgot to make a real background?) but it’s cool that he was given one so late in the series.

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– Let me get this straight: Lettuce’s animal powers are really only prevalent in bodies of water, which means she rarely gets times to shine. They’re on a river right now, so obviously…Pudding is the right choice to barge in here.

Okie.

Also, Pudding claims she can breathe underwater with those pills that helped them with over-oxygenation a few episodes ago? What the what?!

– I’m a bit annoyed that Ichigo got caught up in that tidal wave because she’s supposed to have cat-like reflexes yet she’s the only one who couldn’t react quick enough to avoid it. Let me also note that not only was everyone else fast enough to jump away in time, but Zakuro had the time to think to grab Akasaka before she jumped, and Lettuce actually had time to run about 20 feet and grab Shirogane before she jumped. The reason this annoys me isn’t the logic of the jumps, though, that’d be really nitpicky – it’s because the only reason I can see for them doing this….is to have another scene where her boyfriend saves her…

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– I’m not even gonna ask how and why the Mews’ attacks collectively suddenly create a shield because at least they’re given a whole lot to do. Plus, Pudding’s attack was the most useful today (Outside of a certain someone I’ll mention in a minute…..*deep sigh*), and that hasn’t happened in ages.

– These expressions bother me for some reason. They’re in the middle of a big battle, trying to convey to each other that they need to both attack together and they’re either looking insanely bored or like they’re about to pose for a romantic novel cover.

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– Oh go to the deepest recesses of hell…So Aoyama’s been part of the Mews all of 15 minutes, and he already has a brand-new superpowered attack (his sword drawing power from Ichigo’s attack and becoming a massive beam trident-like sword that wipes out all of the enemies in one fell swoop) while the other girls still….have….nothing. And let’s not even talk about this maybe making him the most powerful one of the group (Ichigo might be more powerful, but I’d think that’s only with the help of Mew Aqua), thus making the most powerful protagonist in this shoujo show….a guy….with his girlfriend, the main protagonist….being his assistant. 😐

At least the next episode preview shows that Ichigo’s going to be his protector next time.

– Also, what exactly was that mysterious light if not Mew Aqua? It super purified the gross river water and shined so brightly it was lighting the whole area up. I’ve watched this series going on three times now, and I still struggle remembering if they explain the fake Mew Aqua signals. I assume Deep Blue has something to do with it, but I really don’t remember. Do they ever explain it?

And what was the point of the train nearly derailing? They show it once, act like they have to do something about it…..then they never bring I up again.

– Oooh they use the tense music for the next episode preview and have Pai part of it. Tension’s amping up!

———————————-

Overall, I liked this episode, but it was a bit sloppy in its overall structure. I get why Shirogane and Zakuro are suspicious of Aoyama, but I’m really wondering why no one’s asking the obvious questions – When did he discover he was BK? How does he transform without a pendant (they’re assuming he’s a fellow Mew afterall, right?) What animal is he melded with (if they assume he’s a Mew)? Why does he strangely have ears that look exactly like those of the aliens? Why is there seemingly another Mew if Shirogane and Akasaka said they were the only ones? If he’s not a fellow Mew, what is he? Where did he come from?

They just kinda accept and welcome him with open arms. Ichigo thinks Shirogane is unreasonable being distrusting of him, even if he doesn’t ask any of the above questions, and I guess that’s okay because she’s being protective of someone she cares about, but it’s not unreasonable to be wary of a guy who is shrouded in so much mystery.

The only thing that really got on my nerves was BK. I get irritated enough by Ichigo stealing the spotlight all the time and getting all the best new stuff while the others collect dust. However, now not only does BK have a brand new attack (and weapon kinda) that is way more powerful than anything the Mews can do without Mew Aqua (Or with it, to be honest, barring Ichigo, and that’s still up in the air), fresh out of the ‘new Mew Mew member’ box, mind you, but it’s made by using Ichigo’s attack as a powerup (Turning her into essentially what the other Mews keep being whenever they use their attacks to power her bell, which is nothing because we can’t prove that even does anything) and basically makes a dude the most powerful member of a magical girl group. I’m sorry if that last bit sounds a wee bit sexist, but it’s a legit problem I have. (And can you imagine the shit storm that would arise if you took any shounen show and made a woman the most powerful character? Yikes.)

At the very least, to the best of my recollection, he doesn’t remain this way for long for reasons that will soon become obvious, but it’s still a thing, it’s still there, it’s still a problem. I have no issue with Aoyama as a character, in fact I quite like him, and outside of the annoying Tuxedo Mask effect, I had no problem with BK before this either. They just went a little too far.

The animation was certainly bad throughout about half of the episode (I still can’t stop laughing about that stock sky animation.) The other half, particularly the battle, was decent enough even if it usually seemed like the Chimera Animal stingrays were paper cutouts.

Next time, BK is targeted specifically by Deep Blue and the aliens. Can Ichigo turn the tables and be his guardian this time?


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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 45: The Riddle Dissolves! The Truth about the Blue Knight

SSBS - TMM Ep 45

Plot: Ichigo is struggling to come to terms with the fact that Shirogane is not The Blue Knight. She’s both slightly disappointed and completely confused. If he’s not The Blue Knight, who is?

There’s only so long she has to worry about this, however, because she’s soon reminded that Valentine’s day is coming up, so she plans to make Aoyama some chocolate.

Problem is…she doesn’t know how to make chocolate. And she’s not exactly a world-renowned chef either.

She asks Akasaka to teach her to make chocolate, but she somehow manages to make an epic disaster out of the whole affair. She manages to make some chocolate, but it’s basically inedible.

Ichigo’s mood plummets as a result, believing she doesn’t have it in her to make decent chocolate for Aoyama. Akasaka reassures her that it’s the effort, love and care that she puts into the chocolate that truly matters, not how it tastes or how fancy it is.

Reinvigorated by Akasaka’s words, Ichigo invites Aoyama out next Sunday and gives it her all to make Aoyama the best chocolates she can make.

She finishes her chocolates for Aoyama and heads off to meet him when she’s interrupted by Kisshu, and there’s something odd about him this time. His eyes are glowing, his skin is turning purple and weird, and he’s demanding Ichigo go with him no matter what.

His face suddenly softens as Ichigo continues to struggle. He’s offering her a chance to go to a world where just the two of them can live in peace forever. She vehemently refuses and proclaims that Aoyama is the only one for her.

Realizing his efforts are in vain, Kisshu brandishes his sai and attacks her. She tries to transform, but he knocks her pendant away and grabs it. He goes for the killing blow, but is interrupted by Aoyama. Kisshu is about to angrily blast Aoyama away, but Ichigo deflects the blast. Still, Aoyama gets injured in the explosion.

Suddenly, Aoyama starts glowing a bright blue color. He stands and transforms, revealing himself to be The Blue Knight.

Ichigo is shocked by this turn of events, but it matters not to Kisshu who continues to try to kill Aoyama/The Blue Knight anyway. Despite The Blue Knight being a tad slower due to his injury, he is still able to defeat Kisshu.

Unwilling to stand down, however, he creates another energy blast that The Blue Knight gets caught up in. The other Mews arrive to help, but Shirogane tells them to stand down. The fully-crazed Kisshu proclaims that if he can’t have Ichigo with him, he’ll die with her here, but not before killing The Blue Knight first.

Ichigo tries to stop Kisshu, but to no avail. She does, however, manage to knock her pendant away from him. She grabs it and, just as Kisshu tries to deliver a fatal energy blast to The Blue Knight, Ichigo jumps in the way.

As the dust settles, Kisshu believes he accidentally killed Ichigo, but they find that she transformed in the nick of time and shielded both her and The Blue Knight from the blast.

With tears in her eyes, she begs Kisshu to not kill the one most important to her and she again tells him that she simply can’t go with him. As a sad smile comes across Kisshu’s face, he drops his sai and concedes. He bids Ichigo farewell before heading off alone.

Some time later, Ichigo and a de-knighted Aoyama sit on a bench to talk about what just happened. She gives him her Valentine’s chocolates, which got damaged in the battle, and vows to love him forever and ever.

——————–

– Did I just see Ichigo’s parents whispering to each other about sex? Pretty sure that’s what just happened there.

– That sparkly/glowy effect in Ichigo’s eyes was very well done.

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– Akasaka didn’t really teach her to make chocolate so much as give her a book that tells her how to do it while he stood there quietly washing dishes.

– I love that Pudding’s still visibly affected by the toxic chocolate even minutes after the fact.

– Aw, Lettuce wants to make chocolate for Shirogane……I am in perpetual pain that this pairing basically evaporates whenever it’s brought up.

– Oh my god, Kisshu’s expression after the second explosion. Well, they did want to convey that he’s off his rocker and….boy that expression will do it.

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——————

Overall, while they did have a massive tone shift between the first and second halves, this was a pretty great episode. The identity of The Blue Knight being revealed was a bit overdue, in my opinion, seeing as how we only have a handful of episodes left, but the battle and subsequent reveal were good.

Seeing Kisshu go full psycho was both entertaining and very sad. I mean….he’s still a psycho who has done a lot of terrible things over the past 45 episodes, but you still feel for him.

I didn’t like that the other girls were relegated to being background decorations again, however. They literally transformed for nothing and stood there just because Ichigo and Aoyama needed their moment.

That being said, as you can tell by my lack of notes, I don’t really have anything negative to say about this episode beyond that. Even if it’s only for a short time, I’ve been looking forward to Aoyama actually joining the team. And now we’ll get to see his (Albeit very short) transformation sequence.

Next time, Aoyama officially joins the Mews, and he’ll have to prove his worth as a new team member immediately when there’s another suspected Mew Aqua detection nearby.

….Previous Episode


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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 44: The City Turns into a Forest – What Protects Ichigo’s Smile

SSBS - TMM Ep 44 screen1

Plot: Aoyama continues to have nightmares about Ichigo in her Mew form collapsed on the floor and crying.

Meanwhile, Akasaka and Shirogane share more information they gathered from the alien ruins to the Mews. They theorize that the ancient aliens created Mew Aqua, and what they’ve been finding as of late are actually small fragments of the crystals they originally created that have been scattered all over the world (Or….I guess just Japan). There is a True Mew Aqua crystal somewhere out there with unimaginable power.

The good news is, Shirogane believes the aliens don’t know either of those facts yet, but now they realize that the fight to get the Mew Aqua first is more important than ever.

Later, Shirogane gives Ichigo a pep talk, promising that, if push came to shove, he’d make good on his promise to always to protect them. Ichigo can’t help but suspect again that this indicates he’s The Blue Knight.

Aoyama suddenly calls, asking to meet with Ichigo. Shirogane kindly takes over for her at the cafe so she can see him.

Ichigo and Aoyama enjoy their date, even if it’s briefly interrupted by a rain shower. Aoyama also has a brief moment of concern where he believes Ichigo might be crying, like she was in his nightmare, but she shows that she’s fine. She’s just a little spooked by the thunder.

That night, Akasaka and Shirogane detect a mass influx of strange readings all over Harajuku – a popular shopping district of Tokyo. The aliens are there and they’re causing the trees and rocks to go crazy, taking over the area and destroying everything in their path.

The girls investigate the city, now also ridden with massive insects, and eventually find the Mew Aqua. However, something seems off about it. Before they’re able to collect it, Taruto and Pai show up to battle them for it.

Taruto turns the tree holding the Mew Aqua into a Chimera Animal who increases the oxygen levels in the area so much that the girls start passing out.

Only Ichigo and Zakuro are able to fight, but they can’t do much with such high oxygen concentrations.

Shirogane, realizing what’s happening, grabs some pills to help with oxygen concentration and speeds off to the girls in his cat form.

All of the Mews but Ichigo get captured, and she’s barely able to stand. She sees the remnants of the wedding dress she looked at with Aoyama earlier, hoping to one day wear as a dress as beautiful at her wedding. Filled with a newfound determination, she gets up to fight once more, but it’s quickly proven that she physically cannot continue.

She’s about to get captured when she’s rescued by Shirogane.

And The Blue Knight.

Shirogane gives her the pills while The Blue Knight vows to protect Ichigo and rescues the other Mews.

Ichigo is dumbfounded to discover that The Blue Knight was not Shirogane, and just as quickly as he arrived, he vanishes.

The Chimera Animal suddenly loses power and is blasted away by the Mews. The aliens wonder what happened to the supposed Mew Aqua and leave the scene.

Later, the Mews, Shirogane and Akasaka gaze at the forest where Harajuku once stood. They wonder what that strange fake Mew Aqua was with concern that more might appear and be manipulated by the aliens.

——————————–

– I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad they didn’t kill that roach. They made it way too cute, and I love the little smirk it had.

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– Why is Ichigo sweeping the lawn?

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– Shirogane’s being really sweet today, aw.

– I have a question: If Mew Aqua is so insanely powerful and the aliens could manufacture it before….why did they not create a ton of it and save their environment?

– I can’t stop staring at the girls faces when they’re talking to Shirogane and Akasaka outside of the car. They all look…wrong. Especially whatever Zakuro’s face is doing.

– Lettuce’s theory about the aliens knowing the humans would pollute the earth, which is why they made the Mew Aqua, makes no sense. The aliens never knew another race would develop and take over the planet nor did they know they would pollute it in thousands of years. And, again, if the Mew Aqua can fix pollution problems, why did they not use it to save their asses when they polluted the planet and screwed it up?

Also, this is another one of those things where I think 4Kids would’ve been written into a corner. In their version, the aliens are legit aliens. They didn’t originate on earth. So not only would them making the Mew Aqua not work, but the idea that they made the Mew Aqua to help stop the pollution of earth also wouldn’t be viable.

– I find it kinda adorable that Zakuro’s afraid of bugs. Also, incredibly relatable.

– The roach from before is massive and chasing them now. That’s hilarious.

– Huh, that’s kinda ironic. A minute ago, they were basically guilt tripping themselves saying the aliens might have made Mew Aqua for the sake of stopping human-made pollution and improving our lives, but now a Chimera Animal made with Mew Aqua is injecting so much oxygen into the air that it’s killing them.

– This is incredibly petty of me to nitpick, but the sounds of those pills shaking is way too fast for the speed at which Shirogane is running.

– Oh my god, the way Ichigo’s drawn when Shirogane lands.

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– Oh my god, the animation when they’re freed from the tree. It’s like someone dropped paper cutouts.

– Lettuce’s attack is staving off the vines. Okay. Zakuro is holding the Chimera Animal still. Okay. But Mint and Pudding just, like, shot their attacks into Ichigo’s bell and…what? Did it make her Ribbon Strawberry Surprise more powerful? Doesn’t look it. You guys really couldn’t find it within yourselves to give them a real purpose here, could you?

– I think this is the first time something so massively terrible has happened without being able to pick up the pieces at all in the end. Harajuku is now a massive forest filled with a destroyed cityscape and there’s nothing they can do about it. Also, you can’t tell me people didn’t die in there. Buildings were crushed, cars were impaled with spikes while they were still driving, there have to be multiple fatalities in there.

– This whole somber ending sentiment is kinda ruined when the next episode preview is Ichigo trying in vain to make Aoyama chocolates….

————————-

I don’t have much to add on about this episode, but I enjoyed it. The enemy was really threatening this time around, they legitimately destroyed a whole district and left it destroyed, we finally learn that Shirogane isn’t The Blue Knight and it feels like the stakes continue to increase.

Only bad spots in my opinion were Pudding and Mint basically getting to be nothing but Ichigo powerups (maybe?) in the end and the somewhat janky art and animation.

Next time, Ichigo does indeed try to make chocolates for her beloved Aoyama, and we finally learn who The Blue Knight truly is.

….Previous Episode


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SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 7: Where Could it Be? Our Secret Base!

SSBS - SP Ep7

Plot: The girls are in desperate need of privacy in order to talk about Precure things. They each use the portals in the Magical Library to find a suitable spot.

Breakdown: This episode was a lot of fun, even if some of the spot choices were just really….stupid. I get that, for the sake of comedy, they have to choose some spots that are really dumb, but seriously Yayoi? An active movie set? Yeah, that’s nice and private. Though, admittedly, it’s better than the gorilla pen Akane chose. (That they somehow accessed through a fake bookshelf?)

I also like they didn’t end up at the secret spot at Miyuki’s old town. I really thought they were going there, but she’s right. It’s the little girls’ spot now, and it’d be wrong to impede on that.

It was a nice little twist that the library brought them back to the library when they all thought of the perfect secret spot. The Magical Library is a great spot for them, and the clubhouse that was deus ex machina’d for them from the Star Charm is really nice.

If I had any major issue with this episode, it’s that the villain plan this time around was so weak. Miyuki and the others go to some random spot in the woods that she loved as a kid, one that was in the forest near her old house, and Wolfrun, without knowing they’re coming, also arrives at this spot to…..suck up the happiness of two little girls who have taken over the spot in the meantime.

That’s so convoluted, I can feel my brain trying to escape my skull.

And the Akanbe didn’t make up for the lame villain plot, either. It was just a tree….that smashed things.

I feel like this is one episode where a villain plot was unnecessary. The plot about the secret base selection was enough to carry the episode. Maybe have that battle time taken up with the Precures talking to the little girls and then leaving to go find another spot when they realize how much it means to them.

Other than that, though, a very fun episode, and I look forward to them utilizing their secret base in the future.

Next episode….

…Previous Episode


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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 43: Friend or Foe? Fight Onee-Sama?

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Plot: The girls find Kisshu and Zakuro talking privately in a church. He seemingly convinces Zakuro to join him and further explains that, with or without Zakuro, the girls will fall to Deep Blue soon enough.

He teleports both him and Zakuro away from the church, leaving the girls frustrated and confused. However, they’re quickly called away by Shirogane and Akasaka who tell them of the true location of the Mew Aqua they couldn’t find earlier – it’s being carried by a swan that is in the protected area near the dock.

The birds suddenly start gathering near Mint and seemingly explain to her why they brought the Mew Aqua to this location. Just as they’re about to bring it out to the girls, Pai and Taruto arrive, gunning to get it first.

The girls all transform to battle, but Mint stays frozen in her tracks, believing the fight to be fruitless since Zakuro betrayed them. Despite her position and pleas, the birds insist upon her taking the Mew Aqua and joining the fight to protect it. She screams out in sadness and frustration, causing the Mew Aqua to rise up into the swan and seemingly vanish.

Pai and Taruto, unable to find the Mew Aqua among so many birds, take their leave.

Mint breaks down in sorrow, explaining how deeply Zakuro’s betrayal affected her. She lost so much hope and resolve that, in spite of hearing the birds’ pleas for help, she refused them.

Ichigo tries to encourage Mint to keep the faith in Zakuro, but Mint accepts reality. People change afterall. No matter what Zakuro does, they have to become stronger.

The next day, Mint continues to feel sullen about what happened with the Mew Aqua. She excuses herself from the cafe for a while, and Ichigo decides to talk with Shirogane about what Zakuro said to him a few days ago.

Shirogane explains that Zakuro told him they weren’t real warriors, but that they need to become as such in order to protect the world. This confirmed Ichigo’s suspicions that Zakuro wasn’t really betraying them – she was teaching them a lesson about being self-sufficient and reliable.

Akasaka detects energy readings matching Zakuro’s and Mints at the bird preservation area, indicating that the two have transformed and are about to fight each other. The other Mews rush to their location to stop them.

Meanwhile, Mint confronts Zakuro. Chastising Mint for losing her resolve simply because she wasn’t with her at the battle before, Zakuro asks Mint what she’d do if Zakuro really did betray her and join the enemy. Mint proclaims that she’d fight her – and that’s exactly what she does.

Mint and Zakuro fight with their all, tearful though Mint may be. Ichigo stops the battle before Mint is able to fire an arrow at Zakuro. Suddenly, a twister appears, sucking up the birds in the area. Pai has created the tornado to scoop up the birds, kill them all and leave the Mew Aqua behind.

Mint rushes towards the twister. With faith in the birds to heed her call and communicate their feelings, the Mew Aqua reacts and they’re able to spot it. Mint shoots an arrow towards the Mew Aqua. Using the Mew Aqua Rod, Ichigo collects the Mew Aqua and uses the rod’s power to stop the twister, clear the weather and save the birds.

The aliens retreat, and the girls rejoice.

Zakuro apologizes to the girls for going too far with trying to teach them a lesson. She explains that she goes to the church to visit someone precious to her. Right up to the end, neither of them had faith in the other, and seeing the girls have little faith in her about the rumor of her moving to the US made her upset, so she concocted this plan. However, she acknowledges that she went overboard.

She specifically apologizes to Mint and praises her for how much stronger and mature she’s gotten. She tearfully embraces Zakuro as Ichigo looks to the sky watching the swans fly away.

—————————————–

– I’ll save my remarks as to Zakuro’s ‘betrayal’ for later.

– So I guess this confirms that Mint really can talk to birds. Neat. Chalk one up for the non-Ichigo side.

– Ichigo: “Afterall, she is trying to provoke us, to make us realize we have to be more reliable.” Ranting saved for later, but yeah, reliability sure is important. Like how you’d expect someone to be reliable in situations where, and this is just hypothetical, a big glob of acid was flying at your face, nearly killing you. Sure would be nice to have someone reliable there.

And it sure is a show of reliability to have a person jump in front of a glob of acid for you, saving you from certain death. Boy howdy, if only we had some examples of those exact thing, eh?

– Hey, they’re talking about Lettuce’s crush on Shirogane again. Aaaaaaannndddd it’s gone.

– Ichigo: “Zakuro-san did that on purpose so we could become more independent.” Rant later…..

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– Flashback Zakuro: “Let me just say one thing – we are little girls. Even though as Mew Mews we have always been fighting, we are not ‘real warriors.’ However, in the future, when the alien attacks become more severe, each of us must be a strong warrior with faith in ourselves in order to protect the earth.”

*huff*

Okay, okay, okay. Okay. I need to take a step back and reel myself in before I go off the rails. Let’s go over everything that has happened in these past couple episodes.

There was a small rumor going around that Zakuro might move to the US for a movie deal. Pudding acted like a dumbass instantly believing this was happening, that it was the end of the Mews and, for some reason, seemed happy about it. Lettuce and Ichigo were simply inquiring about it. Mint just panicked and requested, if she were leaving, to please take her with her.

Zakuro lost her temper, insinuated that she might leave for the US, but also that she hadn’t decided yet. She was also fed up with how they acted in response to the rumor.

During a battle over Mew Aqua, Zakuro refused to transform, fight, or even move a quarter of an inch. Mint was forced to protect her from enemy fire, nearly getting herself maimed or burned to death on a big glob of acid in the process. Zakuro neither transforms to help her, goes to her aid or shows an iota of caring that she ended up getting hurt.

Zakuro later quits, claiming she’s moving to the US, and later the girls find her conspiring with Kisshu, seemingly joining the enemy.

Mint flips, can’t take the betrayal and also ends up failing in her duties as a Mew because of it.

This all leads up to a battle between the two where Zakuro practically begs Mint to shoot her.

All of this is because of either:

1) Zakuro wanted the girls to become ‘real warriors.’

2) Zakuro was pissed/disappointed that the girls were believing some rumor over just instantly assuming her decision was the opposite.

3) Zakuro wanted the girls, particularly Mint, to become more independent.

4) Zakuro wanted the girls to be more reliable.

5) Zakuro wanted the girls to have more faith in themselves and each other.

Okay. Okay. There seems to be a bunch of possible reasons behind why Zakuro did this, so let’s address every angle.

1) In times of battle, when have the girls proven to be anything else but ‘real warriors’? They’ve risked their lives, their relationships, their happiness all for the good fight. They’ve fought long and hard through all sorts of asperities, and even if they did complain sometimes, they have every right to do so every now and then.

It’s an insult to them to insinuate that they’re not ‘real warriors.’ Not to mention, Ms. Hypocrite, a “REAL WARRIOR” wouldn’t set up her friends, nearly get them disfigured, severely injured or killed all to teach them some arbitrary lesson like this.

2) Even though, yes, they should’ve defaulted to believing you weren’t going to leave either way, it’s understandable for them to be worried when stuff like this happens. Afterall, Zakuro has missed Mew stuff on numerous occasions because of her career. Why is it so farfetched to believe that she might be moving to the US? Or even just considering it? It’s not like it would’ve been permanent, either. It’s a movie deal. She’d be gone for a year or so at most.

If you want to snap at them for jumping to conclusions and chastise them for having so little faith in you, go right ahead, but doing what you did is just horrible.

3) Here’s where I’ll balk a little bit, because Mint’s reliance on Zakuro can be a bit much, BUT, once upon a time, she was considering quitting and not even putting Zakuro into her debate. She was making the decision of her own accord. (Interestingly, that episode was also a lesson about having faith in herself and her friends that, together, they can save the world.)

I find it to be a bit OOC that Mint would be so shaken by Zakuro’s supposed betrayal that she’d freeze up like that. She was the second Mew to be discovered. She’s fought plenty of times without Zakuro. Even if it’s a terrible thing to think someone you loved betrayed you, that shouldn’t shake her resolve so much that she’d let down her friends and ignore the cries of animals in peril.

Zakuro didn’t even blame it on the emotional turmoil – she appeared to blame Mint’s lack of resolve just on Zakuro not being there.

TMMSDCEP43SCREEN2

It’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility, but, personally, I find it to be OOC.

How is purposely causing strife amongst the team a lesson in independence anyway? Causing strife and undue emotional stress in your team is also not something a “REAL WARRIOR” would do.

Where did this lesson on independence even come from? Pudding’s comments about it being the end of the Mews if Zakuro leaves? You can’t take anything Pudding says at face value, and she was being really OOC in that scene.

4) I don’t even think I have to go into more detail for this as I already pretty much explained why this is ridiculous in my earlier joke, but when have the girls ever shown to not be reliable? Technically, these were Ichigo’s words, so maybe this wasn’t part of Zakuro’s lesson, but still. The girls are always there for each other, whether on the battlefield or in everyday problems. Through everything from small crises to romance troubles to emotional breakdowns to world-ending threats, they’ve been reliable through and through.

Again, it’s a bit insulting to believe they’re not as such just because they jumped to conclusions over gossip.

They’re teenage girls, of course they put stock in gossip sometimes. Clear the air, scold them and move on.

5) If there were ever a stupider method of conveying this lesson. Act like you’re having a hissy fit and leaving, act like you’re joining the enemy, make the Mews feel like betrayed pieces of shit – that sure will make them have faith in themselves and each other.

Or hell, maybe it will. I mean, if they had complete faith in Zakuro from the outset, she wouldn’t have done this incredibly stupid lesson in the first place. That’ll teach you for thinking Zakuro’s not a psychopath.

Again, I’m sorry if it seems like I’m overreacting, but I still can’t get over the possible face-melting/death Mint nearly suffered just so Zakuro-sensei could teach her unwitting students lessons that they didn’t even need to learn.

Even if they did need to learn these lessons, there are much better ways to go about it – even on an extreme level.

And let me note that I actually really love this episode. I may find Zakuro’s part to be mind-blowingly stupid and downright insulting, but I love that Mint got a new power. I love that Mint proved herself to be able to fight Zakuro for the sake of the world, despite her own feelings. I love that Mint took on a twister by herself and had an awesome moment to shine.

I’m only slightly disappointed that her exposure to Mew Aqua didn’t result in Mint getting any cool new features like giant wings or a cool new attack or something, and I’m a bit miffed that Ichigo gets the ultimate limelight again, but I still loved it. Mint may not be my favorite character most of the time, but she gets some pretty cool moments of glory.

TMMSDCEP43SCREEN3
This is such a nice shot.

– Zakuro: “As Ichigo said, I overdid it.” She said at Mint’s funeral.

I’ll give Zakuro props for actually admitting she went too far, but I feel like she was saying that about it reaching a point of forcing Mint to fight her, not the stuff with nearly getting her killed. If she realized it back then, she would’ve had a reaction to it.

——————————————–

In the end, like I said, I really do love this episode barring the stuff with Zakuro. It’s Mint’s true time to shine, and I loved how it went down. Yes, I’m a tiny bit irritated that she didn’t get the full spotlight, but I’ll definitely take this over getting nothing to do any day of the week.

And while this was an important episode, like the episode that preceded it, the art and animation are all over the place. Sometimes it looks like they did a great job, but many other times it’s really shaky. When Lettuce tells Ichigo and Mint ‘congratulations’ at the end…she’s not looking at them. She’s looking beyond them. And there are so many instances of screwed up faces and even times when it seems like the art quality changes in the same shot.

Next episode, the city’s being overrun by forestry, and Ichigo has a serious talk with Aoyama.

….Previous Episode


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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 42: Zakuro’s Dilemma – Only Four Mew Mews Now?

SSBS - TMM EP42 Screen

Plot: Shirogane and Akasaka detect a new source of Mew Aqua seemingly on a ship headed for a harbor in Tokyo. As they try to figure out how to find it among the numerous cargo boxes in the ships, they hear the girls freaking out over the latest news – Zakuro has been offered a movie deal in Hollywood, and it’s speculated that she’ll move to America, leaving her standing as a Mew Mew in jeopardy.

When Zakuro arrives, she tells them that she has indeed been offered a movie deal in Los Angeles, but she’s currently debating whether or not to take it. The girls all argue amongst themselves, especially after Mint tries to beg Zakuro to take her with her to America if she decides to go. Fed up with their arguing, she chastises the group for their behavior, tells Mint she has no reason to take her to America if she decides to go and leaves the cafe.

Later, Zakuro returns, and the girls are sent out to the harbor to see if the Mew Aqua reacts to any of them, even though they know that the Mew Aqua will only react when their emotions are high.

The girls split up and look around, to no avail. Zakuro reads a letter she got from home and remembers a painful time from her past, which triggers a reaction to Mew Aqua nearby, but she can’t tell exactly where it is.

The aliens arrive and corner Zakuro, prompting the other Mews to transform and rush to her location. They’re shocked to find that Zakuro not only hasn’t transformed yet, but seemingly doesn’t want to, claiming she’ll decide if and when she wants to fight.

Nonetheless, the battle between the aliens and Mews starts. The aliens conjure a chimera animal based on a crab. In the middle of battle, the chimera animal attacks Zakuro, who stands perfectly still and doesn’t react. Mint steps in and saves her, but her expression is still emotionless and she remains silent.

Mint falls while trying to save Zakuro from another assault, and Zakuro doesn’t even react. Angered, Ichigo steps in and defeats the chimera animal with a Ribbon Strawberry Surprise. As Taruto is about to make another chimera animal, Pai stops him. He believes that they truly don’t know where the Mew Aqua is so it’s just a waste to continue the fight.

They leave to search for the Mew Aqua themselves.

The girls rush to tend to Mint, but Zakuro, again, stands without response.

Later, Zakuro tells Ichigo to take care of Mint since she tends to stress herself out with worries over the future and needs someone by her side.

That night, the girls meet up to discuss Mew matters, but Zakuro fails to show up. She leaves a note with Masha implying that she really has quit and plans to move to America.

At the meeting, Shirogane tells the girls to just let Zakuro go, citing that she let Mint get hurt in battle and didn’t make any effort to help either before or after the fact. They can’t make her fight if she doesn’t want to and she’s a detriment to them if they try to force her.

Ichigo chews out Shirogane for his words, stating that he’s forcing them all to become Mew Mews in the first place and Zakuro is simply feeling alone and lost right now. She can’t leave her behind in such a state, so she decides to grab Mint and the other girls to go find her and bring her back.

They find Zakuro in her church, but she’s not alone. Kisshu is there with her, on friendly terms.

—————————–

– They’re saying that noise is the signal of Mew Aqua, but it sounds exactly like a heart monitor.

– They do call her out on this, but why is Pudding so nonchalant and damn near happy to announce that the Mew Mews are splitting up?

– I was actually content with the way the transformation mashup was working today. Each Mew Mew got mostly their full transformation sequence, and they even went through Lettuce, Mint and Pudding before Ichigo….but then I realized they were plowing through their transformations to get to the ‘main event.’ Ichigo’s is not cut down at all, and they switch to an entirely different music track for it. It’s better than spitting out the other Mews transformations while Ichigo gets all the spotlight, but it still irks me.

– Wow, I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve seen the other girls summon their weapons. They usually only get their attack animations, and even those are usually cut down some.

– Though, admittedly, I am getting tired of the girls (barring Zakuro and Ichigo) attacks hardly ever working….

This episode sure is a back and forth on positive focus on the other Mews and then turning around and ruining it.

– Ya know, I usually think Zakuro is cool and reasonable, and I didn’t fault her for not helping the other Mews, but how big of an asshole are you to not even react, not in the slightest, when one of your friends falls in battle trying to protect you from an attack and falls unconscious as a result. No flinch of the eyes, no looking her way, definitely no going to her side to see if she’s okay – nothing. Not making a pun on the fact that she’s literally a female dog – what a bitch.

– The fact that no one’s angry about this is even worse. Again, I can understand if they were being sympathetic with her not transforming or fighting, but what she did to Mint is worth at least some anger.

– Zakuro makes a nice speech and observation about Mint after that scene, but if she’s so concerned about Mint’s well-being, why did she act that way? Am I not getting something? ‘Yeah, take care of Mint. She gets so stressed out about the future, but screw her if she gets injured and knocked unconscious. I don’t care.’

– So Shirogane’s the only one who even mentions what Zakuro did to Mint? Fair enough that it at least gets mentioned, but I feel like it should be more of an issue.

– By the by, that attack Mint protected Zakuro from? It was a huge glob of acid – powerful enough to melt a metal building in one second. Mint could’ve easily been terribly disfigured or killed if she didn’t have the power to stop that attack. And considering Zakuro still hadn’t transformed and couldn’t be arsed to react to the point of even removing her hands from her pockets, she could’ve easily been killed by that if Mint hadn’t stepped in.

So either, according to Ichigo, Zakuro’s confused about what she wants out of life and lost to the point of near suicide, which I sincerely doubt, she’s incredibly stupid or she doesn’t care what happens to her or anyone else.

– And sure, let’s pepper in a dash of irony in that we’re also focusing on the fact that Zakuro’s religious in this episode. I’m sure God would’ve loved it if you let Mint become a burning husk on the ground as you stared off with that stone-cold expression.

I know it seems like I’m harping on this or being too harsh, but I can’t help thinking how I would’ve felt in that situation. I know Mint is more hurt than she’s letting on, the next episode preview shows that much, but the fact that the others aren’t even giving it a passing thought is annoying.

I know that this is all leading to Zakuro teaching the girls, particularly Mint some big lesson that I forget at the moment (it’s been a while since I’ve seen the tail end of this series), and maybe I won’t feel as angry as I do right now when that episode is done……but fuck off. You don’t have much of a lesson to teach to Mint if she’s a blob of melted flesh and bone.

——————————

All in all, I probably have more malice for this episode than I should, but I’m not taking it back. That scene with Mint really, really bothered me, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t much care for Mint. From what I recall of the second part of this episode, I honestly don’t think Zakuro’s reasoning will be of much comfort either.

Again, if you have a lesson to teach the girls, fine. Don’t transform. Fine. Don’t fight. Fine. Make them believe you’re quitting. Fine. Don’t flippantly nearly let one of your friends be killed in a terrible horrific way to get your point across. The aliens had much more of an emotional response to Kisshu being injured than Zakuro did to Mint being knocked out and nearly melted to death. What does your lack of response help with this little lesson either? I don’t get it.

Ichigo’s also kinda acting poorly here. I get that she wants to help Zakuro because she realizes she’s going through something, but the Mint thing coupled with the fact that her reasoning comes off as basically ‘Shirogane is forcing us to be Mew Mews so we have a right to hunt her down and drag her back’ is a bit off-putting.

If it’s any consolation, I do recall this leading to one of the better episodes in the series, but I also believe that will be tainted with the explanation behind Zakuro’s actions.

Last note, the art and animation for this episode is weird. The animation is average but the art keeps jumping from bad to ‘oh they’re spending money this episode’ levels. One minute everything’s all nicely lit and well-detailed, the next Zakuro’s face is smushed and she has eyelashes that might as well be woolly caterpillars.

Next episode, is Zakuro gone for good? What will Mint do if she’s gone? What does this mean for the Mew Mews?

….Previous Episode

SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 6: The Team’s Assembled! We Are Smile Precure!

SSBS - GF EPISODE 6

Plot: The five Precure are finally assembled! Candy’s big brother, Pop, arrives to check up on his sister and share the story of Marchenland and the Precures to the girls. While Nogo’s minions are collecting energy to revive their master, the girls need to collect the Cure Decor from the Akanbe to free Marchenland’s queen and save the world.

But first things first – what will their catchphrase be?

Breakdown: This episode was moreso recapping what we already knew what with the backstory of Marchenland and the goals of both sides. We learn a little bit more of the story, get introduced to some new characters – Pop and Joker – we solidify the girls as a team and give them a catchphrase.

I did enjoy several aspects of it. First of all, I like how some parts seem to harmlessly poke fun at magical girl tropes. As a fan of magical girl shows, I always like a little ribbing at those cliches.

Secondly, I LOVE Pop. He’s so cute yet cool and brave. His relationship with Candy is also very nicely constructed. He realizes Candy’s a bit sensitive, scatter-brained and frightened, but also respects that she works hard, is brave when the situation calls for it and is willing to do everything she can for their cause. Pop worries about her, but he’s isn’t overbearing about it.

Joker’s also pretty entertaining and I look forward to what he’ll bring to the table in the future.

Finally, the ending was so well-directed and sad that, even though it was just temporarily saying goodbye to a character who debuted in this very episode, I was still getting a bit misty-eyed.

I don’t much mind the recapping as we could benefit from sitting down and fully talking about everything that’s lead to this point, so that’s not a negative to me.

However, I didn’t much appreciate that so much time was dedicated to finding a catchphrase. I thought it was a cute joke that they were even bringing up needing a catchphrase, another nudge to magical girl tropes, but then I realized how serious they were about it and I just kinda wanted them to move on.

I also thought this week’s Akanbe was embarrassingly lame. He was a beefed up soda can who shot soda cans….that’s it. Majorina won a game of cards against the other villains to face the Precures again and she uses her opportunity on this recycling PSA.

What’s even more embarrassing is that the girls actually nearly lose to this thing. In another bit of a magical girl trope joke moment, the girls are instantly shot when they complete their long transformations, personal phrases and group catchphrase. I thought they’d more or less brush it off and kick ass together as a team, showing off how awesome they are now that they’re finally together….but no.

The shot downs all of them, they nearly get stomped on and Pop has to turn into a giant can press, subdue the Akanbe and wait for the girls to, forgive me for saying this, sit on his face in order to crush the Akanbe.

Pop’s ability to transform is cool, but him jumping in to save the day really took all of the wind out of my sails. Like yay, Smile Precur–*BLAM* “Ugh, we can’t do anything now.” Oh…I mean…yay Pop!

Not to mention that, while it’s more subtle than a lot of shows, they’re starting to show their leader favoritism here. They wait until Miyuki arrives on the scene to transform…for no reason. I might understand if they transformed and fought but prolonged the fight because they wanted their first full team fight to be together, but they didn’t even transform until Miyuki arrived. Then Candy told Miyuki to give the final blow attack when the other girls were available.

I can’t imagine they’ll get to Tokyo Mew Mew levels of favoritism here, but it was giving me that vibe and I hate that vibe.

All in all, while this wasn’t the most fantastic episode ever, expected of a more or less recap, and it was certainly disappointing for a full team debut, I did enjoy this episode. My enjoyment was mostly because of Pop (Someone find me a Pop plushie. I will love you forever), but outside of the battle, it was a solid episode.

Rating: 7/10

Next episode, the girls try to select a spot for their secret base!

….Previous Episode

SSBS – Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Episode 2: Feelings I Can’t Say

SSBS - MMPPPEP2

Plot: Lucia is asked out on a date to the spring festival by Kaito, but Hanon protests, claiming Lucia can’t be trusted to keep her mermaid nature a secret should she confess her feelings to Kaito. If she reveals her secret to a human, she’ll turn into bubbles. She goes on the date anyway, but when he starts talking about the mermaid who saved his life, she panics and runs away from him.

Meanwhile, Hanon is captured by a new enemy named Eriru, who is working for a mysterious shadowy man named Gaito, who also employs Izul. Eriru seems to have a plan to combat Pink Pearl Voice’s song, but Hanon thwarts her, and transforms into Aqua Pearl Voice. Performing a duet together, she and Pink Pearl Voice take down Eriru.

Later that night, Lucia, in mermaid form, sings for Kaito on a rock near the shore. Meeting in the water, Lucia decides to admit to her feelings while in mermaid form, her secret life as the human Lucia safe. She kisses him on the cheek and leaves.

Breakdown: This one puts a bit more substance to the story, but only a bit more and only slightly with the relationship with Kaito and Lucia.

We get slightly more development on the enemy side, learning of a mastermind named Gaito and introducing what seemed like a more interesting enemy in Eriru, but not really. At least she’s more interesting than Queen Beryl Lite/Izul, but she’s just a bumbling as she is.

Eriru seems like she’s making a plan where the mermaids will be lured to a spot in the festival where she’s selling fish that dance to music, since mermaids love music, but neither of them are ever lured there. The only reason the fish become any part of the plot is because Hanon’s new love interest gives her one since he was handed one he didn’t want. Hanon releases it into the ocean and goes for a swim, and that somehow leads Eriru to her location, even though that’s not what she said they do.

Eriru also exposes an incredibly stupid weakness of the mermaids. Eriru has a….I want you imagine the most sarcastic overly exaggerated air quotes when I say this – “Battle form.” which is really just her turning around and back again really fast, her eyes glowing red, and her teeth getting sharpened.

When Pink Pearl Voice sings, Eriru is unaffected. Not because her “battle form” has this immunity, but because, when she turns around and back again, she also pulls down the bandanna she wears on her head over her ears, making it so she can’t hear the song.

When I first watched this, I had to restrain myself from yelling out in laughter ‘You have GOT to be friggin’ kidding me!’

Our hero.

Can be thwarted.

By a BANDANNA.

It’s not even like she’s using ear plugs or anything. She’s using a flimsy piece of fabric just pulled over her ears. Has anyone who wears like hats or hoodies ever had their hearing be noticeably affected? Even if, it’s just barely affected. It certainly doesn’t deafen you.

And she’s defeated just as pathetically easily because Hanon instantly realizes what she’s doing and, gasp of all gasps, she pulls the damn thing off with no issue. Hanon was even restrained by magic seaweed stuff courtesy of Eriru and it wasn’t restrictive enough to stop her from doing that. She only grabbed onto her tail with it.

This enemy is the biggest joke I’ve ever seen.

Oh well, at least we got to see Aqua Pearl Voice….whose outfit is damn near identical to Pink’s just….ya know….blue.

Her little microphone is also basically identical to Pink’s.

The plot with Kaito is a little better, and I thought the scene at the end was really sweet, but I really don’t get the conflict here. She can’t date him because she might confess her feelings for him, which will somehow inevitably lead to her admitting she’s a mermaid to him? Those are two completely unrelated things.

It would be different if the plot was just that Kaito has suspicions that she was the mermaid who saved him, which made her panic. Then she’d maybe want to avoid being with him out of fear of being outed. Or maybe she thought him knowing the truth would somehow hurt him or something. This just makes no sense.

I also thought her getting upset at Kaito being with those two bitchy girls was unreasonable. Kaito very obviously physically and vocally expressed that he both didn’t like these girls and that he desperately wanted to get away from them to be with Lucia, but she just instantly believed he was a jerk who’d break her heart.

We also learn just a tiny bit more of the mermaids. The sea world has been wrought with calamities lately, and it’s suspected that these issues are also causing problems on the shore. Lucia, Hanon and any other mermaid princess they find will be tasked with finding the sea goddess, Aqua Regina, to help save the world from more destruction.

Overall, this was an okay episode, but the enemy conflict today is so dumb I think I might have to check into a hospital to see if I still have brain activity, and the plot with Kaito was nice, but sloppy. The song the mermaids sing is starting to grow on me, but that might be the power of repetition because I heard it at least four times in this episode.

Rating: 3.5/10

Next episode….

….Previous Episode

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 41: The Wind Brings Happiness – A Heartfelt Prayer

SSBS - TMM EP41

Plot: Shirogane and Akasaka detect numerous disturbances in Tokyo Bay and set out the Mews to fight once again, but Lettuce has reservations. She asks if they can talk to the aliens instead and come to an understanding. Even though the other Mews have similar thoughts and agree that the aliens also have feelings and hearts that should be respected, they can’t deny that the aliens don’t seem to be reasonable. The chances of them coming to an understanding are far too low and it’s dangerous to avoid fighting since it might cost them the lives of those they’re trying to protect.

The aliens’ newest plan involves growing a chimera animal that creates pollutants. Using a current generator, when the chimera animal is fully grown, they’re spread the pollutants all over the bay, killing every creature in the ocean.

The group splits off into two teams to combat the minor chimera animals Pai has sent out into the bay to guard the main beast. Pudding and Ichigo dive underwater to investigate when they’re swarmed by a school of vicious chimera animal fish. The girls transform and start to fight, but there are simply too many to take down. They’re forced to retreat, but the fish take chase.

Meanwhile, Masha spots the current generator and sends out an emergency beacon only to be shot down by Pai seconds later. After receiving the signal, the group changes up their teams with Lettuce heading off with Shirogane to investigate the signal while Akasaka and the rest of the Mews head in the other direction to distract the fish.

When Lettuce and Shirogane arrive at the location of Masha’s lost signal, their boat is suddenly overturned by the toxic chimera animal, now fully grown.

While Lettuce can breathe underwater while in her Mew form, Shirogane starts to drown. She tries to save him, but the chimera animal gets in her way. The chimera animal grabs Shirogane and makes off with him. However, it suddenly changes color, lets go of Shirogane and leaves to fulfill its duties to pollute the sea.

Meanwhile, the other Mews set a trap for the chimera animal fish and Taruto. Pudding traps them all within her Pudding Ring Inferno, made larger by Mint Echo, Zakuro fends off Taruto and Ichigo finishes the fish off.

Back with Lettuce, she’s able to spot Shirogane under the water by catching a glimpse of the Mew Aqua on his necklace, but Pai stops her from saving him. She tries to appeal to his heart, but he refuses to listen. She avoids his attacks and rushes towards Shirogane. Her body reacts to the Mew Aqua and she becomes a mermaid again.

She kisses Shirogane to transfer some of the Mew Aqua’s power to him to help save his life. The Mews and Akasaka arrive at the current generator and are confronted by the main chimera animal. Lettuce emerges from the water, and the light from the Mew Aqua causes the chimera animal to recoil in pain. Taking the window of opportunity, Ichigo mounts an attack and defeats it.

After the battle, Shirogane wakes up, and Lettuce is ecstatic to know he’s alright. Masha is fished from the water, exhausted and damaged, but not in disrepair.

Breakdown:

– Again, I thought they were trying to reclaim the earth and hated that humans were polluting it, yet their plan this week is to pollute the bay and kill every creature in there? Is this like a commentary on the human condition? Now the aliens are screwing nature up and not fully taking into consideration the consequences of their actions?

– I know Lettuce isn’t a strong swimmer, but does it not make more sense to send the only aquatic animal based Mew out scuba diving into the water?

– Also, those wet suits are really cool.

– Just gonna come out and say it – I ship Lettuce and Shirogane. He makes her more confident, she softens him up, they work well together. It kinda pisses me off that they so unceremoniously end it after just teasing it a couple of times.

– This is really nitpicky, but not only can Lettuce, when transformed, breathe underwater, but she can also talk. I’ll forgive the talking since that’s connected to the breathing and just something characters that can breathe underwater tend to do, but it doesn’t really make sense for her to have the ability to breathe underwater. The animal she’s based on, the black finless porpoise, is a mammal. It can’t breathe underwater.

However, fun fact, their eyesight is terrible, and that might be the reason why Lettuce wears glasses.

– It is a little touching that Taruto actually seems like he feels guilty for taking control of the fish when Pudding calls him out on it.

– That was actually a pretty clever trap that they laid for the chimera animal fish. I’m a little annoyed that Pudding’s Pudding Ring Inferno keeps coming off like it’s a weak ability that can easily be broken, but it was a good plan.

– Uh, Pai, I’m pretty sure you can’t use directed lightning attacks like that underwater.

– The animation for this episode has been on the lower end of the spectrum. Not the worst in the series, but noticeably poor.

———————————–

I liked this episode, but I didn’t love it. I’m a little disappointed that Lettuce turned into a mermaid again only to save Shirogane and to be an annoying distraction for the chimera animal while Ichigo, once again, gets the last shot. Maybe I wouldn’t be as irritated if she didn’t also get the last shot on the chimera animal fish not but five minutes prior.

I should at least be thankful she wasn’t the central focus of this episode when it was Lettuce’s time to shine….literally.

I do love Shirogane and Lettuce’s dynamic, and it’s nice that they’re continuing to show the softer sides of the aliens. Also, I did really appreciate that the Mews legitimately defeated the chimera animal fish together instead of the other girls being a shield or distraction or something.

Rating: 7.5/10

Next time, is Zakuro leaving the Mews to move to the US?

….Previous Episode

SSBS – Boys Over Flowers Episode 2: No Brand Girl!

SSBS - Boys Over Flowers 2

Plot: When Tsukushi arrives at school, she finds that things are still the same, but slightly better. Her resolve is still strong, Makiko continues to send messages back and forth to her through the little electronic frog, and she overhears some kids actually admiring her for standing up for herself to the F4, even if they’re still having fun with her situation at her expense.

She tries to find Rui to thank him once again for saving her the other day and finds him on a bench in the garden playing a beautiful song on the violin. He stops and asks what she’s doing there. She thanks him for saving her, but he says he shouldn’t have done so if he knew she’d become a pest about it. She tells him she’ll maybe catch him again hanging out in the emergency stairwell and he replies that he’ll stop going there.

After he leaves, Tsukushi muses, not bothered by his words. She believes he was being more honest in his violin playing than what he was saying and happily goes about her day.

At the end of school, she’s suddenly kidnapped and taken to a car by Tsukasa’s goons. She struggles and fights, but it’s no use. In the car, they knock her out with chloroform as Tsukasa looks on with a smirk telling her that she’ll pay.

When she awakes, she finds herself at the mercy of three people who strip her naked before giving her a deep-tissue massage. She then gets a makeover including a new hairstyle and set of clothes.

She’s brought to the dining room where she meets Tsukasa. He reveals that she’s actually in his house. He asks her if she’s in love with Rui, but doesn’t wait for an answer before he tells her Rui’s not single. He then…gives a really confusing explanation as to what’s going on. He directs her to a portrait of his sister and tells her they’re as different as night and day, but this makeover proves that even someone as average as her can shine with polish.

He’s willing to let her hang around him when no one’s around, but she’ll never be a replacement for his sister….I guess.

She’s deeply insulted that he thinks he can buy her with money and demands her uniform back so she can head home. He’s equally insulted at her refusal, claiming she’s a pauper while he’s name brand from head to toe. She proudly proclaims she’s no-brand and tells him to not lump her together with the other girls who fawn over him for his money.

After she leaves, she runs into Rui on his way home from school. She asks him if there’s anything money can’t buy. He replies ‘Air.’ Rui actually manages to legitimately smile at her, calling her a weird girl.

The next day, someone has written ‘Tsukushi Makino ran a mob outfit in jr. high! She sleeps around and has a bastard child!’ on the chalkboard.

Tsukushi rushes out to confront the F4, blaming them for the writing, proclaiming she cannot possibly have a bastard child, because she’s a virgin. She then runs off, leaving the boys flustered and confused. Tsukasa claims her telling them she’s a virgin is her way of telling them she’s single and believes she likes him.

She rushes back to class to find three girls she’s never really spoken with erasing the writing and badmouthing the F4 for what they’ve done. They call Tsukushi a very strong girl for taking all of this without standing down and invite her to a party they’re having. They tell her they’ll pay for the ticket and to not worry about the clothes because it’s a jeans party. Tsukushi is a little confused considering she doesn’t know these girls, but she accepts.

Later, at the bakery in which Tsukushi works, she’s surprised to find Rui and Sojiro visiting. Rui buys a cupcake because it’s cute.

That night, Tsukushi arrives at the party only to find out that the girls were lying about it being a jeans party. It’s actually a very fancy party, and they tricked her just to laugh at her when she arrived in such casual clothing.

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This episode is pretty bad. I like that Tsukushi continues to keep her resolve strong, but the fact that she keeps her heart soft for Rui just because he plays violin and likes cute things, no matter the mean things he says to her, is a bit frustrating.

And, dear god, what the hell is up with Tsukasa? This creepy bastard legitimately kidnapped her and essentially had her sexually assaulted (Drugging her and having people strip her completely naked and massage her against her will) just so he could dress her up in a similar manner to his sister and offer to have her hang around him (as long as no one’s around) to replace his sister? Someone call the cops!

Actually, I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising given that he tried to have her gang raped in the previous episode. What is wrong with this guy?

Then believing her telling them she’s a virgin is her way of telling him that she’s available and likes him? I just got done reading Boku wa Imouto ni Koi Wo Suru. I don’t need to go through another lengthy series where one of the main love interests is a rapey creeper.

It’s also a bit awkward that the ending ‘cliffhanger,’ if you will, is Tsukushi learning the girls tricked her to mock her. I saw that coming from a mile away and the fact that Tsukushi is even surprised at this by this point is a little silly.

Small note, but the music is really starting to grate on me. Half of it is repetitive and the other half sounds like it belongs in a 1950s short film.

Rating: 3/10

Next episode, Tsukushi deals with stuck up bitches, and Rui actually does have a girlfriend. How will this mesh with Tsukushi’s budding feelings for him?

….Previous Episode