SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 49: The Awakening of Blue – Another Appearance!

Plot: As the girls get ready to open the cafe, Shirogane makes a startling announcement – there is no need to open the cafe anymore. The staff of Cafe Mew Mew is going on vacation for a while. The reason? Shirogane and Akasaka are detecting wild energy signals in Tokyo similar to those detected during the previous massive disasters in other regions in Japan. The energy is growing more and more, but the odd thing is that no physical or visible disturbances have been reported in the area.

Shirogane and Akasaka are fearing the worst. The biggest battle of their lives might be just around the corner. In order to recharge everyone’s batteries and prepare, they thought it best to let the girls have a long vacation. While they’re all clearly concerned about what the future holds, they take Shirogane up on his offer and decide to take a break.

While all of the girls enjoy some down time, Ichigo discovers that Aoyama is mysteriously missing. He’s wandering the streets in a stupor towards some unknown destination – if he has any destination at all.

Back with the aliens, Kisshu explains to Taruto and Pai that he plans on taking the Blue Knight’s power and using that to restore their planet instead of relying on Deep Blue and waiting for him to awaken. He proposes that Taruto and Pai leave Deep Blue’s side and join his mission instead. While Taruto is more than willing to help out Kisshu, optimistic that his plan can work over Deep Blue’s promises, Pai can’t find it within himself to betray Deep Blue and refuses. Knowing that they’ll likely be enemies from here on out, Pai, Taruto and Kisshu part ways.

Kisshu and Taruto unleash Kisshu’s grand master plan. Over the time he’s been separated from Deep Blue, he’s been working on creating a massive legion of over 500 chimera animals to unleash on the city. Spread out over Tokyo, the girls will be distracted away from Kisshu’s real target – Aoyama, or more to the point, the Blue Knight. He doesn’t even really want all of Aoyama. He wants to extract his spirit. That way he has the Blue Knight’s power without the fuss of having Aoyama.

His plan seemingly works. While Shirogane eventually figures out that Aoyama’s the target, the girls are way too busy fighting chimera animals all over the city to help search for him. Ichigo’s focus is on Aoyama, but even she’s getting pulled aside to fight.

Kisshu and Taruto start extracting Aoyama’s spirit….but there’s a problem. The spirit won’t emerge – and when Aoyama breaks free of their assault, Kisshu and Taruto freeze in fear at the mere feeling of the power lying beneath Aoyama’s exterior.

Despite this, Aoyama falls unconscious. The aliens are confused, but they resolve to take Aoyama entirely – opting to figure out a way to extract his spirit later.

Thanks to the energy signal Aoyama emitted before he fell, Shirogane is able to get a lock on his location and sends the girls there. Ichigo arrives first, and her determination to protect Aoyama sends a much meeker Kisshu reeling back. At her call to him, Aoyama starts transforming while still unconscious.

Yet again, things take a turn for the peculiar.

The Blue Knight suddenly glows radiantly and all of the Mew Aqua in the area starts honing in on his location. In a massive surge of energy and a flash of colorful light – a figure emerges. He looks like the Blue Knight, but as the smoke clears, the truth is revealed.

Aoyama is actually Deep Blue. He has finally fully awakened, and he’s prepared to lay claim over the earth.

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– I find it rather touching that Akasaka and Shirogane do clearly feel guilty that they put all of this danger and responsibility on the shoulders of the girls.

– All of these quiet moments with the girls (along with this sweet, gentle song) are very nice. It’s good to see them get some quiet time and reflection before the end comes.

– Yet another instance of Lettuce/Shirogane ship tease. This one’s really sweet, too. I still don’t get the purpose of this. You don’t have to make them endgame, but don’t waste my and everyone else’s time by doing this stuff and not even bringing it up in dialogue. Even with Shirogane and Ichigo they bring it up numerous times, despite obviously not being endgame.

I’m probably just a salty shipper, but you’re sinking a ship you built in port, writers. Hell, you’re not even done building the ship. It shouldn’t be in the water. Considering Ichigo has three viable love interests who are fully infatuated with her, you could let one of the other girls have one. Just…just…one.

I’m not counting that guy that Lettuce had a crush on who was both way older than her and about to get engaged to another woman. I also don’t count Pudding’s fiance, because that makes me really uncomfortable because of the age gap and I still don’t think Pudding likes him like that. I mean an actual two way street. Sometimes, it’s nice to let the other girls have–*Rambling rant alarm* Oh fine, I’ll stop beating the dead horse.

– Sooo…the girls typically have to team up to take down one chimera animal, but Shirogane has no real doubt that the girls can take on around 100 chimera animals individually? Eh, I won’t really harp on this since, if true, this is pretty much a confirmed power boost to the girls.

– Is uh…someone gonna come by and help Pudding actually destroy her enemies? Because her attack only seals them in jello.

– Also, why are the chimera animals fully disappearing when defeated? Aren’t they just infected animals? Once they get defeated, they typically revert back to normal.

– Let me guess….Ichigo’s the only Mew who gets a full transformation today.

(One set of transformation sequences later)

Yup……The other transformations were only barely edited, but still. Jimmies are a little rustled.

– Pretty badass reveal of Aoyama’s true identity being Deep Blue. I always thought that was cool.

A little ironic that his eyes glow red as he becomes Deep Blue, though. I know red=evil but still.

– Kudos to the art and animation in the episode, by the way. It’s really nice. Top notch for the series.

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Overall, really awesome episode. My complaints are really just surface level stuff, even the little mini-rant about Lettuce and Shirogane isn’t technically important, even if it does make me sad.

From start to finish, practically everything in this episode was at its best. Nice, quiet moments with the girls, even if the weight of the future is hanging closely overhead. Intriguing mystery concerning what’s wrong with Aoyama and why he’s wandering around in a stupor. The aliens going their separate ways. A massive 500+ chimera animal attack with all of the girls getting individual battles. And, of course, the reveal of our main baddie, Deep Blue, and the revelation that Aoyama was Deep Blue this whole time.

Plus, the music was awesome – I especially appreciate them knowing when to use silence effectively (COUGHCOUGH4KIDSCOUGHCOUGH) and even the next episode preview was well done.

Yes, everyone. I am finally at an episode of Tokyo Mew Mew where I am almost entirely positive.

Told ya I’d get there.

Let’s let the goodness continue.

Next episode, Ichigo has to confront the truth about Aoyama and they all have to prepare for the wrath that Deep Blue is sure to bring upon earth.


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

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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.

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– 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!

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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 31: Father’s Back – One-Game Match for Ichigo

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Plot: Ichigo’s father finds out about her relationship with Aoyama and he’s furious. He wants nothing more than to break them up.

Aoyama calls the house one night, and her father takes the opportunity to meet with him and give him a piece of his mind. He rushes off on his scooter, so Ichigo transforms and rushes after him.

When her father meets with Aoyama, he tries to forbid them from dating, but Aoyama politely refuses. Ichigo’s father proclaims that they’re too young to be dating. They have too much left to do on their own, and they’re not mature enough to fall in love. Aoyama agrees that they have much more left to do, but they cannot deny their feelings. They’re real and shouldn’t be ignored no matter what age they are.

Ichigo’s father decides to challenge Aoyama to a kendo duel for the right to date Ichigo. Aoyama agrees.

On the day of the duel, Ichigo’s mother sits her down and explains her father’s behavior. When Ichigo was born, she was very small and had to struggle to stay alive. The entire time she was in the hospital, her father would visit her all the time, cheering her on. He loves her more than anything else in the world, which is why he’s so protective of her.

Additionally, he and Ichigo’s mother had a similar circumstance when they were younger. They too met and started dating when they were in junior high, and Ichigo’s grandfather greatly disapproved. Like Ichigo’s father did to Aoyama, her grandfather also challenged her father to a duel for the right to keep their relationship. Her grandfather kept getting knocked down, but he always got back up. He got up again and again until he finally gave up and let the two of them date. In a way, the duel and the resistance of Ichigo’s father made their relationship stronger and proved their love to be true.

Meanwhile, back in the duel, history seems to be repeating itself. Ichigo’s father is getting defeated quite badly by Aoyama. Even though they agreed to a single point win, her father is not acknowledging the hits as valid and keeps getting up. Her father manages one big burst of energy and forces Aoyama to the ground, knocking his sword away. As her father is about to land the winning strike, Ichigo arrives and stops the match.

However, neither of them is willing to concede until the match is properly won. As Ichigo’s father is about to land his strike, Ichigo steps in the way. Using Aoyama’s sword, she deflects her father’s strike and protects Aoyama. She proclaims that they’re not doing anything wrong, but if he demands a fight, she’ll face him.

Her father flashes back to the fight he had with Ichigo’s grandfather where the true ending of the match is revealed to be the same as is happening now. Her mother took up her father’s sword and stood against Ichigo’s grandfather to protect their love.

Realizing the situation at hand, Ichigo’s father laughs and gives them his blessing before leaving the dojo.

Breakdown:

– I find it hard to believe that Ichigo’s dad never knew she was dating Aoyama. She never seemed like she was keeping it a secret, and her mother knew. They’ve been dating quite a while now.

– Wait, the scene ended without Ichigo arriving at the meeting?….So her transforming was 100% useless? Is there a transformation quota or something?

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I was about ready to write this episode off for the first half. It’s basically the same double standard BS of protecting the daughter fiercely when she gets a boyfriend, but if the genders were reversed, this would be no problem.

Ichigo’s father vehemently hates Aoyama without even meeting him and is more than ready to force these two apart for no real reason. He even has the gall to ask Ichigo how far she’s gone with Aoyama at the dinner table, no less.

But….

The second half makes up for a lot. The fact that Ichigo’s dad is so protective because she nearly died as a baby was a good justification, even if he did go overboard, and the parallel of her situation with Aoyama and her parents was quite sweet. It wasn’t so much protecting her from terrible boys than it was proving their relationship and love to be strong enough. He wanted to see if they both found it worth fighting for.

It’s still a bit on the sexist side. I have to imagine he might have done this to everyone Ichigo might have dated had she not met the love of her life in junior high. She didn’t even say she was in love – the only thing she and her mother told him was that he was her boyfriend.

I just can’t get behind the whole ‘fighting for the right to date someone’s daughter’ thing. Ichigo literally has no say in this unless she puts herself in the line of fire.

I still enjoyed the latter part of the episode for what it was worth. It was very sweet and definitely strengthened the bond between her and Aoyama. Even if the grounds for the duel are damn near medieval, it’s admirable that both Aoyama and her father will go to such lengths for Ichigo.

…..That being said, this is more filler. It’s not bad filler, as you can get by my lack of notes, but it’s filler. They practically insult you with this week’s transformation. She transforms to run after her father to stop him from confronting Aoyama, but it’s not like she’s running any faster than she would as regular Ichigo. Not to mention the fact that the transformation was entirely pointless anyway. She transforms, runs through the city like an idiot and gets lost, so she never even gets to the meeting.

Oh but where are the other girls? Where they’ve pretty much been fastened to the floor for the past five episodes – back at Cafe Mew Mew. We cut to Ichigo at work like three times. The girls all have a one-sentence reaction to what she’s doing each time and then we cut back to the plot. They were seriously just shots to remind us that the other girls exist.

There was also noticeably no chimera animal or Kisshu and friends today, either. It’s been extremely slow-goings since the first season finale.

All in all, this is a nice episode, but can we please get to more action-oriented episodes? Even slightly?

Rating: 6/10

Next episode, I seemingly get my wish. Mint and her friends are at a tea party, and they meet a girl who claims to be Mint’s eternal rival. Kisshu arrives to crash the party, believing there to be Mew Aqua at the event.

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