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 café 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 Mint’s 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…..
– 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.”
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 she wasn’t going to leave either way, it’s understandable for them to be worried when stuff like this happens. After all, 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.
It’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility, but, personally, I find it to be OOC.
How is purposely causing conflict 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’s always overreacting and saying weird things.
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.
– 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.
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