Tokyo Mew Mew New Episode 3: A Stolen Kiss?! Mew Pudding is Here! Review

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Hmmmmm……Hm.

Today’s episode is a bit of a mixed bag. I didn’t firmly dislike anything I’m about to mention, but I feel like this could have been organized a bit better.

As I mentioned, today’s episode is Pudding’s debut, but you don’t see her until the episode is nearly half over. The rest of the episode is taken up by Aoyama and Ichigo on a date at the zoo. The date is really relatable, adorable and sweet, I just kinda wish it was in a different episode.

In the original anime, Pudding’s debut got a dedicated episode, so I don’t know what the logic was with slicing her debut in half. She’s kinda just thrown in there, too. We learn absolutely nothing about her besides the fact that she’s very energetic, desperately wants tips and is basically like a human monkey. She suddenly performs her circus routine in the zoo during Ichigo and Aoyama’s date, and Quiche also debuts to give Ichigo her kiss, further derailing the attention from Pudding.

Then Quiche turns a bunch of animals at the zoo into Chimera Animals, the girls (Lettuce and Mint show up – Lettuce doesn’t transform in this episode *pout*) try to fight them off, but there are too many. Ichigo is about to get crushed by an elephant that is either insanely slow or they purposefully slowed the footage for dramatic effect, it’s hard to tell, and Pudding transforms to save her. She also encases all the animals in the gelatin thing she makes. Really helpful of them to group up so tightly for her to target. Then Ichigo blasts them all, and that’s that. Pudding’s a Mew Mew now.

Kinda disappointing, to be honest. I guess it’s safe to assume that her backstory and whatnot will be explored more later, but, still, it’s her debut episode. Why was she shoved into the sidelines like this?

That being said, oh my god, Pudding’s so adorable in this, guys. I love her new hairstyle. I love her tiny pigtails. I love her denim suspender shorts. Her transformation – GUYS – she has like one of the cutest magical girl transformations I’ve ever seen. It’s so perfect for Pudding. I love the way her hair changes to make her braids look a little like monkey tails. I like her shoes and her socks (although….would those not be more suited for Mint? They’re basically ballet slippers.) I like her gloves, even if they are missing the faux fur.

……Okay, so someone commented somewhere (sorry, I forget where) that they didn’t care for Pudding’s new outfit, and one of the main points of contention was the fact that they changed her from a pair of shorts, or I guess it was more of a romper kinda thing (I’m sorry, I don’t know fashion), to a dress.

……and yeah, I totally agree. A dress just doesn’t fit Pudding. She jumps all over the place. She’s literally the monkey of the group. A romper type deal or something with shorts is way more preferable for both agility and avoiding showing off her underwear to everyone she sees whenever she’s hopping around in the air like Tarzan.

I also don’t really like how wide the waist is. For her age, it just looks wrong. Also, the bottom of it being that wide just makes it more awkward to wear when she’s jumping around. It will easily catch the air and flip up.

Do I prefer the original design over her new one?….In this case, yes. Her original outfit made much more sense and suited her personality more than this one does. Even the shoes/socks are better since the way the socks bunched up around the strings gave off a little bit of a circus vibe. And I really do miss her faux fur gloves, even if her new gloves are pretty cool in their own right…..are they even gloves? They’re more like wrist bands that go up over the back of her hand without wrapping around any part of her hand.

One last note about Pudding before we move on…..what the hell was that last joke about? She offered Ichigo a special medicine from her family that she suggests slipping to Aoyama without his knowing……..Is this….a date rape joke? Please tell me I’m misinterpreting. I honestly can’t imagine any innocent intention behind this suggestion. Even if it’s an aphrodisiac or something it’s still very wrong to suggest slipping to him without his consent.

Back to Ichigo and Aoyama’s date, this was very sweet. I did enjoy it quite a bit for what it was worth. They were both nervous, he was being quiet because he was nervous, neither could express how nervous they were until they were forced to address it in a more comfortable setting. It was very nice and it reflected how they’re both becoming more comfortable around each other while also realizing that that level of comfort is actually scary to a degree – a good scary. And it somehow managed to make the scene in which he gives her a bell choker not as creepy as it originally was in either the anime or the manga.

They saw a little black cat in some cat…petting…room….that they have at a zoo? It was wounded, so they wrapped up its paw in a little bandage. I dunno why they didn’t contact anyone who worked at the zoo about it, but that was nice anyway. The cat had a bell on it tied with a red ribbon. Later, when the Chimera Animals attacked, the cat came back to save Aoyama, who had been separated from Ichigo before the attack, from a Chimera Parrot. In the process, the bell fell off, and then the cat ran off.

After being shaken so badly at losing Ichigo again, and realizing she lost her own choker in the battle, he ties the bell around her neck saying that he needs the bell to ensure he never loses track of her. He then calls her his kitty, which is weird, but then he says that was a corny thing to say so I guess it’s not that bad.

I mean, it’s kinda weird to give her a literal cat bell that was on an actual cat as a necklace, but it’s a sweet gesture.

What I’m wondering is, is there something with this cat? Why did it save Aoyama? It was a bird Chimera Animal, so maybe it was just instinct, but that’s still a really weird coincidence. Also, the cat is watching them as they walk away after this interaction. I’m pretty sure this cat isn’t Shirogane because his cat form is in the ending credits and his colors don’t match this cat. Is it just a weird cat? Hm.

Anyway, I liked this episode, truly I did, but I just wish the date and Quiche had been in an episode separate from Pudding’s debut. She kinda got shafted here. Just a bit. Hope we see look more into her character soon.

Next time, Zakuro’s debut!


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Tokyo Mew Mew New Episode 2: What Makes a Real Friend? Review

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Lettuce’s debut! Or should I say De-Mew–Nonono! Must stop! *ahem* Anyhoo, Lettuce is here! How did they cover everyone’s favorite finless porpoise? Let’s check my notes.

– So apparently all legendary creatures are actually Chimera Animas?…..Mmm….Okay.

– Also, the reason they chose endangered species for the Mew Project was because those animals are naturally more motivated for fight for their survival? I guess that’s cool, but doesn’t really make much sense. How do animals know they’re endangered?

– She can change back from her Mew form by just saying “Change back”? I wonder if that will work on her full cat form. Probably not. That is a slightly interesting inclusion, though.

– Wow, Shirogane. It’s rude as hell to call her a bioweapon…

– I like that Mint snickers when Ichigo spills the parfait on one of the bitchy girls. I think I’m liking their dynamic a tiny bit more in this version, even if the differences between versions aren’t that stark. Mint is still a bossy stuck up girl, but she’s a little less abrasive and meshes with Ichigo just a tiny bit better here.

– While it is really cool that Lettuce gets powers over water when she’s really upset, why doesn’t she get all mermaid-y like Ichigo gets cat traits, ears and a tail? It’s weird that once again the series explains that Ichigo has cat traits because of her powers but they never adequately explain why the other girls don’t have traits of their animals. At least, not yet, I guess. Kinda doubt they will go down that route, but I feel I can have some hope.

– OOOOHHHH Mint’s new transformation is awesome! I like how they had the door shift to being on bottom so they could show the birds flying up out of it instead of just out of the door.

Not crazy about her pose, though, because she seems like she’s turned too much. She’s not facing the same direction as the bird, and she’s not facing us. I get that she’s meant to be facing up towards the sky, but I still feel like maybe turning her a little would feel more natural. Maybe that’s just me. I love the added touch of the sunbeams, though.

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– Disappointed that we didn’t get to see Lettuce’s true transformation today nor her proper attack animation, but that’s fine. I’m sure we’ll see it in the future…….Does give me bad flashbacks to 4Kids’ basically all but removing her transformation entirely, though.

– As for her new look when transformed, I like it. I particularly like how they styled her hair. Not crazy about the skirt, but that’s about it.

– I like the minor tweaks they did to Lettuce’s breakdown here. It’s not her taking advantage of her powers to lash out. She’s losing control of her powers and basically herself because she’s having a massive breakdown over her internal struggles with making friends. I also like that they included brief glimpses of Lettuce throughout her life showing that, no matter what she did or how much she tried to make friends she’d always end up alone.

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I always kinda disliked the original version (whether sub or dub anime version or manga – though the dub was the worst offender) because it’s like they were shaming her for how she was feeling when it was totally validated. Here, Ichigo’s not only making the effort to ensure that Lettuce knows she legitimately wants to be her friend because she’s nice and cares about others, but she’s also saying that learning to love herself is more important than pleasing others, and that friendship is more than just spending time with people.

They actually managed to pull off a very emotional scene here where it always frustrated me in the original versions. It really struck a chord with me, personally. I actually kinda felt like tearing up. I am quite impressed, TMMN.

And they showed her rejecting the bitchy friends! AND doing her best to be more legitimately sociable! AND the customers cheering her on!

This is pretty much everything I ever wanted from Lettuce’s reveal. Bravo!

In the end, this is definitely the best version of Lettuce’s debut, and the episode as a whole was very enjoyable. I like they ended with her not only getting some legitimate friends but also showing that she’s becoming a bit more confident, even if she clearly has more work to do. I hope we see some cool things from Lettuce in the future. She was always one of my favorite characters.

Next episode is Pudding’s debut. Will TMMN continue to impress me? I certainly hope so.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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