AniManga Clash! Tokyo Mew Mew Volume 2

Plot: Now that Ichigo has found some fellow Mews, the quest to stop the aliens and their Chimera Animals continues. Two more new Mews get found, but while one is more than happy to join, the other prefers being a lone wolf.

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– I’m sorry, it’s still a little on the creepy side that Aoyama gives Ichigo a bell for the sake of not letting her ‘get lost’ like a cat.

– Pudding’s intro is mixed in with Ichigo’s date filler episode.

– The filler episode with the big party and the English speaking pianist is not included here.

– The filler episode with the hot spring is not present.

– Zakuro’s manga debut is a little different. There’s no suspicion that she might go to the dark side, and the religious imagery is more toned down.

Mint originally believed Zakuro might be a Mew because she’s so amazing and beautiful. The only real connection they have to believing she’s a Mew is thinking they saw her at the zoo on the day of the earthquake. Shirogane tells them to go investigate. They join an audition for models to get closer to her. However, a Chimera Animal attacks during the auditions, prompting Zakuro to transform, proving to the girls that she’s a Mew. She declines their offer to join for similar reasons to the anime.

Also, unlike in the anime where Zakuro has been a Mew for a while, superheroing on her own somehow, it seems like her first meeting with the other Mews is the first time she transforms, if her surprised face is any indication.

In the anime version, they didn’t realize she was a true Mew until she transformed much later when Kisshu tries to convince her to join him. They just strongly believed it was her because a mysterious vigilante had started going around saving people and she matched the silhouette in a picture taken of the vigilante.

– In the manga, the sleepover and pillow fight scene takes place when Mint is upset about Zakuro’s coldness and refusal to join them. In the anime, it’s not until much later (Episode 21) during Mint’s nightmare stint. It’s a shame because there’s a followup scene where Kisshu damn near tries to sexually assault Ichigo and Mint saves her, calling her a dear friend. It’s a quick but cool Mint scene (hehe, cool mint…) that strengthens their relationship and puts Mint in a better light, which I think was needed earlier on.

– In the anime, the girls meet back up with Zakuro at an autograph event. In the manga, they sneak into her hotel by dressing up like playboy bunnies and pretending they’re extras in a show she’s shooting….I understand why this was changed.

– Ichigo’s first attack upgrade, Strawberry Check Surprise, happens during the attack on TV in the manga. In the anime, it happens during a filler-ish episode with Masha getting kidnapped.

Also, Ichigo’s upgraded Strawberry Bell, the Strawbell Bell Version Up, otherwise known as the ‘Redundant Bell Bell More Power Version’ is also not present at all in the anime, which is both strange and welcome. Strange because….why not give it to her? Welcome because, dammit, Ichigo didn’t need MORE weapons and power ups. It should be noted, however, that they do include it in the Playstation game.

– Also, holy shit that thing is ridiculous.

– So, basically all of the suspicion that Zakuro might turn bad, Kisshu trying to tempt her to the dark side and literally all of the religious references, for now, were not present in the manga. Hm.

– From what Ryou said, the aliens in this version are intent on destroying the environment? If that’s true, then they have no intentions on living here, right? Because they’re kinda screwing themselves over if they create widespread environmental destruction in a planet they intend on inhabiting after the humans are killed….

Bottom Line: The manga has less filler, but it also had a much more hollow debut of Zakuro. You learn little about her besides the fact that she’s pretty, smart and unfriendly whereas the anime goes into much more detail and gives her more to do. The manga has a new weapon for Ichigo and a new attack that isn’t ever introduced in the anime, but I’d be hardpressed to say that’s a bad thing for the anime considering Ichigo favoritism is something that endlessly gets on my nerves in that regard. I’m really torn, so I think this is the first time I’ll give an entry a tie.

Winner: TIE


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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 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.

Breakdown:

– 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 café.

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 Zakuro’s 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.

Breakdown:

– 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 Mews are splitting up?

– I was actually content with the way the transformation mashup was working today. Each 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 is 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.

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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


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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 35: Don’t Cry – Lonely Little Zakuro

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Plot: Akasaka has baked a special cake for the birthday of a girl at a local daycare named Momoka. When Ichigo delivers it, she refuses to eat it because she’s watching her calories so she can grow up to be like her idol, Zakuro. While all of the other kids happily eat the cake, Momoka goes off on her own to dress up like Zakuro.

That evening, Mint gives Zakuro and Ichigo a ride home. They see Momoka at the daycare all alone on the swings and wonder why she’s there so late.

Later, Zakuro goes out to dinner at a fancy restaurant with some colleagues when she spots Momoka alone at a nearby table. A cake in the middle of the table indicates that this is meant to be her birthday dinner, but her parents are running late. This scene reminds Zakuro of all the times she spent eating dinner at home alone.

Some time passes, and Zakuro overhears that Momoka’s parents are so busy with work that they can’t make the dinner. Momoka refuses to have any dinner herself and runs out of the restaurant.

Zakuro follows her and finds her crying against a tree. She happily surprises Momoka and asks what’s bothering her. Momoka explains her situation, and Zakuro tells her that her parents may seem uncaring, but they love her much more than she’ll ever realize. She dries Momoka’s tears with her handkerchief and gives it to her as a birthday present before offering to share a nice dinner together.

Momoka heads home and goes to sleep. As she rests, her parents visit her in her room and her father reveals the birthday present he bought her – a beautiful pendant emblazoned with gems. Since she’s asleep, he decides to give it to her the following morning.

That morning, her parents apologize to her for missing her birthday dinner, but they give her the pendant as a late birthday gift and promise to spend the whole day at her daycare’s parents day event that afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Mews are sent by Akasaka and Shirogane to follow some leads on Mew Aqua sources. They stumble upon the picnic of the parents event for the daycare and notice that Momoka is not there. She has wandered away, refusing to partake, because her parents are yet again too busy with work to show up.

Momoka suddenly loses the handkerchief Zakuro gave her into a nearby stream. Kisshu shows up offering to help retrieve her handkerchief in exchange for the pendant her parents gave her, but she refuses. Kisshu relents, but claims she’ll never leave the forest or see her parents again if she doesn’t comply. Kisshu offers a different deal – give the pendant to him and he’ll immediately send her back to her parents.

Momoka’s about to give him the pendant when Zakuro shows up, having rushed over when she found her handkerchief in the stream. Kisshu knocks down Momoka and takes the pendant, which they suspect has Mew Aqua within it.

Zakuro transforms and is about to attack, but Kisshu uses Momoka as a human shield. Pai and Taruto show up to help, and Taruto constrains Zakuro with vines. Kisshu checks to see if the stone reacts to the Mew Aqua piece they have, but it fails.

The other Mews show up, and Mint frees Zakuro from the vines with her Ribbon Mint Echo. Pai and Taruto leave since there’s no Mew Aqua. Kisshu’s about to follow, but Zakuro uses her whip to nab him out of the portal at the last second and punch him square in the face.

Kisshu is too intimidated to continue, so, frustrated, he leaves.

Zakuro wakes Momoka up and gives the pendant and handkerchief back to her. Momoka thanks her, and says she had a dream about Zakuro fighting a bad person to save her. She wants to be strong just like Zakuro when she grows up so she won’t get so lonely when her parents aren’t around.

Suddenly, Momoka’s parents show up. They brought some lunch for a picnic and happily reunite with their daughter. Lettuce deduces that her parents will never want to leave her alone again, and Zakuro wishes her the best as she looks on at the happy family.

Breakdown:

– Not sure if this was intentional, but I think it’s cute they gave Momoka a fruit themed name too, like all of the Mews. Momoka can be translated as ‘peach tree flower’

– Wow, the budget got amped up in this episode for some reason. I feel like I have to assume it’s because of Zakuro. Wouldn’t want an episode centered on the model to look weird.

Seriously, though, Aoyama looks like he’s way older than he is when the animation is bumped up.

– Points for them actually giving a good message about the dieting thing, especially considering this is a little kid.

– Momoka’s bedspread is covered in pomegranates….That is too adorable.

– I really like the song break they have in this episode. It’s a very relaxing song.

– I want that pendant. Like…bad. It’s like a jewel encrusted dream catcher.

SSBS - TMM EP 35 screen1

– I love the girls’ reactions to Shirogane saying they can find the Mew Aqua since their bodies react to it. Plus chibi Akasaka and Shirogane, come on. That’s too adorable.

SSBS - TMM EP 35 screen2SSBS - TMM EP 35 screen3

They do have a point, though. They’ve suspected lots of things as Mew Aqua but their bodies never reacted and no one discredited the suspected Mew Aqua because of it. They haven’t had a Mew Aqua reaction since….the first season finale, I believe.

– Even though her parents love her and mean well, they really have to stop promising to be at places and events that they very likely won’t be able to make. Broken promises sometimes hurt a lot more than just straight out saying this thing can’t happen.

– Lettuce: “Sad moments have always created the strongest reactions with Mew Aqua.”….Can someone verify this? Because I don’t think that’s right.

– I was going to give Kisshu points for not just knocking down Momoka and taking the pendant, but then he does it anyway when Zakuro shows up. Why even bother with the fake-nice ploy?

– They put in Zakuro’s full transformation barring her pose in the end? Why cut out that one part?

– It’s getting really tiresome to keep having ‘This might have Mew Aqua in it!….Nope, it was just a plot device.’ plots….

– Yay, Zakuro being her badass self! You yank him out of that portal he technically has no reason to use and punch him in the face! Whoo!

SSBS - TMM EP 35 screen4

– Plus that glare to him at the end – Pure awesome. Someone please make a spin-off show with Zakuro as the leader.

– Kinda have to wonder why Kisshu never tried to use Momoka’s spirit to make a Chimera Animal, though.

– I love how he’s so offended that Zakuro hit him in the face.

– And Ichigo got to do nothing! Yay! I know that seems kinda mean for me to be excited over, but it’s so refreshing to not need Ichigo to pop up and take the final glory. Mint is the one who saved Zakuro from the vines, even.

– Lettuce: “Those parents won’t ever want to leave Momoka-chan by herself again.” Uhm….no. I’m sorry. I hate when they do these throwaway lines for serious problems just because we’re running out of time. You have absolutely no way of knowing this event changed them. She got lost for all of, maybe, a half hour, and they never find out her life was in danger.

You can hope she’d be more open with her feelings and that her parents would try their best to always have at least one of them home with Momoka when she’s alone, but these things take time. You can’t just assume they’ll fix such a problem so easily.

Also, this may be the subber’s fault, but I doubt they ever ‘wanted’ to leave her alone in the first place. It’s obvious they want to spend more time with her, they just preoccupy themselves with work too much.

– Why does Zakuro suddenly have bright pink lipstick on?

——————————

All in all, I really liked this episode. Zakuro shines a lot here, especially in her badass moment at the end. We didn’t get much into her past, which I would’ve appreciated, but that’s alright.

Momoka’s a bit of a brat at first, but she kinda has a right to be, at least at the level she is. I think she spoke a bit too harshly to Ichigo for no reason, but it’s understandable.

I am so appreciative that they fully made this a Zakuro episode without skewing the focus to Ichigo for no reason. We don’t even get a tiny bit of the other girls transforming. It’s Zakuro’s show here.

I’m still confused as to why no actual Chimera Animal was created. I’m even more confused as to why Taruto needed three of those parasite aliens just to make a few vines move. I’m fine with it, though, because even in the absence of a big battle, that punch and glare from Zakuro were too good.

It was predictable how this would turn out, but, again, that’s okay. I’d like it a bit less wrapped up with a neat bow, but what can you expect?

Next time, Shirogane’s past and the background of the Mew Project is revealed.

….Previous Episode


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Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power Episode 12 (11 for the Original) Sub/Dub Comparison

tmmep12title

Plot: After Zakuro refuses to join their team, the Mews continue to try and persuade her into joining. Kisshu tries to manipulate Zakuro and Ichigo into fighting in order to pick them off one by one and ensure that one of them joins him.

Lettuce, Mint and Pudding are trapped in another dimension by Kisshu, and he’ll only release them if Zakuro and Ichigo fight. Zakuro is also persuaded by him stating that he can return her to normal if she wins and joins him. Will Zakuro defy what the OP and ED have been showing us for the past 12 episodes and not join the Mew Mews?!

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As usual, 4Kids gets the dialogue for this flashback (for the recap) completely wrong because it’s just so hard to rewatch that scene, grab the script or hey, here’s a crazy idea, just use the same damn footage.

Mint realizes that what she’s drinking from is a vase. Corina just says she loves herbal tea. I won’t fault them that much. I kinda like that joke, though the original scene is funnier IMO.

The scribbles on the food packages as well as a tag are removed.

Subbed: tmmep12screen1

Dubbed: 00o2mnf

The girls accuse Akasaka and Shirogane of knowing that Zakuro was the fifth member from the get go, especially considering that they warned them that she was in danger when the girls weren’t certain who she was yet. Shirogane says in a blasé manner than he doesn’t know, which angers Ichigo.

In the dub, there’s this stupid line about Elliot saying ‘piece of cake’ and Wesley says that means that Corina will get over it easily. Elliot says he was really just asking if anyone wanted a piece of cake. Zoey then asks why Elliot didn’t tell them that the fifth Mew Mew was such a stuck up diva like Renee. Elliot responds ‘yeah…’ which doesn’t seem like that actually fits as a response and this angers Zoey.

The reason the old lines couldn’t be used was because they didn’t retain that part of the previous episode. However, if, in the dub, they didn’t know ahead of time who she was, why is Zoey mad that they didn’t warn them of how her personality was? Does she think Elliot and Wesley knew her personally or something?

Pudding just says Ichigo’s getting really mad now. Kiki says “The red mark? Now she’s about to explode!” See, in anime and cartoons, when a person gets upset, they’ll get little comedic marks on them like the traditional anger veins or little puffs of smoke. In this scene, Ichigo gets a little red crown shape near her face, which I do believe is meant to indicate a snap in the nerves or a tiny internal explosion of anger.

It seems 4Kids has taken this mark to be something in canon of the show even though it’s an average anime-ism and not a specific quality of Ichigo’s. They could also be breaking the fourth wall, but I doubt it.

This change is dumb because it fits in perfectly with the story change from the last episode, but whatever. In the original, Pudding says that if Zakuro is not a member of their team, she must be an enemy and vehemently states her point yet again. As they leave, Shirogane also warns them that Zakuro may indeed be an enemy, which Ichigo strongly denies.

In the dub, Kiki just says if they can’t convince her with words then they’ll use brute force. Zoey wants to convince her first in conversation anyway, and as they leave Kiki just repeats the stuff about brute force.

In addition, Akasaka comments on how strongly Ichigo was in her stance that Zakuro was not an enemy. Shirogane then says she’s just that type of person and that’s why she’s perfect for the Mew project. In the dub, Wesley says the girls are really fired up about Renee. Elliot says it’s because they can sense how important this is and the fact that getting Renee to join would mean taking their team to a whole new level.

They remove/shift a scene of Kisshu meeting with Deep Blue talking about his most recent failure and stating that he wants Ichigo to join their side, but will eliminate the rest.

HOLY CRAP THEY LEFT IN THOSE HUGE SIGNS! They even seem to have brand names on them. Wow, 4Kids, it’s not even my birthday.

Of course they erase the smaller ones once we pan down, but WOW.

They also change the signs of Zakuro to be in English.

Subbed: tmmep12screen2

(Note: the higher quality subbers also edited the signs. They were originally purely in Japanese  a la;

btskw7u

Dubbed: a0ekeni

Obviously, they didn’t actually translate it as the original has it being a handshake session and the dub says CD signing. Zakuro’s not a singer in the original (to the best of my knowledge. She could be, but it’s never stated, and there’s no mention on her Wiki page of it.) like she is in the dub, so yeah. I really don’t know why 4Kids is pushing the singer angle. Is it because they don’t want to bring up that she’s a young model? Well, why not just focus on the actress aspect then?

Any mentions of the handshake session are also changed to reflect this.

Why would Kiki be so excited to get an autograph from her when she’s shown this whole episode that she’s holding a big grudge against her and even wants to beat her up to get her to join?

Zakuro’s wearing a different cross necklace today and it is also edited to be a stick.

Subbed: tmmep12screen3

Dubbed: eitnzlf

Japanese text is removed from the overpass.

They mirror the scene on the road, but only when Zakuro’s in the shot.

Ichigo screams for help when she falls and hangs from the sign. Zoey thinks the girls are holding her back for some reason.

Itty bitty text on the camera lens is removed.

Subbed: tmmep12screen4

Dubbed: yhpgebs

More text is removed from the camera HUD.

Subbed: tmmep12screen5

Dubbed: fbkkcph

Dub Photographer: “And scene!” Yes, you end photoshoots by saying ‘scene’. Because magazines and billboards are filled with scenes.

Pudding just reiterates that Zakuro’s an enemy. Kiki says her next plan should involve them jumping her and then tying her up. Isn’t Kiki…so…precious…??

Ichigo says Zakuro’s eyes were just like Mint’s eyes when they first met. Zoey says the same thing, but says ‘all of your eyes.’ Yeah, because all of the girls acted like cold snobs when you first met them, Zoey.

Zakuro tells Kisshu that she’ll call for help, and Kisshu teases her about calling her friends. Zakuro then states she doesn’t want to team up with anyone. Kisshu acknowledges this, but says if she teams up with him, she’ll get revenge.

In the dub, Renee asks how Dren got into her dressing room. Dren implies that he beat up her security guard. Renee then asks if he really believes she’ll join the cyniclons, he says he was hoping she’d reconsider and then states that they’re not really the bad guys. Yeah, because good guys beat up security guards.

Mint says that Zakuro should be at the studio since she just had a photoshoot. Corina says they’re at the TV broadcasting station since 4Kids is working off of the mention that she’d be doing a broadcast and not, ya know, the script they have.

Kisshu tries to convince Zakuro by stating that the girls are the people who made Zakuro into a Mew Mew, and if she joins them not only will she get revenge but Kisshu will also ensure to turn her back to normal again.

In the dub, Dren tries to convince Renee in a way that makes no sense by stating the cyniclons only want to live in peace with the humans but I guess the Mew Mews keep attacking or something. If she goes with him they’ll rule the world (because wanting to rule the world sounds totally peaceful, right?) and they’ll rule as king and queen or something.

The reason this really makes no sense is because she’s been fighting his monsters and him this whole time too. She’s been saving innocent people from his monsters and was attacked by him personally. Why would she ever have reason to believe that they’re peaceful from all that she’s seen from him?

Corina: “You’re with him? But he’s evil!”

Dren: “Mmm, yes I am!” Oh yeah, straight up admit that you’re evil. Surely that will make Renee really want to join you. Seriously, 4Kids – subtly. It’s what’s for dinner.

They don’t include the wager of whoever wins goes with Kisshu to be on his side.

Dren puns doesn’t make sense. He says thi is crazy like a fox and a kitty cat fight, but Renee’s animal is a wolf. Because of this unneeded line change and stupid joke, they change the next shot. Ichigo says she won’t fight Zakuro, and Kisshu says the others will remain gone forever if they don’t. Zakuro chimes in and says she won’t work with anyone either way. Kisshu responds that she’ll never return to normal if she doesn’t.

In the dub, Zoey doesn’t want to do it but Renee chimes in afterward to correct Dren’s mistake in her animal. Then she also refuses to fight, and Kisshu says the girls’ fate is sealed if she doesn’t fight. I don’t know why the wager of Zakuro’s powers being removed is not included. Is it just so she’ll be shown to be more focused on the girls than her own desires?

Also, stop shoving the ‘lone wolf’ stuff down our throats. We get it, she’s a loner who happens to be fused with a wolf. Haha, move on.

They remove the shot of Zakuro saying this situation has nothing to do with her and her leaving. Another shot of Ichigo alone in her dressing room with Lettuce’s glasses is also removed.

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Shirogane says the line about not lasting long while Elliot says it looks like they’ll miss a few shifts at the restaurant.

Wesley: “Don’t forget, he also said the winner has to join him.” No…no he didn’t. You omitted that, remember? See, silly mistakes like that could be avoided if you didn’t try to rewrite everything for no reason.

Well, this is just stupid. Shirogane asks Ichigo if, even after this, she feels like Zakuro is still an ally. She says yes, and Shirogane says that their only option in that case is for Ichigo to tell Zakuro how she really feels and hope it works. If it does, it might create a pathway for them. Akasaka then says that he may have a point since Zakuro’s weapon can cut through dimensional gateways—Seriously, why is she not leader?

In the dub, Elliot says that their only option for help now is Renee, so Zoey has to convince her somehow, and the only way is to entrust her life to Renee and treat her like a sister who would rather fight than see her sister harmed. That is fine I guess, but then Wesley says this somewhat disturbing line.

Wesley: “He’s right, Zoey. If Renee sees that you’re in danger, her Mew Mew instincts will kick in, and she’ll be bound to protect you no matter what.”

…..What the hell is that about? It sounds like it’s ingrained in Renee’s DNA now to protect the other girls no matter what her own feelings are. That’s creepy – borderline mind control.

Zakuro asks if Shirogane was the one who bathed them in the ‘weird light’ too. Then as we see a flashback of her getting her powers from the red light, she says she has no interest helping selfish people like them.

In the dub, Renee says she doesn’t know if she should help because the last time she fought Dren it wasn’t pretty, and I guess the flashback with the red light is supposed to highlight that….Uh, yeah, you kicked his ass single handedly last episode, with a Chimera Animal alongside him no less, and you’ve had absolutely no trouble with him before. I don’t get this change at all. Was it just because they didn’t want to make Shirogane and Akasaka look bad? Also, this scene just makes the earlier stuff with convincing Renee that they’re peaceful even stupider.

The TV show’s name is original Ani Ani Animal. In the dub it’s the Wild World of Wilderness.

The title screen is changed to reflect this.

Subbed: tmmep12screen8

Dubbed: pmfxjvu

The name plates in front of the hosts are removed. So yay pointless white pyramids!

Subbed: tmmep12screen9

Dubbed: 6oaku0g

Name Change: Hiroshi Kusai, the male host, is changed to Guy Ramsey. Ya know, whenever anyone’s named Guy in a TV show, I can’t help but think the writers were lazy. I know Guy is a legit name, but I just feel like the meeting went “What should we name this guy?” “Well, he’s a guy….I got it! Guy!” “Brilliant!”

Name Change: The female host is named Yoshida Mia in the original (And she has an AWFUL Japanese voice. I think she was huffing helium) and in the dub she’s Elaine……I have no clue what she just said as her last name….Pennysinmalimb?

They ask her how she feels about animals, and Zakuro says she’s loved animals since she was a kid and she’s had a dog and a cat before. In the dub, they ask her what’s the wildest thing she’s ever seen an animal do, and she says she saw a rabbit attack another rabbit very viciously. This has been your 4Kids-making-stuff-violent-when-it-wasn’t-so-in-the-original moment.

The text on Akasaka’s computer is removed.

Most of the shots of Kisshu and Ichigo on the floor are removed because it’s a ‘suggestive position’.

tmmep12screen10tmmep12screen11

Text is removed from the front of the podium.

So….Huh? Instead of showing the transformation mashup like they usually do, they include a couple of the clips of Ichigo’s transformation since she’s the only one here but also include completely random clips of the other girls for no reason whatsoever. I don’t get it. They’ve shown her transformation full out several times. What’s up with this? It just seems like 4Kids felt like making a clip show all of a sudden. I swear it’s like a new OP with the same mashup background pop music plus the clip show. After the first second they basically stop showing her transforming anyway. What am I watching?

And at the end, they still kept in the still screens of the girls all transformed despite the fact that three of them aren’t even there. Great Job, 4Kids.

Name Change: The Chimera Snake, Garara, is changed to Annie Conda. At least that’s what I heard, and if it is….ugh.

The reason for the shock on Zakuro’s face is because Ichigo called her a friend while risking her life to save her. In the dub, she gets shocked when Zoey says that she’ll be alright……..I really hope this wasn’t a throwback to that earlier line about her Mew instincts and helping whether she wants to or not…

They cut the scene of Kisshu and Ichigo short. In the original, he uses this opportunity to coax her into joining him. She vehemently refuses and then calls her Strawberry Bell to attack him, but her powers won’t work. He then laughs. This is all removed. Maybe they needed the extra time because of that much needed clip show.

tmmep12screen12tmmep12screen13tmmep12screen14tmmep12screen15

After the girls are rescued but before the next scene with Kisshu, we see Zakuro doing her attack. This is removed.

The dimension that Kisshu makes has no name in the original. In the dub it’s the dimension of terror.

Wow and they cut out Ichigo’s Ribbon Strawberry Check entirely too. Geez were they pressed for time for some reason?

Zakuro just says she doesn’t like friends. Renee says she still doesn’t work with losers. She still ends up saying she’ll join them anyway, and in the dub she turns around and says they’re not losers but teammates, but why say that losers line anyway?

I’ve complained about the TV broadcast scene and how it would totally out them in real life, but I’m now realizing it’s especially dumb with Zakuro considering she’s not only famous but she was on this very broadcast in her untransformed state like five minutes ago. They even say the name of the place where they work. They’d be found out in milliseconds.

All of the signs in the city are removed.

Text on this guy’s shirt is erased.

Subbed: tmmep12screen16

Dubbed: 8b14tie

I don’t even understand what that could say….This……??

Another scene is removed where all of the girls pose and announce that their official name is Tokyo Mew Mew as a response to all of the questions about who they are. In the dub, they merely give Zoey all the spotlight and have her spontaneously say her motto because she’s too tempted to do so like when Team Rocket hears the word ‘trouble’. I don’t even understand what went on there, but so many things are confusing me in this episode and there are a crapton of cuts.

And of course they had to make this joke. “Guess the cat’s out of the bag” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAGETITBECAUSEZOEY’SACATANDMEWMEWANDCATSHAHAHAHA!

God that was more of an annoying episode than the last one. Why did they cut so much? I mean some of it, like the scene on the floor, I can justify, but what the hell?

As an episode, this is a pretty okay but cliché way to get Zakuro to join. And I still think that scene with the TV broadcast was dumb. Oh well, at least the Mews are all together now and we can get to the better stuff.

Next episode is where things get complicated. See, the next episode is slated to be what became the first episode of Mew Mew Power, which means we’ll be skipping that and heading straight into the episode that follows it. So that means we have additional episode swaps, but technically episode 13 of the series now matches up with episode 13 of the dub.

In addition, they probably won’t acknowledge that this entire series up until now has been a flashback. I’d be really surprised if they did. I would imagine they’d have to because people watching probably forgot what the ‘first’ episode was about after 11 weeks, probably more. So, I guess it makes it both more and less complicated…..I hate this company.

…Previous Episode


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