Eva’s First Impression
It’s finally here!!!! Oh man I’m so excited you guys, I can’t contain myself. Since childhood I have always love Tokyo Mew Mew to bits and in some ways, I would even go as far to say this was probably the first magical girl series that I truly fell in love with (though I was also fond of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, this one always had a special place in my heart). Though shockingly, even after long having learned about Tokyo Mew Mew’s manga, I still haven’t gotten around to read it, whoops. Anyhow, one of the reasons why I fell in love with this series so hard was because I was that little kid who was extremely passionate about the environment and the topic of endangered species and climate change. So it should come as no surprise why Tokyo Mew Mew just clicked me. Of course my first experience was the 4KIDs version, so it was quite an adventure when I finally got around to watching the original uncut version. And ever since, it has always been a series I can go back to watch over and over again without ever getting sick of it.
And now here we are in 2022, watching a brand new remake, and oh my gosh, what a ride. There were a lot of things that were new to me, starting with Mint already working alongside Ryou and Keiichirou. It certainly threw me for a loop, especially with how different her character had felt. It made me think, “Wow, just how much did they change in the original?” So I’m looking forward to getting to know this version of her! Her dynamic and banter with Ichigo is already quite chaotic and entertaining, especially when with the way they were arguing about the importance of the first kiss all while running from the Chimera Anima.
That said, in some ways I actually liked this approach a lot more. It is a classic to have the main protagonist be the starter magical girl, so it’s always fun to see someone else actually have more experience to help lead the way from the get go. It was also quite amusing to see her be the one lurking around, eavesdropping on Ichigo at school to obtain information as opposed the other way around. I laughed when she conveniently swung by and handed Ichigo a pair of tickets to endangered species exhibit under the pretense of helping her secure a date with Masaya, then vanishing without a trace. How incredibly kind of her! Totally not suspicious right? Of course giving her those tickets were just one part of the plan of herding all of the candidates for Project Mew Mew to one location, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Mint, Ryo or Keichiirou had given the exhibit tickets to the other girls as well.
Meanwhile, Ichigo is more or less the same as I have always known her, a girl who wishes to experience the “dreamy” high school romance. We saw how she fell for Masaya at first sight and with the help of her friends she had went around gathering information so she could get closer to him. Certainly a bit of a round about approach, even a bit underhanded when it comes to inviting him to the exhibit she knew nothing about except that he was super into it. But to Ichigo’s credit, she didn’t let the deception drag out, and came clean about her ignorance of the subject of Endangered Species, but still harbored enough genuine interest to learn more about it. Masaya of course was happy to educate her on the topic and it didn’t take long for Ichigo to develop strong feelings of her own about it.
As for her new circumstances, Ichigo’s reaction couldn’t be more realistic and her (belated) concerns about the being driven off somewhere with stranger, stuck in this transformation with cat ears and a tail, and rightfully concerned that she might be treated as a test subject. Though I suppose the irony of that is she has already been subjected to the sort as they had deliberately herded her and the other girls all into this one location to instill them with the power to save the world, so take that as you will. And that means, unfortunately for Ichigo, her days of normalcy has been put on-hold until further notice, and a wedge has been thrown into her plans to pursue romance.
Speaking of the characters, I am quite interested in seeing how different some of them will be and how I will feel about the ones that stay more or less the same as I have always known them. For the latter, I am mostly curious to see how their personality has aged on me. Masaya is a sweetheart, but I do remember I had thought him to be a bit boring as a kid on 4KIDS. My opinion for him actually changed when I watched the original version for the first time– and I actually became more fond of him ever since. On the other-hand, Ryou’s behavior today was more or less exactly the same as I remember, the pushy/touchy type. I have always been rather indifferent to his character, so I don’t think I can say I have ever liked him but I also never particularly disliked him either, but man… I couldn’t help but roll my eyes he held her chin to tell her she has been chosen to save Earth, because all I could think of was, ‘hands off buddy.’ I mean, was that really necessary to get her attention/quiet her down? Well either way, that’s a classic move we have often seen back in the day, depending on your taste, it either aged poorly or like fine wine, hahaha! And then of course we had Keiichirou kissing her hand, yup, that was extra cheesy.
And of course, among some of the major changes we have seen so far, were the character designs. I will confess it will take a bit of time to get used to and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the vibrant colors, but let me just make it clear that these changes are by no means bad! Most noticeably, Ichigo’s Mew Mew hair is also just a shade lighter than her normal form, whereas Mint’s hair is both longer and isn’t partially tied up into a pair of buns her Mew Mew form.
Finally, one the other two big changes they’ve made was actually the accidental first kiss between Ichigo and Masaya. (And I’m not gonna lie, I burst out laughing because THAT’S SUCH A CLASSIC!). We didn’t see the two stumble into each other like that in the previous version. The other adjustment was Masaya’s confrontation with the Chimera Anima. Unlike the former, Masaya was beside Ichigo and actually saw it when had appeared and the two of them had tried to run away from it together.
Overall, I thought it was an okay first episode, though admittedly I do believe there is room for improvement (particularly with the animation quality, we’ve some some pretty bad dips from time to time, but at least the fight was solid). But let me just say, I am so relieved that the transformation sequence didn’t go down the CG route. After Sailor Moon Crystal, that was definitely one of my biggest concerns coming into this. I just— I really don’t like CG transformation sequences, I just don’t. For me the magic isn’t there, so I’m so freaking thankful they stuck to the roots. The transformation was noticeably simpler this timer round, but it is more or less the same, same goes for the special attack, which was also fairly basic plus the sparkles.
I also think it helped that the flow of the events were a lot more concise this time, making it so that certain things don’t get dragged out for longer than necessary. It also helps to effectively cut out the dilly-dally stuff, and that’s quite actually important because just before the episode launched on HIDIVE, it was announced that Tokyo Mew Mew New is only listed to have 12 episodes at the moment. This is quite a drastic difference from the original adaption of 52 episodes, but it’s worth to bear in mind that the manga is actually only 7 volumes long, with an additional two for the short sequel. As I haven’t heard anything about this potentially being a split cour, so I’ll keep an eye out for that because I’d hate to see it rushed to be crammed into 12 episodes.
It goes without saying this is still my most anticipated title of the season, and I couldn’t be more excited to be revisiting this series in a very different way! I’m definitely down for covering this, but as I mentioned in the Summer Preview, I am putting myself at the back of the line because I don’t want to be hogging all of the fluffy magical girl series hahaha! So if it’s available for grabs, I will certainly take it!!!!
Possibility of Blogging: High – But if anyone else wants to cover it, they can have it!
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed!!!!!
So I briefly mentioned in the Summer Preview that I have a small history with the Tokyo Mew Mew series. Just like Eva, I had watched the 4Kids version of the show Mew Mew Power on TV every week. They always played it every Saturday morning and I had a blast watching it, I had always enjoyed magical girl shows when I was a kid. I’m not too sure on this, but I don’t think they ever completely showed the entire series and some things were censored. Also, it’s just been a very long time since I’ve seen it so I don’t remember the details all that well. Like the whole endangered animals angle they’re doing? Nope, don’t remember that at all. So, even while I have some experience with the show, I’m basically going into this completely new simply because I barely recall a thing. So I was excited for this premiere! Did it hold up?
I’d say sort of. This was a fun time and it brought back some memories for me. There are animation dips but for the most part it’s really cute and the best part, Ichigo’s transformation sequence, was bright and colorful and looked great. She definitely has the ditzy and genki personality that most shoujo/magical girl protagonists at the time had. Which didn’t bother me all too much back then, but I’m not really a fan of anymore. Actually, there were a lot of old tropes in this that Eva already mentioned like the part at the end with Ryo and Keiichiro (lol), the popular nice guy at school having a gaggling hoard of loud fangirls, and that accidental kiss. Which is so dumb but also extremely hilarious and really defines that early 2000’s time period. So I know there will be some things that will make me roll my eyes, but it wasn’t unbearable.
Still, this was fun. I do think this episode went by a little too quickly with scenes jumping around quite a bit. I don’t remember at all how Ichigo and the other girls got their powers in the original, or if all of them were even in that endangered animals exhibition. I also don’t recall Mint being present that early on but I could be completely wrong. Any time of changes they make, I won’t know. But we certainly got to the action pretty quickly.
I do like the endangered animals theme going on here and I wonder what exactly it is Ryo and Keiichiro are doing with the Mew Project. The cafe is extremely cute and I had to laugh at Ichigo being afraid that they would experiment or torture her. Which…fair to think so. Ichigo is a cute girl who is hungry for romance like any teenage girl, and like Eva said I love that while she only went to the exhibition to hang out with Aoyama, she confessed that upfront but it didn’t go south. Aoyama is a pretty sweet guy and happily educated her about animals and the environment to which she was genuinely interested about. She’s airheaded, but Ichigo is a good person too. And some things she says and does is pretty entertaining. Ichigo is definitely the type of character where she’ll need to grow on me more though, so I’m excited to see her development with all of the characters and the eventual villains that will show up. I don’t have too much of an opinion of everyone else though, though I remember Mint being more sassy but we’ll definitely see more of her soon. The action was pretty good and again I loved the animation for the transformation. I’ve gotten used to Mew Ichigo’s new design, though I still kind of miss the pink hair.
While there were issues with it, this episode was still cute and fun and I liked it. I am a little worried from the fast pace of this episode that it really is just going to be 12 episodes long? I’m hoping it’ll just be a split cour and not everything crammed into just the 12 episodes because it really won’t go well. Still, I am pretty excited for more! And honestly, I miss the days when we had a plethora of girly fluffy magical girl shows. The dark magical girl shows are fun but there really is too much of them, and besides Precure, we don’t really get magical girl shows like this all that much anymore. Sometimes I just want something girly and cute with all the fluff and sparkles and pink. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever covered a non-dark magical girl show on the blog before so I want to change that! This premiere was a little bumpy but I’m excited to really experience Tokyo Mew Mew properly, and to have a bit of levity and sparkles along with my other shows. <3
Possibility of blogging: High
Possibility of watching: Guaranteed