Being a teenager is hard, and making friends is even harder. This time we meet with Lettuce, a shy and quiet girl that needs a helping hand from Ichigo and the others, and who turns out to be the third Mew Mew for the Mew Mew Project. Which isn’t surprising at all since the OP shows all the girls anyway so eh.
Continuing off from the end of the first episode, Ryo explains the Mew Mew Project to Ichigo. Gathering the DNA of certain endangered animal species, Ryo and Keiichiro were on the search for people that would be a good match with a certain animal. Ichigo was the perfect candidate for the Iriomote cat, while Mint has the DNA for the blue lorikeet. They won’t be alone in this as the guys still have other candidates chosen that need to awaken their powers, which was given to them through that laser beam at the exhibition. The purpose of their group and the Mew Mews is to go after the aliens behind the Chimera Anima and to stop them from wreaking havoc and taking over the world. Your pretty standard magical girl plot really. What really got me in that whole explanation was when Keiichiro got into his cryptozoology talk and said that cryptids like the Yeti and whatnot were actually regular animals that were parasitized and turned into Chimera Anima! I don’t know why but it cracked me up, but I guess it means that cryptids actually do exist in their world but they have an explanation for why they do. I knew it, I knew Bigfoot was real dammit! And when it comes to the cafe, Ryo and Keiichiro use it as a front to make the girls work as waitresses in order to gather info on any suspicious activity in town which may be related to the aliens and/or the Chimera Anima. Is it an excuse to see the girls in cute maid outfits? Probably. But I guess it sort of makes sense. Ichigo is handling the job well, even though Mint sat off to the side and did nothing but enjoy her afternoon tea. Ah there it is, the snobby Mint I remember.
Understanding their goal, Ichigo is on board with it. But it turns out there’s some weird side effects with this new DNA that’s in her body now. First of all, I thought it was a pretty cute touch I noticed last episode where Ichigo suddenly got a fang after she was hit with the DNA. And not just that, now she has to worry about sometimes acting like a cat. Even worse, she discovers that if she gets too worked up her ears and tail will pop out which will eventually go away once she calms down. This happened as she spoke with Aoyama and it was pretty cute, it’ll cause for some silly scenes in the future I’ll bet. Once running off and relaxing that’s when she runs into our new girl, Lettuce.
At times this episode was so hard to watch because I felt so bad for her. Lettuce is a soft-spoken girl with hardly any self-confidence. She’s seen to hang around these three girls who basically ignore her while they giggle and talk with each other, leaving Lettuce in this really awkward spot. Just seeing the part where she stood there as the girls took a selfie of them together without her in it…ugh. These are the type of girls that only include Lettuce when it’s convenient for them, such as making her pay and buy all of them crepes and making her check out the haunted pool at their school while they wait and watch. She knows she looks bad when Ichigo brings it up at the cafe, but she believes that she’ll be able to listen to their worries and help and become closer with them. It sucks that she accepted that they take out their frustrations on her and just takes it, but of course all of those negative emotions in her exploded at the end when she realized just how lonely she was. Standing by the pool, her powers went out of control due to her emotions and Ichigo and Mint come in time to save her. I like the message and Ichigo stretching her hand out while giving her speech to Lettuce was pretty sweet. I do wish that maybe there was a little more build up to Lettuce’s explosive emotions at the end. We know she was feeling pretty crummy already but since we just got to know her, I wish maybe there were tiny little moments here and there sprinkled throughout the episode where it showed her true emotions. But it was good. There is one thing that maybe bothered me, and I think it’s the voice acting. I know that all the girls for the Mews are new voice actresses making their debuts with this show like anime always tends to do with all-female casts, and I think it shows? Ichigo’s speech was nice but I didn’t really feel the emotional impact on it I think because of the voice performance. I don’t want to knock on the actress too much, but I do think there could be some room for improvement. It wasn’t just this scene but others as well, but I’m just looking forward to seeing how her actress will grow.
All’s well that ends well as Lettuce now joins the group, and she has real friends now. This was a decent episode, with a balance of the serious moments along with some silly ones like Ichigo and Aoyama’s scene. And I guess Ryo and Ichigo, though again with those weird sexy scenes. Instead of going up to her and reaching for her thigh, you could just mention she had the mark? He already invaded her boundaries before so it’ll probably continue to be a running gag. And speaking of boundaries, the alien boy fans love or something showed up at the end. I think I sort of remember weird scenes between him and Ichigo in the original so uhhh haha okay. Also the title for the next episode…
Mint didn’t really do much of anything this episode so I hope we get to see more of her, though again the title next week means we’ll meet Pudding already. I don’t think the girls met all that quick so I’m curious to see how this’ll go.
Also for fun, I decided to look up the animals that make up the girls to check on their conservation status since this story came out a long time ago. I hoped to see better changes, but it seems like except the gray wolf which is at a stable status, the rest of the animals are still endangered. I know conservation takes time but still, sigh.
And real talk, who the hell names their child Lettuce?!