Tokyo Mew Mew
Momomiya Ichigo is a typical junior-high school girl who is totally in love with her fellow classmate Aoyama Masa. One day she asks him to go with her to an exhibit about endangered animals. While there, Ichigo is targeted by two mysterious men to become the new hero to save the world. They merge her genetically with a Iriomote cat in order to grant her magical powers and transform her into the superhero Strawberry MewMew. The men explain to her that the world is being threatened by an aliens bent on world destruction, and only people who have the powers of the most endangered animals (called "Red Datas") can fight the invasion.
Now Ichigo works part time at a dessert shop (which is really MewMew Headquarters), has to locate aliens and fellow MewMews with her Mascot Critter (tm), and hide the fact that she is slowly turning into an actual cat girl.
Although you may not guess it by reading the synopsis, Tokyo MewMew is near perfect clone (parody?) of Sailor Moon. Everything and everyone in this show references back to the first season of Sailor Moon, and yet, it's too blatant (and too charming) to be easily dismissed as a cheap rip-off.
You have Ichigo, the ponytailed ditz who can only think of boys and food, Mint, the raven-haired prissy snob who thinks she's better at everything than Ichigo, and Lettuce, the painfully shy smart girl. Ichigo wields the power "Ribbon Strawberry Check", which is almost excatly like "Pink Sugar Heart Attack", Mint's "Ribbon Mint Arrow" is just like "Flare Arrow" , and "Ribbon Lettuce Rush" is "Shabon Spray". Yet, the girls aren't exactly like Usagi, Rei and Ami. Ichigo isn't a crybaby at all, in fact, she's rather headstrong and brave. (Except when it comes to ghosts. She hates ghosts.) Mint is always calm and collected, and much more devious and sneaky in her teasing of Ichigo. Lettuce...well, she's even more of a wallflower than Ami was. Hopefully she'll develop more of a personality as she show goes along.
Tokyo MewMew also has the ridiculous monsters-of-the-week, magical items (Lettuce Castanets!) and frilly costumes that Sailor Moon made popular. But that's about all it has in common. Its premise of merging girls genetically with animals is rather original. They aren't really true magical girls but more like advanced bioengineered superhumans. Their 'magic' items were created in a lab, not granted by any otherworldly being. Tokyo MewMew takes the all-girl magic sentai team and gives it a fresh facelift and a more modern premise, which works well.
The animation is above average for television, and has more of the old style cel look to it rather than the new glossy computer colored style that shows like Angelic Layer and Full Metal Panic have. What impressed me was that they used this style and managed to not make it look cheap or low budget. The shoujo bubbles are pure CG however, and incredibly beautiful (and cutesy). It gives Tokyo MewMew a bright, happy feel. The music is standard magical girl show issue. Nothing really remarkable or memorable. The only song really worth mentioning is the end song, which is hyper-cute and silly.
Tokyo MewMew isn't groundbreaking by any means, but it is fun, and rather enjoyable to watch. Sailor Moon fans wil absolutely adore it, and even fans who think that they've grown beyond Sailor Moon can find something to enjoy in this show. But MewMew is it's own show, and it's not over yet. I can't wait to see where this series is heading.
It's a cute little show ~nyau~! — Christina Carpenter
Recommended Audience: Terrific for young kids and magic girl/shoujo fangirls. Anybody else might want to pass this one by.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (14/24)
Tokyo Mew Mew © 2002 Ikumi Mia / Kodansha / TV Aichi / Tokyo Mewmew Project
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