OP: 「Cat!!Shite SuperGirls」by (Smewthie)
“Wait, What?! I’m a Superhero Now?! Meow!”
The opening narration and scene brought me right back to that moment as a thirteen-year-old girl, sitting on my basement couch, watching the English dubbed premiere of Tokyo Mew Mew on the WB kids. That’s how I old I am, dear readers. Do the math.
If you’re watching Tokyo Mew Mew New because it’s a ‘new’ supergirl series with kick-ass transformation, then welcome to the team. Aside from having a name that screams “Cat lovers, unite!”, the series is about more than cute animals. It’s five fierce, lovestruck, and powerful girls fighting off evil aliens that are turning Earth’s living creatures into chimera-animas, dangerous, vicious beasts. The Mew team is made up of five members and their ‘handlers’, all tasked with saving the world. But unlike the sailors of Mars, Moon, or Mercury, these girls have been gifted with raw, animalistic powers that heighten their senses and give them unique, magical abilities allowing them to vanquish their foes. They go to school, navigate friendship and first loves by day, and fight off the evil that plagues and threatens our very world by night.
Growing up, what I most looked forward to in the show was the friendship between all five team members and their day-to-day work at the Mew Mew Cafe. I’m glad to see that the friendship between Mint and Ichigo will still be at the core of the series. I’ll use their names to go over the key characters that were introduced in this premiere. We’ve got Momomiya Ichigo, our head honcho, main girl; there’s Mew Azaiwa Mint, another partner dedicated to saving the world; there’s Aoyama Masama, Ichigo’s love interest and the one who will save the world’s endangered species from humanity’s sins; and finally, Keiichiro and Ryo, the ‘older brothers’ who look after the girls who make up the Mew team and who oversee the Mew Project. Introductions were light in this episode but we’ll learn more as the story unfolds.
For fans of the original adaptation (2002) or the source material, this must be a fun trip down memory lane. But when I put my critical hat on, I can see that this isn’t a high-end production aimed at the masses. The quality of animation, off the bat, is minimal. Color pops are enough to draw the eyes’ attention but there’s nothing very unique about the production value. You might think I’m being too rough but at this stage in my anime-viewing career, I do love high-value, high-impact animation that invites me to keep watching just for aesthetic enjoyment.
I read the mangas growing up but I’m not too precious about his adaptation sticking close to the source material. I think the story – knowing what’s to come – is wholesome and straightforward enough to justify deviating from time to time without ruining much. Whether it sticks to the original adaptation or not, I’m happy to just relive key moments with the Mew team.
As a premiere, this is an easy episode riddled with romance, friendship, comedy, and some light action. Nothing too fancy and nothing really unique. The series adheres to the magical girl and superheroine anime tropes. We’ll slowly be introduced to the team members, they’ll slowly awaken their dormant powers which will in turn evolve, and they’ll face the true foe behind the chimera attacks. I will say now that if I do keep watching, this will be my guilty pleasure of the season (for nostalgic value). However, if you do have kids in the house and are trying to introduce them to the magical world of entertainment, this Tokyo Mew Mew reboot is an easy way into this world with an easy-to-digest-story and captivating color schemes.
And if that’s not enough, then use it as a way to teach the next generation (nieces, children, grandkids?, and younger siblings) why it’s important to protect endangered species. Alternatively, get them hooked on the magical girl transformation sequences! I know that worked for me as a toddler staring at Sailor Jupiter’s transformation sequences.
Fyi that there is a currently ongoing Tokyo Mew Mew manga spinoff, called Tokyo Mew Mew Ole, which is magical boy themed.
Unlike the parent series, it takes place in an alt universe where a bunch of guys with Tokyo-district named themes (Shibuya, Yoyogi, etc) get the animal powers instead. Although, the centre is a seemingly normal female MC who interacts with the guys, namely the cat.
That’s pretty cool!
Ah my past summer love….
A nostalgia bait indeed. Though the song are crappy mass produced tune and didn’t leave strong impression like ‘ribbon no nusundee…’ or ‘doki-doki, tokimeki’ but they tried to make it resemble even in miniscule factor.
Btw, it is kinda conondrum to see minto looks like that. In one way she look pretty that i want lots of her hdoujin, in otherhand … she looks a bit different….
I don’t remember tokyo mew-mew was always being a netorare bait seeing this; even when it is just a manga and its previous anime. We had aoyama as vanilla guy, a gyaru-oh boss, creepy stalker elf who prone to netori, and suave onii-san character usually for swinging…. a perfect recipe.
What I really enjoy about this show is how 90s the show feels with the whole Magical Girl/Sailor Moon transformations.
Ngl I REALLY hate the redesigns. Minto looks fine, but everyone else…ugh.