Feb 22, 2021
Mahou no Angel Sweet Mint is a pre-Sailor Moon magical girl anime.
Emerald haired Mint, princess of the magic kingdom is ordered to restore beauty to the valley of flowers. The flowers there are special as they only bloom when the human world is happy. Mint thus has to leave the magic kingdom together with her pet fying penguin Waffle for some time, living with her aunt and magician Herb (most characters are named after food, plants or music), where she works at her store, the Happyness Shop.
See soon befriends the adventurous (but actually pretty cowardly) boy Plum and the shy girl Nuts. Both of
them are aware of her origins and also work the shop. Another regular character, growing more important as the show progresses, is neighborhood boy Tact. He’s a lot younger than the rest of the cast and unaware of Mint’s powers.
Interestingly the show does not feature a school that Mint and friends attend. Most of Mints adventures are connected to the Happiness Shop. There’s also no reoccurring antagonist, and most stories are violence free. Said stories usually revolve around a problem that Mint & friends have to solve, e.g. a bakery that closed down due to the owner losing all motivation, a bank robbery, a ghost that wants to see his old hometown again...
Mint’s magic is often, but not always, the key to solving these problems. She can either use it to magnify an objects or persons special traits or to temporarly change herself into an expert of pretty much any field, e.g. baseball star, bike pro...
The show was made in the early 90s but apparently designed to look just a bit older and takes place in the imaginary ToaruTown (word play meaning roughly "a certain town", it appears to be 1970s-80s-ish town located in Europe) This gives it an almost fairytale like quality.
The overall artwork quality leaves much to be desired, especially earlier episodes.
Episode 3 marks the absolute low point of the series, with deformed limbs, proportion and perspective mistakes as well as poor animation. Luckily it never drops to that level again. If you decided to watch Mint, best skip this one and watch it at a later point.
Many other episodes are high quality all around and memorable, e.g. Tact fighting for the preservation of a park, Mint’s pet Waffle running off, Mints race against time to recover her magic abilities.
A general problem is that some episodes end too abruptly. This really stood out in one emotional episode where Mint is supposed to deal with a heavy loss, almost feeling like the setup for a two-parter episode, but close to the end everything just gets resolved and the episode simply ends, the events never get mentioned again.
Opening and ending were sung by Hiroko Kasahara, voice actress of Mint, herself, and are memorable. (btw. the second of the two openings is extremely well drawn and a must see). Background music during the anime is generally very well done and fits the mood. Apparently there are also character songs but the CD is borderline impossible to get now.
While this review highlighted a lot of the downside I can't stress enough how enjoyable this series was. Despite many technical flaws and a fair share of episodes that could have used more finetuning, I've hardly seen anime that does the feel-good theme so well.
While Mint was mainly aimed at girls, I had no problem enjoying it as male, adult viewer (just as it was the case with the 90s version of Sailor Moon). Ultimately its Mint energetic nature, Plum’s and Tact’s antics, Nut’s good heart and the overall positive message that people can be good and get along that sold me on this.
Mint is a show to watch with your family, or a dear one, or something to enjoy before going to bed to erase the memories of a frustrating day. I give this weill made hidden gem a clear recommendation.
What did you think of this review?