After nine-year-old Melmo loses her mother in a car accident, she is left to care for her two younger brothers, a task far beyond her age or means. However, in the midst of her grieving, Melmo is visited by the ghost of her deceased mother who gives her a bottle of miraculous candy, capable of transforming her into either an adult (blue candy) or an infant (red candy). A combination of the two can reduce her to a fetus and then change her into any animal she imagines. Drawing on a seemingly inexhaustable supply, Melmo uses her candies to solve the various problems thrown her way, aided by her younger brother Toto (who accidentally morphs into a frog in episode 7) and her cantankerous mentor, Dr Nosehairs.
You might recall some time around 2014 when Tezuka’s daughter found a stash of sexy mouse drawings locked in his desk. To many it was a surprise that one of the inarguably biggest and most influential creators in manga and anime industry was into that sort of smut.
Well I’ll tell you what if someone aside from me and a few hundred other people bothered to watch this garbage fire not only would it not be surprised but they’d probably be underwhelmed too. But that’s neither here nor there, let’s get through this from the start.
Fushigi na Melmo is a weird ass anime about a little
girl whose mother dies in a car accidents and on her way to afterlife asks gods to turn her young daughter into an adult to help her get through life. Her request is granted and Melmo receives a bottle of magic candies. One makes you 10 years younger, another makes you 10 years older. This is where the weird shit starts. You might think “oh she’ll probably use them to enter the adult world but being a child she’ll struggle and have to overcome many problems thus educating kids about what sort of stuff grown ups deal with” haha nope.
One of the first few episodes has her randomly learning about some depressed female elephant who is sad cause she can’t get herself an elephant boyfriend. What does Melmo do? She turns the elephant into a zygote, gets a job as a flight attendant and flies to Africa to introduce her elephant friend to male counterparts. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite go as planned cause the female elephant can’t adjust to the wild life so the African elephants start bullying her until Melmo ages them all to a point they can’t even stand. After that they go back and female elephant finds herself a nice French elephant, it’s a love at first sight and they merry inside the circus tent. The end.
Sorry for going on a tangent but I want to express just how stupid the episodic stories in this show are and if I wanted I could probably write around 500 or more word reviews on each single one just going over everything wrong with them. This isn’t even the worst episode, in this anime that tries the educate kids about biology and growing up you’ll see bizarre plots about Melmo overthrowing dictators, getting tricked by a vampire, raising a tiger until deciding to keep it in a fridge, meddling with gangs of dogs, getting adopted by a human trafficker/drug dealer (I forgot which), aging herself to try breastfeeding her infant brother and so much more. It sounds like dumb fun on paper but there’s so much wrong with this show that after a while I couldn’t even really laugh at how balls to the wall crazy it is.
First of all after a while they reveal that Melmo’s candy can actually turn her into various animals if she takes different combinations of pills at once. This is a result of many inconsistencies and idiotic developments throughout the show and also one of the opportunities for Tezuka to draw sexy animals. That and the educational segments that tell you about reproduction and gender roles where you get to see cartoon animal with big ass tits and seductive looks. What were you trying to pull with this, Tezuka?
Beyond that the visuals are just a damn mess, it might be one of the ugliest anime I’ve seen. Tezuka’s art style is already very much in the “your mileage may vary” category with the unchanging tubes and circles comprising most of characters anatomy but when it’s drawn poorly I can’t even try to get into it. I think just about every episode has at least one or two blatant animation errors and when I say errors I mean stuff like bad layering and forgetting to color in parts of the cel and sometimes not putting the cel where it should be entirely. When it comes to off model art or bad proportions or just overall janky art Melmo is choke full of that. It looks so terrible at times that it took me entirely out of the show cause I could hardly focus on anything other than abysmal production quality.
The music aids this too. To begin with most of it sounds like they took it straight from some stock library but to make things much worse there's no rhyme or reason to how any of it used. It feels like they just randomly picked a track every time which sometimes results in dissonance so jarring that a moment that's meant to be comedic comes off as some high concept horror.
What do you have with this overall? A terrible looking show with dumb plots that make no sense at all. Is it worth a watch? Yeah, I do actually think people should go out of their way and pick maybe 2 or 3 random episodes of the show to experience just how bad it actually is cause words can’t express it all nearly as well.