The story of Tokyo Mew Mew begins when the main protagonist, Ichigo Momomiya, attends an endangered species exhibit with her crush (and hopefully future boyfriend) Masaya Aoyama. Their peaceful day takes a turn towards drastic when an earthquake strikes and Ichigo, as well as four other girls, are enveloped in a mysterious light. The next day, Ichigo begins to behave like a cat and learns from two scientists that her DNA has been combined with that of an iriomote cat as part of Project μ, which aims to protect the world from alien invaders!
Aliens have come to reclaim Earth in the name of their ancestors who inhabited the planet three million years ago. To get rid of the humans now inhabiting the planet, the aliens have released parasites that infect animals and turn them into monsters. With the DNA of the iriomote cat now inside her, Ichigo can transform into Mew Ichigo and use her powers to fight off the invaders. Ichigo will not have to fight alone, as the four other Mew Mews take to the stage and join in the battle to protect Earth.
Tokyo Mew Mew's anime adaption was created by Studio Pierrot and Nippon Animation, first airing in Japan on TV Tokyo and TV Aichi. 4Kids handled English localization and was also only able to license and dub the first 26 episodes of the series.
At first glance Tokyo Mew Mew basically looks and feels like a rip-off of Sailor Moon with maids and catgirls, and for the first 15-20 episodes that’s pretty much what it is. But a funny thing happened on my way through this series; it got surprisingly good and wonderfully addictive. It should also be noted that my three year old daughter thinks this is the best thing in the history of television. While I certainly wouldn’t say that’s the case, watching her sing and dance to the opening "My Sweetheart" is almost too adorably cute for me to bear.
The plot is standard Mahou Shoujo fair. Our heroine Ichigo finds herself in the possession of unwanted, embarrassing, and often uncontrollable magical powers. These powers involve her growing cat ears and a tail and having many feline abilities and characteristics. She joins a group called Tokyo Mew Mew to fight against mysterious aliens who are trying to kill off the human race. Other Mew Mews steadily join the group until it reaches five. From here the true motivations of the villains become more defined and the episodes start to play out very much like most magical girl series do with a monster of the week which the girls must use their combined abilities to defeat. As I mentioned earlier, it all feels just a bit too familiar and predictable in the beginning portions of the series.
That all begins to change though as Tokyo Mew Mew starts to carve out its own identity. Even the battles themselves become a bit more sophisticated and unlike many similar shows like Sailor Moon, it doesn’t always feel like I am watching the same battles recycled over and over in every episode. While I wouldn’t say the magical action and special effects are amazing or even all that good, by the end they were far more impressive and interesting than most series of this type.
What was really surprising to me was just how satisfying the romance elements of the plot played out. Ichigo is pretty singularly focused for the most part on her main crush Aoyama, who eventually becomes her steady boyfriend. Though this doesn’t prevent her from occasionally having conflicting feelings about other boys which given her age is not all that surprising or unexpected. It was also nice to see that other characters were given their own relationships though some were better than others. (One in particular was frustratingly annoying) Ultimately the ending both for the main plot and the romance is extremely satisfying and well done.
Ichigo emerges as a very good lead. She shares many of the characteristics common with magical girls; ditzy, not overly bright, not very brave, a bit whiny, but extremely loyal to her friends and courageous when it really counts. She grows up a lot over the course of the story and her burgeoning romance with Aoyama and her own doubts about her own feelings and his feelings for her are compelling viewing. Though at times her personality can be a bit annoying (a lot like Usagi from Sailor Moon) but it’s impossible to dislike her. Saying you hate Ichigo is kind of like saying you hate kittens.
Aoyama is very much a background character for the first half of the series. As the story progresses though his role with the Mew Mews and in the plot becomes more and more important. Though I felt at times the story put some unnecessary and fairly ridiculous cockblocks in the way of his relationship with Ichigo it never reaches the levels of frustration I often feel with the romances in series like this.
The remaining Mew Mew's were all a pretty good mix. They all received enough screen time to develop their characters adequately but not too much that they took away from what was really important. My favorite of the group was Zakuro who was a bit like an older sister or even a mother to the rest of much younger Mew Mew team. Lettuce fulfilled to moe role on the team and I personally liked her a lot too. Though of all the characters I really would have liked to see a bit more back story on her. Pudding is the resident loli and while I was initially mostly annoyed by her she managed to grow on me as the series progressed. The only one of the girls that I can’t say I really liked was Mint. She has her moments but most of the time she just comes across as a spoiled selfish bitch. The only male members and founders of the team, Shirogane and Akasaka are interesting and likeable. They are initially fleshed out pretty well but seem to become less involved with the story as it reaches its conclusion.
The villains also deserve some mention. They actually have some depth to them unlike a lot of similar series. Their actions and motives are quite evil but even so they don’t seem like evil people. Though many of the things they do are pretty unforgiveable I think the depth of character they display and the fact that they are not all black and white is what made this series so compelling to watch.
Even though some aspects of the artwork and animation are a bit dated when compared to what we are used to today, I still found Tokyo Mew Mew to be very good visually. The character designs were cute and not too perverse or unrealistic. Since this is Mahou Shoujo that means transformation scenes! Thankfully these aren’t shown to us in their entirety for the whole series. While some of the animation footage (we pretty much always seem to see Ichigo's complete transformation and battle animation) gets a bit repetitive this is primarily in the first half of the show. When things start getting interesting towards the end and the cast is bigger the show does not waste half of its runtime showing scenes we’ve already seen 40 times before already.
Where I really fell in love with this series is the music. I mentioned how much my daughter loves this show, and that is almost totally due to the cute and entirely addictive OP and EN songs. It’s been a little more than 2 months at the time of this writing since I finished Mew Mew, but I would say not one day has passed since that I have not heard "My Sweetheart" playing in the house. It’s adorable, clever, and always brings a smile to my face. The same goes for the EN song, particularly when coupled with the chibi goodness in the closing animation. The voice cast gives a very strong and delightful performance. I should warn you though, do not bother with the English dub. It is a horrible 4Kids fuck job and an insult to the senses. Thank goodness those no talent hacks are going out of business. Good riddance.
Those of you who enjoy magical girl series should watch this series without fail. Additionally any of you with kids under the age of 10 or younger siblings should also take the opportunity to watch this with them. Tokyo Mew Mew is a rare show that is just adult and serious enough to appeal to older viewers but still youthful enough to charm the little ones. You shouldn’t miss it! read more
Tokyo Mew Mew tells the story of Ichigo Momomiya, a clumsy but kind girl who loves protecting the environment and who has a huge cruch on Aoyama-kun, the coolest and hottest guy in school. However, on thier first date together, Ichigo is hit with a mysterious beam of light which changes and mixes her DNA with that of a rare wild cat. Now by she is half school girl, half super hero with some embarassing feline tendancies. It's up to her to find her super hero team mates, save the world from interdimensional aliens AND keep her new boyfriend from discovering her secret!
When I first had this anime reccomended to me online I thought I'd hate it, it sounded so cheesy and girly. But actually I was instantly hooked! The jokes are funny, the tension is well excecuted and it's just fun and exciting to watch. It doesn't really drag, despite the number of episodes, however, within episodes there are a lot of repeated sequences when the girls are transforming into thier super hero alter egos. Otherwise it's all great, you'll want to watch every single episode!
The artwork isn't too bad, The characters look cool and the costumes are fun. The only problem is the repetition, each character baisically has one outfit which they wear constantly. It's no big deal though. The designs for the characters are really good, their faces match their personalities well and over all the emotions are pretty nicely portrayed.
On the sound frount, this is a brilliant anime, the opening theme is uber catchy, you'll find yourself humming along almost instantly, really cool lyrics and nice and uplifting. The ending theme isn't as great but somehow you fnid yourself sitting through it so as to get the "next time..." bit at the end, it's ok though. One VERY important thing: WATCH THE SUBTITLED VERSION! the american version is awful with everyone being renamed and whiney voices cutting into your brain. Seriously, the Japanese voice acting is excellent, everyone sounds awesome.
The characters of Toyko Mew Mew are the really great thing about this anime. Although at fist it seems everyone just has their one trait (rich, nerdy, childish or loner) as the story progresses everyone has a deeper side to show. our heroine, Ichigo, is a girl most of us can symathyse with, unlike many leads, she's not wet blanket Mary-Sue, she's clumsy, funny and passionate, one is always pleased to see her win through. Of course I couldn't go through a character review without mentioning the greatest villain I've ever seen in an anime! Kisshu the inter-dimensional hovering elvin alien is hilarious, flirty and evil is always a winning combination, I found myself cheering every time he made his entrance in each episode! Undoubtedly, the characters get right into your heart.
Overall, this is a great anime, it has humourand action but also heart-wrenching romance and teenage angst. I'd recommend it to anyone, there's something there for all of us.read more
Story: The story is about a team of magical girls who have to protect the earth from aliens. For some reason these aliens only attack in places where the main characters currently are, even though the aliens want to control the whole earth. There is nothing really wrong with the story, but there is nothing special about it either.
Art: The artwork looks fine, but the battles consist 90% of the old battle scenes and are VERY repetitive, especially since every character only has one attack. And the same transformation and attack scenes just get copied over and over again. I think this makes the animators look very lazy.
Sound: The opening isn't too good, and the ending just sucked. But luckily, you can skip them. The voices are good though, fitting and cute. The only problem is that in transformation/attack scenes they get copied too.
Characters: The characters are great, and what this show is all about. They have good personalities and designs. The fact that the main characters have part animal DNA is a funny idea, Ichigo is really cute to watch when she behaves like a cat.
Enjoyment: This show is rather funny, and there are a lot of laughing moments, at least when the girls aren't fighting monsters.
Overall: This show is good, but all the repetition in the fights makes it really annoying sometimes. The animators should have spent more time on the fights, they should at least have animated each characters attack more that once, I mean it's not like thats to much to ask. There are 52 episodes after all.
The non-fighting parts are sometimes really good though, so it you have enough patience and nothing better to watch, you should try watching this one. Doesn't that sound positive? :Pread more
((This is for the subbed or raw Japanese version, not the dubbed version.))
Tokyo Mew Mew was, basically, my first anime. It was, overall, actually a pretty good place to begin.
Right then, story wise it's interesting but more in a new-spin on an old idea way; the concept of adding the environmental and animal focus to the magical girl idea was neat and I liked that some of the animals were less typical. The basic collect-the-pieces-and-destroy-the-monster plot is nice enough and pretty entertaining, and comes across as less repetitive as some could. There are some decent twists and turns, and I like one early on where we get a total 180 for Lettuce. The romance is... generic, but oh well.
Art wise, it's nice. I like the style, it's very much modern girly anime and it's wonderfully bright a lot of the time. It has the frilly lolita sections, the girly cafe... it's all just so girly looking, but not in a bad way. And design wise I love it- the magic-girl uniforms have something that sets them apart from most, they're a bit different, nicely designed, especially Ichigo's.
I like the characters, too. They're stereotypes, but very well executed ones I think. Mint sticks out as the one that you'd expect to be all rich and aloof but secretly 'omgLONELY' but they really kind of diverted that one away. Ichigo is cute, no Mary-Sue and she feels well rounded. Pudding is cute, does the whole kid-with-responsibility thing nicely and is, well, cute. Zakuro is the least interesting, very cut out but never annoying, and Lettuce is sweet and has some development I feel.
I enjoyed the whole thing. Funnily enough, more the start than the end, which is odd for me, but it's a good anime to watch when you need something quite light, happy but still solid and it really is something that just cheers you up.
Here's a list of the top 50 pink-haired characters from the anime world based on MAL rankings. Anyone who's under the illusion that all things pink are to be placed under the category of "kawaii" need an awakening, because these girls with pink hair are far from being marshmallows or show pieces.