Seventeen long years ago I read Tokyo Mew Mew. It was okay, I guessed. You see, thirteen Janette was a major snob who enjoyed “actual literature” and “mature anime” over the sugary sweet fun faire that was Tokyo Mew Mew. I never watched the anime as the 4kids dubbing company butchered the USA version. Instead, I read the manga. I was…not impressed. On a side note, I did like Mew Mew Mint (who is also a snob).
Well, I’m thirty now, and Tokyo Mew Mew is back–whether it’s a reboot or a reimagining I’m not sure.
The time I spent revisiting the series with episode 1 was lovely. Is it unabashedly fast-paced and energetic in a way anime in the 2000s was? Yes. Is it campy? Yes. Did I have a blast watching it! Heck yes.
Let me put it this way. Imagine Sailor Moon and Captain Planet had a hyperactive baby! And yes, you’ll know immediately if that appeals to you or not.
A ton of stuff happens in the first episode and a lot of characters are introduced. While I will do a plot synopsis in further posts, I’m recovering from covid, so today we’ll keep it brief. Our main character Ichigo starts as a high schooler pursuing her first (and instant) crush on the most popular boy in school. Who by the way is super popular despite thinking an ideal date is going to the museum. By the end, she’s now the leader of the magical animal girls to save either the world or the environment? Maybe it’s both? I’m not sure. It all happens so quick, and covid brain, so I couldn’t quite keep up,
It’s all very silly and when it’s not, it’s kinda dumb, but it’s in an infectious way. There’s just something charming about the whole thing, even with things that’d be low points in another show. For example, the mood whiplash that happens when the main character and love interest go from anime hijinks to giving a very serious speech about saving the environment, and then accidentally kiss moments later. It’s one of those animes.
I think it really comes down to one thing for me. There isn’t anime being made like this anymore. It was very much a product of the time. While thirteen-year-old me saw it as a mediocre magical girl series, thirty-year-old me is experiencing a strange emotion? What is it? Nostalgia? For a simpler time?
Helping the series is some very nice animation values and surprisingly sincere voice acting. I think I’m in for a fun ride. Age has taught me media doesn’t need to be deep and mature for a good time. In fact with the world being what it is right now, I think I need the opposite–a 20-minute vacation every week to believe five high school girls and their boyfriends are enough to save the world.