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EP. REVIEW: Tokyo Mew Mew New


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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 13068
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:00 pm Reply with quote
I'd say it's timely, but not for the same reason. Thinking back to 2002, we had a lot of environmental scares going on. The hole in the Ozone layer, Amazon deforestation, acid rain, all stuff no one brings up anymore. Hell, back then we pursued alternate energy because we were worried about running out of fossil fuels, not trying to get rid of them. That 20 years has passed and none of the animals featured in this show have gone extinct shows that we're either doing something right, or things weren't as dire as we thought they were.

Climate change is real, let me be clear on that, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as some people try to make it out to be.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 5011
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:12 pm Reply with quote
As far as magical girl reboots go, I have to say from an animation, energy, and vibe level I feel like Tokyo Mew Mew New has more going for it than the first season of Sailor Moon Crystal.

This is only supposed to be 12 episodes, so I'm curious how well they'll be able to condense the plot. Although I guess we'll have the full team together by episode 4.

Apparently they went with rookies for the entire main cast (other than the supporting characters), which I think they did for the original anime? So far I think they're acclimating themselves well, and of course sing the Opening and Ending.

It's not every day you get animal superpowers and get roped into the service industry as a maid in the same day.

Poor Lettuce still doesn't get her transformation sequence and was the monster-of-the-week in her own episode. I guess if we get a full team transformation next week maybe she'll get one.

I'm glad Ichigo didn't respond well to that kiss.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:19 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The idea behind this, to combine the magical girl story with a reverse harem, is decently solid, but wow, do I ever wish that along with giving Mew Lettuce a skirt they'd left the predatory romance tropes back in 2002.

I mean. These tropes are still alive and well, and while you don't have to like them (I don't, either) there's a reason they're still around. These are fantasies, and very common ones too - and in the world of fantasy not everything has to be "objectively wholesome", all the more so because it's controlled by you and in the end it turns out the way you want it to turn out. People, yes, even women fantasize about much "worse" things when it comes to romance and sexuality. And while these are not the kind of fantasies I've ever had, one of the things that drew me to manga and anime way back was how unashamed it was to indulge in these kinds of fantasies, without feeling the need to somehow "correct" them or attach a moral lesson to them, it was like finally being "seen" in a way never before, definitely not by works not created for much more adult readers/viewers. (There's a great article about this floating around on the internet but for my life I can't find it....)

So anyway, shoujo romances about hot guys thinking the heroine is cute and showering her with attention of vaguely (or very much not vaguely!) sexual nature is absolutely not something we've left behind in 2002 - just take a look at what's going on in many many many shoujo romance magazines even today. (Oh, Sho-Comi.) TL, "Teen Love", not named as such by accident, has really taken off in the past years, and "My Spicy Adventures With Often Older Hot and Very Assertive Guys I'm Unable To Resist" is probably its own genre by now.

Quote:
It's unfortunately not the only unsettling piece of this story, although we can see by episode three that the writing is starting to really think about a few things, namely the fact that apart from Mint, the other four Mew Mews were all injected with endangered species DNA against their will, or at least without any sort of informed consent – the poor kids were just at an endangered species exhibit when two guys in the high tech version of a white van shot it at them.

This is another thing that I think the reviewer is making into a bigger issue than it actually is (I mean, come on, it's not healthy or wholesome but also it's not real life), but that aside, as far as I remember this was absolutely not the case in the manga, and I find it really weird how they rewrote the story for the first episode for no discernable reason. IIRC in the manga they all just happened to be at the exhibit at the same time, Shirogane wanted to test his new weapon(?) on animals but it kind of misfired, and ended up injecting the DNAs into the girls completely by accident. Or something like that. Anyway, they definitely found Ichigo first - I specifically remember Mint becoming a Mew Mew after Ichigo, because I remember the story of her finding out she's one and eventually befriending Ichigo (I kind of shipped them).

That aside, is it just me or does the show have some weird English name localization choices? They call Lettuce "Lettuce", but call the character obviously named Quiche "Kish" and seem to go out of their way to not include any references to "Pudding" (her name is pronounced "Fon Purin" in Japanese but she's called "Bu-Lin Huang" in English...). Consistency doesn't seem to be priority here.
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garfield15



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 1409
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:50 pm Reply with quote
SHD wrote:
Quote:
The idea behind this, to combine the magical girl story with a reverse harem, is decently solid, but wow, do I ever wish that along with giving Mew Lettuce a skirt they'd left the predatory romance tropes back in 2002.

I mean. These tropes are still alive and well, and while you don't have to like them (I don't, either) there's a reason they're still around


I thought it was very weird that was mentioned as if those tropes disppeared when not only did the never go away, they are even more prevalent in the subject matter today. They just don't get animated anymore. Maybe that's the only viewers frame of reference.

SHD wrote:
references to "Pudding" (her name is pronounced "Fon Purin" in Japanese but she's called "Bu-Lin Huang" in English...). Consistency doesn't seem to be priority here.

I agree consistency is an issue but I think her name is a little weird as it's read as "Purin", but could also be translated as Pudding since it's a loanword and that is the Japanese version of her actual Chinese name, Bu-Lin. It's very confusing. I feel like Tokyo Mew Mew has had a different translation for some of these names depending on who translates them (which is why we have Kisshu/Kish/Quiche/Kissu depending on who the translator is). We used to have "Retatsu" instead of Lettuce on one fansub for example.
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 1303
Location: Englewood, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:53 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
Climate change is real, let me be clear on that, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as some people try to make it out to be.

Agreed, people who make it their mission to hammer the worst case scenarios into our heads like it's the only scenario are just the worst.
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JennLegacy



Joined: 12 Oct 2013
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:59 pm Reply with quote
SHD wrote:
That aside, is it just me or does the show have some weird English name localization choices? They call Lettuce "Lettuce", but call the character obviously named Quiche "Kish" and seem to go out of their way to not include any references to "Pudding" (her name is pronounced "Fon Purin" in Japanese but she's called "Bu-Lin Huang" in English...). Consistency doesn't seem to be priority here.


The name localization for this series has always been a hot mess. The names that aren't just the Japanese word for a food are supposed to be puns based on the English loan word, but when translating, it becomes unclear whether it's supposed to be straight up read as the English word or not. The original Tokyopop release that most people grew up on just went with obvious food names. That translation though is widely known to be iffy , espeically with loan word names (Strawberry Bell was once translated as Sutaro Bell), so there's never been a clear consensus on the "correct" way to write out anyone's name. (I didn't read the Kodansha release, so I don't know how they handled it.) It's kind of been a thing in the fandom to assume the normal food word is meant to be their alter ego name and the pun version is their civilian name (Example: Retasu for civilian, Lettuce for Mew Mew), but as far as I know, no official translation has ever divided the names up like that.

For the whole Bu-Ling/Purin thing, technically both are correct. Asian name readings and pronunciations changing between different Asian languages is kind of its own separate beast. I'm assuming Bu-Ling was used both because alongside Pudding, it's the most recognized name for her in the fandom, and because it more easily reads as a Chinese name to English audiences. Though this does make the fact that they're settling for just straight food names for Mint and Lettuce really weird.

Kish's name is mostly a Tokyopop mistranslation I think. He's is a really weird case because I rarely actually see anyone call him Quiche online. My guess is because a lot of the fanbase read the series as kids, it just never registered to them since a lot of kids don't even know what quiches are. I just had a conversation with a friend the other day about him and it took until me calling him Quiche for them to realize his name is also supposed to be a pun. I can only guess HiDive went with Kish just based on general recognizability.
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Electric Wooloo



Joined: 19 Aug 2020
Posts: 235
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:

Climate change is real, let me be clear on that, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as some people try to make it out to be.


What a cool and reasonable take as people in Europe literally die from the heat
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3907
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Takkun4343 wrote:
Vaisaga wrote:
Climate change is real, let me be clear on that, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as some people try to make it out to be.

Agreed, people who make it their mission to hammer the worst case scenarios into our heads like it's the only scenario are just the worst.


And I'm laughing uproariously at the two of you for all the wrong reasons. It's worse and accelerating because people, scientists at that who should know better, are only looking at CO2 models.

But the reason why I'm laughing is because it's too late to do much about it. The Gulf stream is so warm, winters have been cancelled in the Northeast. Things are so messed up, we had a colder spring than winter. This week, we're facing a hundred degree heatwave so that's fun.

Oh, the show, I'm having fun with it. Very retro but in a good way, not in a Sailor Moon Crystal way.
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Dynamo-



Joined: 02 Aug 2014
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Takkun4343 wrote:
Vaisaga wrote:
Climate change is real, let me be clear on that, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as some people try to make it out to be.

Agreed, people who make it their mission to hammer the worst case scenarios into our heads like it's the only scenario are just the worst.


And I'm laughing uproariously at the two of you for all the wrong reasons. It's worse and accelerating because people, scientists at that who should know better, are only looking at CO2 models.

But the reason why I'm laughing is because it's too late to do much about it. The Gulf stream is so warm, winters have been cancelled in the Northeast. Things are so messed up, we had a colder spring than winter. This week, we're facing a hundred degree heatwave so that's fun.

Oh, the show, I'm having fun with it. Very retro but in a good way, not in a Sailor Moon Crystal way.


I agree but I do notice the same people screaming the world is doomed every heat wave. I agree overall temperatures are on the rise however heat waves do happen. Last year where I live we had a 3 week heat wave and hottest days being 115f. This year so far hottest day has been 81f and since summer started an average of 74f. So indeed climate change is a thing but a heat in the UK is what it is, unfortunate but possible. Lol
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Princess_Irene
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 2407
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:42 pm Reply with quote
garfield15 wrote:

I thought it was very weird that was mentioned as if those tropes disppeared when not only did the never go away, they are even more prevalent in the subject matter today. They just don't get animated anymore. Maybe that's the only viewers frame of reference.


No, no, I'm fully aware of the prevalence of both tropes. I just meant that we don't often see them combined in one show.

SHD wrote:
These are fantasies, and very common ones too - and in the world of fantasy not everything has to be "objectively wholesome", all the more so because it's controlled by you and in the end it turns out the way you want it to turn out. People, yes, even women fantasize about much "worse" things when it comes to romance and sexuality. And while these are not the kind of fantasies I've ever had, one of the things that drew me to manga and anime way back was how unashamed it was to indulge in these kinds of fantasies, without feeling the need to somehow "correct" them or attach a moral lesson to them, it was like finally being "seen" in a way never before, definitely not by works not created for much more adult readers/viewers. (There's a great article about this floating around on the internet but for my life I can't find it....)


Again, I'm fully aware of this. What I find interesting is that the tropes that we tend to brand as more "unwholesome" have largely fallen out of favor in non-manga/anime romance fiction, particularly in the west, with the notable exception of young adult literature. The book Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women edited by Jayne Ann Krentz has a few very interesting academic essays on the topic, as does Maya Rodale's Dangerous Books for Girls. I of course can't find them now, but the site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has hosted several interesting essays about non-con fantasies in the past.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1459
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:09 pm Reply with quote
JennLegacy wrote:
The name localization for this series has always been a hot mess.


The translator for this remake posted a neat Twitter thread on the topic last month. I've had no direct exposure whatsoever any version of TMM, but I found the "Mew Strawberry would 100% make more sense than Mew Ichigo, given the pattern, but it'd sound completely wrong to the entire fandom" point especially interesting.
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Ming Yi



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 164
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:48 pm Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
Apparently they went with rookies for the entire main cast (other than the supporting characters), which I think they did for the original anime? So far I think they're acclimating themselves well, and of course sing the Opening and Ending.


That's because the production company is also promoting the main cast as an idol group. They had a nationwide audition for cast members that was documented on their YouTube channel and on ANN.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 4624
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:49 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
What I find interesting is that the tropes that we tend to brand as more "unwholesome" have largely fallen out of favor in non-manga/anime romance fiction, particularly in the west


I wouldn't even know....never opened one of those in my life. xD

I've never been able to give a damn about romance novels in America...like I've seen rom-com movies here and there....but Hallmark ones are something I absolutely despise while my boomer mother eats them up... Rolling Eyes

The trashy tropes aren't popular now? Ha you don't say. That's really not surprising in the least bit with today's overly-sensitive crowd. Nope, that sounds very accurate.

On the other hand, I've heard that BL has gotten much more wholesome than what they brought over back in the early 2000s...or perhaps there's just a wider selection of it today. I remember quite a few BL manga that were either non-con or abuse of some type...which is probably why I never got attached to any of them....except for Yami no Matsuei where the abuser is indeed the villain of the story instead of the boyfriend.
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JoelBurger



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 275
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:01 pm Reply with quote
Really curious whether this is getting split up into separate cours with a season break, or if this is seriously just going to be 12 episodes. If the latter, that's a recipe for disaster when a quarter of the show is going to be spent just getting the gang together. And would come across as just a really transparent vehicle to milk nostalgia and try to get a new idol group off the ground.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 4624
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2022 10:16 pm Reply with quote
JoelBurger wrote:
And would come across as just a really transparent vehicle to milk nostalgia and try to get a new idol group off the ground.


This is literally what it is. Every time I watch an episode, I get a "we don't really care" vibe from it. Presently talking on Discord about it. Another TMM fan watching agrees that she's just not engaged in the show.

A sequel like what the new manga did would have been way more interesting. But uh nope, they are just redoing the original series and putting in 10% of that effort. Boo.
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