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REVIEW: Fairy Princess Minky Momo Episodes 1-15 Anime Review




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aniMayor



Joined: 17 Mar 2022
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2024 6:29 pm Reply with quote
As a nostalgic fan who watched the series decades ago when it was localized in french, I sure hope they continue to license+sub the rest of the episodes. The early part of the series is the "safest" with the episodic dilemmas mostly staying relatively mundane and Momo's adult profession-of-the-week being realistic jobs like a policewoman, and we've all heard of the infamous turning point later on, but it's the middle of the series that is really my favourite - where the staff get comfortable with it and start to indulge in really fun and wacky episode plots like "Momo goes back in time and transforms into a civil engineer to save the dinosaurs".

Minky Momo may feel like a typical classic magical girl show watching it today, but at the time it was pretty groundbreaking in its own way. Momo pulled a bunch of inspiration from the different Toei magical girl series—taking the magic princess from another world backstory and powers of Sally/Chappy/Lalabel/etc, but mostly focusing on transforming-into-an-adult powers like Akko-chan, plus making the accompanying mascot animals a fixed role as her mentors, etc—and refined+combined them into a formula that ended up really defining what the magical girl genre is from then on (at least until magical girl sentai works came onto the scene). Not to mention inventing, or at least first popularizing the separate, reused transformation scene which is now the most iconic element of magical girl series.

It really fills my heart with joy to see this great series and historically important series finally getting subbed for the English audience!
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2024 9:30 pm Reply with quote
I pretty much agree with everything you say, aniMayor.

Being familiar with the preceding 11 Toei and the 2 Tezuka (if you include Princess Knight) magical girls, Minky Momo innovates in number of ways. Most importantly it gave us, as you suggest, the first extended transformation sequence that became the template for all that followed. The most elaborate of the Toei transforming girls - Cutie Honey - is downright perfunctory by comparison.

Another important thing is, although it isn't "always well drawn or animated" as Rebecca says, it upgrades the dated 60s come 70s Toei style into the 80s. Studio Pierrot's Magical Angel Creamy Mami will shortly take it to another level again.

As you say, this block of episodes hasn't yet got into its stride, where it takes the mickey out of all of sundry - from Alfred Hitchock to Doctor Strangelove to Star Trek to Battleship Potemkin, while still keeping its essential child-focussed story lines. It's no wonder the show was reputedly popular with adults.

Apart from the infamous episode 46 - children all over Japan must have been traumatised - the show has an overall positive feel. I think some of the Toei magical girls had already been going to those darker sorts of places. Maco the Mermaid has an episode inspired by the Minamata disaster that critiques unrestricted industrial development at a time when public opinion was very much against the victims of the mercury poisoning and supported economic progress at all costs. Majokko Tickle has an episode where Tickle and her "sister" prevent a suicide. (I put "sister" in inverted commas because, like Momo, Tickle has embedded herself in a family and convinces everyone she was there all along, even though she looks nothing like her "twin".)

It's great to see Crunchyroll make this important series available. I hope they complete the series and even produce a blu-ray.

And, did you know Harmony Gold made an English language dub under the name of The Magical World of Gigi that only ever aired in one English speaking location - my native Melbourne? It did air in many non-Anglophone countries, however.

Rebecca Silverman wrote:
There's an Aim for the Ace! episode

The gag here is that Minky Momo takes Osamu Dezaki's famed triple repeats and turns them into quadruple repeats.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 4975
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:22 pm Reply with quote
Errinundra wrote:
Majokko Tickle has an episode where Tickle and her "sister" prevent a suicide. (I put "sister" in inverted commas because, like Momo, Tickle has embedded herself in a family and convinces everyone she was there all along, even though she looks nothing like her "twin".)

.
I wonder how much of this trope influenced Sailor Moon as there's a plot point where Chibiusa uses her Luna-P ball to brainwash the Tsukinos into thinking she's Usagi's cousin.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2024 10:36 pm Reply with quote
I've wondered the same at times, particularly when I first watched the example you gave, Cardcaptor Takato.

AFAIK Sailor Moon was the first magical girl show to become popular with Anglophone audiences. I think it's easy for us to think it came out of the blue, but, really, it built upon all the Magical Girl series that came before it - the most important being Cutie Honey. To them it added the Super Sentai concept from other genres and spiced it up with a lot more violence than your average shojo series.
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Glordit



Joined: 11 Sep 2020
Posts: 569
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:12 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Art and animation aren't great


Well the show is 42 years old and anime from the 70's and early 80's did have a lot of corners cut. I take it as part of the charm of older shows.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2024 3:16 am Reply with quote
Errinundra wrote:

AFAIK Sailor Moon was the first magical girl show to become popular with Anglophone audiences. I think it's easy for us to think it came out of the blue, but, really, it built upon all the Magical Girl series that came before it - the most important being Cutie Honey. To them it added the Super Sentai concept from other genres and spiced it up with a lot more violence than your average shojo series.
I think Usagi's disguise pen is definitely a homage to these classic magical girls using an item to turn into someone else.
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FireChick
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Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2024 7:52 am Reply with quote
I've been meaning to watch this show since it started receiving fansubs, but I never got around to it due to other obligations. I'm glad Crunchyroll is subbing it and releasing it! I've heard somewhere that CR is going to post several episodes once per month due to subbing the series in multiple languages, which takes a lot of time and effort, but I don't know how true that is.
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Princess_Irene
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2024 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Thanks AniMayor and Errinundra, for filling in the gaps! Whenever I review one of these classic series that have such a complicated, but important, place in the pantheon, I always struggle with myself over writing a basic review or turning it into Professor Rebecca's Anime History Class. I'm always grateful when someone steps in to add the details that would have made my review novel-length.
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dm
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:33 pm Reply with quote
I'll have to check this out.

Thanks for the Momotaro call-out, Rebecca, I'd not have noticed that.

I have seen a couple of OAVs or movies --- Minky Momo and the bridge over dreams (and I think, perhaps Minky Momo in the station of your memories), and I hope Crunchyroll is able to get those.

I think these films follow on the second Minky Momo TV series (and have Megumi Hayashibara voicing Momo).
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
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Location: Texas
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2024 9:12 pm Reply with quote
Nice to see Crunchyroll add another classic to their catalogue! My favorite parts of the Pokemon anime were always the episodes/movies done by Takeshi Shudo, so I'm excited to see what his take on magical girls is like.

And the history of this show (and magical girls in general) answers something I always wondered as a kid: Why didn't Usagi use the disguise pen more often? It's such a cool power that I never understood why she didn't abuse it the way I would. But now I realize it's because Japan already had magical girls that did that, so it would have felt redundant.
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scanlines



Joined: 18 Oct 2023
Posts: 62
Location: in time out for bad behavior
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2024 9:18 am Reply with quote
Will Crunchyroll air the entire series? I'm not sure if we'll get the OVAs or the sequel.
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