Tokyo Mew Mew New
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Tokyo Mew Mew New ?
Community score: 3.8
It's probably not a great sign that even though I know intellectually that Mew Ichigo is the strongest (or at least the finisher) I don't feel like the show has really demonstrated that. (At least, not until she comes in an wipes out most of the mantis monsters towards the end of this episode.) As the pink one, a title observers refer to her by in an entertaining aside, she's symbolically the leader; the pink magical girl is typically the equivalent of the red super sentai fighter. (Sailor Moon is one of the few exceptions, although Sailor Chibi Moon is a future leader of her own force, so it still does give a nod to the standards, even if it comes before most of them.) And we also know that the Mew Mews are supposedly much more powerful when all five of them are present; that was the entire drive behind trying to get Zakuro to join them. But again, this is something that we know because we've been told and because of the conventions of the genre – it's not necessarily something that the show has demonstrated in the ten episodes that came before. That's symptomatic of the issues with Tokyo Mew Mew New as a whole: it's so invested in using the conventions of the magical girl team that it simply doesn't spend the time to make us believe that they apply to this particular magical girl show, and while it more or less works because we do know them, it certainly hasn't earned it in any way but being part of the genre.
That issue aside, this is very much the build-up episode to the season's grand finale, the fight against whatever emerges from the cocoon. (Or against the cocoon itself – it depends on if there's a second cour coming how final next week will feel.) Pie is there to remind us just how slim the Mew Mews chances are at this point by repeatedly reeling off percentages about their strength and the odds of their success, and while that's a little on the nose, I can't argue with it being handy. Things look very grim by the numbers. In part this may be because the girls are both trying to fight the chimera anima and protect the people who somehow haven't been kept away from the mysterious thing on top of Tokyo Tower. In terms of plot, it makes sense that there'd be bystanders – and if we're honest, it makes even more sense in terms of human nature, which tends to make us flock to look at something weird and/or dangerous or awful. However, given the amount of news coverage the thing is getting, it does feel a bit weird that the area hasn't been cordoned off by the police. Still, the girls are doing a pretty good job of keeping the monsters occupied and the people safe, even if they don't have the resources to deal with Tart, Pie, and Kish or the looming danger atop the tower.
While the other girls are all fighting, Ichigo is trying to figure out how to become human again and join them. I don't think we can blame her for not putting together that the dog's kiss undid her feline transformation because the whole situation was just so weird for her; in fact, it's more impressive that she figured it out when the other cat gave her a smooch. And now that she knows how the transformation works, it could actually be a real asset, providing it doesn't mean that she can never be human again; cat form could be perfect for reconnaissance, as well as a way to stay close to Aoyama if the title of next week's episode spells doom for their budding relationship as humans. It also gives Ryo an in (in the physical sense, anyway) with Ichigo, something he's already figured out and is probably planning to use to his advantage.
Whether next week's episode is, in fact, the end of Tokyo Mew Mew New or not isn't certain as of this writing. It would be a shame if it was, if only because the story clearly isn't over. But by and large I don't think this has quite lived up to its potential or the memory of its earlier versions, so if worse comes to worst, know that you can always go and read the original manga.
Tokyo Mew Mew New is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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