Tokyo Mew Mew V. 1 & 2
Age - T for Teen (13+)
Published in Japan (2001)
By Mia Ikumi and Reiko Yoshida
Translator - Ikoi Hiroe
English Adaptation by Stuart Hazelton
Editors - Amy Court Kaemon and Jodi Bryson
Tokyo Mew Mew
There are just a few concepts that I have a hard time believing should be mixed together.
The concepts of mixing the Magical Girl genre with the Ecological genre being one of those things.
Last time I reviewed an effort like that was Arjuna (BANDAI) and I didn't exactly praise it to death... especially the end which I had major issues with.
But what about now? Will this change my mind? Let's see...
Graphic Novel 1
Looks like 11 year old Ichigo can't get a break!
She's on a lukewarm date with the boy she's hot for when she ends up being caught in a bizarre incident that imbues her (and four others) with the DNA of almost extinct animals, in her case an extinct wildcat.
After displaying some cat like traits she soon finds out something happened to her that day... which is obvious since she's kinda acting all feline like and all.
It looks like she is about to be drafted into a war with alien invaders who are using the planet's animal lifeforms to attack the humans for reasons that you'll understand soon enough.
But first, before she fights the good fight (or during the fight the good fight thing) she'll need to find the other four girls who were exposed to that incident which gave her powers.
By the end of this book she would have found two of the four, with a third located... which leads to a confrontation with the enemy.
Graphic Novel 2
Ichigo, schoolgirl and parttime working waitress at an eatery slash secret anti-alien HQ base (run by those she answers to during her role as weapon against the alien menace) has so far found two companions for her war. Each carrying a mark of her power, and each now apparently working full time at the same eatery which doubles as secret base for the two guys running the whole alien busting show.
As the story opens they are well on their way to acquiring the next member of the team, if it doesn't kill them first. But even if she joins (and she was a handful to consider BEFORE she got her powers) there is still one more person to find. Part of this story resolves that issue as the fifth member is found.
But the acquisition of the fifth member may have unexpected consequences as this formerly secret alien fighting team becomes public knowledge, and the boy Ichigo is interested in may be close to learning the truth about Ichigo... which might just happen as the book ends in a cliffhanger moment as it looks like he now knows her little secret...
But that's next time. Breakdown time.
Tokyo Mew Mew Breakdown the 1st & 2nd
What's Hot? - I don't know, but somehow I wouldn't have thought the concepts of "eco-tale" and "Magical Girl series" could possibly have been able to merge successfully, and yet it seems to work in some ways.
It's not perfect, but it's a good read nevertheless. I have lots more books to get but hopefully it keeps up the good work as the series goes along.
What's Not? - It's not perfect, and I'm not entirely solid on all this alien difficulties in this book, yet it's still a good title despite the slight confusions here and there.
Then there's the fact that everyone seems to fall into some stereotype of one type or another... main heroine who is abit clutzy and a goof but good hearted, the rich girl who might not be as much of a snob as she seems, the shy girl who is more than she seems, the rowdy tomboy, etc.
If you felt you've seen some of these personalities before (at least the type) you might be right.
But even with that that is no excuse to not at least try the book out.
Give it a try before you knock it, you might like it.
Moments to Remember? - The girls and all their interactions are most memorable... and that's it. Since it is all about them they would be the focus... odd since this is kind of an eco mix tale and yet they don't really do very much of the eco talk in this one (not like Arjuna which went overboard on eco discussions).
What to Ignore? - In fact it seems the whole eco-thread for this series just seems to be an excuse for the magical girl action and relationship difficulties between Ichigo and her boyfriend.
It's there, but it's not a main focus. It's touched on, from time to time, but at times it either seems like a gimmick to further the relationship difficulties between Ichigo and her boyfriend, or as a way to kickstart the Magical Girl action. Not very prominent a thing in this series at all.
As eco titles go? This one is rather weak in comparison to other titles that touched on the topic.
Overall? - As much as the idea of mixing eco with Magical Girl sounds like a rather far-fetched notion it might yet work. It's not Arjuna so it's not going to be a severe title to read, but then again that is probably a good thing with all things considered.
So, if possible, give this title the benefit of the doubt when considering whether or not to go ahead and read it. Who knows, you might find that you like it.
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