Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tōkyō Myū Myū [mew mew power]

Tokyo Mew Mew (東京ミュウミュウ Tōkyō Myū Myū?), also known as Mew Mew Power, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from September 2000 to February 2003, and later published in seven tankōbon volumes byKodansha from February 2001 to April 2003. It focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of rare animals that gives them special powers and allows them to transform into "Mew Mews". Led by Ichigo Momomiya, the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to "reclaim" it.

The series was adapted into a 52 episode anime series by Studio Pierrot and Nippon Animation. It debuted in Japan on April 6, 2002, on both TV Aichi andTV Tokyo; the final episode aired on March 29, 2003. A two-volume sequel to the manga, Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode, was serialized in Nakayoshi from April 2003 to February 2004. The sequel introduces a new Mew Mew, Berry Shirayuki, who becomes the temporary leader of the Mew Mews while Ichigo is on a trip to England. Two video games were also created for the series: a puzzle adventure game for the Game Boy Advance system and a role-playing game for the PlayStation.

Tokyopop originally licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America and released the complete original series as well as the sequel, with Kodansha Comics USA planning to re-publish the series with a new translation in September 2011. 4Kids Entertainment licensed the anime series for North American broadcast. Heavily edited and dubbed, 23 episodes of Mew Mew Power aired on the 4Kids TV channel in the United States and 26 episodes aired on YTV in Canada. 4Kids Entertainment was unable to license the remaining 26 episodes of the series, thus were unable to complete its broadcast. They have not released the series to home video.

Well received by English-language readers, several volumes of the manga series appeared in the Top 50 sales lists for graphic novels in their months of release. Critics praised the manga as a cute and entertaining series with free-flowing style and character designs. A la mode received praise as a good continuation of the series, but was also criticized for offering nothing new. The anime adaptation received high ratings while airing in Japan, resulting in numerous marketing tie-ins. Despite criticism for extensive editing that removed most of the Japanese elements, the Mew Mew Power dub became the highest rated 4Kids show during its broadcast. It was licensed for regional release in several other countries instead of the original Japanese series.


At the start of the series, a young girl named Ichigo Momomiya attends an endangered species exhibit with her 'crush' and future boyfriend, Masaya Aoyama. After an earthquake, Ichigo and four other girls are bathed in a strange light. A cat appears before Ichigo, then merges with her. The next day she begins acting like a cat and, after meeting Ryou Shirogane and Keiichiro Akasaka, learns that she was infused with the DNA of the Iriomote Cat. Ryou and Keiichiro explain that this allows her to transform into Mew Ichigo, a powerful heroic cat girl. She is ordered to defeat chimera animals—alien parasites—which infect animals and turn them into monsters. Ryou and Keiichiro instruct Ichigo to find the four other girls from the exhibit—the remaining Mew Mews. They are Mint Aizawa, a spoiled, wealthy girl who is infused with the genes of the Ultramarine Lorikeet; Lettuce Midorikawa, a meek but smart girl who endures constant bullying and absorbs the genes of the Finless Porpoise; young Pudding Fong, who receives the genes of the Golden Lion Tamarin; andZakuro Fujiwara, a professional

model infused with the genes of the Gray Wolf.[n 1]

The five Mew Mews battle the kirema animas and their alien controllers, Kish, Pie and Tart. Kish falls in love with Ichigo; he tries to gain her love despite the fact that he is trying to eliminate the other Mew Mews. Two more aliens, Pie and Tart, later join Kish in trying to destroy the Mew Mews.

As the fighting intensifies, the Mew Mews are tasked with finding "mew aqua," a material created from pure water that contains immense power for combating the alien attacks. During a battle with Kish at an aquarium, Ichigo is in danger of losing when the mysterious Blue Knight appears and rescues her. He returns periodically throughout the series, protecting Ichigo from various dangers; it is later revealed that the Blue Knight is in fact Masaya. Shortly after this discovery, Masaya collapses and transforms again, into Deep Blue—the alien leader who wants to destroy humanity. After explaining to Ichigo that Masaya was a false form for temporary use, Deep Blue attacks the Mew Mews. Masaya's personality briefly reappears and he uses a nearby mew aqua drop to destroy Deep Blue, killing himself in the process. Crying over his body, Ichigo pours her power into Masaya to save his life, losing her own in the process. Masaya kisses her, changing her back to a human, and revives her. Ryou gives Pie the remaining mew aqua to save the aliens' world, after which Kish, Pie and Tart say their goodbyes and return to their own world.


Written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi, Tokyo Mew Mew was first serialized in

Nakayoshi magazine between September 2000 and February 2003. The twenty-nine chapters were then compiled into seven tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The first volume was released on February 1, 2001, with the final volume released April 4, 2003.[7][8] In April 2003, a sequel called Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode premiered in Nakayoshi. Running until February 2004 and written solely by Mia Ikumi, the sequel was published as two volumes.[7][8]

Tokyo Mew Mew and Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode are licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop. The first volume of the main series was released on April 8, 2003, with volumes released every other month until the seventh volume was published on May 11, 2004.[9][10] The two volumes of Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode were published the following year, with the first volume released on June 7, 2005, and the second on December 8, 2006.[11][12] Unlike the Japanese releases, each Tokyopop chapter is named.[13][14] The main series is licensed for an English language release in Singapore by Chuang Yi.[15] Carlsen Comics has licensed the series, through its regional divisions, and released the series in German, Danish and Swedish.[16] The series is also licensed for regional language releases in French by Pika Édition, in Polish by Japonica Polonica Fantastica, and in Finnish by Sangatsu Manga.[17][18][19] Tokyo Mew Mew was one of the first manga series released in Spanish in North America by Public Square Books.[20] Kodansha Comics USA will release an omnibus version of the series, featuring new translation in September 2011.[21]


Studio Pierrot adapted Tokyo Mew Mew into a fifty-two episode anime series, directed by Noriyuki Abe. Broadcast on both TV Aichi and TV Tokyo, the series premiered on April 6, 2002, and aired weekly until its conclusion on March 29, 2003.[22][23] Most of the music for the series was produced by Shin Yoshimura and composed by Takayuki Negishi. Two pieces of theme music were also used for the anime series. "My Sweet Heart", performed by Rika Komatsu, was the series opening theme. The ending theme "Koi wa A La Mode" is performed by the five voice actors who play the Mew Mews. In Japan, the series was released across nine Region 2 DVD volumes. The ninth volume included a bonus DVD containing extra content.[24][25]

Tokyo Mew Mew was later licensed for an English-language dubbed release by 4Kids Entertainment. In its announcement about the series, 4Kids noted that the show would be renamed to Hollywood Mew Mew and that they would be heavily editing and localizing episodes so that viewers would not recognize its Japanese origins.[26] Subsequent 4Kids press releases about the series referred to the new series as The Mew Mews and its original name Tokyo Mew Mew.[27] When the series premiered on Fox Kids on February 19, 2005, it aired under the name Mew Mew Power. Characters and episodes were renamed, scenes were cut and story lines were modified. The music was replaced with a new score and the opening theme was replaced with the song "Team Up", performed by Bree Sharp.[28] Twenty-three episodes of Mew Mew Power aired on 4Kids Entertainment in the United States; because 4Kids was unable to get a merchandising deal for the series, the show was canceled.[29] The 4Kids episodes aired on YTV in Canada and on the Pop Girl satellite television channel in the United Kingdom; these included three dubbed episodes never broadcast in the United States.[30][31]

Although Mew Mew Power has not been released to home video in North America, ten of the 4Kids episodes have been released to Region 4 DVD in Australia and New Zealand by Magna Pacific[32][33]and all twenty-six 4Kids episodes were released to Region 2 DVD in South Africa.[34] Mew Mew Power was licensed for regional airing in French by Arès Films, which released nine dubbed 4Kids episodes to DVD in February 2006 as a single volume through Warner Home Vidéo France.[35] The company also licensed the remaining twenty-six episodes of the series that 4Kids had not obtained, releasing them in two DVD box sets through AK Vidéo.[36][37]


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