Episode 4 – Tokyo Mew Mew New

Mew Zakuro could be a problem. Not because she’s a terrible person or anything like that (and I kind of think she was within her rights to tell Mint that she’s annoying), but because her lifestyle really isn’t conducive to adding in another role. Unlike the rest of the girls, Zakuro’s not just an ordinary student, or even one who moonlights as an entertainer in her down time; she’s a bona fide celebrity with a very full slate already. She sings, she acts, she models…she probably does other things, too, that we just didn’t have the episode space to see. Presumably she also attends high school, so where is she going to find the time to add in “superhero” and “café waitstaff” as well?

You see, this is why you shouldn’t just infuse people with endangered species DNA without asking them first. Had anyone bothered to consult Zakuro about whether or not she’d like to be merged with a wolf and fight aliens as a magical girl, she could have simply said, “No thanks, I don’t have the time or emotional bandwidth,” and been done with it. Or, conversely, she could have rearranged the rest of her life to accommodate her new heroine role, which is very likely something she can do now, but it’ll take a bit more finagling since the whole Mew Zakuro thing has been sprung on her . While the other four girls were fine with their new status (and Mint seems as if she knew about the whole thing beforehand rather than having it sprung on her), Zakuro’s already got a life, and it doesn’t seem like anyone really thought about that before.

There’s definitely an argument to be made that saving the world from evil aliens is more important than starring in a musical, however. And it doesn’t look like Zakuro’s averse to using her powers to fight aliens on her own time, either – she just jumps right in, transforms, and takes care of the problem. Her issue may be more with the whole team thing, and it’s hard to blame her there. As a celebrity, she likely gets all sorts of people fawning over her, so when Mint is clearly falling all over herself Zakuro may be more put off than anything. Bu-Ling also didn’t make the best first impression by crashing the audition, which forced Zakuro up onstage to try to salvage the situation; add that to the way that Mew Pudding and Mew Mint utterly fail to stop Kish and of course Zakuro doesn’t want to join what looks like a highly dysfunctional and annoying group of magical girls. But that doesn’t mean that she won’t fight at all.

As an introduction to Zakuro, this is an interesting episode because it doesn’t actually focus on her all that much. We see a lot more of Mint fangirling over her “queen” (and I’m torn about that as a substitute for “onee-san;” I get what the translators were thinking, but it doesn’t quite work for me) and Bu-Ling being her usual force of nature self than Zakuro. Ichigo’s also just sort of there barring her walking in on Ryo after his bath, but that’s less of an issue since she basically got three episodes all to herself and Lettuce is doing her best as the shy, retiring member of the group. (She nails that rock performance, though!) Perhaps the thinking was that Zakuro is so mysterious to the other girls that seems as otherworldly as Kish, albeit substantially less evil, but it still doesn’t really feel like a proper introduction to her .

This isn’t a bad episode, but it also is one that feels like it was rushed through. We only get one transformation – Zakuro’s – and the plot points come more quickly than in the previous three. There are still some gorgeous moments, like Mew Zakuro’s hair when she lands, and we definitely get a good idea of ​​how restless Bu-Ling is at all times, but it just isn’t quite as solid as it could have been. Hopefully with next week’s at least semi-introspective episode about Mint Tokyo Mew Mew New will have more of a return to form.

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Tokyo Mew Mew New is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

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