The Tokyo Mew Mew anime series, which is based on the manga created by Reiko Yoshida and Mia Ikumi, may not be as well-known as other iconic magical girl shows like Sailor Moon, but it's still well worth watching. Even though it doesn't exactly follow the manga, the original anime from 2003 is adored.
The magical series created by Yoshida and Ikumi is original and distinct, but there are some elements that the anime provides that the manga does not. Here is how the anime adaptation of the popular manga Tokyo Mew Mew is unique.
The Tokyo Mew Mew Anime illustrates the Friendship of the Team
Ikumi and Yoshida did an excellent job of creating a wonderful and memorable story full of fantastic characters and visually appealing (and "girly") artwork. The story of Ichigo Momomiya and the rest of her Mew Mew teammates, on the other hand, falls short due to one aspect, or lack thereof: the girls' friendship does not appear to be very close. Although there are a few instances throughout the manga series where the girls can be seen getting along or hanging out as a group, the manga occasionally lacks what most magical girl series is known for: the power of friendship.
In contrast to the original manga, one of the themes that the anime nails is the power of friendship. The show delves into the team's friendship on a much deeper and more meaningful level than the manga series, particularly the relationship between Ichigo and her snobbish, wealthy teammate Minto. Ichigo and Minto, for example, fight constantly throughout the series, often making petty jabs at one another or judging the other for poor decisions. Nonetheless, the two become good friends and grow to care deeply for one another.
The Tokyo Mew Mew Anime Successfully Develops Zakuro's Character
The anime also provides the girls with more character development than the manga, particularly in the case of Zakuro. For example, she flatly refuses to join the Mew Mews, stating that she would rather work alone. This scene appears in both the original anime and manga; it's not much different in the anime until the girls are attacked during their "audition." Zakuro joins the team after about two chapters, and it takes a little longer in the anime.
In contrast, the anime gives more background information about Zakuro and Pudding’s family life and their dynamics with their parents. The viewer learns that Pudding has five younger siblings and that her mom died when she was young. Zakuro has a poor relationship with her parents because they worked a lot, so she often spent time at home alone, leading her to become very independent. Zakuro’s introduction and overall character are therefore much more interesting in the anime series, spending more time displaying Zakuro’s calm and cool attitude and allowing the viewer to understand why she was given the DNA of a gray wolf over any other animal.
The Manga Is More Concerned with the Strength of Romantic Love
Another recurring theme in the Tokyo Mew Mew series is the strength of love. This is not shocking considering that it is a shojo manga about a young girl who is given powers she doesn't want and who has a serious crush on a boy in her grade. Even so, Tokyo Mew Mew has a much deeper plot, especially in the original anime series, despite its emphasis on romance and love. While some fans might disagree, claiming that the Tokyo Mew Mew anime has too many episodes that don't advance the plot or do anything to further the character development, there are some fantastic additions and changes to be found here.
For example, in Episode 21, Minto leaves the team because she is afraid she will be severely injured during a fight with a Chimera Anima. Later, Zakuro confronts and fights Minto in an attempt to get her to admit what she's afraid of and why she left the team. Zakuro's plan works, and Minto expresses her concerns. The girls are then attacked by five of Quiche's parasites, and Zakuro throws Minto's power pendant at her, telling her to transform.
This is an excellent example of the girls' close friendship, which is expertly depicted in the anime. Their closeness as teammates is an effective and great idea for the anime, making some fans wish that the team's relationships were explored more in the manga series. The Tokyo Mew Mew manga also had some pacing issues and should have spent more time developing the other girls besides the main protagonist, Ichigo. According to some fans, the original anime adaptation of the series outperforms the manga in terms of pacing and character development.
There is a good reason why the Tokyo Mew Mew manga is so dear to many fans. A fantastic story with gorgeous illustrations and engaging characters was written by Yoshida and Ikumi. The original anime helps to make up for the manga's drawbacks by giving fans more fantastic series content, despite the manga's flaws.