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Manga / Tokyo Mew Mew

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Let me serve the future of the Earth, nya!

The series that brought the five-girl team of Magical Girls into the 2000s, Tokyo Mew Mew started as a Nakayoshi artist's desire to do a series with a Cat Girl, and ended up as a sweet tale of choosing the right guy, protecting the environment, and throwing some sparkly Stock Footage around to solve the world's problems.

Ichigo Momomiya's only care in the world is getting kendo idol Masaya Aoyama to notice her. Since he's interested in environmental protection, she invites him on a date to an exhibition about "Red Data Animals", a list of endangered species.

Little does she know that she is one of five Tokyo schoolgirls "chosen" by the Earth, possessed of a unique DNA pattern allowing her to host the genes of the Irimote Mountain Cat, one of the Red Data Animals. As part of the secret "Mew Project", she is shot by an injection gun from a mysterious cat statue atop a cute cafe.

Now the DNA of the wildcat is running through her, and she's picked up some very odd abilities, such as excessive sleepiness and landing perfectly on her feet. Not only that, but she can use a Transformation Trinket to transform into a magical catgirl and defeat the parasitic aliens that are transforming normal animals into monstrous Chimera Anima.

Recruited by the masterminds behind the Mew Project, Ichigo ends up working at the cafe as a waitress by day and alien-hunting catgirl by night, with the promise that she will return to normal when the threat has passed. What's more, there are four other subjects of the Mew Project to find, and a sinister extraterrestrial plot to thwart.

There is also a manga-only Immediate Sequel written by the head illustrator after the head writer left. Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode introduces newcomer Berry Shirayuki/Mew Berry to the team, who leads in place of Ichigo for the arc.

The manga was written by Reiko Yoshida (who's mainly known for her writing for numerous anime) and illustrated by Mia Ikumi (who later took over as writer); it was originally published in Nakayoshi from 2000 to 2003, and was licensed in the United States by Tokyopop. The manga was eventually adapted into an anime in 2002 by Studio Pierrot, directed by Noriyuki Abe (who also directed YuYu Hakusho for Pierrot, and would later go on to helm Bleach). The anime was licensed in America by 4Kids Entertainment, who retitled it Mew Mew Power. Only the first half of the series was dubbed and broadcast before it was dropped, due to 4Kids being unsuccessful in getting a merchandise deal; they also heavily edited it so the series could pass the broadcast television censors,note  though compared to most 4Kids dubs it's considered So Okay, It's Average nowadays. Rumors flew around that the show would be re-licensed like One Piece was, but the licence has remained in limbo ever since. Tokyopop also lost the license to the manga, but fortunately it was rescued by Kodansha USA, who re-released it in omnibus form (along with à la Mode).

For the franchise's 20th anniversary in 2020, a spin-off was released featuring five entirely new characters—and surprisingly, all of them are Magical Boys. Tokyo Mew Mew Olé!note  is one of the few series not to be written or drawn by Yoshida and Ikumi, instead being drawn by Madoka Seizuki. However, Yoshida and Ikumi did have a hand in Tokyo Mew Mew 2020 Re-Turn, a two-part story that also ran in Nakayoshi for the anniversary.

A new anime, titled Tokyo Mew Mew New, was also announced in 2020. Animated by Graphinica and Yumeta Company, it premiered on July 5th, 2022, twenty years after the original anime. Sentai Filmworks currently has the rights to stream "New" on their HiDive service with a home video release coming soon.

Ikumi Mia loves puns, and Tokyopop's translators are not purists. These factors together create a lot of confusion as to what things are called. Regarding names in the original version:

  • The Japanese characters have Japanese names, sometimes based on English loanwords. ex. Minto instead of Mint.
  • The Chinese character Bu-ling has a Chinese name based on a Japanese version (purin) of an English loanword (pudding).
  • Berry's name, like most foreign words, is written in katakana and should be spelled as Berry, not Berii. This is likely due to being part French.
  • The alien characters have English food names. Tokyopop mistranslated Gateau du Roi and Quiche as Gato du Rowa and Kish; they are not supposed to be a Spanish cat and some dude from The Bible.
  • The Mew names for those characters named for English words have the actual English word. ex. Mew Mint instead of Mew Minto.
  • Whatever is written as "myuu" may be either "mew" (as in, a cat sound), "mu" (as in, the Greek letter used by geneticists) or both. "Tokyo Mew Mew" and "Mu Project" have been vindicated by on-screen text (though Tokyopop called the latter the Mew Project) but nobody's quite sure whether the MacGuffin in the second half of the series is Mew Aqua or Mu Aqua.

This program provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Minto in episode 21, as a result of being discouraged over the chances the Mew Mews have of saving Earth (although the 4kids dub indicates that she's angry over Ichigo's attitude towards work).
  • Accidental Athlete: Episode 5 has Ichigo get drafted onto her school's gymnastics team because they saw her cat reflexes.
  • Accidental Kiss:
    • In the first manga chapter, Ichigo accidentally has her First Kiss with Aoyama when she trips and falls on top of him.
    • When Alto first appears in the manga, he crashes into Ichigo lips first. This is how she figures out she needs to be kissed to turn back to human.
  • Accidentally Broke the MacGuffin: The MacGuffin, Mu Aqua, is supposedly broken on multiple occasions in the anime. Subverted, as Mu Aqua does not break, and the Mu Aqua they thought they broke is not real.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The manga version ends with Ichigo and Masaya getting together by celebrating a fake wedding, with a brief Sequel Hook with Berry (the main character in the sequel manga, Tokyo Mew Mew - à la mode) passing by the Mew Mew Café only to discover it's closed. The anime instead ends on a Here We Go Again! with the main characters going to fight an undescribed new menace.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: Minto, Retasu, Bu-ling and Zakuro appear in the beginning of the manga before passing through the Debut Queue, but are removed from the beginning of the anime.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the manga, everyone has the same hair and eye colours all the time (except near the end, where a red-haired Ichigo is put on the cover of one of the manga volumes). The anime changes this to give civilian Ichigo red hair and brown eyes, civilian Minto midnight blue hair and brown eyes, etc. Their transformed hair and eye colours are also brighter instead of pastel shades.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the anime, the other Mews were given more expansive backstories and had more focus - Minto was given an Aloof Big Brother, Retasu falls for Ryou and subsequently gets Ship Teased with Pie, Bu-ling's mother is dead and her father is away in China (which was only hinted at in the manga), and Zakuro is hinted to have lost someone very dear to her in the past - however, that's never elaborated on except for a quick flashback.
  • Adventure Rebuff: In Bu-ling's introduction, she continuously bothers Ichigo to learn how she too can become a Mew Mew only to be sent on snipe hunts or flat-out told to go away. This only stops when Ichigo learns that Bu-ling already is one.
  • Alien Invasion: The Mew Mews' enemies are three Human Aliens that plan to Kill All Humans and take over Earth for themselves. It's Played With as it's revealed the aliens are descended from a race that originally lived on Earth millions of years ago, but an apocalyptic disaster forced them to evacuate to another planet that had a poor environment and now they want to reclaim Earth to save their race from dying.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The aliens all speak fluent Japanese, but it is unknown if they learnt it or it's the language they use normally. Even more confusing when their Inner Monologue is in Japanese.
  • All Your Colors Combined: Ribbon Strawberry Surprise lights up all of Tokyo.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The 4Kids dub has a pop song called "Team Up!" for its theme.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the last episode of the anime, the Mew Mews defeat the Big Bad and the aliens leave Earth peacefully. Just when they think they can go back to being normal girls, they discover their powers are back and Ryou informs them there's a new enemy to fight. The girls easily accept to be superheroines once again and set off on their next adventure.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Mew Mint tearfully yells out her love for Mew Zakuro, mid-battle, in the episode 43 where it looks like the latter is defecting.
  • Animal Stereotypes: This was even lampshaded in manga extras, as well as one scene where the Mew Mews talk about their similarities and dissimilarities with their Red DNA animals.
  • Animorphism: As Ichigo's cat genes integrate further with her body, she's able to turn into a cat. Not at will, mind, and there's no real upside to it.
  • Anti-Villain: The alien antagonists are upset about humans polluting and want to reclaim their homeland, Earth. Unfortunately, their plans involve killing people to do so. In the anime, Deep Blue just wants the planet for himself, though.
  • Arranged Marriage: In Episode 33, Bu-ling loses a duel to a young man named Long Yuebin, one of her father's students, and finds out her father dictated that she would have to marry Yuebin if the latter won against her. Needless to say, Bu-ling is very angry about her deadbeat father making such an agreement without even telling her beforehand and the big age gap with her new fiancé makes the whole engagement deal super uncomfortable for Bu-ling.
  • Art Evolution: The Re-Turn two-chapter manga special, released in 2020, shows Mia Ikumi's artstyle changed significantly since the end of Tokyo Mew Mew à la Mode in 2004. The characters' faces are rounder and their eyes, and the hairstyles are more detailed as well.
  • Art Shift: Later episodes make the characters aged 14 and up look more noticeably older, and colours get deeper and shinier.
  • Back from the Dead: The entire cast, plus the rest of the city, in the finale. Mu Aqua is powerful stuff.
  • Baku: Episode 39's Monster of the Week looks like a humanoid tapir, making it resemble the Baku youkai. It has the power to put Ichigo to sleep and trap the other Mew Mews inside Ichigo's dream.
  • Ballet Episode: Minto is established early on to be a classically-trained ballerina, but episode 9 of the anime deserves a special mention as it centers on one of her performances, with the other important plot point of the episode being a visit from her older brother. Even the Monster of the Week has a ballet thematic to it.
  • Battle Couple: Ichigo and Aoyama have a few scenes where they fight together after he's revealed to be the Blue Knight.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 19 of the anime has the cast all go to the beach and focuses on Retasu getting over her fear of the ocean.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Even though Seiji acted like an Aloof Big Brother to Minto, he was more than willing place himself in between his sister and a chira anima.
  • Big Fancy House: Minto's got a mansion that leaves Ichigo in stunned awe and makes Bu-ling want to climb the walls.
  • Big "NO!": Ichigo, after Aoyama dies.
  • Breast Plate: Zakuro's tube top and booty shorts... and many of the men's costumes, too.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • The Blue Knight is fond of carrying Ichigo in his arms.
    • In Episode 40, Tart pulls a Villainous Rescue for Bu-ling and carries her in his arms while she's unconscious.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Mew Mew (food), Metamorphose! And before Yes! Pretty Cure 5 used it, too.
  • Cactus Person: At the start of episode 33, Tart attacks the Mew Mews with a giant humanoid cactus Chimera Anima wearing a Mexican hat.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Ribbon (food) (verb)! (Save for Puringring Inferno, which lacks the "Ribbon", though it's got it in the anime.)
  • Canon Immigrant: Not characters, but the transformation phrases and revised weapon designs came into the manga from the anime.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Every named male character between the ages of 13 and 25 is either given the sparkle-and-rose treatment or portrayed as dangerously pretty.
  • Cat Girl: Mew Ichigo. She has the DNA of the Iriomote Wild Cat. Whenever she gets excited, her ears and tail will sprout. Also, if she's ever kissed, she will turn into a small black cat.
  • Childish Pillow Fight: The girls have a sleepover at Minto's house and end up having a pillow fight. One of the pillows rip and stuffing (feather?) rain ensues.
  • The Chosen Many: Although the injections are initially presented as an "accident", it becomes clear that the girls were singled out after a search because they were the planet's chosen protectors.
  • Christmas Episode: Episodes 37-38 take place during Christmas season, featuring all the usual trappings — snow, giant Christmas trees, squealing over date plans, and someone almost dying only to be saved by a Christmas miracle.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Ichigo (pink) is introduced first, then Minto (blue), Retasu (green), and finally everybody else.
  • Clark Kenting: The Mew Mews only change outfits, hair/eye colors and get a Little Bit Beastly when transformed, yet no one in their everyday lives recognizes them as the superheroines who show up in the news. It's somewhat downplayed by the fact that the enemy aliens do know who the Mew Mews really are. Therefore, the Secret Identity is mostly to keep their normal lives going rather than protection from the villains.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Ribbon Strawberry Surprise.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: In episode 38, Ichigo speaks to a comatose Aoyama at the hospital and finally admits she's a Mew Mew. Just as she's about to leave, Aoyama wakes up... and tells her he heard everything and already knew her secret anyway.
  • Cool Starship: In the manga, the aliens' Supervillain Lair is a spaceship shaped like a mix of a stingray/scorpion.
  • Costume Exaggeration: The ending of the manga requires a wedding dress anyway... but why a short, frilly, lace-and-ribbon-covered, giant-strawberry-adorned number, especially when supposedly thrown together in a short amount of time? Simply because it's cute.
  • Creator Provincialism: Especially prevalent when we learn that the Mu Aqua only exists in the waters of Japan. Attack something else and they can't fix it!
  • Cruise Episode: Volume 3 of the manga includes a chapter where Ryou brings the Mew Mews to a party in his private yacht.
  • Curtains Match the Window: All five Mew Mews when transformed (in the anime) or all the time (in the manga).
  • Cute Little Fangs:
    • Mew Ichigo gets feline fangs at times, being a Cat Girl and all.
    • The aliens have long fangs which look oddly cute in Quiche and Tart.
  • Dance Battler: A chimera anima in one filler uses a ballet-based fighting style. Naturally, it was one of Minto's focus episodes.
  • Dancing Theme: The ending theme has Super-Deformed versions of cat Ichigo, Alto and Francois dancing.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Retasu begins as more of a Chaotic Neutral Magical Girl; motivated by loneliness and fear, the same emotions as the classic DMG, she strikes out at anyone who might learn or expose her secret and hates herself for it. In the 4Kids dub, Renee (Zakuro) pretends she's a Dark Magical Girl and siding with the aliens only to turn on them, though this doesn't make sense upon examination.
  • Dating Catwoman: Bu-ling and Tart develop feelings for each other, even though they're one of the heroes and one of the villains respectively.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every major character gets a handful of spotlight episodes in the anime. They get less in the manga, but the Mews except for Zakuro get at least one focus chapter each.
  • Deadly Ringer: Along with two teammates who use castanets and tambourines, Mew Ichigo has a pink heart-shaped bell as her weapon, though it's used for healing rather than combat.
  • Debut Queue: Episodes 1-12 of the anime consist only of character introductions and filler.
  • Die or Fly: Die or swim, actually, when Retasu needs to get over her fear of the ocean. She jumps into the sea to save a child (in the manga) or Ryou (in the anime) and discovers her ability to turn into a mermaid.
  • Disappeared Dad: Bu-ling's father is training in the mountains.
  • Disney Death: In the finale, Tart, Quiche, Pie, Aoyama and Ichigo, as well as all of the Mews in the manga. Deep Blue is Killed Off for Real, though.
  • Dream Weaver: The Chimera Anima of episode 39 has the power to control dreams and traps most of the Mew team inside Ichigo's dreams, leaving them powerless until Ichigo wakes up because of Quiche's intervention.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Episode 38's aforementioned snow.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The honourific switch, left out of both English translations.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • All the main characters had their names changed in the 4Kids dub. Other dubs like the Italian one and the Korean one also came up with their own names.
    • The 4Kids dub also changed the names of Ichigo/Zoey's and Retasu/Bridget's schools from Daikan Junior High School and Okumura Junior High School to Mountain Valley High and Excalibur High respectively.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma:
    • At the end of episode 27, Ichigo tries kissing Aoyama while he's passed out, which causes her first transformation into a cat. In the next episode, while still a cat, Ichigo once again tries to kiss a sleeping Aoyama who brought the cat Ichigo to his bed without knowing her true identity. This time, Aoyama's dog intervenes and Ichigo kisses him instead.
    • In the finale, Ichigo and Aoyama share unconscious-party kisses in succession. Aoyama is about to die after his evil self Deep Blue is defeated, but Ichigo kisses the unconscious Aoyama to transfer her lifeforce to him. Aoyama revives and kisses the lifeless Ichigo, which causes her to also be revived.
    • In the Re-Turn manga special, Ichigo falls into a river and almost drowns. Aoyama dives into the water and kisses the unconscious Ichigo to give her some air.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: In episode five, Ichigo loses a gymnastics competition but saves everyone there.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Mew Mews forgive their enemies after the Big Bad is killed, despite the aliens' repeated attempts to kill them all and purge the planet of humanity. This is especially the case for Bu-ling, who constantly seeks to befriend Tart despite all the prior murder attempts just because he saves her once. The Re-Turn manga sequel takes it even further by having Shirogane and Akasaka hiring their former mortal enemies as waiters at their café.
  • Embarrassing Animal Suit: In the Christmas Episode, Akasaka makes reindeer costumes for the Mew Mews to wear at the café for the season. Bu-ling is excited to wear the costume, but the other girls only put them on in an attempt to cheer up Ichigo. Minto in particular would rather die than being seen in such a ridiculous costume.
  • Ending Theme: With dancing cats! As a bonus, it takes a while for the dancing cats' significance to be revealed. One is Ichigo's full cat form, another is Shirogane's cat form, and the big one is François.
  • Evil Knockoff: In episode 39, Pie and Tart capture Ichigo and make the Monster of the Week take her appearance to lure the rest of the Mew team into a trap.
  • Expressive Hair: Retasu's braids and Ichigo's pigtails sometimes stick up when they're surprised or scared.
  • Fangirl: Ichigo towards love interest Masaya and Minto towards long-time idol Zakuro.
  • Fangs Are Evil: The aliens have very long fangs. It's unknown if it's a natural trait of their race or only they have them because they're the villains.
  • Faux Paw: Ichigo bats and licks when she first becomes a Mew.
  • Filler: A lot of episodes are all about the focus hero's dilemma related to the guest star of the week, and it's remembered for five minutes near the end that there are supposed to be aliens invading or something.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: Aoyama, after coming back to life.
  • First-Name Basis: Beginning in episode 13, but only on Aoyama's part. Ichigo fantasizes about him insisting that he call her "Masaya," but keeps calling him "Aoyama-kun" to the end of the series. In a filler episode, Retasu knows that the boy she's interested in is in a relationship because he's on a First-Name Basis with the librarian.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Okay, this is a magical girl series and therefore Heart Is an Awesome Power. Still, there are some pretty cool powers — laser whips, flight, making boulders rise from the ground — alongside some only sometimes useful ones, like turning your legs into a fish tail, or outright sucky ones like turning into a helpless kitten.
  • Flower Motifs: The first chapter of the manga gives every girl a different flower background.
  • Forceful Kiss: Quiche's introduction is to jump from a roof and crash a kiss to Ichigo, much to her disgust.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Ichigo does this to Retasu after Retasu causes problems unintentionally with her new-found powers.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: In the Cruise Episode of the manga, Mew Lettuce turns into a mermaid to save a child from drowning and jumps from the sea while creating a silhouette against the full moon in the background.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The reason that the Mew Mews were born.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The premise of the series, based very, very loosely on actual science.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Mew Mint slaps Mew Ichigo in episode 50 to get her out of her Heroic BSoD.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Ichigo attempts to speak English in a filler episode, and it's... not great. "I am a Ichigo!"
    • Also ... this scene from episode 10, featuring Zakuro's "amazing" English skills. Not helped by Ichigo gushing over how good Zakuro's English is.
      • To be fair, for someone who doesn't speak English at all, that Zakuro can communicate at all must sound pretty impressive.
  • Green Aesop: In the end, the heroes stop searching for any more of the rare MacGuffin that would instantly purify everything because the root of the problem is things needed to be purified in the first place.
  • Henshin Hero: Transforming magical girls, clearly.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ichigo can't even bring herself to fight when the genre's requisite Brainwashed Boyfriend Finale starts up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Everywhere in the anime series finale. They're all brought back to life in the end.
    • Tart tries to cover Ichigo by fighting Pai. He was killed shortly after.
    • Pai counters a dangerous explosion in an attempt to protect the remaining Mews.
    • Aoyama releases the Mew Aqua inside him to resurrect everyone who was killed during the fight.
    • Ichigo gives up her life in order to save Aoyama.
  • Heroic Willpower: In the anime, where the girls have more emotion-driven side abilities, Mew Mint can withstand strong winds by feeling either this or just really sad.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 8 is about Ichigo, Minto, Retasu and Bu-ling going to the hot springs because Retasu won a vacation trip to a resort. It's not until they arrive that they find out the resort hasn't even been built yet and the girls end up bathing at natural hot springs instead.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The characters' names, attacks, appearances... Everything is a pun.
  • I Have Your Wife: Pie and Tart threaten to have the Monster of the Week kill Ichigo if Aoyama/The Blue Knight retaliates or avoids their attacks in Episode 47.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Ichigo to Masaya as he's trapped inside Deep Blue.
  • Identically Named Group: The 4Kids dub has the "Three Beckys" who bullied Bridget/Lettuce — notable as they were unnamed in the original Japanese.
  • Improvised Weapon: In episode 7 Mew Ichigo throws Bu-ling's balancing ball at Quiche to keep him from taking Bu-ling's spirit.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: At the very end, Quiche finally gives up the whole stalking thing and lets Ichigo be with who she wants.
  • Identical Stranger: Masaya has two: one in a filler, one in the PlayStation game.
  • Image Song: The five girls each get some, as does Ringo from the aforementioned game.
  • In a Single Bound: In episode 6, Ichigo narrowly avoids being hit by a truck by jumping high enough to dodge it.
  • Instrument of Murder: The anime designs of the Mews' weapons make them look like musical instruments. The manga would adopt the anime's weapon designs for later installments.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Chikyuu no mirai ni gohoushi suru ~nya!note 
  • Intimate Marks: The five girls all have small marks on their bodies showing their connection to the animal they represent. While Buling has hers on her forehead, Zakuro around her belly button, and Minto on her back, the other two have them in very intimate places. Ichigo's is on her inner right thigh—which she's very embarrassed by when Ryou lifts her skirt to show her, and Retasu's is on her upper chest.
  • Joshikousei: Ichigo and Retasu wear Sailor Fuku.
  • Jumped at the Call: Bu-ling was extremely excited to become a magical girl and wouldn't stop pestering Ichigo until she became one, while Ichigo attempted to ward her off to no avail. Meanwhile, even though Minto acts like she's put out by the whole thing, the extras in the manga volumes infer that she's secretly thrilled.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Bu-ling is the little kid of the Mew team who is around to be energy personified and do circus performances.
  • Knight of Cerebus: By the time Deep Blue finally steps out of the shadows, things start taking a turn for the dark and dramatic for the Mew Mews.
  • Last Episode, New Character: The final anime episode ends with the mention of an unnamed "new enemy". On the other hand, the manga ends with the introduction of Berry who says she'll visit Café Mew Mew later.
  • Late for School: Ichigo is always running late. Be it for school, dates, and work...
  • Library Episode: Episode 16 is Lettuce's First Love story in which she develops a crush on an older guy she keeps meeting at a library, but the guy gets engaged to the Hot Librarian.
  • Little Bit Beastly: All the Mew Mews gain traits of their animals, such as animal ears and tails, when transformed.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Half the cast is involved in one. Masaya and Ichigo are in love, but Quiche and Ryou, the Mysterious Protector The Blue Knight revealed to be Masaya, and even the fat cat 'Francois' are in love with Ichigo, while Masaya has a squad of fangirls. Retasu has a crush on Ryou, and Pie probably has a crush on her.
  • Love-Obstructing Parents: Ichigo's father disapproves of Aoyama at first and challenges him to a kendo match. Ichigo intervenes, and convinces him to accept Aoyama.
  • Love Triangle: Ichigo and Aoyama are in love with each other, but they have to deal with Quiche trying to get between them and take Ichigo for himself.
  • Luminescent Blush: Ichigo does this Once an Episode or more whenever a boy (any boy) flirts with her or Masaya does anything whatsoever.
  • MacGuffin: Halfway through the series, the girls start searching to collect Mew Aqua and use them when the aliens attack with particularly dangerous pollutants.
  • Made of Diamond: A turtle chimera’s carapace in Episode 24 - literally.
  • Magic Kiss: Ichigo can fully transform into a cat and back to human when she's kissed in the lips.
  • Magical Girl: Of the Magical Girl Warrior subtype, where the main characters transform into cute dresses and use Magic from Technology to fight monsters.
  • Magic from Technology: The Mew Mews get their magical superpowers through genetic engineering.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Tart's plant chimera anima swallows Masha in a filler episode.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • Korea: Berry Berry Mew Mew
    • Italy: Mew Mew Amiche Vincenti
    • 4Kids: Mew Mew Power
  • Meaningful Name: All the main characters' surnames have their theme colours in them. So why is the "ai" in "Aizawa Minto" "dark blue", while "blue" is the "ao" in "Aoyama Masaya"? Well, there's a reason for that, too.
  • Meido: Minto has her own personal maid squadron, although none of them are fetishy.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade:
    • Ichigo gets a weapon upgrade that powers up her Ribbon Strawberry attack. In the manga, she gets an upgrade from borrowing her teammates' powers, but in the anime, Shirogane gives her an item to add to her weapon.
    • In the manga, Mew Aqua is a temporary variety, as it allows a user to turn Masha into a weapon and purify a large-scale area. However, it's one-use-only, so they have to go find one every time they need one.
  • Missing Mom: Bu-ling's mom is dead. Before the series starts, this escalates to Parental Abandonment.
  • Mission Control: Ryou and Keiichirou, who run the project and their home base and will often track down a Mew Aqua or find a chimera anima attack and tell the girls where to go find it.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: In the spinoff manga Petite Mew Mew (a kindergarten version of High School AU), all the girls show characteristics of their infused animal DNA — in Retasu's case, her lower half is a porpoise tail. She is always shown partially submerged in a body of water, such as a wading pool or a giant fishbowl.
  • Monster of the Week: The girls fight a different Chimera Anima every episode.
  • Motive Decay: In the original version, the aliens wanted to reclaim Earth as their homeland and wipe out humanity due to their heavy pollution of the planet. In the 4Kids dub, their motive is changed to them being jealous of humanity and wanting to find a new planet after having destroyed their own and retreating to a worse planet, with the Cyniclons having never lived on Earth.
  • Moving-Away Ending: In the manga ending, Aoyama is about to move to England for the sake of his studies. Before he leaves, the Café Mew Mew prepares a fake wedding for him and Ichigo.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: A lot: Ichigo is a glutton who accepts the call only when Shirogane offers her free samples of his cafe's sweets; Aoyama is such a sloth that, unless Ichigo is involved, he never does what he wants because it's easier to just smile; Zakuro's full of wrath and reacts with violence (physical and psychological) to any problem and her mere eyes are enough to scare the cafe's customers; Minto is a textbook example of Pride, treating everyone but Zakuro and Shirogane with disdain; Shirogane is so greedy he asked for money to help Ichigo with her homework and never paid the ticket of the Tokyo Dome.
  • Muggle and Magical Love Triangle: Ichigo's two main suitors are her school's Kendo Team Captain Aoyama and the flying Human Alien Quiche. It's subverted with the revelation that Aoyama is in fact the Blue Knight and Deep Blue's vessel, making him even more magical than Quiche.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Aoyama gets his life threatened by Quiche in the latter's multiple attempts to take Ichigo from the former.
  • Musical Assassin: In Episode 6, the Chimera Anima created from Mary McGuire's spirit plays an electric piano for its attacks.
  • Mutual Pining: Ichigo is an Insecure Love Interest who believes she's lucky Aoyama is giving her the time of day at all, but it's eventually revealed that she's really underestimating his devotion, since not only is he quite the Understanding Boyfriend, he's even so terrified for her safety that he manifests a whole other persona just to protect her and practically considers her his Living Emotional Crutch. à la Mode also brings Berry and Tasuku, who have mutual feelings for each other but are afraid of ruining their existing relationship.
  • Neck Lift: Near the end of the anime's first season, Deep Blue grabbed Ichigo by the throat and lifted her into the air.
  • New Eden: Deconstructed. The ancestors of the alien invaders were originally from Earth, and fled into space because natural disasters drove their species to the verge of extinction. They ended up on a very harsh planet, and upon finally returning to Earth after millions of years, it looks perfect in comparison. Then they notice that humans are taking this paradise for granted, littering and polluting. This starts their initial desire to Kill All Humans.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mew Pudding encases a Mew Aqua droplet in a Puringring Inferno, which accelerates its destabilization and makes it harder for the other Mew Mews to get it under control.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Kanna, Minto's "rival" in a filler episode, does the ojou laugh constantly to underline that she's even more of a spoiled rich girl than Minto.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: In the beginning, Ichigo constantly frets that being a catgirl superheroine will scare her boyfriend off. He doesn't mind, actually.
  • Nonindicative Name: What's a Ribbon Lettuce Rush got to do with shooting water at your enemies? Or the Puring Ring Inferno to do with creating a giant jello?
  • No Romantic Resolution:
    • Minto has a big Celeb Crush on Zakuro and fangirls over her constantly. Near the end of the anime, Minto declares her love for Zakuro when they're fighting. If any more ever comes from it, it happens offscreen and goes unmentioned.
    • In the anime, Retasu develops a crush on Ryou and gets Ship Tease with him in several episodes, but her romantic subplot is never resolved.
    • Bu-ling and Tart have Ship Tease too, but they never properly end up together.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Quiche, Tart, and Pie start out unleashing Chimera Anima on the heroes and running away when they fail, but their schemes become more effective over time and present a real threat to the lives of the Mew Mews and other civilians. They never completely succeed, but the heroes have to work harder to stop them each time.
  • Odd Friendship: Bu-ling and Tart. She's a Genki Girl with monkey genes and he's an alien Bratty Half-Pint. Despite their big differences, they form an unlikely friendship when both get the chance to bond during the Tokyo Dome episode. Tart won't admit they're friends, though.
  • Odd Name Out: Most of the Mew Mews are named after something sweet: strawberry, mint, pudding, and pomegranate. And then there's Lettuce.
  • Once an Episode: Ichigo transforms every single episode, even when there's no Chimera Animas to fight.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The covers of the first five volumes each feature one of the girls in Chromatic Arrangement order; Ichigo on Volume 1, Mint on Volume 2, Lettuce on Volume 3, Pudding on Volume 4, Zakuro on Volume 5.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Out of the five main girls, only Ichigo and (in the anime) Retasu are shown to have a normal family. Minto's parents are too busy to look after her, so she is watched over by her nanny. Bu-ling has to take care of her five younger siblings because her mother is dead and her father is away — and she's only an elementary school student. Zakuro has no known relatives and apparently lives alone, even though she's fifteen. The anime does show Zakuro reading a letter from her mother, but it's implied she has reasons to not want to go back to her parents' home. Finally, there's Teen Genius Ryou, whose parents were killed in the Backstory.
    • None of the aliens seem to have parents to speak of either. Special mention to Tart, who's about Bu-ling's age and yet somehow allowed to go off secure a planet for his people.
  • Part-Time Hero: Each of the Mews have to balance school, work, and relationships with their Mew Mew duties.
  • Pillar of Light: Ribbon Strawberry Surprise has light pillars appear when the other four power up Ichigo.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In the manga, Ichigo is the pink-haired girl and her boyfriend Aoyama is the blue-haired boy.
  • Playing with Syringes: Rare heroic example, as the Mu Project uses genetic engineering on unwitting subjects to turn them into magical girls to save the world.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The manga's Mew Aqua arc had each of the Mew Mews find one in their own element and use it against a monster matching their own strengths (Minto in the air, Retasu in the ocean, Bu-ling underground, etc). Averted in the anime, where Ichigo got all of them.
  • Pocket Dimension: In the anime, the aliens' Supervillain Lair is located at their own private dimension where their bodiless boss gives them orders. Quiche also traps the Mew Mews in another dimension in a couple of episodes.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair In the anime, the Adaptation Dye-Job is undone when characters transform. Also, Blue Knight bleaches when he transforms.
  • The Power of Love: The focus of Episode 47, mentioned in the title. To save Aoyama/The Blue Knight from being killed by Pie and Tart, Ichigo draws power from her love for him and defeats the Monsterof The Week in one blast. However, Quiche suspects Ichigo didn't really get her power up from her love alone, but from the Blue Knight accidentally transferring some of his power to her.
  • Precursors: The Human Aliens are descended from a prehistoric civilization that inhabited Earth millions of years ago. When an apocalyptic disaster occurred, they were forced to leave Earth and travel to space, only to end up stuck in a wasteland of a planet that forces them to live underground.
  • Premature Empowerment: All five girls had this (they were given their powers without being asked) and Ichigo's quest was to find the others after Ryou had injected them. Zakuro and Retasu had the worst reactions to it: Zakuro just didn't want to join them and Retasu's powers went out of control until she was told what was happening to her.
  • Puppy Love: Bu-ling and Tart. They're both the youngest members of the main cast and end up getting a mutual crush on each other.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Quiche finally does something for Ichigo's good rather than just stalk and terrorize her; he takes a hit from Deep Blue that was supposed to kill Ichigo, and dies soon after. He is revived with the rest of the city, though.
  • Refusal of the Call: Ichigo refused to help at first because she just wanted to be normal, whereas Zakuro blows the whole group off, not wanting to be told what to do and finding Minto's fangirlism annoying.
  • Rescue Romance: Tart rescues Bu-ling, resulting in them getting a crush on each other. The circumstances of the rescue change between manga and anime. In the manga, he stops her from touching a Chimera Anima that would have killed her with its poison. In the anime, Bu-ling gets trapped in an underground cave and once she passes out from lack of oxygen, Tart teleports her to the surface because he couldn't bring himself to leave her to suffocate to death.
  • Returning the Handkerchief: A non-romantic version with Ichigo and Minto. In their first meeting, Minto lends her handkerchief to Ichigo who then seeks out Minto to return it.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: In an anime filler episode 22, the aliens play this to decide which of them will create the Monster of the Week. Due to their lack of knowledge of the game, they take it very seriously.
  • Romantic Rain: Ichigo and Aoyama confess their feelings for each other under the rain, after she unintentionally stood him up when she arrived too late for their concert date.
  • A Rotten Time to Revert: After a particularly stimulating moment with Aoyama, Ichigo fully transforms into a cat and has no idea of how to turn back into human. Aoyama finds Cat!Ichigo and brings her to his house to give her a bath. At night, Aoyama takes her to bed with him and Ichigo tries to kiss him, but kisses his dog by accident. Turns out kissing is the trigger to revert Ichigo's transformation, but it's a bad time for her to be human again when she's still in bed with Aoyama. To her "luck," she transforms back into a cat and escapes before Aoyama wakes up.
  • Rules of Orphan Economics: Bu-ling, the Kid-Appeal Character, is around ten years old when the series begins and, though only her mom's dead, her dad has gone off to train in the mountains and left her with five younger siblings to care for and a dojo to run — but she's dirt poor, knows it, and has to perform in the street to pay the bills. Even when she's given a job at Cafe Mew Mew, she continues to perform — sometimes even during work to entice the customers to give her tips — and has to count her change to see if she can buy a bottle of ketchup. The anime has a filler episode revealing that her father apparently arranged for her to be engaged to a grown man, with the implication that it was only set up to legally allow her to keep the house.
  • Sacred First Kiss: Ichigo sulks about having her First Kiss stolen by her stalker for a whole episode.
  • Salaryman: In episode 6, Ichigo tells her father, Shintaro, off for the way he's talking, as it doesn't fit a salaryman like him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Ryou can do basically whatever he wants with two justifications: "it's to save the world" or "I'm super rich." He runs a business at 15, owns a yacht, can get exclusive event tickets (though he doesn't always pay for them), and throws lavish parties, giving all his employees fancy clothes for the occasion. Minto is also loaded, but keeps much of it to herself.
  • Secret-Keeper: While Ryou is against it, Masaya finds out about Ichigo's identity shortly after they start going out, and he keeps that secret from then on.
  • Secret Test of Character: Zakuro attacks Minto during her 10-Minute Retirement when she claims to have stopped caring about the fate of the Earth. She turns to attack her dog, but when Minto goes to protect the dog, she notes that Minto really does care. Zakuro does it again in Episodes 42 and 43 to test the Mew Mews’ commitment to the fight and faith in each other.
  • Sequel Hook: The manga ends with Berry Shirayuki (the sequel's protagonist) learning that the café is closed and remarking that she'll have to come by next time. Meanwhile, the anime ends with the Mews running off to fight a new, undescribed threat.
  • Shipper on Deck: The other Mew Mews ship Ichigo/Aoyama and, in one episode, Retasu/Edomurasaki.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Ichigo gets teased with Aoyama, Quiche and Ryou, although she only becomes an Official Couple with Aoyama.
    • Retasu has some teasing with Ryou in the anime, even kissing him to save him from drowning at one point. Towards the end of the anime, Pie also appears to have some kind of feelings for Retasu and ends up giving up his life to protect her.
    • Bu-Ling and Tart get some Puppy Love moments later in the series, but their relationship is still left up in the air.
  • Shōjo: The five main characters are cute teenage girls and while there's a Monster of the Week to fight each episode, much of the main focus goes to the protagonist's romance and the girls growing through their personal relationships.
  • Sick Episode:
    • Ichigo spends most of episode 17 dealing with a cold that suppresses her powers.
    • Episode 20 is about Bu-ling catching a cold, prompting the other Mew Mews to take care of Bu-ling's younger siblings for a day.
  • Shout-Out: A Sailor Moon stage show appears in one episode.
  • Show Within a Show: Strange example: Only One Wish, a horror manga from Mia Ikumi, is revealed to exist in TMM's continuity as a four-episode TV series starring Zakuro as the mysterious Angel of the Wishes and Ichigo as her cat (Ichigo was not amused when she learned about her role).
  • Snow Means Love: In episode 38, the anime's Christmas Episode, Ichigo and Aoyama share a romantic scene where he confesses he loves her despite her being a Mew Mew during a gentle snow fall.
  • Something We Forgot: In Episode 24, the one with the jewelry show, Bu-ling takes on the alien Tart to buy the rest of the team time. Fast forward, the fight is won, the jewelry show finishes and everyone is happy. Just as Ichigo wonders where Bu-ling went, the scene shifts to her still fighting with Tart. Pie thinks they should tell the kids that the fight is already over, but Quiche wants to leave them alone because it's funnier that way.
  • Spell My Name With An S: The main characters have food names, but there's inconsistency in translations using the English word or the Japanese romanization. The most notable examples are Retasu/Lettuce, Bu-ling/Purin/Pudding and Kish/Kisshu/Quiche.
  • Spin-Off Babies: The manga has omakes titled Petite Mew Mew that feature a kindergarten AU where the main cast are small children.
  • Stock Footage: All the transformations and attacks, as is genre standard.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Given that the anime was produced by Pierrot at the Turn of the Millennium, the 2002 series has very frequent usage of the Hanna-Barbera sound effects library.
  • Supporting Harem: Aoyama is the boy Ichigo likes from the start and they eventually become a couple. Meanwhile, Quiche has an obsessive Villainous Crush on Ichigo and Shirogane has a lot of Ship Tease with Ichigo too. Ichigo gets kissed by the three of them more than once.
  • Team Shot: The Mew team almost always strike a pose during a battle.
  • Team Title: "Tokyo Mew Mew" is the name Ichigo spontaneously gives the Mew team when one of their fights gets broadcasted live on national television.
  • Theme Naming
    • Colourful Theme Naming: All the Mew Mews have surnames with the kanji of their respective theme colour in them. The prominent human guys also have the kanji of a colour in their surnames.
    • Edible Theme Naming: The Mew Mews (Ichigo/Strawberry, Mint, Lettuce, Bu-ling/Pudding and Zakuro/Pomegranate) and the aliens (Quiche, Tart/Tartar and Pie) are all named after foods.
    • Location Theme Naming: Most of the Mews' surnames include the kanji of a place (shrine, marsh, river and field). Meanwhile, Masaya Aoyama, Ryou Shirogane and Keiichiro Akasaka get their surnames from districts and places in Tokyo.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The 4Kids' first attempt at dubbing the anime... or should we say, "Hollywood Mew Mew"? One of their billing points was the fact that 'when we're done, kids won't realize it takes place in Japan anymore'. Even though they eventually renamed it 'Mew Mew Power', this did not stop them from trying to reset it in America. Despite being one of the most blatantly "set in Japan" anime ever.
  • Third-Person Person: Bu-ling refers to herself in third person. In the video game, Ringo does the same.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • Stock phrase of the Mew Mews to the aliens, often immediately before or after transforming.
    • Ichigo also uses this as a Badass Boast against a monster attacking Tokyo in her dreams in an early episode.
  • Those Two Guys: Miwa and Moe, Ichigo's classmates whose only role is occasionally commenting on Ichigo's love life and the Cat Girl they saw in the news, not knowing that's Ichigo.
  • Title Drop: When the media sees the Mew Mews and ask what they're called, the initial response ("We're from Cafe Mew Mew in Tokyo") gets sensibly changed at the last minute, and Ichigo declares their name to be "Tokyo Mew Mew."
  • The Tokyo Fireball: In the Grand Finale, Tokyo is in ruins; it comes back, but with a lot more overgrowth, which had built up over the series by the use of environmentally-friendly Applied Phlebotinum.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The aliens only ever attack Tokyo, the city where the superheroine team that fight them are. They never even try to attack another country even though the Mews would have a harder time stopping them if they did. In the anime, the aliens also need Mew Aqua to awaken Deep Blue and Mew Aqua can only be found around Japan, but there's no excuse in the manga.
  • Tokyo Tower: In manga volumes 3-4 and anime episodes 25-26, the Tokyo Tower is the location of the Moth Chimera's cocoon and the first battle for Mew Aqua.
  • Transformation Conventions: Ikumi Mia and Yoshida Reiko have stated that the kemonomimi have given suitable animal forms. Ichigo is a cute and wilful cat, Minto a prim and graceful bird, Retasu a sweet and shy porpoise, Bu-ling a lively and talented monkey, and Zakuro, well, a "lone wolf".
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted in Episode 45, when Quiche knocks Ichigo’s pendant out of her hand before she can finish transforming.
  • Transformation Exhilaration: Most of the girls smile throughout their Transformation Sequence, which include gaining animal traits. (Though Retasu and Zakuro were not initially happy with their transformations in-story.)
  • True Love's Kiss: In the finale, Ichigo sacrifices her own lifeforce to stop Aoyama's own sacrifice. Aoyama then kisses Ichigo's lifeless body, which brings her back to life.
  • Two-Timer Date: Ichigo misses her concert date with Aoyama because she and the other Mew Mews have to save Tokyo's population from being killed by Quiche's poisonous moth Chimera.
  • Ultraterrestrials: The alien invaders are only called "aliens" because they came from another planet, since their ancestors were Earthlings that were forced to evacuate Earth because of natural disasters that occurred millions of years ago. Unfortunately, they landed on a planet with a terrible environment and now they have started an Alien Invasion to take back Earth from humanity.
  • Underground City: The alien race's current home planet has an inhabitable surface due to sandstorms and massive natural disasters. For countless generations, they were forced to live in a cold and dark city they built underground in order to survive the planet's cruel environment.
  • Underwater Kiss:
    • In Episode 41, Mew Lettuce turns into a mermaid and kisses Ryou to save him from drowning underwater.
    • In the Re-Turn manga, Ichigo falls into a river and Aoyama kisses her underwater while saving her.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Averted in Episode 41; the Mew Mews besides Mew Lettuce completely describe their plan to deal with the fish Chimera Anima, and the plan works.
  • Valentine's Day Violence: In Episode 45, as Ichigo is on her way to see her boyfriend on Valentine's Day, Quiche appears to take her with him to "a world with nobody else, and without fighting". When Ichigo refuses, Quiche goes Yandere and tries to kill her. Then Aoyama arrives and turns into the Blue Knight to fight Quiche.
  • Verbal Tic: Ichigo occasionally nyas, Minto says "desu wa", and Bu-ling says "na no da".
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Quiche has one after discovering that the Mew Aqua does not generate power, but merely stores it. He was already on thin ice with Pie and Tart before then, and they’re not pleased when they learn this. He also becomes increasingly emotionally unstable over time as a result of Ichigo rejecting him, failing his missions, and the aliens suffering in their temporary home.
    • Later, over the course of the five-part series finale, Deep Blue gradually loses his composure as Aoyama starts to fight back against him from within. The more Aoyama fights back, the more Deep Blue loses his cool, until he is finally dead and Aoyama is therefore free.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In episode 22, Quiche, Pie, and Tart eat shaved ice near a fan while complaining about humans causing global warming.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ichigo and Minto often bicker, but are willing to help each other when necessary.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Episode 7.
    Bu-ling: "Let's do that again!"
    Ichigo: "One ride per customer!"
  • Wedding Finale: The Mew Mew girls make a mock wedding for Ichigo and Masaya in the manga ending.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Ichigo names her Robot Buddy Masha after her crush Masaya.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?:
    Tart: What is this power of love? I don’t get it.
    Pie: That’s... too embarrassing to explain.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The conflict between the Mew Mews and the alien villains is portrayed this way, particularly in the last episodes of the anime. The Mew Mews are fighting to protect the Earth and humanity from the aliens who are trying to take over the planet by killing all life in it. It looks like classic Black-and-White Morality until it's revealed that the aliens' home planet is plagued with natural disasters and their race is dying out because of it. In episode 39, the aliens berate the Mew Mews for treating them as purely evil when they're fighting to save their race, leading the heroines to realize their enemies do care for their own people just like they care for humanity and some of them start wishing they could reach a peaceful resolution with the aliens.
  • Winged Humanoid: Mew Mint, who has bird DNA, sprouts small wings when transformed.
  • World-Healing Wave: Mew Aqua has the miraculous power to heal and undo any damage, pollution and even death. In the Grand Finale, all of Tokyo is destroyed by Deep Blue, but thanks to Aoyama releasing Mew Aqua from his own body, everyone who died is resurrected and the city is restored back to normal with trees and flowers in full bloom.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Unnatural hair colors are very common in this series. With the exception of Bu-ling Huang/Mew Pudding (who is blonde), all of the magical girls have abnormal hair colors; Ichigo (pink), Minto (blue), Retasu (green) and Zakuro (purple).
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the Beach Episode, Ryou encourages Retasu when she's depressed over almost drowning herself, by telling her that she shouldn't be so hard on herself and that there's more inside her, this later gets her to overcome her fear of water and to save two children from drowning.
  • You Have Failed Me: Deep Blue orders Quiche to be temporarily replaced by Pie and Tart for failing to kill the Mew Mews, and after Deep Blue begins to awaken, Quiche is cast aside.
  • You Killed My Father: The anime reveals Ryou's parents were killed by a Chimera Anima. Said Chimera is the final Monster of the Week.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mew Mew Power


Ichigo's Weird Chocolate

Ichigo tries her hand at making Valentine's Day chocolate for her crush, but since she's never cooked doesn't go over well.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / LethalChef

Media sources: