Thursday, June 5, 2014

Manga Review: Tokyo Mew Mew Omnibus 1

So, time for a little story. Once upon a time, I wandered into the manga section of a local bookstore. I grabbed the first volume of a little series called Tokyo Mew Mew. This was the first time I'd ever touched manga, and I had no idea what I was getting into.

The story continues after the jump, but beware of spoilers!

Fast forward 6 years, to 2014. Tokyopop has gone under, a company called Kodansha USA has picked up the manga license for Tokyo Mew Mew, and is releasing these omnibus volumes. I tend to read during downtime at work, and sometimes I finish off a volume. But that's getting off track. On to the review!

Tokyo Mew Mew is a relatively short magical girl manga. And when I say relatively, I mean relative to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, with its 18 volumes, compared to Tokyo Mew Mew's 7 volumes, plus the 2-volume A La Mode sequel series. Omnibus 1 covers the first two volumes of Tokyo Mew Mew, which tells up to the cherry blossom incident at Inohana Park. 

Put simply, Tokyo Mew Mew follows the Five Man Band trope to a T. That's what most of the first two volumes is, along with some development for Ichigo, Mint, and Zacro. I'd say the real plot begins in Omnibus 2, a review of which will come later.

Being a shojo manga aimed at young girls, the characters are written and drawn in such a way that young girls would identify with and enjoy Tokyo Mew Mew's cast, namely Ichigo.

The plot is very cookie-cutter: a mysterious force wants to take over Earth using Monsters Of The Week, and a group of 5 girls with magic powers go to stop them. It's THE magical girl plot. However, Tokyo Mew Mew executes this plot and adds to it later. This addition is what makes Tokyo Mew Mew's plot engaging and unique.

Not much to say here that hasn't been said already. Everything you'd expect from a shojo manga is here: bubbles, sparkles, flowers, romance, DIABEETUS. Tokyo Mew Mew is special to me because it was my first manga. That said, it will not get special treatment. The fact that it takes 2 whole normal volumes to get the whole team together is its main flaw. 2/7 of plot progression opportunity, gone. Outside of that, it's a shojo magical girl story.

Character Design: 7/10
General Art: 8/10
Pacing: 5/10
Value: 7.5/10

Overall: 7/10
Would Re-read Occasionally

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