Tokyo MewMew is based on the manga by Mia Ikumi and Reiko Yoshida. Like Sailor Moon and Wedding Peach, this story features a team of color-coded heroines who are trying to save the world. Unlike other magical girl shows, this one has an emphasis on environmental issues. Each one of the heroines has super powers (and magical items) based on an endangered animal. The main member of the team that the story focuses on is a cute school girl named Ichigo Momiya. She is 11 years old. (looks older to me!) She really likes a boy at her school named Aoyama. He is really popular with all the girls and is a star of the kendo club. Ichigo lucks out one day when she invites him to a special event at a museum about endangered animals and he agreed to go with her.
This trip to the endangered animals event changes Ichigo’s life forever. She is spotted by a couple of mysterious guys who claim she has the perfect DNA. They start up something called Project MEW, and zap her with a strange ray. Under the power of the ray, Ichigo sees a vision of an endangered mountain cat species that she has viewed earlier at the museum. The cat approaches her, and she absorbs it into her body. Strange! At school the next day, Ichigo begins displaying some unusual behavior. She sleeps all afternoon, has cravings for fish, starts speaking with -nya! at the end of her sentences, and even lands on her feet after falling from a great height!
When Ichigo finds Aoyama being attacked by a strange giant mutated-looking rat, a mysterious stranger appears and prompts her to fight the creature. Ichigo is reluctant, but the stranger gives her a magical item, and before she knows what is happening, Ichigo transforms into Mew Ichigo! She gets cat ears, a tail, and a cute pink dress. Ichigo manages to summon a magical item and uses it to destroy the creature. Ichigo has just begun her career as a magical girl, protecting the earth and all of its endangered creatures! Ichigo is not alone. Soon she is joined by several other young girls each with powers similar to Ichigo’s. But who are the mysterious strangers? Things are slowly revealed to the girls as they fight various monsters.
Each one of the girls that ends up with similar powered based on the DNA of an endangered animal is cute and wears a skimpy outfit in a different color. If this weren’t enough to insure some male interest in a shoujo magical girl show, the girls ALSO work at a cafe and wear cute maid outfits. Why they wear maid outfits when they are waitresses is beyond me, but maids are one of the current popular fetishes with guys in Japan these days, so putting the girls in maid outfits seems like a sure way to get as many people of both sexes to watch this show ^_^. More than 16 years after this show aired, a new version, Tokyo Mew Mew New, was announced!
Tokyo MewMew is ©Mia Ikumi, Reiko Yoshida, Kodansha