Fans have been wondering if Tokyo Mew Mew New will follow up with the 2002 anime or the original manga, but it’s possible that neither will.
The first anime adaptation of Tokyo Mew Mew premiered in 2002, and since then it is considered a classic of the mahou shoujo genre. This June, to mark the anime’s 20th anniversary, the 2000 manga is getting a new adaptation titled Tokyo Mew Mew New. Fans of the series have wondered if the new anime will follow suit more closely than the 2002 anime or the original manga, but its first trailer hints at a surprising answer – it may not follow.
The first trailer debuted on February 22nd and appears to show footage from the reboot’s first episode. For the most part, it seems to follow the same plot as previous installments of the series – Momomiya Ichigo is dating at an endangered animal exhibit with her lover, Aoyama Masaya when she is passed on. DNA of the wildcat Iriomote and become the magical heroine Mew Ichigo. In the manga, four other future Mew Mews – Aizawa Minto, Midorikawa Retasu, Huang Bu-Ling and Fujiwara Zakuro were also present at the exhibition and received their own animal DNA at the same time as Ichigo. This is also shown in the new trailer, with one key difference – Minto is missing.
However, she’s not entirely absent from the trailer. When Ichigo first transforms into Mew Ichigo, Minto, already in Mew Mint form, tells Ichigo to fight, confusing the catgirl. In the original series, Minto became Mew Mew after Ichigo; in fact, Ichigo had to track her down and tell her how to activate his powers. The Tokyo Mew Mew New trailer implies that Minto was already Mew Mew when the anime started, which would be a big change to the story. Although Ichigo remains the main character and leader of the group, this would make Minto the first and most experienced of the Mew Mews.
Of course, fans have pointed out that the trailer may have shown its scenes out of order, and the Mew Mint scene may not be present from the first episode. However, an article from the April issue of Nakayoshi magazine, released the week after the trailer, seems to provide further evidence that Minto’s role in the story has changed. In the article, you can see a new screenshot of the anime not featured in the trailer. It depicts Minto appearing to be wearing Ichigo’s school uniform and holding a pair of tickets. Minto doesn’t go to the same school as Ichigo, so it looks like she’s infiltrating the school to give Ichigo a ticket to the museum exhibit, ensuring that she’ll be present to receive her lynx DNA. If this interpretation is correct, it means that Minto is not only the first Mew Mew, she is actively involved in the search for others.
If this one major change had been made from the very first episode, it would raise questions about what other changes Tokyo Mew Mew New could make to the original story. Notably, New has based his character designs on two chapters of the Tokyo Mew Mew 2020 Re-Turn 20th anniversary manga instead of using more famous designs from the original manga and anime. This has left fans wondering if more of the manga’s sequels and spinoffs could eventually be adapted. This combined with Mint’s apparent new role seems to suggest that fans shouldn’t expect the same story they’ve been familiar with for twenty years.
Fan reaction to these changes has so far been divided, with some not liking the new designs and worried that the story might be changed too much. Others are excited that the franchise is doing something different and are eager to see what else it can do in the future. Exactly what Tokyo Mew Mew New has in store won’t be revealed until June, but for now, the hints that have been made are causing the audience to talk.