First off, hey! That title rhymes! Also, the second season of Tokyo Mew Mew New is a straight continuation of the plot, with the focus shifting with the Aliens no longer shooting for a slower, more gradual monster-of-the-week plan, and instead going for more spectacular plots, threatening Tokyo as a whole. On the mundane side of the plot, Ichigo’s relationship with Aoyama is now getting considerably more serious. And then there’s the whole matter of this new Blue Knight who keeps (Tuxedo-Mask-esque) coming to Ichigo’s aid. There will be some spoilers.
Tokyo Mew Mew Season 2 basically shifts the focus to the Mew Mews hunting for a substance known as “Mew Aqua”, ultimately as a plot McGuffin to undo whatever the aliens’ apocalyptic plot of the episode is. And “apocalyptic” is the key word here – each of their plans generally has the end goal to cause as much environmental damage as possible in a specific way that will kill as many humans as possible – specifically to drive humanity extinct so the aliens can claim Earth for themselves.
We even get a bit of their backstory – they were an ancient not-Atlantian race that lived on Earth in the Pangeal period and left when the planet became no longer inhabitable for them. The planet they settled on is barely inhabitable, and various circumstances have forced them to try and take Earth back. The wrinkle in their plan is that humanity has evolved in the meantime, leading them to view humans as squatters at best, and pests at worst. This leads to some further environmental discussion, as the methods that the aliens choose to use for their more destructive plans – particularly those that if left unchecked could cause an actual death toll are frequently taking real-world forms of pollution and cranking them up to a significant degree. It shifts the environmental messaging from “these forms of pollution are bad for wildlife and our quality of living” to “these environmental impacts will kill us if we don’t do anything about it.”
Interestingly, the show even decides to delve a little into how to be more environmentally conscious – with a particular focus on the idea that individuals, even in aggregate, can only have a limited impact. Instead, we see through Minto Aizawa/Mew Mint and her family that their business interests are trying to invest and develop alternative energy sources, along with designing robots and other equipment for environmental cleanup and pollution capture. The aliens also frequently try to corrupt these for their own ends for wiping out humanity, universally by having them do the opposite of what they’re designed to do because of magic.
There are still some missteps – one of my points of praise for season one was the fact that the show managed to avoid having a Tuxedo Mask-esque character, with the Aoyama instead being something of a male-Lois Lane character – a competent figure who will throw himself into danger to help others, only to be spectacularly outclassed and need rescuing from a superhero (in this case Mew Ichigo). Instead in this season, we have the introduction of the Blue Knight – who turns out to be Aoyama (which he is unaware of, and which everyone in the audience probably figured out right away). He basically acts exactly like Tuxedo Mask, except with more combat-savvy, which sadly undermines Mew Ichigo, as now the threat of each arc (at least as far as Ichigo is concerned), will almost always end up putting Ichigo’s back to the wall, leading to Blue Knight to show up to fight them off.
I’d say they do some interesting stuff with this by the end of the series, but not really – we get a twist reveal that Aoyama/Blue Knight has Deep Blue – the leader of the aliens – imprisoned in their psyche, in order to add some pathos. However, there’s so much more you could do with the concept – interrogating the toxic masculine elements of Aoyama’s personality that lead to some of the darker elements of Blue Knight’s behavior, but they don’t quite get into that.
To the show’s credit, what they do with Deep Blue and Aoyama is get into interrogating the “Thanos was right” school of Malthusian eco-fascism. The arguments from the aliens in general and Deep Blue, in particular, do fit with some of the talking points I’ve encountered in the more toxic sides of the environmentalist movement, which have called for not providing aid for those who have been displaced by environmental catastrophes, or who have victim blamed those who are killed by catastrophes brought on by climate change, or applauded the death tolls from Covid-19 because the reduction in population has lead to improvements to the environment (such as the debunked claims that COVID-19 lead to dolphins returning to the waterways of Venice). So, to see the Mew Mews respond with a more empathetic, humanist answer to these points is great to see.
Is Tokyo Mew Mew New the environmentalist magical girl superhero team we need in these times? I don’t know. But they’re a step in the right direction, and I’m glad we got to see this story told again.
Tokyo Mew Mew New is currently available for streaming on Hidive. Season One is currently available for order on Blu-Ray from RightStuf or Amazon – buying anything through those links supports the site.
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