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Tokyo Mew Mew: How to read the magical girl superhero manga that inspired the anime

Read the manga that inspired the anime Tokyo Mew Mew

Tokyo Mew Mew
Image credit: Mia Ikumi (Kodansha)

Last summer featured the premiere of Tokyo Mew Mew New, the second anime adaptation of the 2001 manga series Tokyo Mew Mew by writer Reiko Yoshida and the late manga artist Mia Ikumi. This brought new and old fans alike back into the franchise, but many might be left wondering how to get further into it so we're here to help.

What is Tokyo Mew Mew?

The manga Tokyo Mew Mew follows 12-year-old Ichigo Momiya, who is infused with the DNA of a cat after a mysterious earthquake. Four other girls are also infused with the DNA of various animals and Ichigo is told to find them by Ryô Shirogane and Keiichirô Akasaka, two young genius scientists who are the ones responsible for the girls’ newfound abilities via The Mew Project. Together, the girls become the superhero group known as The Mew Mews and battle corrupted animals known as Chimera Anima as well as the alien forces controlling them.

The original manga series was published in seven volumes by Tokyopop but has since been reprinted by Kondansha in omnibus editions. These omnibus editions are available digitally and physically. For those who might be curious about the manga series, here is a manga reading guide.

Tokyo Mew Mew Vol. 1 Omnibus (2014)

Tokyo Mew Mew
Image credit: Mia Ikumi (Kodansha)

Containing Vol. 1-2 of the series, the Tokyo Mew Mew Vol. 1 Omnibus features the origin story of Ichigo and the four other Mews as well as their gradual coming together one by one. Ichigo becomes the first Mew Mew while on a date with her crush Masaya. Not long after, Ichigo finds Mew Mint and Mew Lettuce and they establish their headquarters at a cafe known as Cafe Mew Mew. They also have their first encounter with the alien enemy Quiche.

When Quiche sends out numerous Chimera Anima to overwhelm the three Mew Mews, the fourth Mew Mew named Pudding Fong appears and saves them. Not long after, they discover their fifth member is a beautiful model named Zakuro Fujiwara, but she refuses to join them. Later on Quiche decides to attack Zakuro at a tv show with a Chimera Anima, but the other four fight back with Zakuro and gain a new power. Their battle is filmed live and the girls introduce themselves to the world as 'Tokyo Mew Mew'.

After the battle, Ryô Shirogane and Keiichirô Akasaka tell the girls that a special item known as 'Mew Aqua' is the key to stopping the alien invasion and that they must find it. A few days later, Mew Ichigo battles a chimera at a park and is discovered by Masaya, who calls her by her real name.

Tokyo Mew Mew Vol. 2 Omnibus (2014)

Tokyo Mew Mew
Image credit: Mia Ikumi (Kodansha)

Featuring volumes 3 and 4 of the series, this volume features the debut of two other alien enemies Pie and Tart. When Quiche is confined for being unable to defeat the Mew Mews, Pie starts to attack the Mew Mews. Meanwhile, Ichigo initially avoids Masaya out of fear of her secret identity being revealed, but later learns that it’s still safe. After Pie’s two failed attempts to destroy the Mew Mews, Quiche is released and he and the other two aliens mention that their leader 'Deep Blue', will awaken and reclaim the earth. While on another date with Masaya, Ichigo turns into a black cat after being hugged by him and ends up running away. She is later found by Ryô, who explains that Ichigo’s cat genes are taking over and they must defeat the aliens before she becomes a cat forever.

At the same time, the other four Mew Mews investigate a mysterious cocoon near the radio tower but are attacked and defeated by Quiche, Pie, and Tart. Once they recover and Ichigo returns to human form via stealing a kiss from a sleeping Masaya, the girls keep searching for Mew Aqua at the radio tower. While they are there, a chimera hatches from the cocoon and spreads pollution through the city, weakening the girl’s powers just as the three aliens attack them as well. It is only when Mint finds a Mew Aqua and clears away the dust that they are able to drive back the aliens and defeat the chimera.

Later on, Masaya and Ichigo go on another date and Ichigo tells him her feelings before they are attacked by Quiche and separated when he summons a chimera. As Ichigo struggles to defeat the chimera in her Mew Mew form, a mysterious savior calling himself Blue Knight appears and they work together to defeat it.

Tokyo Mew Mew Vol. 3 Omnibus (2014)

Tokyo Mew Mew
Image credit: Mia Ikumi (Kodansha)

Featuring vols 5-7 of the series, this volume features some smaller battles that led up to the climactic battle and finale of the series. It starts with Mew Pudding being captured by Pie and Tart and imprisoned beneath the Tokyo Dome. The aliens plan to collapse the ground and kill the concert goers inside but the other Mew Mews arrive to save them and Mew Pudding.

Soon, Pudding finds a Mew Aqua and uses its power to keep the Tokyo Dome from collapsing. The next day, Ichigo and Masaya are attacked by Quiche again and Ichigo is forced to transform in front of Masaya. Then, Blue Knight appears and nearly kills Quiche, but Ichigo stops him since Quiche was already badly wounded. When Blue Knight leaves, Masaya tells Ichigo that he already knew her secret but didn’t say anything to spare her feelings.

When Ichigo turns into a cat out of excitement, the grey cat Alto appears to change her back before transforming into Ryou. This causes Ryou to reveal the history of the Mew Project, which fuels Ichigo’s determination to protect the planet. Her resolve is soon tested when she is kidnapped by Quiche and Masaya follows after her, revealing himself as Blue Knight. Although she is rescued, Blue Knight then collapses and transforms into the alien leader Deep Blue.

In the final battle, some heavy sacrifices are made in order to save the world but all ends well. The aliens leave the planet and Masaya and Ichigo decide to study abroad. Before they leave, a mock wedding is held for him and Ichigo.

Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode (2014)

Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode
Image credit: Kodansha

Originally two volumes written and drawn by Mia Ikumi, this omnibus edition contains the entire series in one book. Serving as the sequel to Tokyo Mew Mew, this series features a new Mew Mew named Berry. Unlike the other Mew Mews, she has the powers of both a rabbit and a cat! Unfortunately, this also coincides with the return of the chimera monsters and new alien enemies known as the Saint Rose Crusaders.

Although Mew Berry is strong and initially has the help of the Mew Mews still in Japan, she is soon separated and forced to fight one of the Saint Rose Crusaders alone. It is then Mew Ichigo finally reappears to help Mew Berry. Together, the Mew Mew team of six work together to drive back the Saint Rose Crusaders and save the world again.

Tokyo Mew Mew Olé (2019)

Despite not yet being officially licensed While not licensed in English yet outside of Japan, this series is considered the third Tokyo Mew Mew series. A major difference between this series and the previous two is that it features an all-male team of Mew Mews. The team consists of five boys, but there is also a female protagonist that serves a role similar to that of Ryou in the first series. As of this writing, there are eight volumes in the series that have been published in Japan.

With a team of quirky female leads and a cute aesthetic that belies commentary on the environment, Tokyo Mew Mew went on to follow in Sailor Moon’s footsteps to become a beloved magical girl manga and anime. If you’ve finished Tokyo Mew Mew New and want more, feel free to give the manga series a try.

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Latonya Pennington avatar
Latonya Pennington: Latonya Pennington is a freelance pop culture contributor at Reed Pop. In addition to writing about anime and manga, they have also written about video games, American comics, and young adult fiction. Their writing can also be found at Fandom Games, Into More, Gayming Magazine, and Comics XF among others. When they aren't writing for work, they can be found streaming shows, playing video games, reading novels, or doing creative writing.
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