Illustrated by Mia Ikumi
Earth is under attack from aliens who are disgusted by the way humans are destroying the planet. They infect animals with chimera properties to make monsters. Ryô Shirigane, a rich high schooler, and Keiichirô Akasaka, a “café owner” and researcher, want to protect the world from these aliens. They infuse five girls with “red data” animal DNA - DNA from endangered animals - to become warriors against the chimera animals. When they’re not fighting, the girls work at Café Mew Mew as a way to gather information from customers. Ichigo is the first warrior to awaken to her transformation powers and found by the two guys, and she must find the other four teammates while fending off attacks from Kish, one of the aliens who has keyed in on Ichigo. Ichigo also has to juggle her time with her crush, Masaya, who is also interested in endangered animals and saving the planet.
This is a classic magical girl manga that is getting a new anime adaptation in the Fall of 2022, so its popularity is most likely going to spike again. The girls have transformation sequences, non-sensical attack chants, and really short skirts, which is very similar to Sailor Moon. Also similarly is the aliens attacking the planet for their own gain, which was almost every alien threat in Sailor Moon. There is quite an emphasis on endangered animals, only one of which is not endangered any more despite this series first being written in 2003. Unfortunately, the updated Kodansha 2-in-1 version I read doesn't have great pictures of the animals the writer used - pictured to the right is the black square that is supposed to be an Iriomote Wildcat - so readers are going to have to do some looking up on their own if they want to see the animals the characters are designed around.
Kodansha rates this as 13+, so I’ll have to finish the series to see why they're rating it there. This could have been published before the use of their "All Ages 9+" rating as well. Reading it as an adult, there are moments when the girls are sexualized, especially in their transformed outfits, but I didn't notice those things when I read it as an adolescent.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-12
Publication Date: October 25th, 2011
ISBN: 9781935429876 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Magical Girl, Friendship, Romance, School Life, Action Adventure, Kodansha
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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