Review of Wonder Momo

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Wonder Momo is an anime I discovered whilst skimming through Crunchyroll’s library the other day. At first glance it looked like something right up my alley. Cute girls and superheroes rank high in my list of favourite things after all. Had I known that the cartoon was based off a Bandai Namco video game I would have given the series a miss and would have saved myself much disappointment. Most anime inspired by games tend to suck and Momo proved to be no exception to that rule. In case you don’t know, the original Wonder Momo was an eighties arcade brawler. One amusing thing about the game is that jumping would cause Momo to flash her panties, which would momentarily cause her to pause in embarrassment.

OVERVIEW

Kanda Momoko is a high school student and aspiring pop idol. One day she bumps into a green skinned man who presents her with a mysterious orb. The sphere gets absorbed into Momoko’s body, allowing her to transform into the titular heroine. Momoko decides to use the power to protect Earth from space invaders. Well, I assume the extra terrestrials are trying to conquer the planet. Most of the time they just seem to commit random acts of vandalism at school gymnasiums and fashion shows. In episode one a photographer named Terashima Natsuhiko spots Momoko transforming into her alien smacking alter ego. He promises to keep Momoko’s identity a secret. Not sure why. It’s not like the transparent visor Momo wears is at all effective at masking her features!

The villains that Momo battles look like mimes, whose pale heads have been replaced with red faces (resembling the YouTube image you sometimes get when attempting to view a removed video.) Said enemies are more useless than a Koopa Trooper or Dynasty Warriors soldier, which is just as well given that Momo is a terrible hero. Often she has to be rescued by her own mother or a blonde rival named Matsuo Akiho. I guess you can’t expect much from someone who uses a hula-hoop as a weapon. There’s not much damage that one can do with a plastic ring after all… although I am sure the destroyed antiques owned by parents who have overzealous children would dispute otherwise. Kids like to wreck expensive things almost as much as cats enjoy assaulting Christmas trees.

VERDICT

My rating for Wonder Momo is one star. Usually I am more generous than your average reviewer when it comes to scores. Distract me with some eye candy or jokes and I am likely to award your show a three out of five at least. Wonder Momo however isn’t funny, just stupid. The writing is poor and it’s clear that little effort was put into the production, as evidenced by the times the studio recycles transformation sequences and fight footage. Adding salt to the wound is the last episode, which ends on a cliffhanger. Momo and chums teleport into the alien mother ship via a portal, confront a bunch of guards and it just ends there. The series aired way back in 2014 so the chances of a sequel ever coming out, to finish the unresolved story, are pretty much zero.

On the plus side Wonder Momo is mercifully short. The series is only five episodes long and each instalment only lasts for seven minutes. Even less if you subtract the opening and ending credits. Although I appreciate that it’s tough to tell a good story with such a concise running time that’s no excuse for Wonder Momo being so weak. Bikini Warriors along with The Comic Artist & His Assistants both managed to entertain me with quick skits, so why couldn’t Wonder Momo do the same? Given how rich anime is in humorous super hero franchises there’s no reason to check out Wonder Momo. One Punch Man, Tiger & Bunny, My Hero Academia and even the first half of Samurai Flamenco are superior to this anime. Wonder Moo Moo is complete and udder rubbish.

26 thoughts on “Review of Wonder Momo

    • Most of my reviews are three stars or higher. I did give the Death Note movie one star though. Generally if I don’t like something I drop it. Unless I complete a show I won’t review it, so my scores tend to skew positive. Wonder Momo had the misfortune of being short enough that I managed to power through to the end.

    • Pretty much. I was so unimpressed after the first episode that I was planning to stop there. When I realized there were only four short episodes left I decided to stick with it. Gives me something to write about at the very least.

  1. When a game property jumps into a different medium, it usually tends to suck. I can’t think of any good films or shows based on original games, in fact. At best it’s good for some cheap laughs, like that old Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon that was full of dumb slapstick stuff. Wonder why that is.

    • I reaaaaaaally want to argue that, that game stories don’t necessarily have to lead to bad adaptations, but there’s been loads of creators better than I am working on hundreds of examples, and most of them do turn out mediocre at best. Even the best game adaptations aren’t shining examples of their craft. Darn.

      • Maybe it’s more a question of the focus of game-based shows and films. Instead of focusing on the themes of a game in a way that’s natural and makes sense for a movie or TV series, the creators try too hard to jam a square peg into a round hole. Uwe Boll’s dogshit video game movies are the best example of this maybe, but there are plenty of others like that Silent Hill 3 movie that they somehow got Sean Bean to play in or that Final Fantasy movie made in the late 90s that had nothing to do with Final Fantasy. I’m convinced it’s not impossible to make a good game-based movie or show, though. It’s not like the game is a less valid medium for art than any other medium is; I think its full potential is just starting to be realized.

    • I thought the Gungrave anime was alright and the Castlevania show on Netflix is okay. Most video game adaptations tend to suck though. Some day someone will crack the code to make a good video game movie. They just have to stick with it, just like comic books did.

    • I wonder why Bandai revived an old video game property if they were going to put so little effort into the anime? They also released a newer game (made by WayForward) to coincide with this. From the footage I have seen the newer game looked okay, but alas it has since been removed from the mobile stores.

  2. One star huh? Wow…that is really bad. Can’t even remember a single post from you that I have read that was that lowly rated. Still it actually saves me a bit of time as I don’t need to watch this now (despite it being only five very short episodes long๐Ÿ˜‚). But still sorry you had to suffer through this. Well…at least you got a great post out of it right? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I gave the live action Death Note a one star score too. That was to punish it for butchering such an excellent manga. Wonder Momo is bad, but if you are curious at how silly and cheaply made it is you can at least check it out without losing too much time. The only moment I chuckled was a scene were the characters use Oreos to represent the bad guys on a map.

      • I still haven’t seen that one, which coming from me probably isn’t too much of a surprise as I always run behind with everything. But actually I am dreading to see Deathnote a bit as well, because of most people really bashing it. I will see it eventually though.
        As for wonder momo….hmmm you did get me curious now with the description of that Oreos scene lol. Maybe I will watch it anyway. Sometimes watching a bad show can be fun too from time to time ๐Ÿ˜‚

  3. Satan is lacing up his ice skates as I type this – the Judge gives a cute girl/fan service series just ONE star?!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ :-p

    Seriously though the trailer look generic as hell so I would have avoided this like the plague just from that. This makes Nurse Witch Komugi R look like Evangelion! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • The eye candy in this show is pretty tame. More fan service could have made this show more entertaining, but then again echii scenes didn’t save stuff like Campione and Kampfer from getting low scores from me. I have never heard of Nurse Witch Komugi R, but judging from the title I can guess it isn’t a deep series haha.

  4. Hahaha…. A hula-hoop as a weapon ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m not even sure how that would work. I suppose you could throw it at someone, but it’d most likely bounce of them and come back and hit you in the face hehe ๐Ÿ˜€
    It does sound like a ridiculous anime. Anime based on video game, tend not to be great (like you said), but are somewhat watchable. This anime must have been very painful, for you to give it one star. Hats off, for making it through it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The hoop doesn’t do much due to Momo’s incompetence, but it does at least glow when she hurls it (and they include it bouncing around during the end credits.) Ridiculous shows can sometimes be funny, but this one fell flat for me. I wouldn’t say the show was painful to watch, but when it came time to assign a grade I couldn’t think of any redeeming qualities so a one star it is.

  5. I started laughing as soon as wrote that anime inspired by video games suck and this continued the trend, then laughed even more when you said the anime was mercifully short. That tells me a lot that I need to know about this show, without watching it already sounds like any initial idea was just thrown into a cluster to make this series.

  6. It definitely sounds pretty bad. The trope of the main character being so weak that he/she is saved a lot can be handled well, but more often than not it’s just annoying. If the anime was at least funny that would help but otherwise this is definitely a recipe for disaster

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