Ahead Of The Power Puff Girls Reboot: This Is Power Puff Girls Z
Written by Adonis Gonzalez
Power Puff Girls Z ,created by Toei Animation is like the show you watched growing up during the early 00’s. It was all about the cartoon network and you couldn’t wait to get home from school and tune into your favorite cartoons—and Saturday mornings were like your personal slice of Valhalla!
There was no limit to the number of shows you could enjoy, show like What’s New Scooby Doo?, Dexter’s Laboratory, and of course, The Powerpuff Girls. Power Puff Girls was one of my favorite shows growing up! I didn’t know if it was intended for girls, nor did I really care. It had action, superheroes, and that familiar Craig McCracken style, and that was all I needed to get into it!
I loved visiting the City of Townsville every day, witnessing the adventures of Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, and their large collection of side characters and supervillains. So imagine my surprise when I found out that there existed a series that blended my love of Power Puff Girls and my love of anime together. As a kid, telling me that there was a show that had two of my favorite things in it was about the best thing you could tell a kid! Enter Powerpuff Girls Z!
The “magical girl” subgenre of anime never really interested me much growing up. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, and it focused on one of my favorite subjects (MAGIC!). I just wasn’t too into that kind of anime.
It was all about anime featuring pirates, warriors, and vampires for me, so the magical girl subgenre just never caught my eye. That is, not until I saw the peculiar little series that was Powerpuff Girls Z.
Powerpuff Girls Z first aired Japan on July 1st, 2006, eight years after the American debut of the original Power Puff Girls. Made by Cartoon Network Japan, in conjunction with Toei Animation, Power Puff Girl Z is (obviously) based on the original series. However, they don’t share that much in common when it comes to certain things. The characters are the same; Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, Professor Utonium, Mayor etc. But the show isn’t a sequel, spin-off, or continuation of the original, and, therefore, doesn’t limit itself to following the same storyline. Rather, the show can be considered an alternate take of sorts.
For example, the story for Power Puff Girls Z goes as follows: After a giant glacier threatens to topple the city of New Townsville (or simply Tokyo if you’re watching the Japanese dub), Professor Utonium and his son Ken (I forgot to mention, the Professor has a son in this show) use a scientific concoction titled Chemical Z (hence, “Powerpuff Girls Z”) to stop it.
Using anything invented in a lab has to result in a life-changing accident in shows or films, the impact of the ‘Chemical Z’ hitting the glacier causes several black and white rays to appear in the sky. The white rays hit three ordinary girls, granting them extraordinary superpowers and a sudden need to do good!
Unfortunately, the black rays hit others, causing them to turn evil. The people hit by the black rays are transformed into the supervillains we all know from the original Power Puff Girls show—such as Fuzzy Lumpkins, The Gangreen Gang, and Mojo Jojo.
It might be hard to tell, but the show did more or less keep the basic key elements of the original series. It was still about a city overrun by villains, with three super-powered girls to protect it, and at the core of it all is Professor Utonium and his knack for making cool science stuff and then accidentally getting it all over the place!
Of course, they did take a ton of liberties too, like giving the Professor a son. They also shortened the connection that he had with the Girls and Mojo Jojo. In the original, he actually made the girls in his lab, but in this, he only technically gave them powers. And Mojo’s motivation for being evil was how he felt he was treated during his time as the Professor’s pet/lab rat. In this show, his motivation is how cruel he was treated by humans as a chimp in the New Townsville Zoo.
Another thing they did that I found odd was changing the name changes. In Power Puff Girls Z, the professor is given a surname (Kitazawa) and the Girls aren’t named Blossom, Bubbles, or Buttercup. Their names are Momoko, Miyaku, and Kaoru respectively. They only get the names from the original show as superhero monikers when they get their powers. A bit odd, but I suppose it’s because of the decision to make them ordinary girls from different families.
After all, who in their right mind would name their kid Blossom, Bubbles, or Buttercup? Besides an accident-prone scientist of course.
So that’s Powerpuff Girls Z! As I said before, it’s a bit of a different take on an already existing story. The key elements are the same, along with the character personalities, but it also manages to take very creative liberties.
Whether you’re a fan of the original PPG or not, if you love anime featuring magic, action and a cool cast of characters, you should absolutely check out Powerpuff Girls Z!