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When her mother "goes to Heaven" after a traffic accident, young Melmo receives a jar of red and blue candy that allows her to magically age ten years and turn into a young woman and also return to her normal age. In Astro Boy-creator Tezuka's take on the popular magical-girl genre typified by Creamy Mami and Little Witch Sally, Melmo decides to use the candy, which was intended to allow her to survive her childhood without an adult protector, for the greater good. As the series progressed, Melmo's age swings became more pronounced-she comes close to dying of old age or regressing back to "prehuman" fetal states. This allowed her to reorder her cells as she regrew to gain temporary animal characteristics like fur or a strong sense of smell in order to aid her with the task at hand. On the 70th anniversary of Tezuka's birth, the series was rereleased on video as Melmo: Renewal, with an all-new voice and music track and Maria Kawamura replacing Reiko Fujita as Melmo. The story was remade again as part of a trilogy of live-action TV specials, Osamu Tezuka Theater (2000), along with Tezuka's Canon and Lunn Flies into the Wind (see Lion Books).
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