Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

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Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.svg
Created bySam Register
Developed byShakeh Hagnazarian
Directed by
Starring
Voices of
Theme music composerPuffy AmiYumi
Andy Sturmer
Opening theme"Hi Hi"
performed by Puffy AmiYumi
Ending theme"Hi Hi" (Instrumental)
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39 (117 segments and 1 pilot) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersSam Register
Tramm Wigzell
For Cartoon Network:
Brian A. Miller
ProducerAshley Postlewaite
Editors
  • Thom Whitehead
    (Season 1)
  • Joe Campana
  • Nate Pacheco
    (Season 1–2)
  • Michael D'Ambrosio
  • Rick Greenwald
    (Season 2–3)
Running time22 minutes
Production companiesRenegade Animation
Cartoon Network Studios
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseNovember 19, 2004 (2004-11-19) –
June 27, 2006 (2006-06-27)

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is an American animated television series created by Sam Register for Cartoon Network.[1] Produced by Renegade Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, the series stars fictionalized and animated versions of the Japanese pop rock group Puffy AmiYumi. The series premiered on November 19, 2004 and ended on June 27, 2006, with a total of three seasons and 39 episodes, leaving a total of 34 episodes aired and five episodes unaired in North America.

During its run, the series was nominated for an Annie Award three times. Merchandise based on the series has also been produced, such as video games, home media releases, toys, and clothing.

In March 2022, the entire series was made available on HBO Max in Latin America.[2] An additional web page was made available in North America as well; however, it is currently inaccessible.[3]

Premise[edit]

The main cast of the show. From left to right: Ami, Kaz, Yumi, Jang-Keng, and Tekirai.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi follows the adventures of two pop stars and best friends: Yumi Yoshimura (voiced by Grey DeLisle), a cynical, sarcastic, and grumpy tomboy and Ami Onuki (voiced by Janice Kawaye), a peppy, optimistic, and cheerful girly girl. Both are based on the real Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, but with different appearances and exaggerated personalities. They travel around the world on their customized tour bus along with their well-intentioned yet greedy manager Kaz Harada (voiced by Keone Young). From rocking out at a concert to hanging out in their hometown of Tokyo, the duo take the world by storm with their musical talent, trend-setting style, and humor, dishing out lessons in J-pop justice and establishing the international language of "cool" along the way.

Secondary characters include: Jang-Keng (voiced by Grey DeLisle) and Tekirai (voiced by Janice Kawaye), the duo's pet cats who enjoy tormenting Kaz; Harmony (voiced by Sandy Fox), a six-year-old girl who is the self-proclaimed "Number One Fan" of Puffy AmiYumi and (later) Kaz and constantly stalks them; Eldwin Blair (voiced by Nathan Carlson), a sinister land developer who tries to tear down beloved places for his own selfish needs; King Chad (voiced by Katie Leigh), a selfish "bad boy" who is a master of the card game Stu-Pi-Doh! (a parody of Yu-Gi-Oh!); the evil Talent Suckers (voiced by Nathan Carlson and Corey Burton), a vampire rock trio from Transylvania; and Atchan (voiced by Rob Paulsen), a caricature of Vo Atsushi (lead singer of the pop band New Rote'ka) who speaks in third-person and thinks he is a superhero.

The animated Puffy AmiYumi travel all over the world in their tour bus. While appearing the same size as a regular bus on the outside, it appears to have enough internal space to house the girls' rooms (including full-sized beds), Kaz's room, their equipment, televisions, and computers, among other things. In the episode "Domo", Kaz refers to an upstairs area. It also seems capable of running on autopilot, as Kaz, Ami, and Yumi are sometimes sitting in the rear cabin of the bus while traveling. Occasionally, the rear door has been opened to receive packages delivered by a boy on a scooter.

During the first season, the show included live-action clips of the real Ami and Yumi making childish commentary (in English and non-subtitled Japanese) at the beginning and end of each episode. They only performed short clips at the beginning of the show during the second and third seasons. Starting with the second season, the duo was sometimes shown holding title cards introducing the cartoon segments. At the end of the episode "Sitcomi Yumi", Ami and Yumi watched television and saw the animated Kaz with the real Ami and Yumi. All of the live-action clips were produced by Freegate, Ltd.

The real PUFFY performs the cartoon's theme song (which is also in Japanese, German, Spanish, and Portuguese in the respective countries), and many episodes feature one or more of the duo's songs playing in the background, along with music by Andy Sturmer.

Though the characters speak English, the script intersperses their vernacular with Japanese speech, especially when the characters react to events that they find to be surprising. Calling out "Tasukete!" instead of "Help!" is commonly used.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Janice Kawaye as Ami Onuki, Tekirai, News Reporter Additional Voices
  • Grey DeLisle as Yumi Yoshimura, Jang Keng, Fan Club President, Additional Voices
  • Keone Young as Kaz, Domo, Security Guard, Additional Voices
  • Rob Paulsen as Atchan, Dr. Mysto, Clyde Easy Glide, Additional Voices
  • Corey Burton as Nikolai, Scar Tissue, Road Kill Flash Backman, Additional Voices
  • Sandy Fox as Harmony
  • Nathan Carlson as Vladimir, Eldwin Blair, Pizza Guy, Emecee, Additional Voices
  • Katie Leigh as King Chad
  • Kimberly Brooks as Jill
  • Lara Jill Miller as Julie
  • Will Ryan as Farmer Zeke, Alien Banana #1, Wall, Rumaki, Old Camper 3, Wasabi, Sumo Wrestler, Muscle Bound Guy, Defensive End, Riptide's Coach
  • William Hanna as Jang-Keng (Tom and Jerry audio, "Small Stuff" only)

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

A picture of Ami and Yumi, titled "Girls Rock!", is done by Lynne Naylor, one of the show's character designers back in 2005.

According to Register, the target audience of the show is boys and girls from 6 to 11 years old.[4] However, it also has a cult following of teen and adult fans of the real-life Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura who make up the Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi. Register, who was a fan of the band, wished to spread its fame to other parts of the world and thus created the series.[5]

The series features the adventures of animated versions of the duo, who have been immensely popular in Japan since making their debut, and is the second television show to be based on the band after Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy, which aired in Japan from 1997 to 2002. The group now has its own U.S. albums, including a 2004 companion album to this program, and was known to viewers of Cartoon Network in the US for performing the theme to the Teen Titans animated series. During production of the series, DeLisle learned some Japanese from Kawaye and Young, both of whom speak the language fluently.

The cartoon was one of the few cartoons at the time produced entirely in the United States, with a number of characters designed by famed Canadian artist Lynne Naylor, who also designed characters for other Cartoon Network shows, including Samurai Jack, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, which got the show nominated for the coveted Annie Award. The pilot used a combination of Macromedia Flash and traditional cel animation.[6] Each program was 30 minutes long (with commercials) and featured three seven-minute segments. The visual style of the show is anime-influenced.[7] The show later switched to Flash animation once the show was picked up for a full series, due to traditional cel animation becoming too expensive to use.

The show takes inspiration from various works animated in Japan, such as Pokémon, Digimon, ThunderCats, and the Sunbow Productions animated series based on Hasbro properties.[8] Other inspirations included old MGM and Warner Bros. cartoons, as well as Hanna-Barbera and Mirisch/UA cartoons, UPA shorts, and the works of Jay Ward.[citation needed] Some of the show's crew members included various writers from Nickelodeon's CatDog, including Steven Banks, Kit Boyce and Robert Lamoreaux. Prior to the show's release, Cartoon Network also released animated promos done by Klasky Csupo,[citation needed] the animation studio behind many Nickelodeon original shows, such as Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power, As Told by Ginger, and All Grown Up!.

Sam Register originally pitched the idea of Puffy AmiYumi having their own television series on Cartoon Network, and afterwards, Renegade Animation developed a test short on April 22, 2003[citation needed] in hopes of making the channel greenlight the show's production. Renegade Animation originally, at first, created other Cartoon Network pilots before Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi; two of which feature Captain Sturdy; one in 2001, entitled "Back in Action", and the other in 2003, entitled "The Originals", but they were ultimately rejected, and Renegade Animation then started working on Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi starting with its pilot on April 22, 2003. The pilot was not broadcast, but was initially successful, and got the green-light from Cartoon Network. Finally, it was shown in non-full version as a preview on Cartoon Network DVDs and VHS tapes.[9] The entire pilot was found by series' director, Darrell Van Citters, and was uploaded to Vimeo on April 5, 2018.[10][11] The series was officially announced at Cartoon Network's upfront on February 26, 2004. It was originally planned to premiere in December 2004,[12] but was later pushed back to November 19.[13]

Cancellation[edit]

On October 2, 2006, the show's crew announced on their blog that Cartoon Network had cancelled Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi after three seasons and 39 episodes due to management shakeup,[citation needed] leading Sam Register to leave the channel, until Register officially became the president of Cartoon Network Studios on August 28, 2020.[14]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The show had been acknowledged and referenced several times, even outside of Cartoon Network themselves. These also come in the form of parodies, albeit rare.

  • A clip of the episode, "AmiYumi 3000", can be seen playing on a TV in the film Nancy Drew.
  • In 2012, Ami and Yumi appeared on Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary poster.[15]
  • Yumi later made a cameo appearance in the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes special Crossover Nexus.
  • Ami and Yumi made a background appearance, within their poster in a TV pilot for Villainous.
  • Ami's haircut appeared as a wardrobe item in the 2020 mobile game, KleptoCats: Cartoon Network.
  • Parodies of Ami and Yumi, named Ori and Yori, show up in the Nickelodeon series Kappa Mikey.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
PilotApril 22, 2003 (2003-04-22)
113November 19, 2004 (2004-11-19)March 25, 2005 (2005-03-25)
213April 22, 2005 (2005-04-22)November 25, 2005 (2005-11-25)
313February 17, 2006 (2006-02-17)June 27, 2006 (2006-06-27)

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004.[13] After ending on June 27, 2006, the show continued to rerun until December 22, 2006, where it aired in reruns normally, and occasionally, would be one of the few non-Cartoon Cartoons to air in reruns on The Cartoon Cartoon Show before being removed from the network's schedule.[16]

Since Cartoon Network is available worldwide, the show has been dubbed into multiple languages and aired on Cartoon Network worldwide. In Canada, the series premiered on YTV on September 5, 2005.[17] In Japan, the show began airing on Cartoon Network in English with Japanese subtitles in 2005. A dubbed version began airing on TV Tokyo's Oha Suta block on October 6, 2005, and started to air on January 8, 2006 on Cartoon Network Japan.

In Germany, the show aired on Cartoon Network Germany with all episodes. It premiered in 2005 on the Cartoon Network's block of Kabel eins. The show stopped airing there after two seasons in 2006. The reason was that Cartoon Network Germany launched and most of the shows moved there.[citation needed]

In Poland, the show aired on Cartoon Network Poland from 2005 to 2006.

In Australia, the show premiered on April 3, 2005.[18] It stopped airing on Cartoon Network Australia in November 2008. The third season was never shown there. From August to November 2009, the Australian channel 9Go! showed the last season instead and was abandoned in January 2010.[citation needed]

As of March 2022, the show still airs on Tooncast at 2:30am and 2:30pm respectively.[19]

While the show has had a limited release on DVD in America (as seen below), the entire series was quietly released on HBO Max in the Latin America area. The release includes both the Spanish and original English tracks.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Los Angeles Times wrote that the show is "modern, in its retro, Asian-tinged way -- in other words, right in line with the Cartoon Network aesthetic -- but nothing new", and called it "bright and loud and sensational".[20]

Ratings[edit]

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi debuted on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004 at 7:30 PM ET/PT with two half-hour episodes. The show charted double-digit increases with Girls 6–11 in ratings and delivery for Cartoon Network's Fridays programming block.[21] During the following week, the show became the network's top-rated hit for kids 6–11. It also increased Cartoon Network's audience among that age group by 49% over the previous year.[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The series has been nominated three times for the Annie Award.[23] Two of them came in 2005 and one came in 2006.

Year Result Award Category
2005 Nominated Annie Character Design in an Animated Television Production for Shakeh Haghnazarian and Lynne Naylor
Production Design in an Animated Television Production for Michael Giaimo (for first episode)
2006 Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production for Michael Giaimo

Merchandise[edit]

CD[edit]

Home media[edit]

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi home media releases
Season Title Release date
1 Volume 1: Let's Go! November 29, 2005 (United States)
September 4, 2006 (Japan)
Volume 2: Rock Forever! November 29, 2005 (United States)
October 30, 2006 (Japan)
Girl Power April 17, 2006 (United States)
Volume 3: Team Puffy! October 30, 2006 (Japan)
Volume 4: Rock It Up! October 30, 2006 (Japan)
The Complete First Season March 25, 2009 (Japan)
2 Volume 2: Rock Forever! November 29, 2005 (United States)
Volume 5 June 11, 2007 (Japan)
Volume 6 June 11, 2007 (Japan)
Volume 7 June 11, 2007 (Japan)
Volume 8 June 11, 2007 (Japan)
The Complete Second Season March 25, 2009 (Japan)

Video games[edit]

There are two video games released by D3Publisher of America (D3PA) based on the show.

Marketing[edit]

  • A "falloon" (a float with balloon elements) of Puffy AmiYumi's cartoon tour bus (complete with the supporting characters in puppet form), the cartoon version of Puffy AmiYumi as a balloon, and the real PUFFY appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2005.[24][25]
  • A line of toys intended for girls was produced by Mattel (makers of the popular Barbie doll and Hot Wheels cars) and released for the 2005 Christmas season.
  • Two DVDs, Let's Go! and Rock Forever, featuring various episodes of the show, were released on November 29, 2005.
  • The American costume company Rubie's produced a line of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi costumes and accessories for girls for Halloween 2006.[26][27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ a b "Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi llega al catálogo de HBO Max Latinoamérica". www-anmtvla-com.translate.goog (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi HBO Max (North America Page)". Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Interview with Sam Register: Page 6". Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Interview with Sam Register: Page 4". Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  6. ^ See boards drawings on Puffy Crew Blog.
  7. ^ "Cartoon Network Turning Japanese with Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi". Animation Magazine. October 7, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2004.
  8. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - What's Cool in Japan". Web Japan. March 2005. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Pilot Promo - YouTube". youtube.com. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  10. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - Unaired Pilot - Lost Media Page". lostmediawiki.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - Full Unaired Pilot - Vimeo". vimeo.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Cartoon Network Unveils New Shows". Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Cartoon Network Offers J-Pop Hybrid". Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  14. ^ Low, Elaine (August 28, 2020). "Sam Register Upped to Head of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, Rob Sorcher to Shift to Production Deal". Variety. Archived from the original on August 29, 2020. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  15. ^ "Cartoon Network's 20th Anniversary". Firewire Blog.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "TV Schedule Archive - The internet's largest archive of TV schedules!". August 8, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08.
  17. ^ "Yummy Yumi for YTV". Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  18. ^ "Cartoon Network - TV". April 3, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-04-03.
  19. ^ "Tooncast - Programación". www.tooncast.tv. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  20. ^ Lloyd, Robert (2004-11-19). "'Hi Hi Puffy' ready to rock". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  21. ^ ""Puffy AmiYumi Show" Ratings Release". Archived from the original on 2014-09-18. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "Mattel to License Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "Awards for "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi"". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2006-08-28.
  24. ^ "Cartoon Network Unveils Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Float For the 79th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®". WarnerMedia. 31 October 2005. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  25. ^ "(Starts at 52:50) The 79th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (2005, NBC)". YouTube. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Yumi". Rubie's. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-08-28.
  27. ^ "Ami". Rubie's. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-08-28.

External links[edit]