Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

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Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
Puffyamiyumishowlogo.png
Genre Comedy
Fantasy
Created by Sam Register
Voices of Grey DeLisle
Janice Kawaye
Keone Young
Nathan Carlson
Corey Burton
Rob Paulsen
Sandy Fox
Katie Leigh
Will Ryan
Tara Strong
Theme music composer Ami Onuki & Yumi Yoshimura
Andy Sturmer
Opening theme "Hi Hi", performed by Puffy AmiYumi
Ending theme "Hi Hi" (Instrumental)
Composer(s) Puffy AmiYumi (original songs)
Andy Sturmer
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 34 (whole), 5 (unaired)
117 (segments) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sam Register
Producer(s) Ashley Postlewaite
Editor(s) Thom Whitehead (Season 1)
Joe Campana (Season 1–2)
Nate Pacheco (Season 1–2)
Michael D'Ambrosio (Season 2–3)
Rick Greenwald (Season 2–3)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Renegade Animation
Cartoon Network Studios
Distributor Cartoon Network
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run November 19, 2004 (2004-11-19)  – June 27, 2006 (2006-06-27)

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is an American animated fantasy-comedy television series from Cartoon Network, produced by Renegade Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. The show was created by Sam Register, who also serves as the series' executive producer. The series first premiered on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004 and ended its run on June 27, 2006, with a total of three seasons and thirty-four episodes, leaving five episodes unaired.

Overview[edit]

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi follows the animated adventures of two 16-year-old pop stars Ami and Yumi (who are based off from the real Puffy AmiYumi duo), who are cool but very different from each other. As they travel around the globe with their customized Puffy bus, along with their good-hearted yet greedy manager, Kaz, Ami and Yumi take the world by storm with musical talent, trend-setting style and humor. From rockin' out to a concert to hanging out in their hometown, Tokyo, Ami and Yumi dish out lessons in J-Pop justice and the international language of "cool" along the way.

Production[edit]

Concept[edit]

According to Register, the target audience of the show is boys and girls from six to eleven years old.[1] However, the show also has a following of fans of the real-life Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura who make up the Japanese pop duo PUFFY, known as "Puffy AmiYumi" in North America. Register, a fan of the band, wished to spread its fame to other parts of the world and thus produced the cartoon.[2]

The series features the adventures of animated versions of the duo, who have been immensely popular in Japan since making their debut in 1996. 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 USA for performing the theme to the Teen Titans animated series. The cartoon was the only one at the time produced entirely in the United States. It used a combination of Macromedia Flash and traditional cel animation.[3] Each program was 30 minutes long (with commercials) and featured three seven-minute segments that borrow inspiration from Japanese animation (such as the Pokémon anime series, the Sunbow Productions animated series based on Hasbro properties, and the 1985 and 2011 TV series of ThunderCats).[4]

The series was officially announced at Cartoon Network's upfront on February 26, 2004 and was originally planning to premiere in December 2004,[5] but was later pushed to November 19 of the same year.[6]

During the first season, the show included short 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.

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

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' room, their equipment, and 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.

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. During production of the series, DeLisle learned some Japanese from Kawaye and Young, both of whom speak the language fluently.

Cancellation[edit]

On October 2, 2006, Cartoon Network cancelled Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi due to a management shakeup and Sam Register leaving Cartoon Network, while a fourth season of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was in the works.[citation needed] In Japan, Latin America, Philippines, Germany, Canada (on YTV, not Cartoon Network), and Australia (on GO!, not on Cartoon Network), all five of the unaired produced episodes have been televised. Thus far, Cartoon Network has not mentioned any plans to release the final episodes of the series in the United States, nor has it mentioned any further external support of it in forms such as DVD releases. However, Cartoon Network websites in the United States and the UK (except the online games and products in the online shop) have removed all mention of the show, though the rest of the world have not.

The now inactivate online blog of the show (puffycrew.blogspot.com) had its last new post about this show, after the last produced episode aired in Japan and typed this:

So I guess in Japan the Puffy Show aired the final episode last week. Being that the only reason we started this blog was to get feedback on what fans wanted from the show in the future, this seems like a good time to end posting. If anything happens with the show in the future, we'll add more then.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and all your comments!

Here's some boards done in Flash from my final episode, which has never been produced.

Cartoon Network has since never mentioned Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi again until 2012, when the animated Ami and Yumi appeared on Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary poster,[7] hinting that the network may not had forgotten about this show.

Characters[edit]

Major characters[edit]

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

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi depicts characters with the same name and profession as the actual PUFFY members but with different appearances and exaggerated personalities:

  • Ami Onuki /ˈɑːm/ (Voiced by Janice Kawaye) is depicted as a peppy, optimistic, and cute schoolgirl with pink colored hair and eyes. She favors bubblegum pop and wears a 1960s' go-go dress, also sporting a flower in her hair and white knee-high go-go boots. Her main signature color is pink. As the optimist, Ami always looks on the bright side of things and finds a solution to every situation (being two years older, yet acting less mature). She loves rainbows, bunnies, sparkles and anything else girly.
  • Yumi Yoshimura /ˈjuːm/ (Voiced by: Grey DeLisle) is depicted as a cynical, sarcastic, powerful punk rocker with purple hair and blue eyes. She dresses in a heavy metal/grunge/goth style with studded necklaces and bracelets, a light purple T-shirt with a skull that has the same facial expressions as she does, a black miniskirt, purple bike shorts, and black army boots. Her main signature color is purple. She is the hard-rocking, guitar-griding goddess with an absolutely infallible sense of cool, who is preaching the gospel while rocking hard. Her sarcastic wit and deadpan delivery are the perfect compliment to Ami's wide-eyed, unbridled enthusiasm. Being younger, Yumi is also more impetuous than Ami and rushes headlong into a decision before thinking, however, Yumi has a mature side, too, and sometimes reasons with Ami's childish obsessions. Yumi loves things like ninjas, monster trucks, car crushers, R-rated action movies, and anything else rough and tough.
  • Kaz Harada (Voiced by: Keone Young) is the duo's well-intentioned yet money-grubbing manager, whose successes are usually balanced out by his foolish decisions. He is also a huge fan of sumo wrestling, as seen in the episodes "Spree" and "Sumo Kaz".

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Jang-Keng (Voiced by: Grey DeLisle), and Tekirai (Voiced by: Janice Kawaye) are Yumi's and Ami's pet cats, respectively. Jang Keng (sometimes called "Jengo", or Jang for short) is a black cat and Tekirai ("Teki" for short) is a fluffy white cat. The girls adore their cats, but Kaz is a constant victim of their mischief.
  • Harmony (Voiced by: Sandy Fox), is the self-proclaimed "Number One Fan" of the girls and of Kaz by the end of the episode "Dis-Harmony". She is a six-year-old psycho girl who is so obsessed with the duo that she follows them around the world and finding it almost impossible to think of other things, annoying Ami and Yumi to no end. At the end of her first appearance, she becomes obsessed with Kaz's singing and this becomes a running gag, appearing from nowhere and telling Kaz she is his #1 fan.
  • Eldwin Blair (Voiced by: Nathan Carlson) is a sinister land developer, and the antagonist in the two episodes in which he appears. He usually tries to tear down beloved places for his own selfish needs.
  • King Chad (Voiced by: Katie Leigh) is "a bad boy super hunk", as once described by Ami and Yumi. The girls once had a crush on him but after fighting over him with Ami winning they both found out that he thinks highly of himself and cares only for his obsession a card game called Stu-Pi-Doh! (a parody of Yu-Gi-Oh!). In "Janice Jealous", he had a girlfriend named Janice (based on Janice Kawaye, Ami's voice actress) who shared his interests in video games, yo-yo tricks, and comics. King Chad wears a fur-lined cape and gold crown, and sits on an adorned throne.
  • Wall is a hulking yet slow-witted man hired by Kaz as the girls' bodyguard. He is overprotective, pummeling anyone with whom Ami and Yumi attempt to make contact. Kaz later hired him as a bouncer for a party he was throwing and, more recently, Ami had him try being a roadie. He is voiced by Will Ryan.
  • Domo is Kaz's dog. He looks much like his owner, even sharing a similar style of glasses (Kaz is the only one who does not see the resemblance). Like Kaz, he is constantly in conflict with the cats, especially since he enjoys eating their food. Domo is also voiced by Keone Young.
  • The Talent Suckers are a vampire rock trio from Transylvania who first appeared in the eponymous episode, "sucking" Ami and Yumi's talent from them. They returned in two other episodes. The straight man of the trio is Vlad (Nathan Carlson), a tall vampire who speaks with a Transylvanian accent. The second band member is a short vampire, Nicolai (Corey Burton), who is easily made nervous. (A running gag has Vlad slapping Nicolai back to his senses.) The third Talent Sucker is Mitch (Nathan Carlson), a vampire who does not talk, but instead grunts and groans.
  • Atchan is a character Ami and Yumi met at Camp Youwannasushi. He thinks he is a superhero. He is based on Vo Atsushi, the lead singer of the pop band New Rote'ka. In fact, Vo Atsushi actually appeared in a live-action segment dressed up as Atchan in the series finale. Atchan always refers himself in the third person. Before becoming a superhero, Atchan's face resembles Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. After he declares himself a hero, his looks change to look more like Kamen Rider's. He has a painted star over his right eye resembling that of Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley. His costume seems to be based on his manga idol, Mungbean Man as shown in Secret Origins. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Julie is Yumi's friend in the episode "Julie AmiYumi", which was not aired in the United States.[citation needed] She is a former band member whose signature color is green. She plays a keyboard guitar. She treats Yumi kindly, but is always mean to Ami. In the episode, she tries to take out Ami and Yumi as revenge for their stealing the stardom which she believed to be rightfully hers. She could not remember Ami's name and thus called her Arthur. At the end of the episode, she is standing in the rain, still swearing revenge, giving the show a cliffhanger. She is never seen or mentioned again after this episode. Julie wears her hair is a green messy ponytail. Her signature outfit consists of a white shirt, black jacket, blue jeans, and high black boots. She is voiced by Lara Jill Miller.
  • Farmer Zeke is Ami and Yumi's friend who owns a farm. Edwin Blair, the land developer, tried to take his failing farm, Happy Acres, and turn it into a parking lot, but Ami, Yumi, and Kaz come to Zeke's aid and play music to help the farm prosper again. Zeke wears brown boots, overalls, a white shirt, and a red baseball cap. He is voiced by Will Ryan.
  • Granny is Ami's grandmother who appeared in the episode "Granny". She believed that Ami was a wig maker and that Kaz and Yumi were her assistants. Ami lied about being a wig maker because she did not want to give her grandma a heart attack, because according to Ami, she is very traditional, as she believes things like phones and toothbrushes "steal your soul!". She is voiced by Kim Mai Guest.

Broadcast[edit]

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004.[6] 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.[8] 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. As of September 2012, the show is still currently airing in Cartoon Network Japan. In Germany, the show airs every day, although late at night, 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. In Australia, the show stopped airing on Cartoon Network Australia in November 2008. The third season was never shown there. From August to November 2009, the Australian channel GO! showed the last season instead.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi first debuted on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004 at 7:30 PM ET/PT with two half-hour episodes. During that time, it scored the highest-ever Kids 2-11 rating and delivery and the second highest Kids 6-11 rating (4.4) and delivery (1,068,000) ever for a original series premiere.[citation needed] The show also charted double-digit increases with Girls 6-11 in ratings and delivery for Cartoon Network's Fridays programming block.[9] 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.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The series has been nominated three times for the Annie Award.[11] 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
Production Design in an Animated Television Production for Michael Giaimo (for first episode)
2006 Nominated Annie Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production for Michael Giaimo

Merchandise[edit]

CD[edit]

DVD[edit]

  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Let's Go!|Let's Go! (2005)
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Rock Forever! (2005)
  • "The first 3 episodes of "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi" was made on a DVD in the UK (Region 0)".

Video games[edit]

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. A video of this Macy Parade Float in Chicago can be viewed on SUMO.tv.
  • 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.
  • In September 2005 console, handheld and PC games based on the show were licensed to D3Publisher of America (D3PA). Currently a Game Boy Advance game called Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Kaznapped! has been released. A Nintendo DS game titled The Genie and the Amp was released on June 27, 2006. Kaznapped! has also been released in Japan.
  • The American costume company Rubie's produced a line of Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi costumes and accessories for girls for Halloween 2006.[12][13]
  • In March 2009 The first two seasons were released in Japan with English and Japanese audio and in Thailand which they released the third season.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Sam Register: Page 6". Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Sam Register: Page 4". Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ See boards drawings on Puffy Crew Blog.
  4. ^ "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - What's Cool in Japan". Web Japan. March 2005. Retrieved June 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Cartoon Network Unveils New Shows". Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Cartoon Network Offers J-Pop Hybrid". Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ Cartoon Network's 20th Anniversary Poster With Ami And Yumi
  8. ^ "Yummy Tumi for YTV". Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ ""Puffy AmiYumi Show" Ratings Release". Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mattel to License Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi". Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Awards for "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi"". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  12. ^ "Yumi". Rubie's. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  13. ^ "Ami". Rubie's. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 

External links[edit]