Kappa Mikey

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Kappa Mikey
Kappa Mikey.jpg
The main cast of Kappa Mikey
Created byLarry Schwarz
Directed bySergei Aniskov
Voices ofMichael Sinterniklaas
Sean Schemmel
Stephen Moverley
Kether Donohue
Gary Mack
Jesse Adams
Carrie Keranen
Dan Green
Wayne Grayson
Bella Hudson
Opening theme"Hey Hey Look Look" by Beat Crusaders
ComposerJohn Angier
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes52
Executive producersLarry Schwarz
Sergei Aniskov
Sean Laher
Christopher Fauci
Michael Gold
  • Joel Blanco
  • Tina Moglia
  • William Gadea
  • Dave Killen
Running time22 minutes
Production companiesAnimation Collective
Kanonen & Bestreichen, Inc.
DistributorCake Entertainment
Original networkNicktoons Network[a]
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseFebruary 25, 2006 (2006-02-25) –
September 20, 2008 (2008-09-20)

Kappa Mikey is an American animated television series created by Larry Schwarz. The show was created by Schwarz's studio Animation Collective. The series premiered on February 25, 2006 and ended on September 20, 2008.[3] 52 episodes were produced.[4]

The show was first picked up in 2002, when it was announced that Noggin's teen block The N would be co-developing and airing the series.[1][2] Animation World Network reported that Noggin/The N had signed on as a co-producer.[1] However, the show was moved to Nicktoons Network, a sister channel to Noggin. With the move, it became the first half-hour series to premiere exclusively on Nicktoons.


The series is a parody of Japanese anime, featuring a young American actor named Mikey whose appearance is styled after Western cartoons, and travels to Japan to star in a tokusatsu show called LillyMu, where his anime-styled co-stars represent common anime clichés.

Each episode follows a specific formula. A typical episode starts with the cast filming a LilyMu segment, but the take is ruined, sometimes revealing the conflict that the characters deal with through the rest of the episode, with a minor subplot running beneath the main plot. After the problem is resolved, the LilyMu segment will be shot again and successfully completed the second time, often rewritten to incorporate whatever lesson was learned during the main story.

Deep into season 2, Kappa Mikey has stopped showing a LilyMu sequence at the end of an episode whenever it would make the episode too long, when the characters are in their LilyMu uniforms enough as it is, or when they successfully film a sequence without any mistakes before the ending.


The show's title is a play on the word kappamaki, a type of sushi. It is suggested that the show was the inspiration for naming the title character "Mikey" and used the prefix "kappa". Like Mikey, who is a "fish out of water" in Japan, the kappa itself is a water demon creature who can live on land. The kappas first appeared on this show in the episode "Mikey, Kappa" on August 5, 2007, where the origin of the title was explained. Coincidentally, Mikey also shares his name with the actor who supplies his voice.

Unlike other cartoons produced at the turn of the 21st century, the property was owned by the studio instead of an agency, the animation was not outsourced and the episodes were written by full-time staff. After producing Internet-based projects and television spots, the series became Animation Collective's first television series. The series was produced in New York City; pre-production began in 2002 and animation started in the summer of 2005.[5] Production for the two seasons wrapped in September 2007.

Schwarz conceived the series in 2000, when he was working at Rumpus Toys, a toy design company in New York City, but they folded before any storyboarding could commence. They resurfaced years later as Animation Collective, and produced an early test pilot for a pitch to MTV Networks, where the character designs and backgrounds were closer to those found in Adult Swim series Perfect Hair Forever, and the humor was also more adult-oriented. Much of the current cast was voicing their characters even this early in production.

In September 2001, Sunbow Entertainment signed a co-production deal with Rumpus Toys to produce the series. Sunbow's parent company TV-Loonland AG would hold worldwide and home video distribution rights.[6] In May 2002, the project was picked up by Noggin for its teen-oriented programming block The N.[1] Noggin/The N signed a co-development deal for the series,[2] while Animation Collective retained the series' copyright and took over distribution rights from TV-Loonland. The show was retooled to appeal to a slightly younger demographic than MTV's main 18-34 year old audience. For unknown reasons, Sunbow later pulled out of the deal, and by the time animation was completed, The N had shifted more to live-action shows, and Kappa Mikey was moved to the younger-skewing Nicktoons Network, where the series was tweaked even further in order to be aimed at younger children. Voice talents were usually local, and its audio was recorded at Manhattan-based NYAV Post, which Michael Sinterniklaas owns. Larry Schwarz, along with the other executive producers, oversaw all phases of production, but only had writing credits on the pilot episode, "Mikey Impossible" and "A Christmas Mikey". All the episodes were directed by Sergei Aniskov. The instrumental score was composed by John Angier, who also wrote the lyrics to "The Recycling Song", "Ori and Yori's Hits", "Living With Mikey", "How Did We Get Here?" and the songs from "The Karaoke Episode".

The series was animated in Adobe Flash, with some moments of CGI rendered in Maya. To further emphasize the contrast in animation styles, one group of animators was assigned to the anime characters, and another group was in charge of Mikey and the other American characters. The vehicles on LilyMu and around Tokyo, as well as the weapons, the Gonard balloon, Pirate King's ship, the Karaoke Genie Machine, etc., were created in Maya and exported into Flash using the Toon Filter. The backgrounds were modeled in Maya, and texture, details, and clouds were added in Photoshop. Some of the backgrounds were inspired by actual locations in Tokyo. The show's anime-style characters perform with large comedic overuses of face faults, such as a face and/or body turning into an exaggerated general appearance, or becoming much smaller. This allowed animators to have more control over how a character looks and acts than on many other Flash shows, and they did not always have to be on-model. The show uses clichés common to anime, including the sweat drop, lines over the eyes or no eyes at all, big heads, flaming eyes, and bodies becoming smaller. Sometimes Mikey will try to do these things, which was one of the show's running gags, but cannot due to being drawn in an American style.



Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
126January 6, 2006 (2006-01-06)April 28, 2007 (2007-04-28)
226June 9, 2007 (2007-06-09)September 20, 2008 (2008-09-20)

Season 1 (2006–07)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"The Lost Pilot"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Larry SchwarzJanuary 6, 2007 (2007-01-06)101
22"The Switch"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Leila StrachanFebruary 25, 2006 (2006-02-25)102
33"Mikey Impossible"Sergei AniskovColin Jost, Chris ReisigFebruary 25, 2006 (2006-02-25)103
44"Ship of Fools"Sergei AniskovRob Dubbin, Colin Jost, Chris ReisigMarch 4, 2006 (2006-03-04)104
55"Saving Face"Sergei AniskovSteve Lookner, Conrad Klein, Leila StrachanMarch 11, 2006 (2006-03-11)105
66"The Fugi-Kid"Sergei AniskovLen Wein, Colin Jost, Chris ReisigMarch 18, 2006 (2006-03-18)106
77"Mikey Likes It"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Leila StrachanMarch 25, 2006 (2006-03-25)107
88"Easy Come, Easy Gonard"Sergei AniskovChirs ReisigMay 27, 2006 (2006-05-27)108
99"Lily Meow"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Leila StrachanJune 3, 2006 (2006-06-03)109
1010"Splashomon"Sergei AniskovColin Jost, Chris ReisigAugust 27, 2006 (2006-08-27)110
1111"The Good, the Bad, and the Mikey"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Mike YankJuly 8, 2006 (2006-07-08)111
1212"The Sumo Of All Fears"Sergei AniskovColin JostAugust 5, 2006 (2006-08-05)112
1313"Lost in Transportation"Sergei AniskovGerry Duggan, Conrad Klein, Leila StrachanAugust 20, 2006 (2006-08-20)113
1414"Big Trouble in Little Tokyo"Sergei AniskovColin Jost, Chris ReisigSeptember 3, 2006 (2006-09-03)114
1515"The Phantom of the Soundstage"Sergei AniskovChris ReisigOctober 28, 2006 (2006-10-28)115
1616"Battle of the Bands"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Michael YankNovember 4, 2006 (2006-11-04)116
1717"La Cage Aux Mikey"Sergei AnsikovConrad Klein, Mike Yank, Alan YangNovember 19, 2006 (2006-11-19)117
1818"Reality Bites"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Michael YankDecember 3, 2006 (2006-12-03)118
1919"A Christmas Mikey"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Mike Yank, Larry SchwartzDecember 7, 2006 (2006-12-07)119
2020"With Fans Like These"Sergei AniskovLeila StrachanFebruary 17, 2007 (2007-02-17)120
2121"Big Brozu"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Colin Jost, Michael YankFebruary 19, 2007 (2007-02-19)121
2222"The Man Who Would Be Mikey"Sergei AniskovGuiseppe ZiploviaMarch 3, 2007 (2007-03-03)122
2323"Uh Oh Guano"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Michael YankMarch 24, 2007 (2007-03-24)123
2424"Like Ozu Like Son"Sergei AniskovRyan KohApril 7, 2007 (2007-04-07)124
2525"La Femme Mitsuki"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, Mike YankApril 21, 2007 (2007-04-21)125
2626"The Oni Express"Sergei AniskovConrad Klien, Mike YankApril 28, 2007 (2007-04-28)126

Season 2 (2007–08)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
271"Camp!"Sergei AniskovWalt Gardner, James HarveyJune 9, 2007 (2007-06-09)201
282"The Bracemaster"Sergei AniskovLeila StrachanJune 16, 2007 (2007-06-16)202
293"Hog Day Afternoon"Sergei AniskovBob BerensJune 23, 2007 (2007-06-23)203
304"Mikey at the Bat"Sergei AniskovWalt Gardner, James HarveyJune 30, 2007 (2007-06-30)204
315"Free Squiddy"Sergei AniskovChris ReisigJuly 7, 2007 (2007-07-07)205
326"Go Nard Hunting"Sergei AniskovRyan Koh, James HarveyJuly 14, 2007 (2007-07-14)206
337"Mikey, Kappa"Sergei AniskovWalt Gardners, Bob BerensJuly 21, 2007 (2007-07-21)207
348"Script Assassin"Sergei AniskovMike YankJuly 28, 2007 (2007-07-28)208
359"Mitsuki Vanishes"Sergei AniskovDan SchofieldAugust 4, 2007 (2007-08-04)209
3610"The Masked Tanuki"Sergei AniskovLeila StrachanAugust 11, 2007 (2007-08-11)210
3711"Back To School"Sergei AniskovLeila StrachanAugust 18, 2007 (2007-08-18)211
3812"Manic Monday"Sergei AniskovBob BerensAugust 25, 2007 (2007-08-25)212
3913"Mikey's Place"Sergei AniskovBob Berens, Sean BoylandSeptember 1, 2007 (2007-09-01)213
4014"LilyBoo"Sergei AniskovBob Berens, Sean Boyland, Conrad KleinSeptember 8, 2007 (2007-09-08)214
4115"Night of the Werepuff"Sergei AniskovRyan Koh, Bob Berens, Conrad KleinSeptember 15, 2007 (2007-09-15)215
"The Karaoke Episode"Sergei AniskovRyan Koh, Sean LaheyFebruary 23, 2008 (2008-02-23)216
4418"Mikey's Memoirs"Sergei AniskovRyan Koh, Walt GardnerMarch 1, 2008 (2008-03-01)218
4519"Seven From LilyMu"Sergei AniskovRyan Koh, Walt GardnerMarch 8, 2008 (2008-03-08)219
4620"Mikey and the Pauper"Sergei AniskovConrad Klein, James Harvey, Walt GardnerMarch 15, 2008 (2008-03-15)220
4721"The Clip Show"Sergei AniskovConrad KleinMarch 22, 2008 (2008-03-22)221
4822"Tin Putt"Sergei AniskovBob Berens, James Harvey, Conrad KleinMarch 29, 2008 (2008-03-29)222
4923"Live LilyMu"Sergei AniskovBob Berens, Ryan KohSeptember 6, 2008 (2008-09-06)223
5024"Mitsuki Butterfly"Sergei AniskovRyan KohSeptember 13, 2008 (2008-09-13)224
5125"Fashion Frenzy"Sergei AniskovLelia StrachanSeptember 20, 2008 (2008-09-20)225
5226"The Wizard of Ozu"Sergei AniskovBob Berens, James HarveySeptember 20, 2008 (2008-09-20)226

Dancing Sushi[edit]

Dancing Sushi is a spin-off series based on the brief bumpers within the series.[7] The series features four sushi characters - Salmon, Larry, Roro, and Meep - who all want to become the world's biggest pop stars.[8] Unlike the main series, Dancing Sushi lacks any dialogue. The sushi were "voiced" by individuals involved in the original Kappa Mikey series including from John Angier, the composer of the series, and director John Holt.

Dancing Sushi was produced from October 2007 to December 2007. It was intended as a way to continue offering fans of Kappa Mikey more of the same kinds of characters in the same universe, and also to keep animators working on the transition between the studio's two major shows; Speed Racer: The Next Generation was in production soon afterward. At one point, there was consideration to reprise some of the Kappa Mikey characters into this series as well.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

A Kappa Mikey DVD was released on September 18, 2007 under the Starz Home Entertainment brand, and includes the episodes "Lost in Transportation", "Easy Come, Easy Gonard", and "The Man Who Would Be Mikey", all from the first season, as well as bonus material, including a fictional music video of "I'm Alright" taken from the episode "Battle of the Bands", wallpaper, an interactive game parodying Hollywood Squares, and a How-to-Draw-Mikey tutorial.

In 2008, the Animation Collective site advertised a second DVD that was scheduled be released sometime later that year. However, the announcement was removed from the website, leaving the exact release date to be unknown. The DVD was intended to include the first season in its entirety, with DVD extras, and would have been considered more of an "official" volume than the last one. No further announcement has been made as the status of this DVD. As of 2009, this release is shelved.

Season 1 (Episodes 1–13) was released on DVD on September 12, 2007 [1], and Season 2 (Episodes 14–26) was released on DVD on March 12, 2008 [2] by Anchor Bay Entertainment in Australia.

The soundtrack for "The Karaoke Episode" is available as a downloadable album on iTunes. Both seasons of the show itself were also available for download from iTunes before they were later taken down from the online retailer.


  1. ^ Kappa Mikey was originally slated to air on Noggin's teen block The N.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d Godfrey, Leigh (May 29, 2002). "Sunbow and Noggin's The N to Co-Develop Kappa Mikey". Animation World Network. Sunbow Entertainment and The N, Noggin's new network for tweens, have signed a co-development deal for the anime comedy KAPPA MIKEY.
  2. ^ a b c Fraser, Fiona (May 23, 2002). "The N comes onboard Sunbow's Kappa Mikey". C21Media.
  3. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 332–333. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  4. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. p. 61. ISBN 9781476672939.
  5. ^ "Cross-Cultural Cartoons: Larry Schwarz and the Animation Collective". Animation World Magazine. September 20, 2007. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2008.
  6. ^ "Sunbow and Rumpus to Produce Kappa Mikey Series".
  7. ^ Dominguez, Noah (November 4, 2020). "Three Delivery: Nickelodeon's OTHER Obscure 'Anime'". CBR. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  8. ^ Baisley, Sarah (January 23, 2008). "Animation Collective Delivers Comedy, Action and Chinese Food to NATPE 2008". Animation World Network. Retrieved April 17, 2021.

External links[edit]