Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Toon Rock: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (2004)

Warner Bros. Animation executive Sam Register is a big fan of the Japanese pop duo, Puffy. So much so, he commissioned them to record the theme to the 2003-8 Teen Titans series. However, while Puffy was later given their own show, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, the fact that it lasted only 2 years, as opposed to 5 for the Titans, spoke volumes of how little American audiences really knew about the act.

Not only that, but Ami & Yumi didn't speak for their animated counterparts, appearing only in live-action bumpers at the start & end of each episode. Well, Jackie Chan did the same thing on his show, but outside of CN's core audience, few here in the US knew who or what Puffy was. No talk shows. No media appearances here. That the series now languishes in CN's vaults after 8 years should tell you something.

Actresses Janice Kawaye (ex-Captain Planet & the Planeteers) and Grey DeLisle voiced Ami & Yumi, respectively. Of course, it helped that DeLisle is also a singer in her own right, so that should've made up for the absence of the real Puffy in the cartoons, but in the long run, it didn't happen.

Here's the open:

Like the current Teen Titans GO!, the animation on this show looks like it might've been inspired by Japanese chibi animation. From what I saw, I didn't find much to want me coming back for more.

Rating: C.


magicdog said...

Looks like the opening credits have been yanked.

I remember when this debuted but wasn't into it. I knew their song from the "Teen Titans" series, but that's about it. How Register came across them is a mystery. I know there are plenty of people who have unique tastes in music and find bands from all over the world they enjoy, but this duo definitely wasn't for me.

hobbyfan said...

I wasn't into it, either, only watched enough to rate it. To me, they were the 2nd coming of Pink Lady, or tried to be. Register's a fan, but should've put a promo blitz together to call attention to them here in the US.

Steven Dolce said...

Back when Cartoon Network had tons of variety.

hobbyfan said...

Variety's something CN lacks now.

Steven Dolce said...

Tell me about it. Cartoon Network barely has any variety. All they do is play the same stuff every day.

hobbyfan said...

That's called being lazy.