The inspiration and music is from Japan but the animation talent and work is all done in America in Cartoon Networks new 2D series, HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI. The 30-minute animated comedy about the fictional adventures of two very real-life Japanese pop stars, debuts Nov. 19, 2004, at 7:30 pm during Fridays, CNs popular primetime block of animated comedies.
HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI transports viewers on an animated tour bus to the rock n roll lifestyle adventures of two very cool, but very different, pop stars, Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, as they travel from gig to gig or just hang out in their hometown, Tokyo. Their customized tour bus is a veritable condo on wheels with all the major amenities and an ever-changing interior.
From opposite ends of the spectrum, Drummer Ami is the ultra-peppy, totally optimistic half of the group. Brightly clad in pinks and a flower, she always sees the bright side of things. Yumi is a jaded soul, clad a bit more Goth in black with a skull. She is the hard-rocking, cynical guitar goddess with an absolutely infallible sense of cool. Her sarcastic wit and deadpan delivery perfectly complement Amis unbridled enthusiasm. Together they take the world by storm and travel in style in their decked-out tour bus that has everything from a kitchen to a ballroom to an observatory.
The show is produced, using Flash, entirely in the U.S., at Renegade Studios in Glendale, California, which developed the show before Cartoon Network Studios had finished installing its Flash department, responsible for FOSTERS HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS.
The art style is anime influenced, sort of POWERPUFF GIRLS meets UPA simple graphics and cutout silhouettes. It shows how much can be done with Flash, when designed and staged right. The show features minimalist backgrounds, enabling the characters to pop and read, and is appropriate for the highly graphic look of the show. The color palette is vibrant and bold, with lots of pinks and purples for a girls show, but its fast-paced and rocks with action plus cultural asides and satire for older ears to enjoy while the little ones enjoy the eye-catching designs and action.
Sam Register, who fell in love with their music and thought their animated performance would make a great show, created the show. Their commissioned theme song for TEEN TITANS had been a big hit and help to that series so CN was primed to do more with the rock duo.
Anime was just the beginning of Japanese culture to come to the United States, said Register. Now J-pop culture and music are poised to be the next big thing. HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI is the perfect vehicle to introduce American audiences to this cool group and world of Japanese pop. It will be unlike anything youve ever seen.
HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI also will feature live-action segments starring the real-life Puffy AmiYumi, incorporating J-pop hits into each show. They do not provide their speaking voices; the accents would have been a bit difficult to take in with the quick action. Janice Kawaye is the voice of Ami while Greg Delisle is Yumi. Keone Young does their nutty manager Kaz.
Renegades Ashley Postlewaite is producer on the show with Darrell Van Citters directing. Tramm Wigzell shares exec prod duties with Register while Andy Sturmer is a consulting producer.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in 87.1 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System Inc.s ad-supported cable service offering 24/7 animated entertainment.