KAPPA MIKEY, the first global acquisition by MTV Networks, and the only anime series to be entirely created and produced in the U.S., is now airing on Nicktoons Network at 8:00 pm on Saturdays. It repeats on Nicktoons Networks' primetime programming block from 7:00 pm to midnight Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning in May, KAPPA MIKEY will roll out across Nickelodeon's international channels, including Nick Asia, Nick UK, Nick Spain, Nick France and Nick Europe.
The 26-episode series is written like a sitcom and the story contains a show within a show. A fish-out-of-water anime/action comedy, KAPPA MIKEY chronicles the madcap adventures of an American child actor from Cleveland, Mikey Simon, as he adjusts to his new role as the biggest anime star Japan has even seen. Recruited to join the cast of LilyMu, formerly Japan's hottest anime TV series, his co-stars know immediately that he's the wrong guy for the job. But, the audience disagrees, and Mikey is Japan's newest rising star, rocketing LilyMu back to the top of the ratings. When Mikey is not being chased down by the paparazzi, he must find time to get to know his costars, adjust to Japanese culture and learn to love life inside the fishbowl.
The original animated comedy series was developed by Nickelodeon and created and exec produced by Larry Schwarz of Animation Collective. Produced entirely in Flash technology, the animators have given it the bold, graphic look and staging plus design elements so familiar in anime productions. (The project was first publicized as a development by Sunbow with Schwarz when he was at Rumpus in 2001.)
Mikey stands out as the one who looks most consistent frame by frame. The rest of the gang the boss Ozu; Ozu's sidekick, Yes Man; and Mikey's co-stars physically transform depending on their moods in size and expressions.
It stars the voices of Michael Sinterniklaas as Mikey Simon, Sean Schemmel as Gonard, Gary Mack as Guano, Annice Moriarty as Lily, Evelyn Lanto as Mitsuki, Stephen Moverley as Ozu and Jesse Adams as Yes Man. They are voice directed by Sean Lahey who also supervises the music.
KAPPA MIKEY contains many pop-culture references and jokes for kids and adults alike.
Back-to-back episodes of KAPPA MIKEY premiered during the "Three-Headed Monster," Nicktoons Networks' primetime programming block from 7:00 pm to midnight, on Feb. 25.
"KAPPA MIKEY is a great addition to Nicktoons Network and Nickelodeon's international channel's it is the type of show that supports our mandate to deliver our global audience the very best compelling entertainment available," said Keith Dawkins, vp/gm, Nicktoons Network. "We know that kids and adults around the world love anime, and we are excited to bring them this quirky comedy."
"Written with colorful characters, fast-paced action and satirical comedy, KAPPA MIKEY will have every kid and every adult anime fan excited to see what's next for Mikey and his gang," said Schwarz, Kappa Mikey's creator and ceo of Animation Collective.
Sony Music Japan recording artists, Beat Crusaders, wrote and perform the KAPPA MIKEY theme song. In spite of having only made a major label debut in 2004, lead vocalist Toru Hidaka has arranged and produced some of Japan's top musicians and supervised the musical aspects of the hit Japanese animated series, BECK.
Also serving as exec producers are Sergei Aniskov, Christopher Fauci, Michael Gold and Sean Lahey. Joel Blanco produces and Aniskov directs the series written by Conrad Klein, Colin Jost, Chris Reisig, Leila Strachan and Michael Yank.
Schwarz is the founder and ceo of Animation Collective, the New York City-based producer of children's programming for television, the Internet and home video. He's the creator and exec producer of all of Animation Collective's original television series, including, KAPPA MIKEY, THUMB WRESTLING FEDERATION, LEADER DOG and TORTELLINI WESTERN for Nicktoons and ELLEN'S ACRES, HTDT and PRINCESS NATASHA for Cartoon Network. In addition, Schwarz served as producer of WULIN WARRIORS for Cartoon Network and the first season of THE INCREDIBLE CRASH DUMMIES for the Fox Box.
Prior to Animation Collective, Larry Schwarz founded Rumpus, the multimedia childrens entertainment company. Rumpus operated kids entertainment and community websites Rumpus.com and Zeeks.com and produced interactive programming.
New York City based Animation Collective (www.animationcollective.com
) is a leader in creating Flash-based animation for television, the Internet, home video and feature films. The company produces programming on a work for hire basis and develops and produces original proprietary properties.
Animation Collective is the largest provider of original content for KOL, America Onlines kids channel and RED, their teen channel. Schwarz is the creator and exec/ producer of KOL series SKWOD and KUNG FU ACADEMY and of many RED series, including GENE THE BOY GENIE, BERZERKARI, HUXTABLE AND BONER and PENNED.
Nicktoons Network, the 24-hour animation network owned by Nickelodeon, features a wide variety of programming that have defined kids' and animation lovers' television for more than 10 years. Targeting kids 6-14, Nicktoons Network features programming that is 75% exclusive to the channel. In addition, Nicktoons Network is home to award-winning shorts that helped redefine kids' television. Nicktoons Network currently reaches 36 million homes via cable, digital cable and satellite, and can be seen on Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Nicktoons, and all related titles and logos are property of Viacom Inc.