Anime: Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
aka: Kirby Of The Stars
Hoshi no Kaabii
(Kirby of the Stars
) is an anime adaptation of Kirby
, a Nintendo Platform Game
franchise, better known in the United States by its dub title
, Kirby: Right Back At Ya!
. It was a joint production by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory (Warpstar Inc.). The anime was licensed by 4Kids Entertainment
, so of course, a lot of the darker elements from the Japanese version were Bowdlerised
out, but the dub was still successful, managing to stay on air for all 100 episodes
In the first episode, Kirby crashes into Pop Star and lands in the country of Dream Land. King Dedede
does not like the newcomer and does everything he can to eliminate Kirby. His methods come in the form of ordering monsters
from the mysterious Holy Nightmare Corporation (NightMare Enterprises in the dub) to fit whatever crazy schemes he comes up with. Along the way, Kirby befriends Fumu (Tiff), the Cabinet Minister's daughter, and her brother, Bun (Tuff), who help him to get settled in their village.
Kirby and his friends spend the episodes foiling Dedede's plans, battling the monsters he orders, undoing whatever damage he caused to Pupu Village/Cappy Town, and the series follows their day-to-day antics whenever they're not doing any of the above. The series is episodic in nature, although it has several sequential episodes.
In 2011, Nintendo
released the Kirby TV Channel, a free downloadable Wii
channel allowing Wii owners to watch a constantly rotating set of episodes from the entire anime (except for the undubbed episode 38). In 2012, a 3D version of a Japan only episode was released on the 3DS. It's viewable on youtube
This Anime contains examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: Dedede of the Stars (or Dedede: Comin' At Ya! in the dub) explicitly manages an approval rating less than 1%.
- Dedede himself goes without saying. But he is so hated, that at one point he is cursed to not react to anything, and is practically comatose throughout the whole episode. In which everyone starts lining up to beat the crap out of him.
- 24-Hour Armor: Meta Knight, Sword, and Blade sleep with their armor on.
- And they're never seen taking care of it, either. It just magically repairs itself or something.
- The Abridged Series: YouTube user kirbywarrior1212 made a series based off of the American dub, thus naming it Kirby: Right Back At Ya! Abridged. See the playlist here.
- Accent Adaptation: Dedede's Foghorn Leghorn-like southern accent. Meta Knight is also a Dashing Hispanic for some reason (many call him Señor Noodlearms because of it). Meta Knight's Spanish accent in the dub is possibly because of the vaguely Spanish-sounding theme that plays whenever he appears in the original Japanese anime. It might also be a Zorro reference.
- Adaptation Personality Change: King Dedede of usually an Anti-Villain, committing petty acts of villainy at worst and often teaming up with Kirby. Here, Dedede is a more actively antagonistic and callous tyrant (if still ineffectual) and his redeeming moments are more few and in between. Meanwhile Meta Knight, more a Hero Antagonist in the games, is Kirby's ally and mentor from the beginning of the anime.
- Adaptational Villainy: King Dedede, to some extent. While his original self in the video games is also a petty but Laughably Evil antagonist to Kirby, he has more nicer moments and more times when he genuinely tries to help Kirby fight a more serious enemy than Dedede in the anime does.
- Adaptation Expansion: And HOW! Many midboss characters and even normal enemies from the games are fleshed out and given backstories.
- Adults Are Useless: Appears to be the norm with the Cappy residents.
- All Just a Dream: The two-part "Crisis of the Warpstar" ("Air Ride in Style" in the dub), in both versions.
- Alternate Continuity: Implied, given that many individual characters are based on what should be common species, and that many returning game characters have different roles. There are minor references to anime material in subsequent games, however, so another possible explanation is that it's supposed to be depicting Kirby's early life as a denizen, predating the rest of the series.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: See American Kirby Is Hardcore below.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Demon Beasts are always evil, with a few exceptions. The Robotic Dog, until its programming kicked in, Lola who was deemed useless and split in two, Hardy, whose only job was to do dental work, and the unknown monster which may be Kirby.
- Always Close: Averted. In the final episode, the Halberd attempts to retreat from Nightmare's fortress after realizing he is Nigh Invulnerable; the gate starts to close and they miss it by half a second.
- Though the same episode plays it straight when the gang's time bomb goes off and destroys Nightmare's base the second after they all transport out.
- Ambiguously Gay: Escargon/Escargoon. Nothing official has been said, but he has plenty of Ho Yay with Dedede, and in the original he even sings a song where he says "I love his Majesty" (although the word translated as "love" could mean "admire" rather than actually "have romantic feelings for").
- His dub voice is obviously based on that of camp icon Paul Lynde, which doesn't help.
- Gets even better in the Japanese episode where his shell breaks. Kirby even says "Poyay"
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Compare the original Japanese theme songs with the English version. In Japan, it's a cutesy little parade with a smiling Kirby being for the most part generally adorable (with a little bit of horror thrown in for good measure, just so you know that the show isn't all happiness and smiles), and the second one compresses the standard episode plot into about two minutes. The English version is a quick beat full of monsters, Stuff Blowing Up, Kirby showing off his toughest powers, and putting on an angry face for most of the song, despite him spending most of the actual show being happy, hungry, or curious.
- In episode 5, Dedede uses a chainsaw to destroy Whispy Woods. In the dubbed version of it, he uses a laser chainsaw. Probably just Bowdlerization, but it's still Crazy Awesome.
- In the Japanese version, the music used when Kirby sucks something up is rather poppy and cheery. In the English version, it's an epic-sounding, heroic fanfare.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Dedede opens one in episode 31.
- The Anime of the Game
- Animation Bump: In the later episodes of the anime, around 65~ episodes in, with far less use of Conspicuous CG. By the final few episodes, Dedede and Escargon are only animated in CG in Stock Footage, leaving Kirby to be the only character to consistently be CG. Larger objects, such as the Destrayers and the Halberd, are still done in CG, however.
- Some episodes, such as episode 32, also tend to have better than average animation. As well as an abundance of wild takes from Dedede and Escargon (in 2D, of course).
- Arcadia: Dream Land.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In episode 40, Knuckle Joe releases monsters onto Cappy Town. They're seen throwing dishes and tear down the restaurant, shoving items off shelves at the Toy Store, and seen reading and not paying at the book store, which has no damage seen on the inside whatsoever.
- Artistic License - Physics: In one episode, Kirby prevents a planet-sized, sun-like meteor from crashing into Pop Star...by shooting a few cannonballs at it. What.
- Ascended To Carnivorism: The Sheepwolf.
- As Long as There Is Evil: If there are bad dreams, then Nightmare will continue to exist.
- Astral Checker Board Decor: In Nightmare's lair, where he makes the Demon Beasts/Monsters.
- Attack Its Weak Point: A common strategy used against Demon Beasts/Monsters.
- A Weighty Aesop: The anime has an episode entitled "Fitness Fiend", which involves Dedede trying to make super-fattening, addictive potato chips. Unfortunately, he ends up falling victim to their effect, along with Kirby!
- The Bad Guy Wins: As stated in some flashbacks, it's implied that Holy Nightmare Corporation/Nightmare Enterprises invaded and took over other planets. Successfully.
- Balloon Belly: Hoboy... let's just say Kirby and Dedede take this to ridiculous extremes in Episode 61 Fitness Fiend and leave it at that.
- Beat the Curse Out of Him: In one episode, Escargoon gets posessed by a monster that makes everyone forget who he is, and Meta Knight was more than happy to suggest that Violence Is the Only Option.
- In episode 19, Meta Knight tells the story of how his best friend was kidnapped by demon beasts and possessed, forcing Meta Knight to kill him. Later, Kirby fights and subdues Knuckle Joe for the same reason.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Waddle Doo hints that this is the reason why the Waddle Dees follow King Dedede—once they're shown a little bit of hospitality, they'll settle down. This is also the reason why Sword and Blade chose to follow Meta Knight.
- Berserk Button: According to Customer Service, try to train a certain fire-breathing wolf-like Monster of the Week and he'll burn you up with his fire attacks.
- One look at Fumu-tan of the Stars and slowly, but surely, Fumu/Tiff takes her anger out on the Otakus who made it.
- Big Eater: Take a wild guess.
- Big Little Man: At the end, it turns out that Nightmare Enterprises' salesman, seen only chest-upward on a screen up to that point, has little more than feet beyond that.
- The Big Race
- Bonus Episode: A special eight-minute short was released on the Wii Channel in Japan. It was dubbed and available on Nintendo Video for Nintendo 3DS, three years after its original release.
- Brainwashed: In "Un-Reality TV", Dedede brainwashes the Cappies using television. In "Don't Bank On It", he brainwashes the Cappies into liking him and giving him money, using voodoo dolls.
- Brown Note: Kirby's Mike ability is even more powerful than in the games. When he uses it, his own allies run for the hills, the Monster of the Week explodes, and massive property damage is caused.
- The Caligula: King Dedede. His castle has his face displayed all over the place, the only thing he ever does as king is find ways to take advantage of the Cappies by heavily taxing them, and orders monsters from a nightmarish evil corporation to make everyone miserable, or just to beat Kirby.
- Calling Your Attacks: Kirby combined it with Gratuitous English; this was removed in the dub.
- Knuckle Joe does it too, even in the dub.
- The Cameo: Escargoon, Max Flexer, Captain Doo, and Customer Service appear briefly in Kirby Mass Attack. So far, they're the only anime-specific characters to ever appear in the games.
- Canon Foreigner: Tiff, Tuff, Escargoon, Customer Service, etc. The cappies are an interesting variant; they were minor enemies in the games, but here they lack their eponymous caps and fill the role of humans as townspeople.
- Escargoon had a split second cameo in one of Kirby Mass Attack's mini games, but aside from that, he has yet to make a true appearance in the games.
- Thee NME salesman appears in one of the game over screens.
- Canon Immigrant:
- Of all things: the spear-wielding Waddle Dees make appearances in Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby Super Star Ultra and Kirby's Epic Yarn. Bandana Dee even takes one up in his playable appearance in Kirby's Return to Dream Land along with a spear ability for Kirby.
- Bandana Dee's signature move in Return to Dream Land, twirling his spear like a helicopter blade to fly, originates from the episode where Dedede sells off his Waddle Dees in attempt to pay his debts back to Nightmare.
- Some of the ability moves that Kirby used on the monsters made their way in future titles. For example, Needle Kirby didn't function exactly like it did in the games during the original airing date of the anime. Needle Kirby shoots needles out of his hat rather than extending the needles. However in Kirby's Return to Dream Land the needle ability got an expanded move list, and one of those moves is shooting needles out of Kirby's body via mashing the D-Pad or shaking the Wii Remote.
- If inanimate objects count, then the design for Dedede's castle. Squeak Squad even features the monster transporter.
- Anime Halberd also makes it to Squeak Squad.
- Dedede's tendency to add -zoi to the end of his lines in the Japanese version of the anime is also used in the Japanese narration of Kirby's Epic Yarn. Kirby likewise says poyo during some events in Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and uses the word exclusively in Kirby Mass Attack.
- Escargoon, Customer Service, Chef Shiitake, Max Flexer and Captain Waddle Doo have cameos in Kirby Mass Attack.
- Water Kirby is an official copy ability in Kirbys Return To Dreamland. Kabuki Kirby is also made official in Kirby Mass Attack.
- Galaxia, Meta Knight's sword, has its pronged appearance (originating from the anime) in Amazing Mirror apparently and Super Smash Bros Brawl. As well, art for Meta Knight has had him carrying a pronged, golden sword, even if his sprite doesn't; often or not now, his sword is just gold. Additionally, the sword was first referred to as Galaxia in the anime and the name has been used since Brawl.
- Outside of Japan, the official logo of the Kirby series was changed to match the anime's US logo◊.
- Carnivore Confusion: In the second episode, Dedede orders snails at Chef Shiitake's restaurant. Escargoon cringes and advises against it.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Via the Demon Beast/Monster transporter.
- Catch Phrase: "Kirby, inhale it!" / "Kirby, suck it up!" and "Come, Warp Star!" / "Kabu, send the Warp Star!"
- The original Japanese version has King Dedede's "Unforgiveable!" as his catch phrase.
- Channel Within A Show: Channel DDD.
- Dedede of the Stars and Fumu of the Stars as well.
- Characterization Marches On: In the first few episodes of the original, Escargo(o)n was referred to as 'Dr. Escargon', possibly implying that the producers were going to make him off to be a sophisticated guy rather than just Dedede's lackey. Shades of this characterization do come back when he develops robots, vehicles, and even a NME-equivalent injection that turns ordinary creatures into monsters.
- Kirby himself, too. In the first episode when he fights the first monster, he turns blue when weakened and Meta Knight explains that simply by seeing his Warp Star, Kirby will be able to regain his energy back. The Warp Star makes a return in almost every episode after it, but Kirby turning blue does not.
- Chekhov's Gun: The pendant that Knuckle Joe inherits from his father.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The animal friends only appear in a few other episodes after their introduction and have little bearing on the plot. This mirrors their in-game appearances.
- Combat Commentator: Meta Knight always seems to be on hand to tell us about whatever new form Kirby's taken.
- To an extent, Fumu/Tiff and Bun/Tuff as well, whenever Meta Knight isn't around.
- Conspicuous CG: All over the place, especially during Kirby's transformation sequences. For half of the show, Dedede and Escargoon are CG, and Kirby is almost always CG (with a few exceptions, of course). Dedede's cape/robe does manage to avert No Flow in CGI however.
- Lampshaded subtly in an episode involving different ways of animating.
- Dyna Blade's appearances had her in nothing but CGI, and with a more realistic style. Considering she's an almost-godlike being, the effect isn't jarring.
- The show switched to an All-CGI Cartoon with the Nintendo 3DS short, though considering that 2D doesn't translate well to 3D, it works.
- Cool Airship: The Halberd.
- Cool Car: Dedede's tank, which makes him look like some kind of a Third-World dictator, later replaced by a limousine equipped with hammers.
- Cool Chair: King Dedede owns one.
- Cool Plane: Kirby's Starship. It also converts into a Cool Car, which he uses in the Wacky Racing episode.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Customer Service.
- Crapsaccharine World: Despite the ridiculously cute characters and peaceful setting, the backstory and Meta Knight's origin is a hell of a lot darker than you'd expect. Mostly Bowdlerised in the dub, but it's still there.
- Plus the fact that there's an evil organization trying to terrorize Pop Star and the entire universe, and Meta Knight's almost the only one still alive who knows the truth. Everyone else is quite ignorant (including Kirby most of the time).
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kirby will get the stuffing beaten out of him at the start of most fights, he's a baby and will do nearly anything to get food, even if it's clearly a trap, but once he inhales and copies something, you're flat out done for. In some cases he even one hit KO's his foes; this extends to Nightmare.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The origin of Star Warriors - even though Kirby himself is supposed to be one, the exact details are never explained. Here's a rundown of what's given.
- Cue the Sun: The series ends with a shot of all the characters looking towards the sunrise.
- Cute and Psycho: Just like in the games, the Scarfies in Episode 56. They start out cute, then turn aggressive and attack everybody. Thanks to Hammer Kirby, however, they revert back to their original cuteness again.
- Squishy in Episode 73 as well. It starts out as a cute little immobile piece of sushi in the form of a tiny squid, but after Kirby hiccups on it, it grows into a huge, hulking Kraken-like Demon Beast / monster with glaring yellow eyes and black irises.
- Then there's Episode 95, where Kirby gets possessed by a Demon Frog and turns into Devil Kirby, a psychotic version of himself with red eyes and little demon wings. Then Dedede gets possessed and becomes a hulking, muscular psycho version of himself with the same features as Devil Kirby.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Meta Knight.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Early on in the series Meta Knight seems to be just a very stoic bystander with an ambiguous morality. Once his motivations are revealed in episode 4, you find out that he's really on Kirby's side.
- Darker and Edgier: The third Knuckle Joe episode as well as the Series Finale.
- Darkest Hour: Happens a lot to Kirby in so many episodes, especially during several parts of the five-part Series Finale.
- A Day in the Limelight: Being an episodic series, almost every character in the main cast (and even some inanimate objects, like Kirby's Warp Star) had at least one episode dedicated to them.
- Death by Newbery Medal: Kirby's robot puppy in episode 15.
- Demonic Possession: A common tactic of the Demon Beasts/Monsters.
- In episode 88, the replacement shell that Escargoon orders from NME turns him temporarily into a monster.
- In episode 95, a frog monster possesses Kirby and forces him to harass Cappy Town.
- In episode 19, we learn that Knuckle Joe's father was possessed by Nightmare, forcing Meta Knight to kill him. Joe himself becomes possessed later in the episode, but manages to fight it off.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Kine, to Fumu. Even when the former is an ocean sunfish, he still manages to do this.
- Dressing as the Enemy: In episode 66, when the Pengi come to Pupupuland/Cappy Town, Kirby and co. make Pengi costumes in order to escape the jail cell they're held captive in.
- Amazingly enough, not only did Fumu/Tiff, Bun/Tuff, and Kirby did this (with badly made costumes), somehow, Meta Knight made a much better costume, and even had the same idea, but took it a level above; he posed as a guard for them.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Various times, the dub will mention children having homework, despite there being no school until the episodes where Dedede establishes schools. Then the schools blow up, and are dismissed, yet homework still gets brought up. Though in episode 6 it's lampshaded with this exchange.
Random Cappy kid: Is that your homework Tiff?
Tiff: No, I'm writing an essay about the citizens of Cappytown.
Tuff: We have homework?
- Dub Name Change: First the title, Hoshi no Kirby (often translated as Kirby of the Stars) to Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. Then, every single episode name. And then:
- The main areas. Pupu Village became Cappytown and Pupupuland became Dreamland. The latter is done in the games as well, and so the change of Pupu Village to Cappytown isn't too far-fetched either, considering the whole town is populated mostly by cappies!
- Fumu to Tiff
- Bun to Tuff
- Escargon to Escargoon. It's debatable if this even counts, since the spelling (at least) is so similar one could be taken as a typo of the other..
- Holy Nightmare Corporation to Nightmare Enterprises
- Nightmare to eNeMeE (though occasionally the show still called him Nightmare)
- Lololo and Lalala to Fololo and Falala, losing a bit of the shout out to Eggerland
- Lola to Fofa
- Parm and Memu to Sir Ebrum and Lady Like
- Borun to Bookem
- Sato to Buttercup
- Oosaka to Shiitake
- Dakonyo to Kit Cosmos
- A special mention to this trio of kids: Honey keeps her name, but Iroo and Hohhe are changed - Iroo becomes Spikehead and Hohhe is called Iroo!
- Chilidog to Wolfwrath
- Boukyakku to Erasem
- Noseman to Honker Stomper
- A ghost called Urameshiya in the original who appears to have no name whatsoever in the dub.
- Meta Knight is originally Sir Meta Knight, but this is dropped in the dub.
- In the Italian dub, Cappytown is further changed into Zeetown, and also Sword and Blade Knight are renamed Edge and Sharpe Knight (the latter happens in games too)
- Early-Bird Cameo: In the episode where the village kids collect figurines, some characters that appear as figurines are never mentioned again until they play a part in the Series Finale.
- Eldritch Abomination: The monsters/demon beasts. Kirby himself is implied to be one of them turned good.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Holy NightMare Corporation/NightMare Enterprises alters a meteor's path into a collision course with Dreamland just to eliminate Kirby.
- Enigmatic Minion: Meta Knight, who works for Dedede, but even he doesn't trust him.
- Episode Title Card: Although they weren't present in the dub, they were shown after the cold opening, after the title sequence in the Japanese version.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Escargoon's mother appeared in one episode. He was even willing to protect her from monsters! (Now if only we could've seen her more often.)
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even if he's more of a villainous character than in the games, King Dedede still considers Nightmare to be an eviler force than he is.
- While Yamikage betrayed the Galaxy Soldier Army to side with Nightmare, and has a grudge with Meta Knight (and now Kirby), he hints that he still retains his honor, considering that he says that he's not a thief and won't steal anything save for a ninja scroll that Dedede had stolen from Curio and that Benikage had stolen back from him, Kirby and the gang (which was really Benikage's failing report card).
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One episode has the characters going through a world of dinosaurs created by a mad scientist (actually a Monster of the Week and a Shout-Out to The Island of Doctor Moreau), with the added twist of the dinosaurs having the protagonists' DNA. On a general note, it's a parody of Jurassic Park, complete with a kitchen scene.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Two instances where dinosaurs breath fire, both justified. One occurrence is in Dedede's dream, and the other when Dinosaur Kirby attacks everyone. He inhales a torch and gets the fire copy ability.
- Everythings Better With Ninjas: Episode 24.
- Evil Laugh: Done very often by both Dedede and Escargo[o]n.
- Evil Teacher: In one episode, Dedede makes a school and forces all the villagers to either be taught or be teachers. However, as a trick, a special cap, when worn, turned you into this.