In Mari Land
, a picturesque world entirely populated by Ridiculously Cute Critters
, two miscreants named Kuromi
are imprisoned in a dungeon. One day, they obtain the Melody Key, a magical instrument with dark powers, and escape from the prison. They head to the human world in order to collect Black Notes
by making people's dreams come true in horrible ways
, with the eventual goal of resurrecting the Spirit of the Dark Power
. Meanwhile, an acquaintance of Kuromi named My Melody
is suspected of helping the two fugitives escape. She is ordered to go to the human world to arrest them and save people's dreams. My Melody arrives in Yumemigaoka City and helps a junior high school student named Uta Yumeno
when she falls victim to Kuromi's Melody Key. The two become friends, and My Melody starts living with Uta. After that, My Melody and Uta are involved in various troubles caused by Kuromi, but they solve them using My Melody's Melody Takt
, a magical conductor's baton.
As each season of the series progresses, newer tasks fall to My Melody and her friends. In ~Kuru Kuru Shuffle!~, My Melody must collect Pink Notes while Kuromi must collect the Black Notes so they can fulfill their wishes. In Sukkiri♪, both My Melody and Kuromi are candidates to become the new Princess
of Mary Land. Kirara★ however is a prequel story, taking place before the events of the three anime series. This series revolves around Kirara collecting the missing pieces of the Wishing Star so that she can return to the human world.
The irreverent, genre-deconstructing humor saves the show from tasting like diabetes
. The anime would later get replaced by another popular Sanrio franchise called Jewelpet
This show has examples of:
- Action Girl — Mana, of the Kick Chick variety.
- Aliens Steal Cable — The King of Mari Land has a TV that receives programs from Earth. It causes him to make a lot of pop culture references.
- Aloof Big Brother — Keiichi Hiiragi is a textbook example
- Ambiguously Gay — the music tutor.
- And Now For Something Completely Different — Sukkuri in general, which distills the formula of the previous series so that every episode is half-length. While the formula is similar, there are many inherent differences, such as how Kuromi doesn't actually use nightmare magic on other people this time.
- Kirara, meanwhile, doesn't even pretend to be the same.
- Anti-Villain — Baku.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other — Kakeru and Uta.
- Balloon Belly — Uta in Episode 26 of Sukkuri
- Battle Aura — Parodied. "Baku-kun is on fire."
- Beach Episode — doubles as Recap Episode
- Beauty Is Bad — Baku comes to realise that during his stint in the Hiiragi household.
- Be Careful What You Wish For — Kuromi's magic can make your wish come true, but usually in a way that you never expect.
- Betty and Veronica — for Uta, the plain, clumsy but faithful Kakeru is Betty; the unattainable bishonen Keiichi Hiiragi is Veronica.
- Big Bad — Spirit of the Dark Power
- Bishōnen — The Hiiragi brothers
- Breast Expansion — One episode features a girl who uses magic to make her chest bigger by "stealing" size from other girls, including their incredibly buxom tennis teacher. But it backfires spectacularly on her when she gets, shall we say, greedy. Hilarity Ensues.
- Butt Monkey — Baku
- Can't Catch Up — Jun Hiiragi resents how his brother is better than him in every aspect.
- Catch Phrase — "Onegai!" My Melody says this.
- Canon Immigrant / Cameo — Hello Kitty (Sadly, in the eyecatches) herself in Onegai My Melody and Kuru Kuru Shuffle and both Berry and Cherry in Kirara.
- The Chessmaster — Spirit of the Dark Power
- Christmas Episode — Santa lets Uta's dead mother visit the family as Koto's Christmas present.
- Comically Missing the Point:
My Melo: Where is your mommy, Uta-chan?
My Melo: ... AWESOME!
- Cute Witch — My Melody, with emphasis on the cute.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy — When Hedgehog-kun, who is shown to be the one that restores normalcy after My Melo's battles, tries to roll back after Hiiragi starts playing the Song of the Dark Power, DAR-chan zaps him. He doesn't recover until after the world's been saved.
- DAR-chan gets even more savvy the second time around.
- Hiraagi Keiichi in general.
- Dark Is Evil
- Dark Magical Girl — Kuromi
- Dartboard of Hate — The only means through which Jun Hiiragi vents his resentments towards his brother.
- Delinquents — Kuromi's 5.
- Demonic Possession — The Big Bad, Spirit of the Dark Power, has no physical form, and must possess other beings to further its goal.
- Disproportionate Retribution — Arguably the root cause of the entire series. My Melo has apparently been accidentally embarrassing Kuromi for years, and messing up her life. She has done this literally thousands of times, and most of them are the result of My Melo trying to help Kuromi.
- The Ditz — My Melody, and some inhabitants of Mari Land, in particular the elephant King.
- Dope Slap
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male — Kuromi to Baku.
- Easy Amnesia — so that the magical shenanigans won't scar the fragile psyche of innocent bystanders.
- At the end of Shuffle, it stops working on the residents of Uta's hometown. In Sukkiri, he doesn't even bother trying.
- Ear Wings — Baku can extend his ears and use them to fly.
- Expressive Shirt — the skull on Kuromi's hat.
- Fanservice — Kuromi's magic sequence features a shirtless Keiichi in Season 1; a Jun in a latex devil suit in Season 2.
- Fan Disservice — ... but in the Christmas episodes, it becomes a shirtless Santa Claus
- Forgotten Birthday — in a show full of teenage girls (and girlish bunnies), you pretty much expect this.
- Gosh Hornet: In the first episode of Kirara, Kuromi tells a story about an unfortunate picnic mishap that eventually led to her disturbing a beehive and getting stung.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All — Both My Melo and Kuromi are trying to collect a specific number of Pink and Black Notes respectively.
- Groin Attack — In Episode 2, the Monster of the Week is defeated by having a mouse bite his crotch. The girls are rather amused, while the boys all cringe and protest that it's no laughing matter.
- Honor Among Thieves — Shows up just about every time Kuromi's 5 do.
- Hostile Show Takeover — Referenced when My Melo is about to be cooked by the Monster of the Week, and Kuromi exults that "Starting next week, 'Pretty Lil' Devil Girl Kuromi-chan' will air in this timeslot!"
- How Do I Shot Web? — Kuromi loses the instruction manual for the Melody Key, and has to figure out how to work it.
- Hurricane of Puns — Any episode focusing on Uta's father.
- I Am Not Weasel — Baku the tapir is constantly mistaken for an eggplant, since he's purple.
- Idiot Ball — Uta and My Melody seem to be tossing it back and forth.
- Incredibly Lame Pun — Uta's father is the master of these.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title ends with "......tara iina" ("I wish") in the first two seasons, "...de sukkiri!?" (Refreshed By...!?) in ~Sukkiri!~, and "Ohmigosh!" in Kirara.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain — Kuromi and Baku
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The 10 minute short movie Onegai My Melody: Yu and Ai has Ruby as a Special Guest character, listening to My Melody's story about her summer barbecue with the denizens of Mari Land.
- Interspecies Romance — Mana and Kojirou
- Japanese Pronouns
- The Jeeves — the twin brother valets of the Hiiragi household.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold — Kakeru to Uta multiple times.
- How about Mana to My Melody?
- Jungle Princess — Mana's favorite movie follows this trope and Kuromi's nightmare magic inserts her into the main character role.
- Justified Criminal — Kuromi steals bread to feed Baku's large family. She faces the punishment without the benefit of this justification.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall — all the time; the finale in Season one has a heart-warming Breaking the Fourth Wall moment.
- Living Toys — the Mari Land denizens may be sentient, but they are still dolls.
- Lonely at the Top — Keiichi Hiiragi: dreamily handsome, incredibly rich, a world-class violinist, capable in the martial arts. He has no friends and no dreams.
- Lucky Charms Title
- Meido — Natalie from Kirara.
- Milestone Celebration: The anime series debuted in 2005, the same year the titular character celebrated her 30th anniversary.
- Magical Girl
- Magical Girl Queenliness Test — The premise of Season 3.
- Magic Music — The magical doohickeys of My Melody and Kuromi require music to charge up.
- Massive Numbered Siblings — Baku's family.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break — On occasion, My Melody literally has one.
"Ahh... This tea tastes so good."
- Missing Mom — Uta's mother died long enough ago that Koto can't remember her, thus supplying an episode's worth of plot.
- Monster of the Week — Kuromi's Melody Key turns people into these.
- Muggle Best Friend — Uta to My Melo.
- My God, What Have I Done? — Kuromi does not realize her nightmare magic is bringing about the end of the world until late in the series.
- In Shuffle, she was unaware her new Melody Key had any connection to the Dark Power because two pages in the manual were stuck together.
- Nobody Poops — Aversion: Kuromi has to go to the bathroom in episode 9 and has a hard time going poop.
- No Sell — Keiichi is resistant to Kuromi's magic through sheer willpower — and through visualizing himself being kissed by Baku.
- In Shuffle, immunity to nightmare magic comes automatically packaged with being Bunny-Eared Mask.
- Odd Job Gods — The God of Eggplants. He's an amazingly local god.
- The One Guy — Kakeru Kogure, if you count just the main hero cast
- One-Winged Angel Hiiragi Keichi gets one of these after he is possessed by the spirit of Dark Power near the end of the first series.
- Origin Story — The fourth series Kirara★ sets before the events of the three anime itself. Explaing more about Kuromi's hatred to My Melody and the origins of the spirit of Dark Power.
- Parasol Parachute — Trasportation in Mary Land
- Parental Abandonment — "Our mother left us long ago, and our father's on a business trip," Uta's younger sister tells My Melody.
- Potty Failure: Kirara and Kuromi both wet their beds thanks to a roaming monster in episode 10 of the Kirara season
- The Power of Friendship
- Prequel — Kirara. It also takes place almost entirely in Mari Land.
- Prince Charmless — Prince Sorara from Kirara. While beautiful and popular with every girl on his home planet, Sorara's cocky, narcissistic, and cowardly. Kuromi is hopelessly infatuated with him throughout the entire season, but eventually gives up on him on the last episode.
- Prima Donna Director — an obvious target for Kuromi.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad — The wicked, hard-edged tricycle gang Kuromi's 5.
- Red String of Fate — Uta is linked to My Melody by one of these, non-romantically of course.
- Redundant Romance Attempt — Jun Hiiragi to Uta
- Refusal of the Call — This is Keiichi Hiiragi's whole shtick in the second series, being forced to become a super hero as penance for his actions in the first.
- Revenge Before Reason — Kuromi is motivated by the imagined slights and grievances, often very minor, she has suffered thanks to My Melody - she keeps a thick notebook on these. Given Melody is such a clueless Ditz, most of the grievances are better off laughed away.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter — My Melody and all the inhabitants of Mary Land. Not surprising since My Melody was created by Sanrio.
- Running Gag — Baku's resemblance to an eggplant is commented on by several characters, much to his indignation.
- Shapeshifting Lover — Kuromi assumes human form to romance Keiichi Hiiragi.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend — Kakeru to Uta
- Sheltered Aristocrat — Keiichi behaves awkwardly when Uta brings him to a greasy spoon; he even tries to pay the bill with a Black American Express Card.
- Shipper on Deck — basically every friend of Uta and Kakeru wants to ship them, including Jun Hiiragi, who has the hots for Uta himself.
- Shirtless Scene — Whenever Kuromi opens a Dream Door in the first series, we see shots of Keiichi playing the violin while shirtless.
- When he's about to begin playing the Song of the Dark Power in the series 1 finale, Keiichi just takes his shirt off first for no reason.
- Shout-Out — When the King is sending My Melo off on her quest, he refers to her as "Pretty Bunny Soldier My Melo" and "Earth Defense Bunny My Melo." My Melo later remarks that the King had been watching a lot of Earth TV shows at the time.
- Sibling Rivalry — among Keiichi and Jun Hiiragi, and among their respective valets.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts — one downright creepy, unnamed pair appear occasionally in the series. They always fall victim to Kuromi's mischief.
- Stock Footage — Kirara has a completely different animation style, but that doesn't stop them from reusing the shot of My Melo's "Onegai" from previous seasons anyway.
- Tarot Motifs — The cards in the Melody Compact in Shuffle feature the summonable residents of Mari Land in different tarot poses. Notable is Rhythm as "The Fool," the King as "The Hanged Man," and My Melo herself as "The Magician." A few are even minor arcana - Bako is the "Four of Swords" and Santa Claus the "Ace of Pentacles."
- Title Theme Tune
- Toilet Humor — Kuromi is a big fan of it.
- My Melo and Kuromi have both been farted upon more than once.
- Title Drop: Said by My Melody in Kuru Kuru Shuffle episode 36.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth — Dar-chan can't possess My Melody.
Dar-chan: GYAHHH! W-what is the inside of this creature's heart MADE of?!
- Thinks like a Romance Novel — Kuromi, often fading into fantasy sequences involving Keiichi (sometimes Jun) and in Kirara, Sorara.
- Tsundere — Kakeru.
- Two-Teacher School — the only teachers who appear with any regularity are Uta's class teacher, the female teacher he has a secret crush on, and the flamboyantly fruity music tutor.
- Underdogs Never Lose — In at least four instances, a bottom-tier athlete/team wins against all the odds (The "Tiger" baseball team; a girl soccer team; a pro wrestler; and Kakeru)
- Undying Loyalty — Baku and Kuromi's 5, both to Kuromi.
- The Unintelligible — the lamb Piano, said to be the greatest poet ever.
- Unwitting Pawn — Kuromi, Jun in season 2.
- Urine Trouble — Baku's baby sister Bako pees on Kuromi in one episode.
- Verbal Tic — Baku adds "zona" to the ends of all his sentences. The Monsters Of The Week also sometimes have a Verbal Tic relating to whatever their theme is.
- Why the Spirit of the Dark Power is known as "Dar-chan."
- Vitriolic Best Buds — Mana to My Melody
- Why Did It Have To Be Cute Things? — Mana has a severe phobia to cute things, which puts her in some unpleasant situations with My Melody.
- Yandere — Kuromi, for both Keiichi and quite possibly My Melody. In almost every episode, she says she will gather Black Notes for Keiichi, something that involves turning the dreams of the depressed, the hopeful, and the occasional kindergartner into horrific nightmares, and at the end of season 1 seems quite willing to let the world be destroyed if it means Keiichi will like her. The only reason she joins up with My Melo is to save him. As for My Melo, she apparently wanted to be friends with her when they where little, then made it her life's mission to destroy her. The judge of Mari Land even states that her obsession is one of the main reasons she's being locked up.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside — Invoked in Season 1 finale, when My Melody needs a whole year of training to avert The End of the World as We Know It.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair — Every human character in the anime has a natural hair color (aside from the Hiiragi brothers and Mana) but Prince Sorara, who has seafoam colored hair. It could have to do with the fact that he's from outer space.