Anime / Stitch!
Stitch! (yes, the exclamation point is mandatory) is an anime series from Madhouse and Disney Channel Japan. Three seasons and two TV specials have been produced - the first two seasons by Madhouse and the third season and TV specials by Shin-Ei Doga. It ran regularly from 2008 to 2011, while the TV specials were broadcast in 2012 and 2015.

Yuna Kamihara is a young girl who lives on Izayoi, a tiny (fictional) island off the coast of Okinawa, with her father and grandmother. Much like Kaua'i in the original film and series, Izayoi is a tropical island full of pineapples, sugar cane, and hibiscus, all of which are native to both the Hawaiian and Ryukyu Islands. Yuna practices karate every day with her friends down at a run-down old dojo, and considers herself to be a "protector" of sorts for the local kids. Her mother took off for parts unknown, and she worries for her father's safety. One day, while visiting the "Spirit Stone" in the Spiritual Forest, she sees an explosion in the distance, and reports start coming in of "blue monster" running amok in town.

Meanwhile, Stitch, who left Earth shortly after Lilo went to college and has since fallen off the wagon, is on the run from several Galactic Federation officials when he and Jumba are sucked into a Space Storm that deposits them outside Earth. Stitch, confused, hungry, and thirsty, then runs amok looking for food. He attracts the eye of the locals, who are rather fearful of him. But Yuna goes to confront him and after they square off in a pseudo-karate match, they bond and become friends.

While Yuna is taking Stitch back through the forest, he sees the Spirit Stone. Yuna explains that the stone holds immense power and can grant any wish. Stitch wants to be the strongest thing in the galaxy, and so tries to wish on the stone only to get zapped. Yuna then explains that only those who do good deeds will have their wishes granted. Stitch then makes it his mission to do enough good deeds to have his wish, to be the most powerful creature in the galaxy, granted. But all of Stitch's old nemeses are on his heels...

Not related to the pilot movie for Lilo & Stitch: The Series, which had the same name though with The Movie followed by it. The dub attempts to connect Stitch! to the film conclusion of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Leroy & Stitch, in the first episode, which wasn't attempted in the original Japanese version.

Three years after its initial debut in Japan, it aired on Disney XD, but was pulled off after five episodes. The three seasons have already been dubbed but have only aired in full outside of the US.

This anime contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Dark End is quite polite. Of course, he has no problem with killing his enemies.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English version has a different opening.
  • Ascended Extra: Due to their extreme popularity in Japan, Sparky (Experiment 221) and Angel (Experiment 624) made prominent appearances in the show, the latter not having to prove herself to Yuna near as much as she did Lilo, nor did she have to be locked away until the end of the series. As a result, she's gotten much more screen time.
  • Badass Creed: The members of Yuna's dojo say it before every practice session:
    Protect the weak!
    Love everybody!
    When we meet,
    We become family!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Zuruko/Tigerlily. Much to the chagrin of both Stitch and Yuna, her cousin. Her behavior somewhat improved over the course of the seasons. More so in season 3.
    • Also, Flute/Twang.
  • Bowdlerise
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Sparky (Experiment 221), Felix (Experiment 010) and Angel (Experiment 624) had on these mind control devices placed there by Hamsterviel, though Sparky had it twice.
    • Hamsterviel used Swirly (Experiment 383) to hypnotized Stitch in the episode where Splodyhead (Experiment 619) and Plasmoid (Experiment 617) made their debut.
    • In fact, each time a "cousin" of Stitch's appears that has a yellow "H" somewhere on them, they're under Hamsterviel's control. Among the experiments under Hamsterviel's control with the "H" are Hammerface (Experiment 033), Slushy (Experiment 523), Splodyhead (Experiment 619), Spike (Experiment 319), Babyfier (Experiment 151), Plasmoid (Experiment 617), Sinker (Experiment 602), Kixx (Experiment 601) and Morpholomew (Experiment 316).
  • Broken Aesop: Stitch is racking up points for good deeds purely for his own benefit, rather than because they're the right thing to do.
  • Canon Foreigner: In addition to the main cast, new experiments, such as Experiment 027, were added with along with the ones from the original series.
  • Characterization Marches On: Experiment 627, while still Stitch's Always Someone Better rival, makes a complete 180 in personality, going from the wild, slobbering hyena-like whose only dialogue was "Evil!" in the original series, to a Wicked Cultured eloquent-speaking gentleman with some noble demon traits after saving Stitch and his love interest, Angel, from being crushed by Hamsterviel's ship despite Jumba proclaiming him completely incapable of turning good in the original series. Could count as fridge brilliance considering the series took place after Stitch left his original Hawaii home where Lilo grew up into an older girl, so 627 must have had time to mature.
  • Christmas Episode/Christmas Special
  • Continuity Nod: The recurring extra that is the Hawaiian tourist from the original series with the ice cream cone returns. And he still doesn't get his ice cream!
    • Also, Pleakley's first name is still Wendy.
    • Angel appears as Stitch's leg-wench in his fantasy during the first episode.
  • Cool Old Lady: Jumba seems to really respect Yuna's grandmother, and even calls her "Professor Grandma."
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation
  • Cute Bruiser: Mess with Yuna, and you're liable to lose your nose.
  • Disney Theme Parks: An episode focuses on a trip to Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ehrm... this picture.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The English dub makes an attempt to connect it to the old continuity by having Jumba claim Stitch ran away from Lilo as she got a boyfriend. What about Ohana? Even more glaring in the dub for season 3, where the explanation given for Lilo and Stitch's separation is not only about the same as the original Japanese version, but directly contradicts Jumba's explanation. Well, Jumba could have just been speculating...
  • Dub Name Change: Certain characters, mainly Yuna's classmates, have received Western names in the dub (Piko is Penny, Sae is Sasha, Reika is Jessica, etc). It's business as usual for an English dub of a kids' anime, what makes it more glaring is that there's no attempt to hide that the series is set in Japan otherwise. Surely they could have kept the names as is?
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: One of Stitch's cousins, Checkers, could sit like a crown on people's heads and give the wearer the ability to hypnotize those around them into thinking they were royalty to be obeyed. When it landed on Yuna (and later her snobby rival, Pico), everyone was hypnotized into seeing her as a princess.
  • Flanderization: Oddly enough, a case of reverse flanderization. The end of the original movie (and Stitch Has a Glitch) see Stitch speaking in more or less complete sentences, while in The Series, he speaks his alien tongue Tantalog and only scattered fragments of English. Here, he's taken the next logical step and speaking increasingly fluent English/Japanese.
  • Generation Xerox/Identical Daughter/Uncanny Family Resemblance: Lilo's daughter looks just like Lilo when she was a little girl complete with red flowered dress and Scrump doll!
  • Genre Shift: The first two seasons were set on the fictional island of Izayoi off the coast of Okinawa Island where most episodes focused on yokai and Urban Legends. Season 3 shifted location to Okinawa New Town and focused Slice of Life with focus on episodic hijinks by Hämsterviel and his plans, often involving Gantu.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: At one point, Reuben produces a tropical drink for Angel, announcing "Hey, look what I found! Right here between my legs." How they got away with that one is a mystery for the ages.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Yuna.
  • Hand Wave: The explanations given in the English dub for why Gantu is evil again and other RetCons.
  • Ideal Hero: Yuna. Even after she accosts the bullies who hurt her friend—and forcefully makes them return his game—she still offers to help them, and gives the Myrtle Expy some sugar cane.
  • I Know Karate: Yuna
  • Halloween Episode
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the movie and, to a certain extent, Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
  • Limited Animation
  • Logo Joke: In the first season opening for the original Japanese version, the Disney logo zooms into view, and then gets zapped by Stitch in his stolen police cruiser.
  • Missing Mom: Yuna's mom. At one point, Penny/Piko from the original franchise teases her that her mom left because she's such a screw-up.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Stitch and all the other alien characters are drawn using the same style from the films and The Series. All the new human characters, however, are done in a more traditionally Animesque fashion. Also, Lilo and her daughter are drawn in the same style as the films.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the penultimate episode, there was Dark End, an experiment created by the anime-only villain Deila to defeat Stitch. Not only was it an adorable (more so than Stitch) long-eared rabbit-like experiment with androgynous voice and features, but it was powerful enough to cause a giant fissure in a soccer ball field just by stamping its foot and breaking open a giant containment pod containing Gantu, 625, and Hämsterviel by lightly tapping its claw on the glass. And finally, completely stomped Stitch till he lost consciousness twice, though not without making him undergo a humiliation conga first and wiped the floor with Stitch's nine other cousins. It wasn't until, through some contrived power gained from the love and support of Yuna and her friends that he was able to stand a fighting chance against Dark End.
    • There was also Twang, another flute carrying cat/rabbit-looking experiment who grew stronger the more attention and sympathy it got from those around it. This included framing Stitch in a wounded gazelle gambit so Yuna and her family would take its side. Databases suggested that with enough attention it would have become a hulking not-so-cute monster.
  • Off Model
  • Pinky Swear: Yuna and Stitch do this often.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Reuben. He really doesn't care, whether Hämsterviel's plans succeed or fail. Or if it just fails, period.
  • Real After All/All Myths Are True: The "Spiritual Stone" zaps Sparky, removing the mind controlling device, thus proving to Gantu (who dismissed it as an Earth legend) they exist in the fifth episode. Then there are the yōkaiís, one of which lives with Yuna and co. There also was a boy vampire who likes candy instead of blood, a werecreature if not werewolf and what looks like the Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Sequel Series: A sequel series to a sequel series, no less. This status is fully cemented in an episode in the third season, where it is revealed that Stitch ran away from Lilo after he thought she abandoned him, with them being finally reunited in that episode.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In the third episode of the dub, Pleakley says his species is genderless, despite his species having been shown to have genders in the initial series.
    • Stitch needing Yuna to teach him right from wrong, despite having already gone over that extensively with Lilo.
    • Gantu and Reuben being evil again, despite Gantu having been reinstated to his position in the Galactic Armada and Reuben finding his one true place in Leroy & Stitch.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Lilo.
  • Shout-Out: In the first episode, several kids are shown playing a game that is very obviously Spectrobes 2—another Disney production.
    • Also in the opening, there is a Hidden Mickey in the sushi just after the opening theme. Makes sense, considering it's a Disney co-production.
    • The soap opera Pleakley and Gantu like to watch (at least in the English dub) is called The Young and The Stupid.
  • Smelly Skunk: Hamsterviel sends a skunk-like alien (possibly an experment of his) to retrieve Mr. Stenchy for him. It has the ability to shoot powerful stink bombs. It's also apparently female as in the end it falls in love with Mr. Stenchy and their respective stenches cancel each other out.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Happens to Pleakley when he is reunited with Jumba.
  • Stealth Sequel: All signs point to this being an Alternate Universe series, then adult Lilo shows up.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute/Expy: Yuna for Lilo.
    • Piko (Penny) for Mertle.
  • Take Over the World: Apparently Stitch's plan in this series.
  • The Power of Friendship: What allowed Stitch to defeat Dark End at the end of the third season.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted in that the series takes place on the fictional island of Izayoi in Okinawa Prefecture that oddly resembles the island of Kauai (the ecology of the Hawaiian Islands and the Ryukyu Islands is fairly similar). Much like how the original focused on the Hawaiian culture, the culture of Okinawa and the Ryukyus is featured in Stitch!.
  • Tomboy: Yuna.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Sparky's debut episode, after the mind-controlled Sparky electrocutes Stitch, Yuna decides to attack him... only to be shocked herself. Considering this is a Gag Series, it doesn't stick.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Angel this go around. She's spoiled, demanding, and often cruel to Stitch, and has dumped him in favor of someone less no less than three times.
  • True Companions: The show's tagline is, "When we meet, we become family," an Okinawan phrase that describes their hospitality.
  • Truth in Television: Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyus are pretty much the Hawaii of Japan: pineapples, hibiscus, floral patterned clothing, their own language, a rich cultural history... A perfect analog for Lilo & Stitch IN JAPAN though replace Lilo with Yuna.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: What do the people of Yuna's town do when they realize a pair of aliens have just landed in their town? Throw a party to welcome them, of course.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Done by Twang, Experiment 026, on Stitch so it could feed on the attention and sympathy from Yuna and her family.
  • Youkai: There are several varieties living in the Spiritual Forest.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Dark End's first and final appearance of the episode of the same name, he is permanently taken off the show, and a lot of fans wondered what happened to him.
  • You Keep Using That Word: They say Frenchfry's food makes people fat, but it's more like inflation, what with the body shape and the floating.