A short-livedCartoon Network original series based on the Real LifeJ-Pop groupPUFFY (called Puffy Ami Yumi in the States to avoid offending a certain trigger-happy rapper) previously known in America for providing the theme for Teen Titans. The series lasted from 2004 to 2006.Produced for television by Sam Register with the help of former Jellyfish member Andy Sturmer, who had previously worked with the real duo. Animation was done with Flash by Renegade Animation in California, making it the only show at the time to have been fully animated in the US (thus making their choice of characters quite ironic), with characters designed by famed Canadian artist Lynne Naylor which got the show nominated for the coveted Annie Award. The series follows the two best friends/musicians and their manager Kaz as they travel around the on their world tour with a number of nutty adventures along the way.
Creator Provincialism: It's a show about a Japanese pop duo. Or so we're led to believe. The characters themselves say and do things easily identifiable with American Culture as all the writers and animators are from North America. They attempt to remind Ami and Yumi are from Japan by having them speak in Gratuitous Japanese, use chopsticks to eat, obsess over sushi, and spend yen (even though there doesn't seem to be any rate of conversion...) but after all We All Live in America.
Day in the Limelight: Minor Characters like Harmony and The Talent Suckers received their own episodes. Kaz and the cats frequently had their own Tom and Jerry inspired shorts that were devoid of Ami and Yumi's presence.
The Danza: In one episode, King Chad is dating an Emotionless Girl named Janice, who is voiced by Janice Kawaye, Ami's seiyuu. Of course, the REAL Janice is a pretty nice lady, according to the producers.
Expressive Shirt: The Skull on Yumi's T-Shirt shifts expression to match her own.
Extreme Omnivore: Yumi. Her competition in an eating contest tried to sabotage her by dumping a bag of metal horseshoes into the food meant for her the night before. It didn't work. In another episode she expresses the desire to eat the aliens that abducted the band (although they were giant bananas so that one could be excused).
Eyedscreen: Used during the showdown in "In the Cards"
First Name Basis: Or last name if you place surnames first. The duo and their manager are only known by their given names. It was highlightened when Ami and Yumi tried to visit Kaz at the hospital and the receptionist asked for his surname. Neither Ami nor Yumi knew it.
The production team's (now 404'd) blog once had a post featuring a drawing of the girls in a distinctly non-heterosexual passionate embrace. This was said to be inspired by the real-life Puffy's amused reaction to the show, something to the extent of "Why are they writing us as gay?". Of course, it also had a series of drawings involving Ami falling victim to an Alien chestburster which Yumi then dispatched with a knife, so it was quite clearly not a network-approved source of series information.
This was actually toned down after season one, with the girls not hugging nearly as much, but the hints are still there, such as the two of them growing old together in the episode set in the future and each with a life dream list including starting a band with each other.
Human Mail: Kaz attempts this to get back into the tour bus when the cats, Jeng Kang and Tekirai, lock him out. Kaz gets mailed to a bunch of other places courtesy of the cats until the package eventually returns.
Lisa Needs Braces: Yumi in "Scowlitis" - except these braces, projected to make her smile, are impractical (highly magnetic and work just like lightning rods), deform her so her smile is half-Stepford, half-Slasher, eventually put her in a depression due to these... And become a sensation with fans.
My Nayme Is: Ami (Ah-Me) is often mispronounced as Amy (A-Me) in promotions and discussion.
Neat Freak: Ami displays such an attribute once, then never again in the appropriately named "Neat Freak".
Negative Continuity: In the first episode it's stated that Yumi has been petrified of squirrels since age 5. In season 2 not only can she fluently speak squirrel but she was also President of the Squirrel fan club. As a whole there's not much tying these episodes together.
Our Founder: in Ami Yumi 3000, when all of civilization is based on Puffy music, there's an enormous statue of the girls back-to-back in a signature pose in the middle of the futuristic city. (the Yumi statue's head has a wormhole over it)
Power of Rock and Power of Friendship were used alternatively, if Rock solved the problem in the last short, Friendship would the problem this time.
Quintessential British Gentlewomen: The opening sketch for "Fan Clubs" features Ami and Yumi sitting at a table in fine dress drinking tea and biscuits, dubbed with British accents with a sophisticated style of speech while an autoharp plays in the background.
Artistic License - History, when you remember that rock was introduced in The Fifties, and became more what it's like today in the 1970s, what with the ever-growing branching into prog, glam, hard, plus the first bands of heavy metal.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ami loves the colour pink, cute cuddly animals and likes girly things like makeup. Yumi is pretty much the opposite.
Too Dumb to Live: The Citizens of Dusty Gulch in "Showdown". They would rely on a chicken to protect them.
Too Soon: The episode "Tsunami Yumi" was never aired due to issues to the then recent Indian Ocean Tsunami.
The real Puffy Ami Yumi appeared in an awareness ad for the tsunami.
Training Montage: Spoofed in "Ninjcompoop" were Yumi's skill do not improve with training. Set to one of the band's song ironically enough.
It happened again in "Chow Down", an episode where Yumi had to win an eating contest against the reigning champion, Sauerkraut Malone. It literally spoofed Rocky by showing Yumi training against frozen sides of beef in a meat locker, just like Rocky Balboa did... but instead of punching them, she had to eat them. All of them. The girl has an appetite.
True Companions: Ami and Yumi are as close as best friends can be, and for all his jerkiness Kaz does have his moments few and far between, even going so far as to refer to himself as their "dysfunctional father figure".
Unreadable Disclaimer: Kaz's contract is filled with lengthy subsections and loopholes that are a subject of many of the escapades the duo find themselves in but the real kicker is a section hidden under a flap and written in Russian saying that he reserves the right to sell the band.