Western Animation: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

Anything is Possible!

A Cartoon Network original series based on the Real Life J-Pop group PUFFY (called Puffy AmiYumi 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 November 2004 to June 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 on their world tour with a number of nutty adventures along the way.


Tropes used include:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Harmony, in an unhealthy and annoying but also obsessive degree.
  • Age Lift: In reverse. Ami and Yumi are made into teenagers when their real selves were in their late 20's/early 30's. Also, Ami appeared to be the younger one when in real life she's a bit older than Yumi.
  • Animesque: Not surprising for a show featuring J-Pop stars.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Ami, Yumi and Julie. Subverted with Kaz and Atchan. There is the occasional use of honorifics, though.
  • Ash Face: Has happened to Ami and Yumi in many episodes.
  • Balloon Belly: Used nearly every time that either one or both of the girls overeat. This happened to them after their candy binge in "Taffy Trouble" and after eating all the sushi in "Rock N Roe". It gets weirdly averted, when Yumi is competing in some hot dog eating contests.
  • Bee Afraid: In "Record Breakers", a series of mishaps end with Yumi being stung by bees.
  • Between My Legs: Of Ami in Ninjcompoop and Neat Freak.
  • Bifauxnen: Many viewers who would have never heard of Puffy AmiYumi before, would think that Yumi is a bishie Goth.
  • Big Eater: Kaz and Yumi in the cartoon. Ami and Yumi in the opening skits.
  • Bigger on the Inside: It wouldn't look as such, but the Tour Bus is enormous. It gets lampshaded when Kaz tried to sell it with a claim of it having "thousands of rooms, some even we don't know about!".
  • Bilingual Bonus: The characters sometimes use not only Japanese honorifics, but they also use words and phrases that pop up every now and then.
  • Bland-Name Product: Stu-Pi-Doh Cards.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: 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 then, become a sensation with fans.
  • Brain in a Jar: Kaz's head is preserved in a jar in the Year 3000. God only knows why.
  • Butt Monkey: All three main characters receive their own fair share, though Kaz takes the cake in this.
"Here's my card...oh wait. Stand back! I'll give you the card in lightning speed! NGINGINGINGING!"
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Kaz fits the bill on most occasions.
  • Creator Provincialism: Hi Hi... is 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.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Yumi is depicted as such in her character design, mostly shown in some close ups
  • The Cutie: Both the girls, but Ami even more so in terms of personality.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Talent Suckers.
  • A 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.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Almost the entire plot of one of the episodes is Ami and Yumi tripping off cheap, bad sushi.
  • Don't Try This at Home: At the end of one of the episodes, the Flash-animated Ami and Yumi warns kids that too much sushi is hazardous to your health.
  • Drunk with Power: Wall in "Uninvited".
  • Everything Is Online: "Home Insecurity", where Yumi's crazed security AI brings everything on the bus, including the fridge, toilet, toaster and her guitar, to life to kill her.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "The Talent Suckers" (in more ways than one)
  • Expressive Shirt: The Skull on Yumi's T-Shirt shifts expression to match her own.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • Yumi's opponent in a hot dog eating contest tried to sabotage her by putting metal horseshoes in her food. It works at first, but Kaz and Ami realize that Yumi will go into an unstoppable eating frenzy when she gets bored enough. Yumi ends up victorious in the contest.
    • In another episode, the band is abducted by aliens that look like giant bananas. When they hook a mind-reading device to Yumi, we see that she is fantasizing about making a giant banana split out of them and devouring it.
  • 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 highlighted when Ami and Yumi tried to visit Kaz at the hospital and the receptionist asked for his surname. Neither Ami nor Yumi knew it.
  • Gonk: A lot of secondary male characters share the quote.
  • A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching: Is an actual Spectator Sport in this show.
  • Goth: Yumi, though she is more of the "I Love MCR" than the "I Recite Deep Depressing Poetry" variety.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The collection of cute animals figures as cereal freebies from "Collect All 5", which Ami is so determined to get them all at no costs.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: When astonished, the girls will often say something in Japanese. Background songs are also frequently in Japanese.
    • It helps that Janice Kawaye is a Japanese-American who speaks Japanese fluently. She also helped Grey DeLisle with pronunciation.
  • Hair Colors: Pink-haired Ami and blue-haired Yumi.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Yumi, but what do you expect considering her dark personality.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Alien Bananas turns Kaz into a literal Chicken-Man.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ami and Yumi are pretty close for "best friends", but this is a kid's show.
    • 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.
  • Logic Bomb: Causes Yumi's computer to go on a rampage.
  • Mushroom Samba: Complete with an And Knowing Is Half the Battle ending.
  • 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. Also, Kaz is shown to be a fan of watching paint dry in one episode, but in another episode, he rips the girls for doing the same thing.
  • Nice Girl: Ami. Yumi is also this to a lesser extent (otherwise, she's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold).
  • Ninja: A magazine survey tells Yumi that "Ninja" is her destined career choice in "Ninjcompoop"
  • Not Quite Starring: The real Puffy Ami Yumi only appeared in live action opening sequences that make it clear that their accents would be too thick to understand for an native English-speaker anyway.
  • Odango Hair: Ami has these to complement her wavy pink hair.
  • 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)
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The "Talent Suckers" suck not blood but talent but Kaz might beg to disagree...
  • Oven Logic: "Puffylicious". Amusingly, the souffle came out all right, but the oven itself melted.
  • Packed Hero: The example in the description is used quite literally with Ami in the cereal factory in "Collect All 5".
  • Repurposed Pop Song: Songs by the duo are placed into various sections of the show. If you can understand Japanese, the placements of the song will seem rather strange.
  • Spin-Off Babies: The Mini-Puffs, although technically the show itself is an example.
  • Spiritual Successor: Compared to the format of pre-The Flintstones era of cartoons with the format of three shorts framed by a live action segment.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens a number of times on the show to various characters.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: the girls and Kaz find themselves in this situation (and have their brains probed by intelligent bananas from space) in the episode "Spaced Out!"
  • Sugar Bowl: Ami dreams of living in one of these many times.
  • Swallow the Key: Ami in "Arbor Day", after chaining her, Yumi, and Kaz to a tree. At the end of the episode, she expels the key on command by hiccuping.
  • They Fight Crime: They did in one episode and quit this occupation after their fellow heroes kept letting the bad guys go free.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Near the end of "Dis-Harmony", Kaz sings parts of the theme song...badly.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ami loves the colour pink, cute cuddly animals and likes girly things like makeup. Yumi is pretty much the opposite.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Yumi. Despite her tomboyish personality, she doesn't mind dressing up, going shopping with Ami and even admitted to Harmony that she has pictures of puppies dressed in cute flowers in her room.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Citizens of Dusty Gulch in "Showdown". They would rely on a chicken to protect them.
  • 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".
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Domo looks just like Kaz.
  • 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.
  • Vague Age: The accurate for the characters is never given, although Word Of God has established that Ami and Yumi are teenagers (they both appear to look around 16 years old).
  • Walking the Earth: Or rather, touring the Earth.
  • Wolf Man: "Were-Kaz"
    • In an issue of Cartoon Network Block Party, Kaz turns into something akin to the Tazmanian Devil after eating a glob of wasabi.

Alternative Title(s):

Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi