Reviews: Kappa Mikey

A Short-Lived Albeit Excellent Concept In Theory

Kappa Mikey was one of the many shows that was part the Nicktoons Network section of Nickelodeon when it first launched, where the company had experimented with shows that were more focused on action and provided a break from well-known yet overplayed shows such as Spongebob Squarepants and the Fairly Oddparents. It was an excellent; if not unheard of, concept that mixed western animation with anime...well sort of. The western animation aspect is horribly underrepresented, which makes sense for the most part since it takes place in anime Japan, however it would have been nice to see just a bit more of a balance between the two art styles. They also don't mind incorporating some elements of primitive CGI, which for the most part is not focused upon for the sake of the viewer unless they squint at it hard enough. While the earlier episodes had its comedy source focused on the difficulty of transitioning from one culture to another, along with getting to know the Lily Mu cast, the reason this reviewer calls Kappa Mikey "Short-Lived" is because they lose focus on what made the show funny in the first place by the middle of the second season. The humor became too dependent on toilet jokes and gross-out humor. Aside from financial reasons it's no wonder this series had discontinued.

Do not misinterpret the overall opinion this reviewer is providing, for I thought that this was a great show at first. While the humor lost is appeal over time and the backgrounds were nothing to look at, the characters were the main focus of the show. Mikey Simon proves to be a hilarious fool who's more of an ignorant young man than a complete idiot. Gonard (whose Voice Actor is well known for his English Dubbing of Goku) is basically a younger Goku without superpowers, Lily is a direct expy of your generic High School Tsundere, Mitsuki is the over-looked, unappreciated with an unrequited crush on Mikey that might have been noticed if the series wasn't cancelled and finally there's Ozu: The manager of the show who fires the cast on a daily basis, only to rehire them and frequently explodes with anger who's accompanied by his loyal Yes-Man, who represents a satire of your typical Salaryman.

To summarize it all, Kappa Mikey was an excellent concept in theory that just didn't have a lot of replay potential and could have been better.

Just a Ball of Fun that Needs a Chance

Kappa Mikey didn't seem like the show I would like, especially since the commercials used to advertise it usually showed Gonard doing something disgusting. But one day, I finally decided to give it a chance, and before I knew it I was recording episodes and laughing all the way through them.

Mikey stands out among the cast as being the only main character drawn like an American cartoon, and honestly, I liked that. It's just one way of showing how different American and Japanese cartoons are in terms of style and expressions (e.g. How Mikey's expressions aren't as exaggerated as his friends.) But the designs of the characters are simple at best, nothing groundbreaking or exceptional. The Flash Animation is rather average, but the characters admittedly look strange, and even wooden, especially against the backgrounds and a few CG objects. Overall, the animation is not great, but it's something that you can look past.

There's no real plot to the story as well, and many episodes tend to simply screw any continuity or pretty much lead to gross out. Not everyone is going to like the humor, and there are definitely moments where you can't help but feel a tad disgusted or annoyed. Even so, there are a handful of gems that do indeed shine: Battle of the Bands, Mitsuki Butterfly, The Karaoke Episode, A Christmas Mikey, and Splashomon are this troper's top picks, in terms of animation and/or humor. The songs on this show are also incredibly catchy. Guaranteed, at least one song from The Karaoke Episode will be stuck in your head, whether you liked it or not.

The characters are also a big case of either you like them or are annoyed by them. Personally, I like them all, but even I know they will not appeal to everyone. They're not perfect, and at times characters will stray into Gross Out humor, but there are plenty of moments where they prove to be just a fun bunch of characters. It helps that the voice actors, particularly Sean Schemmel and Michael Sinterniklaas, clearly have fun with what they're doing.

In conclusion, it is definitely not a great show and they could have done so much better, but it is not a bad show either and it does have its genuinely funny moments. So really, if you haven't seen it, give it a chance and find the episodes I listed above. Would you regret it? Maybe, but at least you gave it a chance.