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Animation / Nana Moon

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Nana Moon (梦月精灵 - pinyin "Meng Yue Jingling", literally "Moon Dream Elves" in English) is a Chinese animated series that aired in 2012 and is based on a series of virtual pet toys made by the company M&D and greatly inspired by Tamagotchi.

A girl named Keke (pronounced "Coco") accidentally finds her way to a section of the moon called the Moon Haven, populated by all sorts of moon genies. Keke is immediately thought to be from a prophecy about the Moon Haven being visited by a human before entering a great crisis, is named the kingdom's genie tutor, and together with her new friend Princess Amy she keeps the Haven out of trouble while searching for seven special treasures.

Not to be confused with the EastEnders character also named Nana Moon.


Nana Moon contains the following tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Several things (the grass at the beginning of the intro sequence, the tanks piloted by Amy and Les in one episode, etc.) are animated in CGI in this otherwise mostly 2D cartoon.
  • Agitated Item Stomping: In episode 21, Les angrily stomps on Satellite's magic mirror after it lands on her head. The mirror asks her to stop, saying it didn't mean to hit her.
  • Alien Animals: Most of the Moon Haven natives are undefined humanoids, but there are a few that look like Earth animals, such as Moon Haven's bear king, Grunt the pig, a cat, and an octopus, among others.
  • An Alien Named "Bob": Princess Amy has a rather mundane Earth name for an alien.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the QPet virtual pet toys.
  • Animesque: Its art style is cutesy and detailed enough, on top of the show using frame-by-frame animation rather than the Flash animation that's usually used for Chinese children's cartoons, that it could easily be mistaken for an actual anime. It's actually from China.
  • Advertisement:
  • Arm Cannon: In episode 50, Keke's transformation includes two arm cannons that she uses to shoot flames at a monster and fend it off.
  • Art Initiates Life: In episode 8, Fenghe makes art using a special paintbrush that brings to life any paintings that are finished with it. He at one point paints Les with the brush, but doesn't paint in her eyes, so the actual Les does the honors and creates a duplicate of herself that tries to take Moon Haven's castle for herself.
  • Ash Face: In episode 3, a moon genie gives Keke a gift that literally explodes in her face, leaving her entire body black with ashes. The moon genie tries to give Keke another gift, but it explodes in the genie's face before she can give it to her, with the same result.
  • Baby Morph Episode: In episode 13, Keke discovers a scroll containing a magic spell that causes whoever it hits to de-age. The spell makes the king of Moon Haven and Grumble turn into babies.
  • Barely Changed Dub Name: Amy is known as Aimeng (艾梦) in the Chinese original.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Keke has no problems breathing on the moon.
  • The Big Race: In episode 4, the characters participate in a foot race through Moon Haven. Grunt and Grumble keep setting up traps for the other racers so that Les can reach the finish line first.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: In the first episode, Keke sees a shadow on a nearby bush and freaks out, thinking it's some kind of monster that's after her. The shadow turns out to be from Princess Amy, a harmless moon genie who isn't even as tall as Keke.
  • Birthday Episode: Episode 38 takes place on Princess Amy and Les's birthday. Les is angry because she always got less/worse birthday presents than Amy growing up.
  • Breath Weapon: Both winged creatures that hatch from the eggs in episode 40 have this ability. The red one breathes fire while the blue one can spit water.
  • Butt Biter:
    • In episode 22, Les, Grunt, and Grumble give the other moon genies some "presents" that hurt them in all sorts of ways. One of them is a plant that bites the bottom of its recipient.
    • In episode 32, a dog bites Grumble's butt. The dog stops once its owner calls for it, and Grumble gets a bandage on his behind afterwards.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Keke's catchphrase before using her badge to transform is "Kelu kelu bian!" (可鲁可鲁变!), or "Kelu kelu change!". In the English dub, it's translated as "Kuro kuro transform!"
  • Cat Smile: The characters' mouths often turn into this shape. In Keke's case, it might be to go with her cat cap.
  • Character in the Logo: Princess Amy is in the logo.
  • Chick Magnet: Master Satellite has such a pretty appearance that he attracts a lot of moon genie admirers the moment he shows up. This only applies to his normal human form, though, since the admirers lose interest in him once he gets turned into his xiangqi/Chinese chess form with the character "帥" ("handsome") on his belly.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The trio of villains display a red-blue-yellow color theme, with Les having yellow skin, Grunt being pink (a variant of red), and Grumble having blue skin.
  • Circling Birdies: In episode 9, Keke's seat breaks and, when she tumbles to the ground, she has stars circling her head.
  • Cliffhanger: Episode 52 ends with Master Satellite finding the wand used by Keke to save Moon Haven, with his dialogue and the look on his face implying he wants to use the wand out of an ulterior motive. The cartoon never got renewed for a second season, so we never see what happens afterwards.
  • Domino Mask: The outfit for Keke's superhero transformation in episode 18 includes a red domino mask.
  • Dream Intro:
    • Episode 7 begins with Les dreaming she has become the queen of Moon Haven, with Master Satellite as her king. Les is woken up from the dream by Grunt.
    • Les has another episode-opening dream involving Satellite in episode 48. The two find each other in a flower field, but suddenly Les has to use the bathroom. While she's in a conveniently-placed outhouse, water floods the place and separates her and Satellite; Les wakes up from the dream to find that she wet her bed.
  • *Drool* Hello: In episode 47, the first thing that alerts the gang to the presence of a giant rabbit monster is that the creature drools on Les, which catches her attention.
  • Dub Name Change: Grumble and Grunt are known as Jili (叽里) and Gulu (咕噜) respectively in the original Chinese version.
  • Edible Bludgeon: In the case that anyone angers him, Sugar uses a giant lollipop to whack them.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: In episode 48, Les worries about others making fun of her for wetting her bed. When she throws away her damp sheets, Master Satellite finds them and wonders about the letters "L-S" that are on them.
  • Eye Pop:
    • In episode 2, Grumble's eyes pop when he notices a tree is about to fall on him.
    • In episode 3, Les's eyes pop when she notices a basketball is headed right for her.
  • Faux Paw: In episode 43, Les shows off a maid costume and does a cute pose where she closes her hands to look like paws.
  • Fiery Lion: The fire-breathing winged creature that hatches in episode 40, when it transforms into its stronger form, looks like a lion with a red mane and tail tip that are made of flames.
  • First-Episode Twist: Keke doesn't find out the alien world she's found is actually the moon until the end of the first episode, when Princess Amy tells her. Sure enough, the shocked Keke immediately looks up to find Planet Earth clearly visible in the sky.
  • Flying Broomstick: Shanshan, the moon genie witch introduced in episode 30, flies around on one.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In episode 39, Grunt and Master Satellite swap bodies after they hold the ends of a magic staff together. Grunt gains Satellite's halo while Satellite grows pig ears like Grunt, but nobody is able to tell them apart.
  • Fungus Humongous: Giant mushrooms are among the Moon Haven's flora.
  • Funnel-Mouthed Cephalopod: One of the recurring Moon Haven residents is a blue octopus with a funnel-shaped mouth.
  • Gag Lips: Among Moon Haven's wildlife are giant, bipedal fish with exaggeratedly large lips. The other characters run away from these fish whenever they see them because the fishes' only instinct is to chase down any other creature they see and use their lips to kiss them.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Master Satellite is not a genie, but can still be summoned by rubbing his magic lamp three times.
  • Here We Go Again!: In episode 39, Grunt and Master Satellite are confused for each other when a magic wand makes them switch bodies. Once they're back to normal at the end of the episode, Grumble and a kissing fish switch bodies in the same way.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In episode 3, Les sets up a monster plant to capture Keke and Amy. The two never pass by the plant, and when Les goes to check, she ends up wrapped up in vines instead. Grunt and Grumble kick the resulting vine ball around and into the sky, unaware that Les is trapped inside until they see Keke and Amy are still out and about.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The moon genies have humanoid body shapes, but with more diverse skin colors and quirky features such as tails and big ears to set them apart as aliens. There are a few that clearly resemble Earth animals, though.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: In episodes 22 and 23, Grumble steps on Grunt's foot, and Grunt reacts to the injury by hopping on one leg while holding the other with the hurt foot.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Lefty and Righty, a pair of ghost twins, have the exact same appearance except for their eyes and caps. The former has blue eyes and wears a blue cap with a spike pointing to the left/viewers' right; the latter has red eyes and wears a red cap with a spike pointing to the right/viewers' left.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: A brief shot at the end of episode 16 confirms the size of normal humans compared to the moon genies and chibified Keke; the latter two are tiny, meaning Keke literally got shrunk in the first episode.
  • Involuntary Dance: In episode 44, a Flying Saucer shoots projectiles at moon genies that causes them to dance uncontrollably.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In episode 30, Grumble opens a closet to put on his purple jester cap. Or rather, one of them; the closet is filled with purple jester caps that look exactly the same.
  • Love Triangle: Grunt and Grumble both have crushes on their master Les, who would much rather be with Mr. Satellite.
  • Lunarians: The Moon Haven has a vast population of fairies/genies occupying it.
  • Magical Girl: Keke can use the magic badge given to her by the king of Moon Haven to transform into a specific occupation (for example, a makeup artist) and use its powers and skills to solve a conflict.
  • Magical Star Symbols: Keke's witch costume has big blue star symbols on the hat.
  • Man-Eating Plant: A number of mouthed plants resembling Piranha Plants exist in Moon Haven and have been known to attack, if not outright try to eat, the moon genies. In one episode, Les ends up in the mouth of one such plant.
  • Meaningful Name: Sugar is named that because of his sweet tooth.
  • Meido: In episode 28, Les uses one of her magic matches to force Amy into being her personal maid, complete with the stereotypical outfit.
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: In episode 35, Grumble has Grunt tied to a rope and attempts to lower him to Les to glue her tail back on. Grunt manages to stick her tail... in the wrong spot.
  • Multiple Head Case: The giant near the candy tree in episode 41 has two heads.
  • Mushroom House: There is a certain section of Moon Haven near a forest that has numerous giant mushrooms fashioned into houses.
  • Oral Fixation: Sugar has such a sweet tooth that he is very often seen with a lollipop in his mouth.
  • Orbital Shot: The first episode features a rotating shot of Keke as she stands in fear in the elevator when its lights start to flicker as a result of the comet's power.
  • Our Genies Are Different: The aliens are referred to as "moon genies" in the English dub despite being literally nothing like a typical fairy tale genie. In the Chinese original, they're called "moon elves" instead.
  • "Pachelbel's Canon" Progression: The theme song uses a variation on the canon's notes.
  • Recycled Animation: Certain character animations and poses tend to be reused, just with a different background behind them to fit the location they're in. Keke and Princess Amy in particular have several often-reused animations.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The moon genies all have big anime eyes and Super-Deformed body shapes. They are, after all, based on a knock-off of Tamagotchi, which also boasts a large amount of cute alien creatures.
  • Rule of Seven: In the virtual pet toys, the player can collect the seven special treasures of Moon Haven. They also appear in the television show, where Keke is the one who gathers them.
  • Seashell Bra: In episode 19, Grunt's mermaid costume includes a seashell bra. Not long after the gang is disgusted by the outfit, they meet a real mermaid that also wears one.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The king of Moon Haven is introduced in the second episode, "Eh! Elf Tutor??".
  • Short-Runner: The cartoon ran for one season of 52 episodes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Right in the intro, Keke changes into a red-and-blue superhero costume, complete with a faux Superman insignia on it. Keke actually uses that transformation in episode 18 to stabilize a wobbling building.
    • In episode 4, Keke has trouble getting her transformation badge to work how she wants and goes through several forms before becoming the racer she was aiming for. One of her other transformations here is an Ultraman costume.
    • In episode 36, Keke transforms into a superhero who, with her red-and-blue costume and Projectile Webbing, is very obviously meant to be Spider-Man.
    • In episode 52, Keke's transformation features rainbow strips coiling around her body to form her costume, a la Sailor Moon.
  • Slippery Skid: In episode 9, Grumble throws a slice of watermelon onto the pathway near Keke, who slips on it seconds later. The watermelon slice flies right into the hose Grumble and the rest of the Terrible Trio are using, causing it to swell up and burst.
  • Solid Clouds: In the first episode, Keke lands on some clouds as she plummets towards the surface of the moon.
  • The Song Remains the Same: The English dub keeps the theme song in Chinese.
  • Squashed Flat: In episode 26, the gang are running through a secret hallway in Moon Haven's castle. Les is caught in a trap involving a big hand on a spring that pushes her into the wall, flattening her. She's back to normal by the next shot where she's on-screen.
  • Stumbled Into the Plot: Keke gets sent to the moon by complete accident; a shooting star just happens to pass by, and some kind of energy comes from it and makes the elevator she enters act all funny.
  • Super-Deformed: The moon genies are designed in this way. Keke has a more realistic human design back on Earth, but before she's sent to the moon she gains a smaller body, arms, and legs to match the size of the moon genies.
  • Sweet Tooth: Sugar, one of the recurring background moon genies, absolutely loves sweets and will eat them on sight. Other characters have used candies to distract or bribe Sugar.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: In episode 21, Les spends the entire episode thinking she's had her beauty boosted by Grumble's potion when it's actually made her ugly. When the gang gets a restorative potion ready for her at the end of the episode, she finds herself becoming physically bulkier as a result and Keke says that the side effect of gaining weight will take a few days to wear off.
  • Terrible Trio: Mistress Les is the demanding boss, with Grunt and Grumble as her henchman.
  • Transformation Trinket: Keke transforms using a magic badge shaped like a lion's head.
  • Untranslated Title: The English dub does not translate the episode titles, instead simply referring to the episodes as "Episode 1", "Episode 2", etc.
  • Ursine Aliens: The king of Moon Haven is an anthropomorphic bear.
  • Vine Swing: In episode 25, Les, Grumble, and Grunt join with Keke's group in the forest by swinging on vines. Grunt hits a tree and lands on Les.
  • Virtual Pet: The cartoon is based on a series of virtual pet toys sold under the QPet brand and greatly based on Tamagotchi, to the point of being a mockbuster of them. M&D, the toys' manufacturer, later went on to make more "formal" knock-off Tamagotchi toys with actual Tamagotchi branding on them, on top of still using the aforementioned QPet branding for them.
  • Voices Are Mental: In episode 39, Grunt and Master Satellite have their voices switched while they are under the effects of their body swap.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In episode 17, Grumble is so disgusted by Grunt crossdressing as Les and trying to "flirt" with him that he vomits on-screen.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Episode 37 has similar plot beats to Cinderella, with Caicai (the moon genie with a star shape around her head) cast in Cinderella's place and Master Satellite as the prince.
  • Wind-Up Key: In episode 45, Princess Amy and Keke stick a wind-up key onto the back of lazy Xiaolan to help with his slowness problem. It works, and the moon genie starts moving much faster than before.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: One year in Moon Haven is one minute on Earth.