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Anime / Stitch!

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Pictured: Stitch having fun with his friends Kijimunaa and Yuna. Wait a minute, where's Lilo?

Stitch!note  (yes, the exclamation mark is mandatory) is an anime series from Disney Channel Japan that serves as the second TV series in the Lilo & Stitch franchise. Three seasons and two post-series TV specials have been produced; the first two seasons—Stitch! and Stitch! ~The Mischievous Alien's Great Adventure~;note  yes, with those tildes—were produced by Madhouse for a total of 54 episodes and two specials.note  Shin-Ei Animation produced the 29 episodenote  third season—Stitch! ~Best Friends Forever~;note  tildes still included—as well as the post-series specials, which are known as the "Stitch! New Specials" series. It ran regularly from 2008 to 2011, while the TV specials—Stitch and the Planet of Sandnote  and Stitch! Perfect Memorynote —were broadcast in 2012 and 2015, respectively.


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. 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 43 good deeds to have his wish, to be the most powerful creature in the galaxy, granted. However, 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 English dub (which debuted in Australia in 2009) 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 until a third season episode brought her back for a brief reunion with her old friend. Due to this it's often believed that the series was originally intended to be an Alternative Universe until they finally cemented it as a Stealth Sequel, possibly due to fan demand.

Three years after its initial debut in Japan, two years after it was first broadcast in English, and a few months after the last season ended in Japan, it aired in the United States on Disney XD, but was pulled off after five episodes. The three seasons and two post-series specials have already been dubbed but have only aired in full outside of the U.S.

Stitch! has been succeeded in the franchise in 2017 by the Chinese animated series Stitch & Ai, which shares a similar premise with the anime.note  But unlike the anime, Stitch & Ai had the assistance of American animators during production and was produced in English first before being dubbed into its local language.note 

This anime contains examples of:

  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Sparky (Experiment 221), Felix (Experiment 010) and Angel (Experiment 624) had on these mind control devices placed there by Hämsterviel, though Sparky had it twice.
    • Hämsterviel used Swirly (Experiment 383) to hypnotize 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 or red "H" somewhere on them, they're under Hämsterviel's control. Among the experiments under Hämsterviel'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), Bragg (Experiment 145, a.k.a. Flute or Twang/Experiment 021), Fudgy (Experiment 054), and Morpholomew (Experiment 316). In many of these instances, their eyes also change to show their irises or sclera, which has never been done in The Series, and they're rather unnerving to see.
  • 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 Bragg/Flute/Twang (Experiment 145/021), 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 Hämsterviel'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.
  • Continuity Nod: The recurring extra that is Ice Cream Man 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".
  • 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 ʻohana? 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...
    • Also, Gantu and Reuben have gone back to Dr. Hämsterviel just because Gantu was dishonorably discharged for singing karaoke at the holiday party. What's funny about that is being dishonorably discharged is worse than being fired.
    • Another issue is that Hämsterviel inexplicably has a number of experiments that were reformed in the original series under his possession and are now subservient to him.
    • Then there are the issues of some experiments getting different names and/or numbers between Japanese and English, such as the case of Bragg/Flute/Twang. (See Series Continuity Error below.)
    • Inverted with the episode featuring Lilo and Stitch's reunion—we're given no explanation in the Japanese version of just how Stitch didn't know Nani was pregnant and that Lilo was late to their reunion because Nani was going into labor. In the dub, it's explained that Stitch was on a mission for the Galactic Armada during Lilo's college years, making it possible that they simply weren't able to contact him easily during that time.
  • 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?
  • Enslaved Tongue: Checkers, the Experiment that makes others cater to his wearer like royalty, is now modified to take control of the wearer's body so Hämsterviel speaks through them.
  • Excited Show Title!: Disney finally gets to do this for a Lilo & Stitch TV series five years after they aborted initial plans to do so.
  • 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 (which themselves are a Genre Shift for the entire franchise) were set on the fictional island of Izayoi off the coast of Okinawa Island where most episodes focused on Yōkai and Urban Legends. Season 3 shifted the location to Okinawa New Town and focused Slice of Life with a focus on the episodic hijinks by Hämsterviel and his plans, often involving Gantu.
  • 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 Mertle Expy some sugar cane.
  • I Know Karate: Yuna.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original movie and, to a certain extent, Lilo & Stitch: The Series. However, the violence in this show is, while still fantasy violence, greater compared to The Series. The English dub actually toned this down, but apparently the edits there were apparently not enough to prevent it from being taken off the air in the U.S. (assuming that it was taken down there because of the violence).note 
  • Limited Animation: Well, it is an anime, but that's not why this trope is listed. Rather, it's the fact that the Western-made characters from the previous works are now in a series that doesn't animate them as fluidly as before, even though they maintain their original designs.
  • 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.
  • Market-Based Title: The German dub titles the show Yuna & Stitch, which also maintains the Name and Name tradition of past entries.
  • Missing Mom: Yuna's mom. At one point, Penny/Piko from the original version teases her that her mom left because she's such a screw-up.
  • Mistaken for Gay: In one episode, Jumba and Pleakley are helping a postman deliver a letter to Yuna. The postman mistakes Jumba and Pleakley for a married couple by asking them, "So, how long have you two been married?"
  • Name and Name: The German dub is the only version of this show to maintain the "Person & Stitch" naming convention.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The show takes place approximately two decades after the events of Leroy & Stitch, but it looks completely identical to mid-to-late 2000s society, before the proliferation of smartphones.
  • Non-Standard 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 and The Series.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the final non-special episode, there was Dark End, an experiment created by the anime-only villain Delia to defeat Stitch. Not only was it an adorable (arguably 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 Bragg/Flute/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.
  • Protagonist Title: Only Stitch's name is in the title this time around, except in the German dub.
  • 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 yōkais, 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.
  • Say My Name: Lilo screams out Stitch's name in the original Japanese dub of "Lilo" after she figures out that Stitch left his necklace on a tree.
  • Science Fantasy: Considering the presence of yōkai, a stone that can grant wishes, and whatnot in what has previously been a soft sci-fi franchise.
  • 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.
    • The whole debacle over the name and number over the yellow, rabbit-like flute-playing experiment. Known as "Flute" and numbered 145 in the English dub, the experiment was known for many years by non-Japanese fans to be named "Twang" and numbered 021 in the Japanese original, thanks to this image and the fact that 021 is named "Twang" in the experiments list seen in the credits of Leroy & Stitch (whereas "Flute" doesn't appear anywhere in said list). However, the experiment is actually named "Bragg" in the Japanese original. Bragg does appear in the experiments list as 145, but the Japanese production team accidentally misnumbered him as 021, which led to the errors. Read this comment on Lilo & Stitch Wiki for more info.
  • 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: Hämsterviel sends a skunk-like experiment 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.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Lilo's daughter Ani looks exactly like her mother in her youth.
  • 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 else no less than three times. This can be attributed to her having spent years in-universe as a popular singer, picking up several diva traits along the way.
  • 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/Bragg/Flute (Experiment 021/145), 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.

Alternative Title(s): Yuna And Stitch


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