Kuu Kuu Harajuku (originally titled Koo Koo Harajuku) is an animated children's television series co-created by Gwen Stefani for Network Ten. It's a Toy-Driven show based on her Harajuku Lovers merchandise brand. The series debuted on Eleven in Australia on November 1, 2015.
The show is distributed by DHXMedia (now WildBrain) worldwide. Three seasons have aired, although the third wasn't exported to as many countries as the first two. The third season aired on both Eleven and Disney Channel Australia.
Kuu Kuu Harajuku features G and the Harajuku Girls as they live in Harajuku. Together they form HJ5, a band, while their manager Rudie books them for gigs. However, something always interrupts their gigs.
Kuu Kuu Harajuku provides examples of:
- Action Girl: All 5 girls are mainly like this when a villain captures them.
- Adorable Evil Minions: Panda Pete's KiKis, cute robotic stuffed pandas wearing stylish pants that kidnap Baby. When it comes to "doing their worst", they merely manage to jump on HJ5, hugging and tickling them.
- Alliterative Name: Rudie Rhodes is the main example, plus Twisty T and his grandfather Tex Tamado. Also JoJo Jolie, Carey Chaos and Veronica Von Velcra.
- Animesque: The style looks kinda like a chibi hybrid anime-like cartoon.
- Birthday Episode: Music, Baby and Rudie all get one of these, but aside from Rudie mentioning he's one year older, it's never said what their age is.
- Bizarro Universe: Twice, in "Coulda Been" and "Control + Height + Dimension".
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The girls all have their first initial monogrammed on their sweaters.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Cacklebeakies, otherwise known as chickens.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: While Rudie is clarifying if Madame Ssh intends to kill him by launching him into space with a giant orbital launcher, he's not in the least bit concerned about his impending doom. He comments that this usually happens to him, so he's used to it by now.
- Catchphrase: In season 2, a new catchphrase was added, "Tick Tock! Time to Rock!".
- Circling Birdies: The episode "Multi Tasking" has Baby roller skating during rehearsal. She winds up slamming into the rest of the girls, causing them to see stars for a brief moment.
- Creator Cameo: In season 3, Gwen Stefani provides the voice for the fashion designer Gwen.
- Deface of the Moon: Rudie launches a satellite into space and uses it to paint his portrait on all of the moon.
- Exact Words: When Rudie's grandmother asks them how great a manager Rudie is, in order to be nice, Angel and Music use phrases like "The best manager we've ever had" and "We've never had any other manager like him". Since he's the only manager they've ever had, those statements are technically true, despite Rudie's many mistakes.
- Exotic Eye Designs: The members of HJ5 have heart-shaped catchlights on their pupils.
- Fantasy Keepsake: In the episode Control+Alt+Dimension, Love invents a machine that calculates alternate choice pathways, then falls asleep on it and is accidentally transported to an alternate reality where HJ5 is evil and their enemies are good. She gets the help of this reality's Rudie to return home and wakes up wondering if it was all a dream. Then the alternate Rudie stands up from behind the couch after she leaves the room and mentions he got pulled into the wormhole which sent Love back to her reality.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Among the Harajuku: Love is melancholic; Angel is phlegmatic; Music is choleric; and Baby is sanguine.
- Gratuitous Japanese: If you care about your liver, just don't do a drinking game about the times everyone says "kawaii" in this series.
- Idol Singer: HJ5 is a pop star group.
- Imposter Forgot One Detail: When the Kimberlys use a stolen holographic generator to swap appearances with HJ5, the Kimberly disguised as Music surprises Rudie when she is genuinely nice to him. This causes Rudie to realise what happened, because the real Music is always being snarky to him.
- Kawaii: Kawaii is a frequently recurring theme throughout the series.note
- Mugging the Monster: In order to get Music alone to sign HJ-5's managerial rights over to him, Sammy Starr kidnaps her.Angel: Poor thing doesn’t stand a chance.G: Music can handle herself.Angel: I was talking about Sammy.
- Pandaing to the Audience: The mall coaster and some of the group's furnishings are designed with kawaiified, panda-like color schemes. G also has a Panda costume and most of her personal items are Panda themed.
- Highlighted in "Pandamonium", where they encounter eccentric businessman Panda Pete, a man in a panda suit CEO of "Pandas in Pants" that sells fashionable clothing and toys, especially stuffed "KiKis", plush robotic pandas in pants.
- Percussive Maintenance: When Rudie accidentally drops a wet towel on the tour bus teleportation controls and causes it to randomly teleport around the planet due to shorting out, Love tries all sorts of technical repairs until the bus is teleported into space directly in the path of a flaming comet. She then shouts "WORK! WORK! WORK!" while hitting it with a hammer.
- Poke the Poodle: Panda Pete in "Pandamonium", who is more of an eccentric businessman with a strange (and a rather unhealthy) obsession for spreading kawaii to the world by finding the mythical element of "Kawaii-ium".
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Done twice in "Pandamonium":Love: I've come to the conclusion that Panda Pete suffers from mesocorticolimbic mediation cross-wiring.
Music: In real words?
Love: The desire for cute things has mutated into an obsession!
Music: What is it?
- Later on, when Panda Pete has drained the magical kawaii-ium out of Baby:
Love: It's a mutable exodimensional hexad.
Angel: Is that just a way to say "big blobby thing"?
Love [frustrated sigh]: If you want, we'll call it a "big blobby thing".
- You won't like Baby when's she's hangry. Complete with a physical transformation that increases strength, rage and reduces rational thought.
- In Drums of Doom, Rudie says that the drums "must not be fed after midnight" and in Emotizoms to "keep them away from water or they will multiply", referencing the movie series Gremlins.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: For a cartoon about an Idol Group, it's pretty surprising how many episodes focus around their manager.
- Team Pet: Chewie.
- Theme Tune Roll Call: "Love, Angel, Music, Baby, and G, we're perfectly..."
- The Wonka: Panda Pete, an eccentric man in a panda suit with an unusual obsession over kawaii in "Pandamonium".
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A rare in-universe example, with Tizzie Lizzie resenting the fact that HJ-5 are now able to successfully complete concerts without something bizarre or inexplicable preventing them from doing so. Therefore, she captures them and forces them to perform a concert with staged interruptions. And then complains when Yummy Bear brings a team to rescue them, interrupting the interruption.
- Unobtanium: Kawaii-ium from "Pandamonium".
- What Happened to the Dog?: Chewie disappears without acknowledgement in Season 3, to be replaced by four additional Monster Pets and the return of Yummy Bear as a recurring character.