Cartoon Network Turning Japanese with Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

Fans of the Japanese pop sensation duo Puffy AmiYumi will finally get to see their music idols come to animated life tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Cartoon Network. The new addition to the cabler’s Friday night lineup, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, puts the two Asian pop culture figures in an animated world, influenced both by anime shows and Cartoon Network’s own brand of animation.

Created by CN’s own senior VP of original animation Sam Register (exec produced by Register and Tramm Wigzell, and written by Robert Lamoreaux, Michelle Lamoreaux, Dave Watson, Ken Segall, Steven Banks, David Slack, Adam Beechen. Voices, Janice Kawaye, Grey DeLisle), the high-energy, brightly colored show centers on Puffy Ami and Puffy Yumi as they deal with the strange business of being international rock star. Not only are do the duo the centers of the action, they also appear in each episode in their own live-action glory. Glendale, Calif.-based Renegade Animation produces the Flash-animated toon.

"Anime was just the beginning of Japanese culture wave to come to the U.S.," says Register, who first found out about the girls one night on a Japanese public access show in New York City about six years ago. "Now Japanese pop music is the next wave, and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is the perfect vehicle for that."

Toon fans may already bee familiar with the girls since they sing the very catchy them to the Warner Bros./Cartoon Network series Teen Titans as well. The show also features musical interludes, which are written by Andy Sturmer of the band Jellyfish. To find out more about the show, read the "Japanese Invasion" story in the November issue of Animation Magazine.