What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series is based on the real Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi, but that's where the similarity ends. The girls are opposite with their moods, one eternally happy and the other a gloomy rocker chick. It's a smart premise, but with weak writing and little depth, few valuable lessons are added to the series.
What's the story?
HI HI PUFFY AMIYUMI is based on the real Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi. The animated version follows two tiny popstars, Ami and Yumi, who weather the storm of being typcial teens with a popstar persona. Clips of the live band's performances are shown briefly, but the cartoon draws heavily on other plots and ideas.
Is it any good?
Young audiences will like the show's rock-star element and the fact that the girls kick it in their cool tour van. But unlike other cartoons with people chilling in cool vans (Scooby-Doo comes to mind), no compelling plot drives the action. An over-zealous fan might follow the girls, or Ami might moonlight as a circus performer, but the typical junk television formula of lots of flash and no substance is the norm here. Too bad, since the music of Puffy AmiYumi -- the real band --is compelling and unique.
There are good elements to the look of the cartoon: the band, the tour bus, the adventures, the music, and the Japanese culture. But the characters are very simplistic foils of each other -- Ami is the cheerleader, while Yumi is forever the grump. Kaz, their manager, plays the father figure, but he has no authority over the girls' decisions or behavior.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the life of pop stars -- particularly young ones. Do your kids have any desire to be pop icons? Do kids like the look of the show? Are they fans of the real group, or have they become fans after watching the show?