Kuu Kuu Harajuku

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Kuu Kuu Harajuku TV Poster Image
Gwen Stefani's animated series has mixed messages for kids.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

The HJ5 members don't let their differences interfere with their friendship, and on some occasions they make conscious decisions to put aside other endeavors for each other. Even so, negative qualities such as vanity surface at times, and being in the public eye makes a few of the girls thirsty for even more visibility and press. Individuality and creativity are prominent themes. It's also impossible to ignore the controversy of the real-life Stefani's choice to surround herself with what could be considered subservient Asian stereotypes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

With five go-getter girls at the heart of this story, there are some role models to choose from. In particular, Love stands out for her can-do attitude and her bevy of ideas to solve all kinds of problems, and G is known for her coolness under pressure.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kuu Kuu Harajuku is the brainchild of pop star Gwen Stefani and is inspired by her stage entourage, the Harajuku Girls. The quintet of girls at the center of the story put their friendship above everything else, but they're also prone to fretting over their "Kawaii," which is a Japanese term for cuteness. In other words, they often obsess over how they look, the clothes they wear, and which accessories coordinate with which outfits. A couple of the girls stand out as decent role models, with positive qualities such as intelligence, self-confidence, and loyalty. Despite casting the characters as a band, there's rarely any music in this show since the constant interruptions to their plans is the show's shtick. Some may consider the show, and the concept of Stefani's Harajuku Girls, racially insensitive, as the backup crew in real life is treated primarily as exotic eye candy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byGhirahim April 26, 2018

Just... Don’t Watch This

Let me quote someone a deeply respect, Josh Strider, when he was talking about this cartoon.

“Common Sense Media had major issues with this one!” (2:23, Worst... Continue reading
Adult Written byKwaziicat01 December 21, 2019

Well, it’s okay but...

The girls of HJ5 get too angry and harsh at their assistant manager, Rudie, and are unforgiving towards him when they don’t get a gig done. Honestly! Not everyt... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAllisonKuuKuu July 7, 2018


I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show! The official ones are following me on Instagram. I am the number one fan as said by them. I freaking love G the leader sfm Gallison... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJeremiahGaryTee... May 16, 2018

I Hope this hilarious kids show comes back on Nick jr. this year.

I still miss this awesome children's show on Nick jr. It was so awesome and sweet. But Now its still not on TV anymore because it's still cancelled. T... Continue reading

What's the story?

KUU KUU HARAJUKU follows five best friends and bandmates -- Angel (voiced by Emma Taylor-Isherwood), Love (Daisy Masterman), Music (Sally Taylor-Isherwood), Baby (Charlotte Nicdao), and G (Maggie Chretien) -- as they try to stave off trouble long enough to play a concert or two. In Harajuku World, there's no telling what kind of thing will interrupt their plans. Plus, their inept but well-meaning manager, Rudie (Danny Smith), always manages to bungle his job on behalf of the band's schedule. But the good news is that when HJ5 is together, there's always a good time to be had.

Is it any good?

Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls of the stage transition to this animated series with modest success, clouding themes of individuality and friendship with iffier ones. On the upside, each of the five girls is a distinct entity, and as you watch, you begin to see their personalities come to light. Among them are an unfailing optimist, a brainy Ms. Fix-It, and a team leader. They are also culturally diverse and inclusive, despite their Japanese-inspired roots. On the downside, however, they often define themselves by their visibility and perceived "Kawaii" (or cuteness), which makes them vulnerable to vanity and image obsession.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku is visually enjoyable to watch, and there's always some sort of bizarre happening in Harajuku World that will keep kids' interest. There's also the comical villain General No Fun (Ian Bliss), who manages to steal the scenes in which he schemes against HJ5. The bottom line? This cartoon is pretty mindless, and there are better choices for role models for this age group, but it's entertaining nonetheless.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about self-image. Kids: Do you think much about how you look or the clothes you wear? Do your friends ever react to your appearance, either in a good or a bad way? Are you influenced by what you see people wear on TV shows like Kuu Kuu Harajuku?

  • Kids: Does Harajuku World seem like a place where you'd like to live? What differences do you see between it and the real world? Why is imaginative play fun?


  • Do you have a favorite character among HJ5? What qualities do you admire in her?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love girl power

Themes & Topics

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