Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Anime Review: Stitch!

Stitch! is the Japanese adaptation of the US feature film, Lilo and Stitch that began airing in October 2008. So far, I've only seen three episodes, and from what I've seen, it's pretty much on par with the US animated series airing on the Disney Channel. It starts off with Jumba chasing Stitch after Stitch steals a space scooter. The two get caught in a space storm, and get transported back to Earth's galaxy. Stitch crash lands on an island off Okinawa that suspiciously looks A LOT like Hawaii, though everyone (even Stitch) speaks Japanese. He meets Yuuna, a young girl who is even more annoying than Lilo. Her father is away, working on a research sub, so she's staying with her grandmother, who's an expert on all the resident spirits of the island. Yuuna teaches karate and protects the weaker kids in school from a group of obnoxious bullies.

In the US series, Stitch's main objective was to find and rehabilitate his "cousins" whose pods got hatched when they mixed with water. In the Japanese series, Stitch strives to do good deeds so that the Spiritual Stone will grant his wish to be the strongest creature in the galaxy. Jumba even makes him a "good deed" counter which goes up with every good deed, but goes down every time is bad. Poor Stitch. For some reason, he needs to get to 43 in order to get his wish.

The idea of Ohana is carried over into this series as well. Ichibara Choodee means "When we meet, we become family,", which Stitch interprets to be "like ohana.". So, the whole ohana theme is reinforced in each episode. Every time Stitch helps someone, or something as in the case of spirits, they become his ohana.

While Stitch is "cute" in this series, he lacks the adorable cuddliness that he had in the Lilo and Stitch movie. He doesn't have his "ugly duckling" moments, but he does look awfully huggable in his Karate gi (episode 2) and laughably cute in a sumo mawashi (episode 3). Another fun element in this series is the addition of little gags that appear briefly throughout the series. In the first episode, a cow, a dinosaur, and a familiar pair of red Mickey shorts are sucked into the space storm with Jumba and Stitch. Later, Stitch is hungry and goes on an eating rampage. A familiar tourist is watching, eating an ice cream cone, and the ice cream falls on the ground as he watches Stitch. In the second episode, Stitch breaks a plate at breakfast, and to hide the broken shards, he scoops them up and makes a pair of mickey ears out of them. Later, Jumba and Pleakley show up, and Pleakley introduces himself as "Wendy" Pleakley. Yuuna and her grandmother throw a party to welcome Jumba and Pleakley, and as you see people dancing and waving their hands... a mickey glove appears with those waving hands. Japanese people really do love Mickey. ;)

If you're a diehard Stitch fan like I am, it's worth watching. If not, I'd pass.


No comments:

Post a Comment