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Stitch! is the anime spin-off of the Lilo & Stitch series by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It takes place many years after the events of Leroy & Stitch (only in the English dub) and debuted in Japan on October 2008. The show features a Japanese girl named Yuna in place of Lilo (who is now a young woman), and is set on a fictional island in the Ryukyus off the shore of Okinawa instead of Hawaii. The island is called Izayoi. A second anime season, called Stitch! ~ The Mischievous Alien's Great Adventure began airing in Japan on October 13, 2009. A third yet different series from the first two season anime, entitled Stitch! ~Best Friends Forever~ (スティッチ！～ずっと最高のトモダチ～ Stitch! ~Zutto Saikō no Tomodachi~) aired on TV Asahi on July 6, 2010.
The first season began airing under the English language on the Australian Disney Channel on 4 December 2009, and went to also air in English later on Disney Channel Asia December 19, 2009. The first season premiered on Disney Channel Latin America on May 2, 2010, in the American Spanish dub. The second season premiered on Disney Channel Latin America on June 6, 2011.The first season premiered on Finland's Disney Channel June 7, 2010, subtitled in Finnish with English dub. The anime is also broadcast in other Scandinavian countries on The Disney Channel, and on Disney Cinemagic in the UK. The Dutch dub version airs on Disney XD Netherlands and Disney Channel Netherlands as well as on the Disney Channel in Belgium. On October 24, 2011, the series aired on Disney XD in the United States but was removed from the schedule four days later due to unknown reasons, leaving the series unfinished. As a result, it has only five episodes aired.
The show is animated and co-produced by the Japanese animation house Madhouse LTD.
At the 2008 Tokyo International Anime Fair, the pilot for the series was showcased for attendees at the Madhouse booth. Information was also shown around Disney's booth, showing the cast of characters who would appear in the anime. From the information available, many of the past characters, such as Dr. Jumba Jookiba and Pleakley, might appear, as well as five villains: Captain Gantu, Dr. Jacques von Hämsterviel, Reuben, Evile and Delia. In addition, two characters, Angel and Sparky, also appear in the anime due to their popularity from the English franchise.
Stitch! started on TV Tokyo and following affiliates at 7:00 p.m. on October 8, 2008, and had an hour premiere of the first two episodes. Afterwards, it aired on every Wednesday after at 7:26 p.m. time slot, essentially replacing Bleach.
Where the Hawaiian culture was featured in the original version, the culture of Okinawa Prefecture and the other Ryukyu Islands is featured. For example, Yuna's karate has replaced Lilo's hula.
The Stitch! anime is influenced by children's manga. It was originally aimed in Japan at young kids aged 4 to 14 years. Most of the main characters are young children, including Yuna, and most of the characters are aged from 8-12 years old.
It is being a mostly peaceful and toddler and kindergartener friendly anime because there is very little violence, fighting and battle and it shows very little crude humor and even is mostly not too scary since the episodes are much lightly toned with almost no fights or scary stuff. Its target audience is young children below 10 years and is a Japanese children's program, which is about the same target demographic audience as that of an American cartoon with a low TV-Y rating.
Unlike the movies and American series, the anime contains some darker and mature content, which is appropriate to children in Japan.
Like most other anime dubbed into English for TV by Disney, the series is edited and localized for younger US, English speaking and western audiences and a lower TV rating. Every English-speaking country aired the US English dub (especially India, Philippines, and English speaking countries in Asia). Every country outside Japan (aside from China, and including Italy) receives the anime through the US English dub.
- An alien from outer space, one day ends up falling to an island located on Earth, called Izayoi Island, off the coast of Okinawa. He discovers "The Spiritual Stone" on Okinawa, with the help of his new friend Yuna, and learns it can grant his wish of becoming the strongest in the universe...provided he does enough good deeds which is 43. Thus, with his Good Deed Counter made by Jumba, he is able to keep track of his good deeds, and keep track of his wish of becoming strongest in the universe. However, he has mischievous tendencies that often make him lose deeds due to his overabundance of such things.
- A young Japanese girl; a tomboy at that, and is a 10-year-old 4th Grade elementary school student (11-year-old 5th Grade elementary school student in Stitch! Zutto Saiko no Tomodachi, albeit with her move to Okinawa New Town) who lives on a fictional island off the shore of Okinawa in the Ryukyus called Izayoi Island. Her personality is sweet and outgoing, while still tough and feisty all in all. Living on Izayoi Island, she learns and studies karate, having learned it from her grandpa. Her grandpa also did the honor of giving her a special type of moonsand, as a good luck charm in her study of karate before he left. Yuna lives a rather normal cherished life with her grandma, Obaa. The other majority of her family are elsewhere, her father is out at work a lot as a marine biologist around Okinawa, and her mother died when she was an infant in a typhoon. Her life remained normal yet happy until one day, after a varied coincidence, she meets a strange creature that came crashlanding from the Turo system of outer space, Experiment 626, or as we know him, Stitch. From then and there when they met, the two became best friends and the duo go on various adventures on Stitch's quest in order to be "good". Yuna though, has a strong sense of justice and an overbearing attitude, which make her a tomboy, and that shows throughout the series. The creators of the anime got Yuna's name from the Japanese name of sea hibiscus out in Okinawa (known in Japanese as Yuna). Yuna's birthday is February 25. It can be assumed that Yuna's favorite animal is a porpoise or dolphin from a few instances in the series. Yuna isn't good at mathematics, often getting low scores on math tests. Yuna's last name, Kamihara, wasn't unveiled until much later, although previous guesses were Chitama, after the dojo and the forest on Izayoi and Hanako, which was Yuna's previous name and design during development of the anime.
- An evil genius scientist, the one who created Stitch, and the other 625 Experiments. He is assigned by the Galactic Council to watch over Stitch, and lives with Yuna and Obaa. He is more friendly in this series than the original, and has less of a penchant for evil.
- He is a one-eyed alien working for the Galactic Council and Earth expert. He is Jumba's best friend, and lives with him along with Yuna, Obaa, and Stitch.
- Obaa Kamihara
- Yuna's grandmother whom Yuna lives with. She is one of the three characters that believes in the existence of yōkai.
- He is a little yokai, who is Yuna & Stitch's friend. He is kind of a coward, but with the help of his friends, he can find the courage to best whatever he can.
- Experiment #624: A pink female experiment who is Stitch's love interest. Stitch is madly in love with her and she shares the same feeling. Angel travels a lot, but she stops at the island, at times, to visit Stitch and Yuna.
- A young girl about Yuna's age who is introduced in the second season. A transfer student from Koube, she joins Yuna's class amidst the second season. She believes in good fashion and beauty, and is girly in spirit, often talking about fashion, love and all. She's also quite ditsy at times. She believes Yuna has a good fashion sense, and becomes good friends with her; as her fashion sense reminded her of her mother, a tropical fashion designer. Her father is a doctor. She not only has a rather brave personality, like Yuna; but she has a sweet and gentle personality too. Kouji (Kenny) has a crush for Sae, unbeknownst to her, and Piko (Penny) secretly dislikes Sae, but believes that Sae dresses better than she does.
- A blonde girl, rival to Yuna. Piko/Penny is self-centered, impatient and in some cases, a bit snobby. She often takes great pride to mock and deride Yuna and Stitch in any case, often ending with Yuna and her fighting. There's rare occasions where she and Yuna can get along though. Her father runs the island's pineapple plants and her family runs the highest rated hotels and resorts on Izayoi. There's a habit with Piko/Penny where when she's angered, she'll often end her ranting with a comparison of something akin to pineapples. She is also a black-team karate leader. Piko/Penny may have been idealized after Hawaiian pop song Pineapple Princess. Piko/Penny dislikes Sae but secretly does believe that she dresses better than her.
- Yuna's mean, bullying cousin who appears mid-way through Season 2. Although she is harsh to Yuna, she`s only trying to do a role-model. Which is why she blackmails Yuna into doing the chores around the house, because of her bad grades. Yuna and Stitch move off to live with her in season 3.
- A boy from Okinawa New Town introduced in the third season. A popular soccer player, and love interest of Reika, he often acts cool and calm. He bears a secret of acting as a maid to his sisters, and even dressing up in bishoujo-styled outfits for his sisters' enjoyment. His name is obviously a play on "hero man". It is hinted that he and Yuna have feelings for each other since Yuna often saves him from trouble; in the episode "Dorkifier", it was shown that Yuna blushed at him.
- Yuna's rival in season 3. She has a crush on Takumi and friends who she bosses around. She, like Piko/Penny from the first two seasons, likes to mock and deride Stitch and Yuna. She also bears a trait of saying rather dull jokes and puns, often met with silent response.
- Lilo Pelekai
- A character mentioned in the English dub, she was Stitch's best friend in the past, but one day she left for college. However, her mention in the English dub is only due to Disney intertwining Stitch! from Leroy & Stitch for the English dub. The Japanese original bears little to no mention of Lilo, in any case. However, Episode 23 of Season 3 had Lilo visit Okinawa in cahoots to reunite with Stitch, only for a while though. Lilo is now grown up, and has a daughter who looks like her when she was younger, named Ani.
- Dr. Jacques Von Hämsterviel
- The villain who was a college buddy of Jumba. Much like the rest of the franchise, he bears a waning to defeat Stitch, but this time, to steal Stitch's Good Deed Counter in order to gain ultimate power.
- He works under Dr. Hamsterviel, to steal Stitch's Good Deed Counter. Gantu was dishonorably discharged from his Galactic Federation job due to bad karaoke singing. He bears an over-obsession to a television drama called "The Young and the Stupid", and bears a huge crush over the main character of the drama, Princess Michigo.
- Experiment #625: He has all powers of Stitch and works alongside Gantu, but he is lazy and eats sandwiches. Dr. Hamsterviel claims he doesn't do much beside make sandwiches all the time. During the series he isn't much of an enemy to Stitch, even coming to visiting him sometimes. During "Onigiri Rueben", he becomes fond of Japanese Rice balls, and even includes them among his sandwich liking.
- Experiment #000: He is an evil experiment that is a cyborg version of Stitch.
- An evil alien woman that is in a partnership with Dr. Jacques Von Hämsterviel to get the Neo-PowerChip that is inside of Stitch. Delia altered a majority of Experiments, which had caused them to become physically stronger, and Angel which is rescued by Stitch. Delia usually calls Dr. Jacques Von Hämsterviel the wrong name such as Hamu Sama, or Hämusta Sama and then eventually punishing him with various explosions or robots.
Differences between the Japanese and the English
- The opening and ending themes are replaced with one theme for the English version, composed of electric guitars, taiko drums and character voices.
- The opening title sequence in the English version is made up of clips from various English dub episodes, rather than the unique animation used in the Japanese versions.
- The ending credits sequence in Season 1's English version is made up of still screenshots from various English dub episodes, rather than the unique animation used in the Japanese versions.
- All of the original Japanese background music is replaced with new English dub music composed by Thorsten Laewe since Pokémon 3: The Movie.
- Some of the original Japanese sound effects are replaced with different sounds that are similar of 4Kids sound library when they weren't able to separate the tracks individually.
- The music of any of the traditional Japanese and Okinawan instruments such as the Okinawan musical instrument called the Sanshin as the precursor of the Japanese shamisen are completely replaced and replaced with new different Japanese and Okinawan instrument music in the dub.
- Some scenes are cut in the English version.
- Some episodes are shortened to half-length and aired together in a single 22-minute block in the English version.
- In the original Japanese version, each episode ended with a next episode preview. In the English dub, the next episode previews are removed.
- Although Japanese cultural references (and even Japanese kana, kanji and romaji) are mostly kept in the dub (with some Japanese kana, and kanji translated to English, and some Japanese characters given western and American names and Japanese yen changed to American dollars), the script/dialogue have been completely rewritten. This is partly done to make the anime seem like a direct sequel to the Leroy & Stitch movie (which in itself is a sequel of Lilo & Stitch: The Series).
- Just as the setting of the country and location of the island are all kept as in Japan and as part of the Ryukyu Islands in the dub, the car, bus and road scenes that show driving on the left side of the road and people driving on the left are kept and left out un-mirrored in the dub. Even the books are shown being read from right to left just like in Japan at the dub, and even one has its title translated in the Christmas special.
- A number of experiments who never spoke in the original series are able to speak English in the English dub of the anime. It is unknown if they learned to do so naturally, or if they were reprogrammed with such lingual skills.
- Project Planning/Executive Producer: Masao Maruyama (seasons 1-2)
- Producers: Yasuteru Iwase, Satoru Yoshimoto (seasons 1-2)
- Series Composition: Shoji Yonemura, Yuuko Kakihara (seasons 1-2)
- Director: Masami Hata (seasons 1-2)
- Animation Production: Madhouse (seasons 1-2), Shin-Ei Animation (season 3)
- Production: TV Tokyo (season 1), TV Asahi (season 2 onwards), Walt Disney Animation Japan
Official Japanese Sites
- Disney's Stitch! website
- Disney's Stitch character page (Hawaii)
- Disney's Stitch character page (Okinawa)
- Official TV Asahi page of Stitch! ~Zutto Saikou no Tomodachi~
- Official TV Asahi page of Stitch! ~Itazura Alien no Daibouken~
- Official TV Tokyo page of Stitch!
- Official site from Disney Channel Asia
- Official site from Disney Channel Taiwan
- Official site from Disney XD (Netherlands)
- Official Korean site
- Official Cantonese site