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Stitch! (スティッチ!; Sutitchi!) is an anime television spin-off of the Lilo & Stitch franchise, and the franchise's second television series overall. It is the first successor to Lilo & Stitch: The Series, taking place many years after the events of that show's finale film Leroy & Stitch. It debuted in Japan in 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 named Izayoi, in the Ryukyu Islands off the shore of Okinawa, instead of Hawaii. A second anime season, entitled Stitch! ~The Mischievous Alien's Great Adventure!~ (スティッチ! ~いたずらエイリアンの大冒険~; Sutitchi! ~Itazura Eirian no Daibōken~) 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~; Sutitchi! ~Zutto Saikō no Tomodachi~) aired on TV Asahi on July 6, 2010.

Two different TV specials were released after the series' original run; Stitch and the Planet of Sand (スティッチと砂の惑星; Sutitchi to Suna no Wakusei) in 2012 and Stitch! Perfect Memory (スティッチ!パーフェクト・メモリー; Sutitchi! Pāfekuto Memorī) in 2015. The anime series has since been succeeded by Stitch & Ai in 2017.

The first season began airing in the English language on Disney Channel (Australia) on December 4, 2009, and went to also air in English later on Disney Channel Asia on December 19, 2009. The first season premiered on Disney Channel Latin America on May 2, 2010, in the American Spanish dub, followed by the second season on June 6, 2011 and the third season on August 20, 2012.

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 version aired 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 for unknown reasons, leaving the series unfinished. As a result, only five episodes have aired in the United States.

Production

The show was animated and co-produced by the Japanese animation house Madhouse for its first two seasons, and was later animated and co-produced by Shin-Ei Animation.

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, 627 and (in the third season only) Delia. In addition, three characters, Angel, Sparky and Felix, 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 a mostly peaceful and child-friendly anime with very little violence, fighting, and battling. It shows very little crude humor and is mostly not too scary since the episodes are much lightly-toned with almost no fights or scary content. 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.

However, unlike the earlier movies and American series, the anime contains some darker and mature content.

Like most other anime dubbed into English for TV by Disney, the series is edited and localized to comply with the FCC's standards for Children's Programming. Unlike most English localizations of anime, most Japanese symbols and text are not removed, and it is still implied that the series takes place in Japan, but the darker themes and more mature content have been either toned down or removed.

Episodes

Main article: List of Stitch! episodes
Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 25 + 1 special October 8, 2008 March 25, 2009
2 29 + 1 special October 13, 2009 June 29, 2010
3 29 + 1 special July 6, 2010 March 8, 2011
TV Specials 2 June 16, 2012 August 7, 2015

Characters

From left to right: Yuna, Kijimunaa, and Stitch

Main characters

Stitch
Stitch (original name: Experiment 626), 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 Chitama Spiritual Stone on Izayoi, 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 43 good deeds. 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 the strongest in the universe. However, he has mischievous tendencies that often make him lose deeds due to his overabundance of such things. At the end of the second season (also the end of Madhouse's run of the series), he gave up his initial wish, because he knew that what he really wanted was to stay with Yuna.
Yuna Kamihara
Yuna is 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. 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 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.
Dr. Jumba Jookiba
Jumba is 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 Gramma. He is more friendly in this series than the original and has less of a penchant for evil.
Pleakley
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, Gramma, and Stitch.
Gramma (Obaa)
Yuna's grandmother whom Yuna lives with. She is one of the three characters that believe in the existence of yōkai.
Kijimunaa
He is a little yokai, who is Yuna and 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.
Angel
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.
Penny (Piko)
A blonde girl, rival to Yuna. 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 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. Penny may have been idealized after Hawaiian pop song Pineapple Princess. Penny dislikes Sae but secretly does believe that she dresses better than her.
Sandra "Sasha" (Sae)
A young girl about Yuna's age who is introduced in the second season. A transfer student from Kobe, 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. Kenny has a crush on Sasha, unbeknownst to her, and Penny secretly dislikes Sasha, but believes that Sasha dresses better than she does.
Tigerlily Sakai (Zuruko Sasuga)
Yuna's mean, bullying cousin who appears midway through season 2. While she's kind-hearted to others, she is harsh and cruel to Yuna for unknown reasons. She constantly blackmails Yuna into doing all the chores around the house, although she later claims that she's only trying to be a role model for Yuna. Yuna and Stitch move off to live with her in season 3, during which she becomes relatively nicer to them.
Hiroman (Takumi)
A boy from Okinawa New Town introduced in the third season. A popular soccer player, and love interest of Jessica, 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.
Dolores (Toyoda-san)
Dolores is a quiet and not very talkative girl. Unlike her classmates, she is heavily immersed in science, especially mathematics. She has a friend with whom she shares interests and has a bit of a rivalry, as shown in the school competition. She considers Jessica and her gang to be dumb girls who are trying to boost their self-esteem by bullying other people. The only classmate with whom she communicates normally is Yuna and they can even be called friends.
Jessica (Reika)
She has a crush on Hiroman and his friends whom she bosses around. Her friends are two close girls named Toriko and Makiko. She, like 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. However, unlike Mertle and Penny, she doesn't seem like such a bad person. There were a couple of times she was shown to be sorry for her actions, such as when she cheated on Yuna on her birthday or when Stitch gave her a sushi roll despite what happened in the past. She was also one of those who fought alongside Stitch against Dark End.
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 the third season 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.

Villains

Dr. Jacques von Hämsterviel
The villain who was a college buddy of Jumba. Much like the rest of the franchise, he bears a wanting to defeat Stitch, but this time, to steal Stitch's Good Deed Counter in order to gain ultimate power.
Gantu
He works under Dr. Hämsterviel, to steal Stitch's Good Deed Counter. Gantu was dishonorably discharged from his Galactic Federation job due to bad karaoke singing. He bears an 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.
Reuben
Experiment 625: He has all the powers of Stitch and works alongside Gantu, but he is lazy and eats sandwiches. Dr. Hämsterviel claims he doesn't do much besides making sandwiches all the time. During the series he isn't much of an enemy to Stitch, even coming to visiting him sometimes. During "Reuben's Rice Balls", he becomes fond of Japanese rice balls, and even includes them among his sandwich likings.
Cyber
Experiment 000: He is an evil experiment that is a cyborg version of Stitch.
Delia
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.

Cast

With the exception of Rocky McMurray reprising his role of Clyde in "Stitchman Meets Bonnie and Clyde", the original English voice cast from the Lilo & Stitch films and Lilo & Stitch: The Series did not reprise their roles for this anime.

Character Voice actor
Japanese English
Stitch (626) Kōichi Yamadera Ben Diskin
Yuna Kamihara Motoko Kumai Eden Riegel
Dr. Jumba Jookiba Shōzō Iizuka Jess Winfield
Wendy Pleakley Yūji Mitsuya Ted Biaselli
Dr. Jacques von Hämsterviel Hiroshi Yanaka Kirk Thornton
Delia Romi Park Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Gantu Unshou Ishizuka Keith Silverstein
Gramma (Obaa) Hisako Kyōda Gwendoline Yeo
Kijimunaa Kappei Yamaguchi Colleen O'Shaughnessey
Reuben (625) Kōji Ochiai Dave Wittenberg
Yuna's father Kōichi Yamadera Keith Silverstein
Taro Tomoe Hanba Stephanie Sheh
Penny (Piko) Miyako Ito Meghan Strange
Kenny (Kōji) Yuka Nishigaki Derek Stephen Prince
Ted (Taka) Hitomi Hase Laura Bailey
Marvin (Masa) Yuki Ishii Kari Wahlgren
Mr. Honda (Honda-san) Sōryū Konno Dave Wittenberg
Officer Suzuki Kanji Suzumori Kirk Thornton
Angel (624) Keiko Toda Kate Higgins
JJ (Jun) Yuri Konno Laura Bailey
Tonbo Yūki Kaji Dave Wittenberg
Sparky (221) Yūji Mitsuya Steven Jay Blum
Felix (010) Kappei Yamaguchi Steven Jay Blum
Ms. Kawasaki (Kawasaki-sensei) Ryōko Nagata Kari Wahlgren
Tachicchu Sōryū Konno Steven Jay Blum
627 Osamu Ryūtani Ben Diskin
Cyber (000) Tomohiro Nishimura Ben Diskin
Pilolo Makoto Naruse Brian Beacock
Nosy (199) Matsuno Taiki Roger Craig Smith
BooGoo Hitomi Hase Steven Jay Blum
Sasha (Sae) Tomiko Orikasa Melissa Fahn
Tigerlily Sakai (Zuruko Susuga) Rica Matsumoto Laura Bailey
Hiroman (Takumi) Hiroaki Miura Sam Riegel
Jessica (Reika) Yoko Hikasa Kate Higgins
Dolores (Toyoda-san) Yumiko Kobayashi Colleen O'Shaughnessey
Toriko Mai Katagari Ali Hillis
Makiko Komatsuna Sakato Laura Bailey
(Young) Lilo Pelekai Sumire Morohoshi Melissa Fahn
Lilo Pelekai Tomoe Hanba Gwendoline Yeo
Ani Sumire Morohoshi Melissa Fahn

Differences between the Japanese and international versions

  • Japan's opening and ending themes are replaced with two themes for the international version, one for Madhouse's seasons and one for Shin-Ei's season, composed of electric guitars, taiko drums, character voices, and, for the international version's Season 3 opening theme, children singing an original song.
  • The opening title sequence in the international version is made up of clips from various English dub episodes, rather than the unique animation used in the Japanese versions.
  • The end credits sequence in Season 1's international version is made up of still screenshots from various English dub episodes, rather than the unique animation used in the Japanese versions.
  • The end credits sequence in Season 2's international version is a truncated version of the Japanese opening credits' rock concert sequence from the same season.
  • All of the original Japanese background music is replaced with new music composed by Thorsten Laewe, who also composed the international version's themes.
  • Some of the original Japanese sound effects are replaced with different sounds that are similar to 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 international version.
  • The "Kung Fu Dragon Pleakley" segments from the second season are cut completely from the international version. Some of them were dubbed into other languages and aired separately from the show, although none of them are known to have been dubbed into English.
  • Some episodes are shortened to half-length and aired together in a single 22-minute block in the international version.
  • In the original Japanese version, each episode ended with a next episode preview. In the international version, 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 to 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 people driving on the left side of the road remain un-mirrored in the dub. Even the books are shown being read from right to left just like in Japan, and one even has its title translated in the Christmas special.
  • The third season uses a purple title card filled with bubbles and stars and has Stitch rolling in before unfurling, turning to the viewer, and giving them a thumbs up, while Yuna says the episode's title. In the title cards of the international version, Stitch says something different or makes a different noise for each episode, while the Japanese original has Stitch just making a soft chuckle that is used for every episode.

Trivia

  • A number of experiments who never spoke in the original series were able to speak fluent English in the English dub of the anime. It appears that some learned to do so naturally in the years between the series, while others were reprogrammed with improved lingual skills.
  • This series' mixed reception in the Western world (primarily the Anglosphere) has led to several fans saying that either The Walt Disney Company or franchise creator Chris Sanders has declared the show to be non-canonical to the rest of the franchise. However, no real evidence of either party declaring the show's status in the canon actually exists.
    • Since there is no real evidence in this canon, it is also unknown if the crossover episodes were involved in this universe following the end of the original series. It could be implied that they never happened in any way and that the experiments were captured in a different way, meaning that the anime could be an alternate reality in which the crossover episodes never occurred during the original series.
  • Interestingly, in the German dub of the anime, the show was named more like the original franchise, being titled Yuna & Stitch.
  • The new experiments that appeared in the anime, though they weren't designed by Tony Craig like the rest, are at least canon in terms of their names and functions. In an email with Ronlof, Jess Winfield stated, "Yes, there is a master list of experiments; although it's Disney property, I'm apparently the only one who kept a copy. I have shared it with the Japanese team, and they have used it extensively, as you'll see in season two."
  • The episode titles for the English dub use Papyrus, a widely used typeface known for its rough edges and calligraphy-inspired design that is nowadays considered to be overused.

Crew

  • 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

External links

Official sites

Japanese

International

Others


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