Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (known in Japan as 星のカービィ Hoshi no Kābī, Kirby of the Stars) is a Japanese anime series based on the Kirby series, first aired in 2001. It was made by a company called 'Warp Star', a joint project of Nintendo and HAL Laboratory. It first aired in Japan on CBCTV, and was later dubbed and brought to North America by 4Kids Entertainment. It has also aired in many other countries and languages, including most of Europe and Asia. The show ran until September 27, 2003 with a total of 100 episodes, ending with "Fright to the Finish" loosely based on the then recently released game Kirby Air Ride.
The show follows the title character Kirby, a young and inexperienced Star Warrior, who lives in the peaceful land of Dream Land after accidentally crash landing there. The evil King Dedede and his assistant Escargoon continuously try to get rid on him, usually by ordering monsters from NightMare Enterprises (N.M.E.). In addition to his dislike for Kirby, Dedede often treats the inhabitants of Cappy Town, (the village of which he is the self-proclaimed king) in a bad way, and Kirby usually gets help from his friends to challenge this behavior. The show features many of Kirby's Copy Abilities from the games, as well as various enemies, Mid-Bosses and bosses, most of which appear in the form of monsters ordered by Dedede. However, as the show ended before the release of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, no elements from that game and later games are seen.
While the show borrows many characters, places, and themes from the Kirby games, the show takes place in its own universe separate from the main series.
As the Kirby series was still struggling in the west, it was decided that a Kirby animated series would be a good way to bring in new fans. Kirby: Right Back at Ya was made as a joint project between HAL and Nintendo, going under the name 'Warp Star'. The main director was a veteran of animation, Soji Yoshikawa. Kirby's creator Masahiro Sakurai drafted the original proposal and set many of the guidelines for the show. Many of the difficulties in creating an anime for Kirby were detailed in early interviews with Nintendo.
Sakurai had a few things he wanted and didn't want for the show. Firstly, he didn't want Kirby to speak, and secondly, he didn't want there to be any humans. Nearly everyone involved, including Sakurai, admitted that not having Kirby speak was quite a challenge. In addition, without humans they had to come up with unique species and characters. (Yoshikawa compared it to a Finnish children's book series series called The Moomins, which had no humans.)
Another of Sakurai's intentions was that Kirby would seem 'like a pet', until he gains a Copy Ability and can battle. His view for Kirby seems to be one of 'hidden strength'. Yoshikawa, who also served as one of the writers, had great visions for making the series widely accessible, using not only facets of the games, but references culture and events from outside of the Kirby series.
A particular emphasis was placed on the show's animation. Yoshikawa spoke of how the Japanese animation industry had reduced itself to shortcuts and cutting corners. He wanted to have animation where things could 'be moved as much as we pleased'. As such, they made the decision to do a mix of traditional 2D and 3D computer graphics animation.
Because of this, they were able to focus far more on creating lively, smooth animation for the characters. The frame rate of the show is 2-3X higher than most contemporary anime (about 10,000 frames are used in each episode, compared to the 4000-5000 used by most anime on TV). Even with the length of the series, the animation improves noticeably as it goes on, likely as the animators improve their techniques. This is particularly noticeable for the 3-D renders of characters such as Dyna Blade.
The English dub of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was produced by 4Kids Entertainment.
Some edits were made to the English version, including changing the background music and the color of King Dedede's tank, the removal of Japanese letters from signs, turning King Dedede's chainsaw into a laser chainsaw, and removing a scene where Kirby shoots a gun. Dialogue changes include rewording and altering the Japanese script, and changing the names of several characters and meanings, such as "Escargon" to "Escargoon".
Kirby - The main character of the series. Shown as having the mind of a small child, and caring deeply for his friends.
Tiff - A quick witted, intelligent girl who lives with her family in Cappy Town who often helps Kirby out and cares for him. She's the only one who can summon his Warp Star.
Tuff - Tiff's little brother. He's not too bright and kind of a troublemaker, but is good at heart and a great friend.
Meta Knight - A mysterious swordsman who acts as a sort of mentor for Kirby.
Escargoon - Dedede's right-hand man and personal assistant. Escargoon helps him with his schemes, but isn't bad at heart.
N.M.E. Sales Guy - The public face of Nightmare's company, shown later in the series to be very short.
Nightmare - The main villain who runs NightMare Enterprises. He's usually only seen in the shadows.
Side & Guest Characters
|Jp||En||Episode title||Copy Ability||Japanese airdate||English airdate|
|Pilot||Kirby of the Stars Pilot||Ice, Spark||2000||-|
|1||1||Kirby Comes to Cappy Town||Fire||October 6, 2001||September 14, 2002|
|2||2||A Blockbuster Battle||Stone||October 13, 2001||September 14, 2002|
|3||3||Kirby's Duel Role||Sword||October 20, 2001||September 21, 2002|
|4||4||Dark and Stormy Knight||Sword||October 27, 2001||September 21, 2002|
|5||5||Beware: Whispy Woods!||-||November 3, 2001||September 28, 2002|
|6||6||Un-Reality TV||-||November 10, 2001||September 28, 2002|
|7||7||Kirby's Egg-Cellent Adventure||-||November 17, 2001||October 5, 2002|
|8||8||Curio's Curious Discovery||Stone||November 24, 2001||October 5, 2002|
|9||9||The Fofa Factor||Cutter||December 1, 2001||October 12, 2002|
|10||10||Hail to the Chief||-||December 8, 2001||October 12, 2002|
|11||11||The Big Taste Test||Cook||December 15, 2001||October 19, 2002|
|12||13||Escargoon Squad||-||December 22, 2001||October 26, 2002|
|13||29||Cappy New Year||Fire, Parasol||December 29, 2001||December 28, 2002|
|14||14||The Pillow Case||-||January 5, 2002||October 26, 2002|
|15||12||Kirby's Pet Peeve||-||January 12, 2002||October 19, 2002|
|16||15||A Fish Called Kine||Tornado||January 19, 2002||November 2, 2002|
|17||94||The Thing About the Ring||-||January 26, 2002||September 16, 2006|
|18||16||Flower Power||Needle||February 2, 2002||November 2, 2002|
|19||17||Here Comes the Son||Fighter, Needle||February 9, 2002||November 9, 2002|
|20||18||Dedede's Snow Job||Ice||February 16, 2002||November 9, 2002|
|21||19||A Princess In Dis-Dress||Sword||February 23, 2002||November 16, 2002|
|22||20||Island of the Lost Warrior||Tornado||March 3, 2002||November 16, 2002|
|23||21||The Empty Nest Mess||-||March 9, 2002||November 23, 2002|
|24||22||Ninja Binge||Ninja||March 16, 2002||November 23, 2002|
|25||23||Escargoon Rules||Parasol||March 23, 2002||November 30, 2002|
|26||24||Hour of the WolfWrath||Galaxia||March 30, 2002||November 30, 2002|
|27||25||The Flower Plot||Cutter||April 6, 2002||December 7, 2002|
|28||26||Labor Daze||Ice||April 20, 2002||December 7, 2002|
|29||27||A Spice Odyssey||Cook||April 27, 2002||December 14, 2002|
|30||28||Hatch Me If You Can||Fire||May 4, 2002||December 14, 2002|
|31||30||Abusement Park||Mike||May 11, 2002||February 1, 2003|
|32||95||A Dental Dilemma||Tornado||May 18, 2002||September 23, 2006|
|33||34||Junk Jam||Fire||May 25, 2002||February 1, 2003|
|34||33||A Recipe for Disaster||Cook||June 1, 2002||February 15, 2003|
|35||31||The Kirby Derby - Part I||-||June 8, 2002||February 8, 2003|
|36||32||The Kirby Derby - Part II||Wheel||June 15, 2002||February 8, 2003|
|37||35||Watermelon Felon||-||June 22, 2002||March 1, 2003|
|38||44||A Novel Approach||Clean||June 29, 2002||June 21, 2003|
|39||36||Escar-Gone||-||July 6, 2002||March 8, 2003|
|40||37||Monster Management||Fighter||July 13, 2002||March 15, 2003|
|41||38||Prediction Predicament - Part I||Fire||July 20, 2002||March 22, 2003|
|42||39||Prediction Predicament - Part II||-||July 27, 2002||March 29, 2003|
|43||40||Sheepwrecked||Needle||August 3, 2002||April 5, 2003|
|44||41||War of the Woods||Cutter||August 10, 2002||April 12, 2003|
|45||52||Scare Tactics - Part I||-||August 17, 2002||October 25, 2003|
|46||53||Scare Tactics - Part II||Fire||August 24, 2002||November 1, 2003|
|47||42||Pink-Collar Blues||Stone||August 31, 2002||April 19, 2003|
|48||43||Tourist Trap||Fire, Ice||September 14, 2002||April 26, 2003|
|49||47||Cartoon Buffoon||-||September 21, 2002||September 20, 2003|
|50||48||Don't Bank on It||-||September 28, 2002||September 27, 2003|
|51||49||Kirby Takes the Cake||Bomb||October 5, 2002||October 4, 2003|
|52||45||Snack Attack - Part I||-||October 12, 2002||September 6, 2003|
|53||46||Snack Attack - Part II||Fighter||October 19, 2002||September 13, 2003|
|54||54||One Crazy Knight||Mirror||October 26, 2002||November 8, 2003|
|55||55||Sweet and Sour Puss||Needle||November 2, 2002||November 15, 2003|
|56||56||Dedede's Pet Threat||Hammer||November 9, 2002||November 22, 2003|
|57||57||A Half-Baked Battle||Bomb||November 16, 2002||November 29, 2003|
|58||58||eNeMeE Elementary||Fighter||November 23, 2002||December 6, 2003|
|59||59||The Meal Moocher||Cook||November 30, 2002||December 13, 2003|
|60||60||Crusade for the Blade||Sword, Galaxia||December 7, 2002||February 7, 2004|
|61||61||Fitness Fiend||Mike||December 14, 2002||February 14, 2004|
|62||62||Mabel Turns the Tables||Tornado||December 21, 2002||February 21, 2004|
|63||63||Something to Sneeze At||-||December 28, 2002||February 28, 2004|
|64||64||The Kirby Quiz||-||January 4, 2003||March 6, 2004|
|65||65||Masher 2.0||Fighter||January 11, 2003||March 13, 2004|
|66||66||The Chill Factor||Ice||January 18, 2003||March 20, 2004|
|67||67||The School Scam||Fighter||January 25, 2003||March 27, 2004|
|68||68||Delivery Dilemma||Jet||February 1, 2003||April 3, 2004|
|69||69||Trick or Trek||Tornado||February 8, 2003||April 10, 2004|
|70||70||Buccaneer Birdy||Mirror||February 15, 2003||April 17, 2004|
|71||71||A Whale of a Tale||-||February 22, 2003||April 24, 2004|
|72||72||Waddle While You Work||-||March 1, 2003||September 18, 2004|
|73||73||Dedede's Raw Deal||Spark||March 8, 2003||September 25, 2004|
|74||74||Caterpillar Thriller||-||March 15, 2003||October 2, 2004|
|75||75||Fossil Fools - Part I||-||March 22, 2003||October 9, 2004|
|76||76||Fossil Fools - Part II||Crash||March 29, 2003||October 16, 2004|
|77||77||Dedede's Monsterpiece||Paint||April 5, 2003||October 23, 2004|
|78||78||Right Hand Robot||Bomb||April 19, 2003||October 30, 2004|
|79||79||Goin' Bonkers||Hammer||April 26, 2003||November 6, 2004|
|80||80||Power Ploy||Stone||May 3, 2003||November 13, 2004|
|81||81||A Trashy Tale||Clean||May 10, 2003||November 20, 2004|
|82||82||Cooking Up Trouble||Spark||May 17, 2003||November 27, 2004|
|83||83||Teacher's Threat||Sword||May 24, 2003||December 4, 2004|
|84||84||Mumbies Madness||Bomb||May 31, 2003||December 11, 2004|
|85||85||A Sunsational Puzzle||Jet||June 7, 2003||December 18, 2004|
|86||86||A Chow Challenge||Cook||June 14, 2003||May 28, 2005|
|87||87||Waste Management||Wing||June 21, 2003||June 4, 2005|
|88||88||Shell-Shocked||Hammer||June 28, 2003||June 11, 2005|
|89||89||Tooned Out||Spark||July 5, 2003||June 18, 2005|
|90||90||Born to Be Mild - Part I||-||July 12, 2003||June 25, 2005|
|91||91||Born to Be Mild - Part II||Wheel||July 19, 2003||July 2, 2005|
|92||92||Hunger Struck||Cook||July 26, 2003||July 30, 2005|
|93||93||D'Preciation Day||Parasol||August 2, 2003||August 6, 2005|
|94||96||Cowardly Creature||Throw||August 9, 2003||October 28, 2006|
|95||97||Frog Wild||Fire||August 16, 2003||November 4, 2006|
|96||50||Air-Ride-in-Style - Part I||-||August 23, 2003||October 11, 2003|
|97||51||Air-Ride-in-Style - Part II||Baton, Water, Iron, Top, Crash||August 30, 2003||October 18, 2003|
|98||98||Cappy Town Down||-||September 13, 2003||November 25, 2006|
|99||99||Combat Kirby||Cook, Ice||September 20, 2003||December 2, 2006|
|100||100||Fright to the Finish||Bomb, Fire, Star Rod||September 27, 2003||December 9, 2006|
|101||101||Kirby 3D||Fire, Kabuki||May 2009 (Wii)||February 2012 (Nintendo 3DS)|
- Main article: Kirby: Right Back at Ya!/gallery
- Its acronym, 'KRBaY', is similar to Kirby.
- Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land was released during the time the anime was originally on the air. As such, much of the game's artwork (including the box art) was either taken from or inspired by the anime.
- Additionally, many of the music tracks used in Kirby Air Ride were taken from the Japanese version of the anime.
- The anime was briefly available for viewing on the Kirby TV Channel, a free Wii channel.
- The English theme song for the show is an unlockable song in Donkey Konga.
- The 88th episode of the series "Shell Shocked" was supposed to air its English dub in 2005, but for unknown reasons was pre-empted by "This Week's Baseball". The episode was officially aired sometime in 2006 but was lost for many years, until YouTube user "Operation Hoshi no Kaabii" uploaded it to the site on September 26th, 2015.