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Kirby: Right Back at Ya!

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Promotional poster showing the main cast of the anime.

Kirby: Right Back at Ya! is an anime television program which is based on the Kirby series. It was produced jointly by Nintendo and HAL Laboratory through a subsidiary company called "Warpstar, Inc." and was directed by Sōji Yoshikawa and Mitsuo Kusakabe, with supervision and the original draft coming from Masahiro Sakurai.[1] The show originally aired on October 6, 2001 in Japan through CBC Broadcasting and consisted of one hundred episodes aired in the morning on a weekly basis, concluding on September 27, 2003. The show would later be dubbed into English by 4Kids Entertainment, and aired on Fox Box from September 14, 2002 to December 9, 2006 with intermittent pauses and changes in episode ordering. An HD remaster of the show on Blu-ray was released in Japan on March 14, 2023.[2]

The show follows Kirby, taking the role of a space-faring hero who has a child-like demeanor and is incapable of regular speech. He crashes his starship into the kingdom of Dream Land, where he stays in order to battle monsters summoned by the land's greedy and tyrannical King Dedede from the evil intergalactic corporation Night Mare Enterprises. Over the course of the show, Kirby gradually becomes stronger and more experienced - aided by his close friends Tiff, Tuff, and Meta Knight - while consistently foiling the plans of King Dedede, his assistant Escargoon, and the main villain eNeMeE, who has largely conquered the universe and is trying to destroy the remaining Star Warriors who oppose him. Eventually, Kirby and his allies launch an attack on eNeMeE's space fortress in the final episode, thus putting an end to Night Mare Enterprises, liberating the universe, and depriving King Dedede of his main means of harassing his subjects.


Promotional poster for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! in Japan, featuring the main cast in Dream Land

The story and universe of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! are distinct from that of the main video game series, with only minor overlap in terms of design choices and character attributes. Most of the story takes place in the kingdom of Dream Land, which is portrayed as an Earth-like peninsular landmass surrounded by open sea and situated in a tropical climate. The planet which Dream Land is situated on is never explicitly named in the 4Kids dub of the show, but supplementary material confirms it is Planet Popstar;[3] in the Japanese version, it is specifically referred to as Popstar by Sword Knight in the Japanese version of Cappy Town Down. Despite this, the planet is never seen as a whole like it is in the games, so it is not clear if it has the same shape and characteristics. Other planets and locations in outer space are sometimes seen in the show, most notably eNeMeE's Fortress in the final episodes.

Overall plot[edit]

Most episodes of the show pit Kirby against a monster sent to defeat him from Night Mare Enterprises.

The main story of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! revolves around the intergalactic struggle between the Star Warriors and eNeMeE and his horde of monsters. Despite a valiant effort from the Star Warriors which saw the defeat of many monsters and the securing of the sacred blade Galaxia from eNeMeE's clutches, they were ultimately routed and most of their number killed or turned to evil by eNeMeE. Among the surviving veterans was Meta Knight, who personally held Galaxia and established himself in Dream Land (where one of the Star Warriors' sanctuaries in the form of Kabu is located) with his newfound apprentices Sword Knight and Blade Knight. In doing so, they pledged themselves (albeit insincerely) to King Dedede in order to buy some cover and defend the kingdom from whatever monsters the King may order while they worked out a plan to exact revenge on eNeMeE and liberate the universe from his clutches.

For many years, Meta Knight and his allies worked in secret while waiting for the next generation of Star Warriors to be dispersed throughout the cosmos and continue the fight. Eventually, one of the new generation comes crashing into Dream Land, and reveals himself to be the small and harmless-looking but eminently powerful Kirby. Despite his abilities, Kirby is still immature and child-like, and requires assistance from the child characters Tiff and Tuff, who live at court in Castle Dedede and also work to stop King Dedede and his assistant Escargoon from harming the Dream Landers. With Kirby's help, they are able to repel the monsters that King Dedede sends their way and later convince the people of Cappy Town to accept Kirby as one of theirs and build him a home in the countryside.

Over the course of the show, King Dedede frequently attempts to drive Kirby out of Dream Land using various schemes, but is consistently thwarted due to the efforts of Kirby and his friends, as well as his own buffoonish nature. Meanwhile, Kirby uses his experience fighting the monsters sent to him by Night Mare Enterprises to improve his skills as a fighter, while Tiff and Tuff in turn become more adept at assisting him under the tutelage of Meta Knight and Kabu. Tiff and Kirby in particular form a close bond, which allows Tiff to summon the Warp Star to help Kirby whenever he is in trouble. In addition, the people of Cappy Town - initially complacent and helpless against King Dedede - gradually learn to stand up for themselves with the help of Kirby and Tiff.

In the series finale, eNeMeE decides to launch an all-out attack on Dream Land in order to finally dispose of Kirby and his friends, sending an armada of giant flying saucers to carpet-bomb the kingdom, wrecking every man-made structure in the process. To counter this attack, Meta Knight and his apprentices reveal the secret weapon they had been working on all this time in the form of a space-faring battleship and recruit Kirby, his friends, and a handful of the bravest Cappy villagers to engage in a direct attack on eNeMeE's Fortress. Despite the fortress's considerable defenses, the invaders manage to get in and destroy the fortress from the inside while Kirby personally defeats eNeMeE, finally liberating the universe from N.M.E.'s clutches.

Focus and details[edit]

A screenshot from the end of the episode D'Preciation Day showing much of the recurring cast

Although the overall story revolves around Kirby's struggle to defeat eNeMeE, the majority of the episodes have a separate focus on more mundane events which take place in Dream Land, and the show takes a largely comedic and goofy tone most of the time. In particular, the dynamic between King Dedede, his subjects, and the surrounding countryside offer room for a great deal of social commentary relating to the real world. The most notable examples of this are the environmental messages often tied in to the stories of particular episodes, with a prime example being King Dedede's repeated attempts to cut down a sentient forest near the town in order to build a country club. Many of King Dedede's other schemes also end up damaging the local environment, such as causing severe acid rain from factory pollution in Labor Daze, shifting the climate to an unnatural winter in Dedede's Snow Job, and creating a hole in the planet's ozone layer in A Sunsational Puzzle.

In addition, the people of Cappy Town act as an analogue to human civilization, and commentary on wider societal issues are often expressed through their collective behavior and attitudes. Notable examples of this are the effects of mass media propaganda in Un-Reality TV, tendencies toward superstition and mob mentality as shown in Mabel Turns the Tables, and lack of accountability toward the common good as seen in Junk Jam and A Trashy Tale. Individual characters also have a chance in these episodes to gain character development as they struggle with the problems the episodes throw at them, as well as relating to each-other. Even the perennial villains King Dedede and Escargoon have opportunities to gain sympathy through certain redeeming actions, though the formula that keeps them as Kirby's antagonists is never interrupted by such moments.

Notably, Kirby: Right Back at Ya! takes several opportunities to make references to other popular media outside of the Kirby franchise and Nintendo as a whole. As a few examples, many of the show names cited in the in-universe broadcasting service Channel DDD are references to real-world movies and TV shows. In addition, several episodes are directly inspired by other media, including A Novel Approach (based on the Harry Potter franchise), One Crazy Knight (based on Don Quixote), and Caterpillar Thriller (based on the Mothra franchise). Smaller references to media such as Ikiru, Gone With the Wind, and Steppenwolf are peppered throughout the show through character dialogue, episode names, and visual representations.

Lastly, the show focuses heavily on food and cuisine, which ties in to Kirby's characteristic bottomless appetite. A large handful of episodes focus almost exclusively on food culture, which makes the supporting character Chef Kawasaki more prominent than most. A great amount of focus is taken by the show's illustrators to make close-up shots of food dishes incredibly detailed and life-like, and such dishes are often commented on with specific reference to their names and ingredients. The most prominent examples of this can be found in episodes such as A Recipe for Disaster, The Meal Moocher, and Hunger Struck.

Differences from the main Kirby series[edit]

Screenshot from Goin' Bonkers showing Kirby and Bonkers as friends; in the video games, the two are typically enemies.

The scenario, events, and character portrayals in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! differ greatly from the main video game series, and as such, are considered to be separate continuities. The following list goes over the more notable differences between the anime and the video games up to that point, though there are many more smaller differences that are not mentioned here:

  • Portrayals of characters common to both series differ in various respects:
    • Kirby is portrayed as more helpless and immature, requiring proper direction in order to defeat his foes and help his friends. Inversely, he is portrayed as much more powerful than his video game counterpart, particularly when using Copy Abilities.
    • King Dedede is portrayed as much more villainous, haughty, and ignorant. While his characterization is true to how he was depicted in early games, by the time of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, he is most often depicted as a well-intentioned friendly rival, with their conflicts usually coming as a result of outside influence or a misunderstanding. In the anime, his intense jealousy of Kirby and his selfishness lead him to be the source of most of the problems in the show, and causes everyone else to despise him to varying degrees.
    • Meta Knight is portrayed as unambiguously heroic and a mentor to Kirby. In games prior to his appearance in the anime, he was often seen as a mysterious character with unclear motives, sometimes aiding Kirby and sometimes antagonizing him. In later games, he would become an ally to Kirby, however he often still has his own motives and sees Kirby as more of a sparring partner to train with.
    • Several other characters from the video games, such as common enemies, Mid-Bosses, and Bosses, are portrayed differently to varying degrees in the anime, with some having their appearances modified, some having different abilities, and some having different characterizations which make them not necessarily hostile to Kirby. Some notable examples of these are the depictions of the Cappies, Knuckle Joe, Lololo & Lalala, Chef Kawasaki, and Sword Knight & Blade Knight.
  • Dream Land itself is portrayed much more realistically when compared to its video game counterpart, having less fantastical terrain (particularly the lack of cloud and energy-based structures).
    • Castle Dedede in particular is much larger and has a different shape than its main video game series counterpart (though it should be noted that the anime design was used in some later games).
    • Cappy Town is unique to the anime series, with no equivalent in the games.
  • The main recurring characters Tiff, Tuff, Escargoon, the N.M.E. Sales Guy, Tokkori, Doctor Yabui, and the named Cappies, among others, are exclusive to the anime (barring a few cameo appearances).
  • Several of the monsters and guest characters that feature in the anime are exclusive to it.
  • Night Mare Enterprises and the Star Warriors are exclusive to the anime.
  • The Warp Star does not function the same way in the anime as it does in the games.


Main Protagonists[edit]

Image Character Description
Anime Kirby Artwork.png Kirby The star of the show. Kirby is a small alien creature who crashed into Dream Land in order to defeat the monsters that plague it time and time again. Kirby has the mind of a small child and a bottomless appetite, but has limitless potential as a hero and Star Warrior, especially when he gains a Copy Ability.
Tiff Writing Artwork.png Tiff Kirby's closest friend and supervisor. Tiff is a young and intelligent girl who resides with her family in Castle Dedede. She helps Kirby by working to foil King Dedede's plans and calls the Warp Star for Kirby when he is in trouble.
Anime Tuff Artwork 1.png Tuff Tiff's little brother. He is immature and headstrong, but very brave. He assists Tiff and Kirby whenever he can, but his foolhardiness sometimes causes trouble for them.
Anime Meta Knight Artwork.png Meta Knight A veteran Star Warrior who feigns to serve King Dedede in order to protect and guide Kirby as he learns to be a hero. He has two apprentices named Sword Knight and Blade Knight and can also be seen assisting and mentoring Tiff and Tuff.


Image Character Description
Anime King Dedede Artwork.png King Dedede The self-proclaimed king of Dream Land who often spends loads of money contracting monsters from Night Mare Enterprises to either defeat Kirby or drive him out of Dream Land. His greed and vanity often cause problems for his subjects, leading them to resent him.
KRBaY Escargoon artwork.png Escargoon King Dedede's right-hand man and personal assistant. Escargoon often behaves cruelly toward King Dedede's enemies, but he is not quite as vain and selfish as the King, and can sometimes be seen cooperating with them instead.
Customer Service Art.png N.M.E. Sales Guy The front man of Night Mare Enterprises who sells N.M.E.'s questionable products to gullible buyers such as King Dedede. His professional demeanor masks a cruel and exploitative personality.
Anime eNeMeE Artwork.png eNeMeE The main villain who runs Night Mare Enterprises. He is usually only seen in the shadows, and is responsible for creating many of the monsters he sells.

Side & guest characters[edit]

Side & guest characters in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!  
Image Character Debut episode Description
Acore sleeping.png Acore War of the Woods An ancient oak tree who resides in the Eastern Forest, and is home to many animals, including Rick and Coo.
E100 Air Riders.png Air Riders Air-Ride-in-Style - Part I Soldiers deployed by Night Mare Enterprises who ride Air Ride Machines and are battled by Kirby.
Benikage.png Benikage Ninja Binge An unskilled ninja who comes to Dream Land to reclaim his ninja scroll.
E72 Biblio.png Biblio Watermelon Felon A spectacle-wearing Cappy who runs the local bookstore.
Otakings.png Biggy, Boney, and Sleepy Tooned Out Three animators on contract from Night Mare Enterprises who become overly obsessed with Tiff.
Bladeanime.png Blade Knight Kirby Comes to Cappy Town One of Meta Knight's apprentices, the other being Sword Knight. The two were once roadside bandits until they met Meta Knight, who saved their lives from WolfWrath. Since then, they have become fiercely loyal to Meta Knight and will often be seen by his side.
E79 Bonkers.png Bonkers Goin' Bonkers A renegade hammer-wielding simian who idolizes Kirby and hopes to be a Star Warrior himself. He was once transformed into a monster by Night Mare Enterprises, but was able to recover.
E81 Buttercup.png Buttercup Kirby Comes to Cappy Town The wife of Chief Bookem. Despite having little dialogue, she is often portrayed as kind and sincere.
Anime Captain Waddle Doo Artwork.png Captain Waddle Doo Un-Reality TV Commander of the Waddle Dees in Castle Dedede.
KRBaY Chef Kawasaki Artwork.png Chef Kawasaki A Blockbuster Battle A notoriously unskilled chef who runs the only restaurant in Cappy Town.
Chef Nagoya.png Chef Nagoya A Chow Challenge A wandering chef who once attended culinary school with Chef Kawasaki. He is much more skilled than Kawasaki is, but lacks his own restaurant.
E34 Chef Shiitake.png Chef Shiitake A Recipe for Disaster Number one food critic and Kawasaki's teacher. A false version of him appears in The Big Taste Test.
Chief Bookem.png Chief Bookem Kirby Comes to Cappy Town Chief of police in Cappy Town and Tuff's role model.
Coo Anime.png Coo A Blockbuster Battle A wise owl capable of speech who lives in the Eastern Forest and can be seen about Dream Land.
Doctor Yabui.png Doctor Yabui A Fish Called Kine Cappy Town's only physician. Notorious for his effective but painful dentistry.
Doron.png Doron A Blockbuster Battle A silent thief who spends most of his time in Cappy Town's jail cell.
E7 Dyna Blade.png Dyna Blade Kirby's Egg-Cellent Adventure An ancient bird who returns to Dream Land every one hundred years to lay a single egg. She is very protective of her chick and will attack whoever has caused it distress.
E7 Chick.png Dyna Chick Kirby's Egg-Cellent Adventure Dyna Blade's chick that newly hatched from her egg. Dyna Chick is known to run into trouble be it King Dedede and Escargoon, or at its own cause.
E25 Escargoon's mother.png Escargoon's mother Escargoon Rules A kindly elder snail who lives in a country far away from Dream Land. She visits her son who pretends to be the King of Dream Land to please her.
E91 Fang.png Fang Born to Be Mild - Part I A vicious motorcyclist who leads a biker gang and antagonizes Cappy Town. He later transforms into Wheelie.
Lola.png Fololo & Falala Kirby Comes to Cappy Town Two small flying servants of Castle Dedede. They are allies of Kirby and Tiff's family, and despise King Dedede.
Gengu.png Gangu Un-Reality TV The kind-hearted but simple-minded Cappy who runs the local toy store.
Gus.png Gus A Blockbuster Battle A rough-hewn Cappy who runs the local gas station.
Hana.png Hana Kirby Comes to Cappy Town Mayor Len's somewhat reserved but kindly and loving wife.
Honey.png Honey A Blockbuster Battle One of the three main Cappy children. Honey is kind and reserved, but very inexperienced.
Iro.png Iro A Blockbuster Battle One of the three main Cappy children. Iro is brave, but often foolhardy and selfish.
E74 Island Sisters.png Island Sisters Caterpillar Thriller Twin fairies who live with Mosugaba on Embrya Island and can calm the monster with their singing.
E1 Kabu.png Kabu Kirby Comes to Cappy Town Dream Land's great idol and sage who the Cappies revere. Kabu has the ability to see the future, and also houses Kirby's Warp Star.
Kineanime.png Kine A Blockbuster Battle One of the intelligent animals of Dream Land. Kine has a crush on Tiff and tries to earn her affection in A Fish Called Kine.
Kit Cosmos.png Kit Cosmos Island of the Lost Warrior A retired Star Warrior who resides on a deserted island. He is extremely paranoid, and initially believes Kirby to be a monster.
Knux.png Knuckle Joe Here Comes the Son A young monster hunter and the son of a legendary Star Warrior who fell during the war with N.M.E. He is extremely headstrong, but also a very skilled and cunning fighter.
Ladylike.png Lady Like Kirby Comes to Cappy Town A ditsy noblewoman who lives in Castle Dedede. She is Tiff and Tuff's mother and the wife of Sir Ebrum.
Mabel.png Mabel A Dark & Stormy Knight A Cappy Town resident who counsels the villagers in the guise of reading their fortune. She has a close relationship with Samo.
Anime Mayor Len Blustergas Artwork.png Mayor Len Blustergas Kirby Comes to Cappy Town The mayor of Cappy Town who represents the villagers and looks after a flock of sheep.
E5 Melman.png Melman Kirby's Duel Role The town mailman; often seen asleep.
E83 Mr. Chip.png Mr. Chip Teacher's Threat A passionate contract teacher who is sent by Night Mare Enterprises to harass the students at Dedede Academy, but cannot bring himself to harm them.
E66 Pengy.png Pengy The Chill Factor The leader of the Pengy tribe. He has the ability to breathe ice and attempts to take over Dream Land by turning it into a permanent tundra.
E21 Princess Rona.png Princess Rona A Princess in Dis-Dress An alien princess who visits Dream Land disguised as her personal bodyguard. She identifies with the commoners and is skilled with a sword.
Curio.png Professor Curio A Blockbuster Battle Cappy Town's resident archaeologist. While knowledgeable, he is very meek and insecure.
Anime Rick Artwork.png Rick A Blockbuster Battle One of Dream Land's intelligent animals. He can be seen wandering Dream Land and conversing with the villagers, and lives in the Eastern Forest in Acore.
E38 Rowlin.png Rowlin A Novel Approach A famous author who wrote the best-selling book "Pappy Pottey and the Fool's Stone". She is impersonated by a monster in A Novel Approach.
E72 Samo.png Samo A Blockbuster Battle (Japanese version) The bartender of Cappy Town. He gathers gossip from his customers and delivers it to Mabel to help with her fortune telling.
Anime Sir Ebrum Artwork.png Sir Ebrum Kirby Comes to Cappy Town King Dedede's cabinet minister, the father of Tiff and Tuff and husband of Lady Like. He is a very timid and nervous man.
E54 Sir Gallant.png Sir Gallant One Crazy Knight A wandering quixotic knight who believes himself to be a comic book hero.
E60 Sirica.png Sirica Crusade for the Blade A young alien warrior who once battled Meta Knight for the Galaxia over a misunderstanding. She is a potent fighter who wields a weapon stolen from N.M.E.
Spikehead.png Spikehead A Blockbuster Battle One of the three main Cappy children. He loves to play games and can be very impatient.
Anime Sword Knight Artwork.png Sword Knight Kirby Comes to Cappy Town One of Meta Knight's apprentices, the other being Blade Knight. The two were once roadside bandits until they met Meta Knight, who saved their lives from WolfWrath. Since then, they have become fiercely loyal to Meta Knight and are often seen by his side.
Tokkori Artwork.png Tokkori Kirby Comes to Cappy Town A cantankerous little talking bird who lives with Kirby in his house. He often rubs other characters the wrong way, but is not bad at heart.
E7 Tuggle.png Tuggle A Dark & Stormy Knight A cranky Cappy who runs the grocery store.
KRBaY Waddle Dee artwork.png Waddle Dees Kirby Comes to Cappy Town The tireless servants of Castle Dedede, who number in the thousands. They are usually silent, and obey King Dedede and his subordinates in exchange for living in the castle.
E71 Whales.png Whales A Whale of a Tale A giant sperm whale and calf who visit Dream Land and are harassed by King Dedede.
Anime Whispy Woods Artwork.png Whispy Woods Beware: Whispy Woods! A sentient tree who resides over Whispy Woods Forest. King Dedede often tries to chop him down in order to destroy the forest and build a golf course.
Yamikage.png Yamikage Ninja Binge A treacherous ninja warrior who used to be a Star Warrior. He is prideful and cruel.

For information on monsters, see this page. For information on minor Star Warriors, see this page. For information on other minor characters, see this page.


JP US Episode title Copy Abilit(y/ies) Monster(s) Japanese airdate US airdate
0 - Kirby of the Stars Pilot Ice, Spark Various N/A N/A
1 1 Kirby Comes to Cappy Town Fire Octacon October 6, 2001 September 14, 2002
2 2 A Blockbuster Battle Stone Blocky October 13, 2001 September 14, 2002
3 3 Kirby's Duel Role Sword Bugzzy October 20, 2001 September 21, 2002
4 4 A Dark & Stormy Knight Sword Kracko October 27, 2001 September 21, 2002
5 5 Beware: Whispy Woods! - - November 3, 2001 September 28, 2002
6 6 Un-Reality TV - Great Sea Slug Monster 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 Dedede Stone November 24, 2001 October 5, 2002
9 9 The Fofa Factor Cutter Slice n' Splice, Fofa 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 Popon December 15, 2001 October 19, 2002
12 13 Escargoon Squad - Ghost December 22, 2001 October 26, 2002
13 29 Cappy New Year Fire, Parasol Sasuke December 29, 2001 December 28, 2002
14 14 The Pillow Case - Noddy January 5, 2002 October 26, 2002
15 12 Kirby's Pet Peeve - Electronic Pet 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 - Honker Stomper January 26, 2002 September 16, 2006
18 16 Flower Power Needle Noddy, Pukey Flower February 2, 2002 November 2, 2002
19 17 Here Comes the Son Fighter, Needle Needle Knuckle Joe February 9, 2002 November 9, 2002
20 18 Dedede's Snow Job Ice Chilly, Ice Dragon February 16, 2002 November 9, 2002
21 19 A Princess in Dis-Dress Sword Susshi February 23, 2002 November 16, 2002
22 20 Island of the Lost Warrior Tornado Tornadon March 2, 2002 November 16, 2002
23 21 The Empty Nest Mess - Green Caterpillar Monster March 9, 2002 November 23, 2002
24 22 Ninja Binge Ninja Yamikage March 16, 2002 November 23, 2002
25 23 Escargoon Rules Parasol Drifters March 23, 2002 November 30, 2002
26 24 Hour of the WolfWrath Galaxia WolfWrath March 30, 2002 November 30, 2002
27 25 The Flower Plot Cutter Lovely April 6, 2002 December 7, 2002
28 26 Labor Daze Ice Ice Dragon Robot April 20, 2002 December 7, 2002
29 27 A Spice Odyssey Cook Monsieur Goan April 27, 2002 December 14, 2002
30 28 Hatch Me If You Can Fire Galbo May 4, 2002 December 14, 2002
31 30 Abusement Park Mike Walky May 11, 2002 February 1, 2003
32 95 A Dental Dilemma Tornado Hardy May 18, 2002 September 23, 2006
33 31 Junk Jam Fire Fire Lion May 25, 2002 February 1, 2003
34 34 A Recipe for Disaster Cook Cobgoblin June 1, 2002 February 15, 2003
35 32 The Kirby Derby - Part I - - June 8, 2002 February 8, 2003
36 33 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 Cleaning Broom King June 29, 2002 June 21, 2003
39 36 Escar-Gone - Erasem July 6, 2002 March 8, 2003
40 37 Monster Management Fighter Masher, Mini-monster horde July 13, 2002 March 15, 2003
41 38 Prediction Predicament - Part I Fire Fridgy July 20, 2002 March 22, 2003
42 39 Prediction Predicament - Part II - - July 27, 2002 March 29, 2003
43 40 Sheepwrecked Needle Amon 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 - Particle ghost August 17, 2002 October 25, 2003
46 53 Scare Tactics - Part II Fire Particle ghost, Shaabon, Gabon August 24, 2002 November 1, 2003
47 42 Pink-Collar Blues Stone Domestic Servant Robot August 31, 2002 April 19, 2003
48 43 Tourist Trap Fire, Ice Flame Feeder September 14, 2002 April 26, 2003
49 47 Cartoon Buffoon - - September 21, 2002 September 20, 2003
50 48 Don't Bank on It - Dedede Doll September 28, 2002 September 27, 2003
51 49 Kirby Takes the Cake Bomb Dangerous Bomb October 5, 2002 October 4, 2003
52 45 Snack Attack - Part I - Figure Monsters, Martial Arts All-Stars October 12, 2002 September 6, 2003
53 46 Snack Attack - Part II Fighter Figure Monsters, Martial Arts All-Stars October 19, 2002 September 13, 2003
54 54 One Crazy Knight Mirror Windwhipper October 26, 2002 November 8, 2003
55 55 Sweet and Sour Puss Needle Togeira November 2, 2002 November 15, 2003
56 56 Dedede's Pet Threat Hammer Scarfy November 9, 2002 November 22, 2003
57 57 A Half-Baked Battle Bomb Belly Buster November 16, 2002 November 29, 2003
58 58 eNeMeE Elementary Fighter Teacher Creature November 23, 2002 December 6, 2003
59 59 The Meal Moocher Cook Garnie November 30, 2002 December 13, 2003
60 60 Crusade for the Blade Sword, Galaxia Kirisakin December 7, 2002 February 7, 2004
61 61 Fitness Fiend Mike Max Flexer 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 - Head Cold Monsters December 28, 2002 February 28, 2004
64 64 The Kirby Quiz - - January 4, 2003 March 6, 2004
65 65 Masher 2.0 Fighter Masher 2.0 January 11, 2003 March 13, 2004
66 66 The Chill Factor Ice - January 18, 2003 March 20, 2004
67 67 The School Scam Fighter Dirk, Kirk, and Smirk January 25, 2003 March 27, 2004
68 68 Delivery Dilemma Jet Delivery Man February 1, 2003 April 3, 2004
69 69 Trick or Trek Tornado - February 8, 2003 April 10, 2004
70 70 Buccaneer Birdy Mirror Moggy 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 Squishy March 8, 2003 September 25, 2004
74 74 Caterpillar Thriller - Mosugaba March 15, 2003 October 2, 2004
75 75 Fossil Fools - Part I - Doctor Moro, D-Rex March 22, 2003 October 9, 2004
76 76 Fossil Fools - Part II Crash Doctor Moro, Chimera Dinosaurs, Syringe Mosquitoes March 29, 2003 October 16, 2004
77 77 Dedede's Monsterpiece Paint Paint Roller April 5, 2003 October 23, 2004
78 78 Right Hand Robot Bomb Escar-droid April 19, 2003 October 30, 2004
79 79 Goin' Bonkers Hammer Monster Bonkers April 26, 2003 November 6, 2004
80 80 Power Ploy Stone Red Viper May 3, 2003 November 13, 2004
81 81 A Trashy Tale Cleaning Trash Basher May 10, 2003 November 20, 2004
82 82 Cooking Up Trouble Spark SlicerDicer May 17, 2003 November 27, 2004
83 83 Teacher's Threat Sword Rekketsu May 24, 2003 December 4, 2004
84 84 Mumbies Madness Bomb Mumbies May 31, 2003 December 11, 2004
85 85 A Sunsational Puzzle Jet, Bomb Ozomashii June 7, 2003 December 18, 2004
86 86 A Chow Challenge Cook Ebifryer June 14, 2003 May 28, 2005
87 87 Waste Management Wing Crowemon June 21, 2003 June 4, 2005
88 88 Shell-Shocked Hammer Maimaigon June 28, 2003 June 11, 2005
89 89 Tooned Out Spark Anige 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 Wheelie July 19, 2003 July 2, 2005
92 92 Hunger Struck Cook Fryclops July 26, 2003 July 30, 2005
93 93 D'Preciation Day Parasol Chuckie August 2, 2003 August 6, 2005
94 96 Cowardly Creature Throw Phan Phan, Young Monsters of the Future, Whippy August 9, 2003 October 28, 2006
95 97 Frog Wild Fire Demon Frog, Heavy Anaconda 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 Crash - September 13, 2003 November 25, 2006
99 99 Combat Kirby Cook, Ice Heavy Lobster September 20, 2003 December 2, 2006
100 100 Fright to the Finish Bomb, Fire, Star Rod eNeMeE September 27, 2003 December 9, 2006
101 101 Kirby 3D Fire, Kabuki Lobzilla August 9, 2009 January 14, 2012 (Volume 1)
January 24, 2012 (Volume 2)



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, using a newly-created company named "Warpstar, Inc." (which still exists and manages the Kirby brand in the present day). The main director and head writer was a veteran of animation, Sōji Yoshikawa. Kirby's creator Masahiro Sakurai drafted the original proposal and set many of the guidelines for the show,[1] and also regularly reviewed the scripts to give his approval.[4] Many of the difficulties in creating an anime for Kirby were detailed in early interviews with Nintendo.

Sakurai set some requirements for the creators of the show: Kirby was not allowed to speak, and no humans were to appear in the show. Many people 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 found the series unique among Japanese anime in this aspect, comparing it to works like The Moomins, a Finnish children's book series whose fantasy setting and characters gained great popularity in Japan following a Dutch–Japanese anime adaptation that ran from 1990 to 1991.[5]

Another of Sakurai's intentions was that Kirby would seem "like a pet" until he gains a Copy Ability and can battle, after which not only do his powers change, but his personality does as well.[6] His view for Kirby seems to be one of "hidden strength". Yoshikawa, meanwhile, had great visions for making the series widely accessible, using not only facets of the games, but references to culture and events from outside of the Kirby series. Examples can be seen in episodes that homage and parody popular media, from Don Quixote to Mothra to Harry Potter.


In order to save time on the animation process, many characters are often rendered in 3D rather than the traditional 2D methods that would be employed otherwise. In this scene, both King Dedede and Escargoon are portrayed using cel-shaded 3D models.

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 use a mixture of traditional hand-drawn animation and 3D computer-generated animation. The use of 3D animation allowed the staff to save time and budget when animating complex designs, and in particular allowed them to give Kirby a smooth and "squishy" feeling to his movements and expressions, tying in to his appearance in the video games and increasing his cutesy appeal.[7][8]

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 two to three times greater than most contemporary anime (about 10,000 frames are used in each episode, compared to the 4,000–5,000 used by most anime on TV).[9] Even with the length of the series, the animation improves noticeably as it goes on, likely due to the animators refining their techniques. Cost-cutting 3D renders of characters like King Dedede and Escargoon are gradually used less often, while other renders of characters such as Dyna Blade become more detailed and fluid.

Notably, certain episodes serve to satirize the animation industry, and resort to fourth wall-breaking jokes and references in order to do so. In Cartoon Buffoon, the main cast of the show are essentially tasked with re-creating the first episode with limited time and experience, lampooning the often cutthroat nature of the industry; in Tooned Out, issues relating to the use of CGI to supplant traditional animation techniques as well as moe and otaku culture are explored.


Sample of one of the tracks composed for the anime in the Japanese version, titled "Strong Star Warrior". This song would later be used in Kirby Air Ride.

The music used for the anime in the Japanese version was largely composed and arranged by Akira Miyagawa, best known for working on the Space Battleship Yamato franchise alongside his father, Hiroshi Miyagawa. Additional arrangements of music from the Kirby series were provided by HAL Laboratory sound staff Jun Ishikawa, Hirokazu Ando, and Shogo Sakai.

Miyagawa's contributions to the soundtrack were mostly recorded with a live orchestra, and select tracks can be heard on the album release TV Anime Kirby of the Stars Original Soundtrack. His compositions are original pieces not tied to the games, which use their own distinctive motifs associated with the characters and the setting.

Ishikawa, Ando, and Sakai's contributions to the soundtrack were mostly synthesized, and select tracks can be heard on the album release Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Sound Plus. Their compositions are less tied to creating a distinctive sound palette for the animation, and instead serve to tie its musical identity back to the Kirby games, such as Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, and Kirby Super Star.

Because the anime was still airing during the development of Kirby Air Ride, many songs composed for the game are also used in the anime, and vice versa. Later games still occasionally use songs from the anime, with an example being Mosugaba's theme appearing in Kirby Mass Attack and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.

In addition, there were several distinct theme songs composed for the anime. In the Japanese version, the songs "Kirby ★ March" and "Kihon wa Maru" were used as the opening and closing theme for episodes 1–71, and the songs "Kirby!" and "Kirby ☆ Step!" were used as the opening and closing themes for episodes 72–100. In the English 4Kids version, the "Kirby: Right Back at Ya!" song is used throughout the whole series for the intro and outro, which is also the case in most other foreign dubs of the series. The Chinese dub used the same songs as the Japanese version, while the Italian dub had its own theme song during the first half of its broadcast.

English dub[edit]

There were several changes made to the show when it was localized by 4Kids Entertainment into English. One of the more noteworthy examples was changing the paint job of King Dedede's Armored Vehicle from a military-style camo (left) to a more toy-like orange and red (right).

The English dub of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was produced by 4Kids Entertainment.

Several visual edits were made to the English version, including changing the color of King Dedede's Armored Vehicle, removing Japanese and most English text from signs and other objects, turning King Dedede's chainsaw into a laser chainsaw, and removing scenes where guns are fired. Additionally, scenes featuring references to alcohol consumption would commonly be cut from the English airing, as well as many scenes where the child characters are subjected to harm. Further, several otherwise non-notable scenes are often cut presumably to shorten the run-time, which tends to cut some incidental characters out of episodes altogether.

Dialogue changes include rewording and altering the Japanese script, and changing the names of several characters and meanings, such as "Fumu" to "Tiff". Notably, Kirby's lines are often left unaltered, but much of his dialogue where he says real words are replaced with more utterances of "poyo". This is particularly notable during battles, as he no longer shouts the names of Copy Ability attacks as he uses them.

Lastly, the English dub uses a completely different musical soundtrack than the original Japanese, of which a lot less is known. Generally speaking, music in the English dub is much more omnipresent — often playing in moments that had no music in the original version — while at the same time being less distinct, and in particular, lacking references to the music of the games.

Almost all further dubs of the show — such as the Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Korean dubs — use the 4Kids English dub as the base for both visuals and audio, and as such feature the same changes from said dub. The sole exception to this is the Chinese dub, which uses the Japanese visuals and audio as the base.


Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was a main focus of the official Kirby "megasite" (renamed when it launched).

Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was initially aired on CBC TV in Japan from 2001 to 2003. The English 4Kids version was aired in North America on Fox Box from 2002 to 2006. Over the course of its initial run-time in Japan, the United States and Canada, several collections of episodes were released on VHS, DVD, or both. In Japan, all 100 episodes were released on VHS across 34 volumes, with the first 36 and episode 49 also available on DVD. In North America, only 23 select episodes were released on DVD with 9 of them seeing VHS releases.

The most notable North American home video release is Kirby: Fright to the Finish, which combines the last five episodes of the show into a feature-length production and includes Hour of the WolfWrath as a bonus feature. In addition, 4Kids Entertainment published three volumes of the series with three episodes each on VHS and DVD in North America: Kirby Comes to Cappy Town (episodes 1-3), A Dark & Stormy Knight (episodes 4-6), and Kirby's Egg-Cellent Adventure (episodes 7-9).[10] Other North American DVDs released include Kirby's Adventures in Cappy Town (episodes 1-7), Cappy New Year & Other Kirby Adventures (episodes 8-14), Cook Kirby (episodes 29 and 11) and Ice Kirby (episodes 66 and 20).[10]

The official 4Kids Entertainment website at (formerly at and the official North American Kirby series website at both featured Kirby: Right Back at Ya! content prominently during the show's run.[11] Kirby content appears to have been removed from in 2010.[12] The official Kirby website remained at, from the lyrics to the dub's theme song, even after the show ended and the website rebranded to promote other games in the series (i.e. Kirby Super Star Ultra and Kirby's Epic Yarn).[13] became a redirect to in 2011, and Nintendo let the original domain lapse in 2022; currently redirects to an unofficial website featuring Kirby wallpapers.[14]

After the show's initial airing, a special Wii channel was made for Europe and Australia called the Kirby TV Channel, which streamed episodes of the show on a weekly rotation. Through the channel's English run, 50 of the show's 100 episodes were made available up to Kirby Takes the Cake, while A Novel Approach was left out. From Summer 2009 to April 2012, the Japanese Wii no Ma channel aired all 100 episodes in addition to the bonus Kirby 3D episode, each available for 100 Wii Points.

Three episodes from the show are available to watch in the extra features of Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition. These episodes are Kirby Comes to Cappy Town, Crusade for the Blade, and Waddle While You Work, which prominently feature Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede and his Waddle Dees.

Several episodes from the show were also available to watch on the Nintendo Anime Channel on European and Australian Nintendo 3DS systems from February 13, 2015 to October 31, 2018.[15]

The Kirby of the Stars HD Remastered Edition All-Round Complete Box, an HD remaster box set of the series on Blu-ray, was announced at the Kirby 30th Anniversary Music Festival, and released on March 14th, 2023.[2] All episodes have been remastered in HD for the box set, but have not been modified otherwise (i.e. they are still presented in full screen).[16] Pre-orders opened on December 15th and ended on January 23rd, 2023. The first print run sold out so quickly that a second print run began during the pre-order period, set to ship in late April 2023. The box set includes all 100 episodes spread across 10 Blu-ray discs, a 100-page booklet filled with anecdotes about the anime's production, all of the storyboards for episode 1, the English version of episode 1, the original Kirby of the Stars Pilot, textless versions of both sets of opening and closing animations, the Kirby 3D episode, 17 of the "Pupupu Tsushin" segments aired during the original broadcast, and an acrylic Kirby series calendar as a purchase bonus.[17]


Characters and other elements from the anime are known to occasionally pop up in games. Shown is the monster Max Flexer making a cameo appearance in the Kirby Mass Attack Sub-Game Kirby Quest.

Elements from the anime series would go on to influence the main video game series, in addition to some smaller references. The more notable of these are as follows:


  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land and Kirby Air Ride were released during the time the anime was originally on the air. As such, the two games share many aspects with the anime.
    • Much of the official artwork for Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is inspired by the anime, including the game's box art, as well as a commercial animated in the same style.
    • Kirby Air Ride uses some music tracks from the Japanese version of the anime (such as the theme for Checker Knights), and in return, three of the episodes from the anime's series finale include Air Ride Machines from the game.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was planned for release on Game Boy Advance through Game Boy Advance Video, but it never materialized, with press releases being the only evidence of its existence.[18]
  • A trailer for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! was included on the bonus disc that came with preorders for Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The trailer starts off with Kirby: Right Back at Ya! before transitioning to footage of Kirby Air Ride.
  • Of the main cast of the show, there are only five characters who have perfect attendance through every episode (not counting the Pilot). These characters are Kirby, Tiff, Tuff, King Dedede, and Escargoon.
  • Over the course of the show, many characters and enemies from the main Kirby games show up in the anime to varying degrees. Notably, despite the game's release prior to the show's production, no characters or enemies specific to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards show up in the anime.


Main article: Kirby: Right Back at Ya!/gallery

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ほしのカービィ
Hoshi no Kābyi
Kirby of the Stars
Chinese 星之卡比
Xīngzhī Kǎbǐ
Kirby of the Stars
French Kirby -
German Kirby -
Italian Kirby -
Korean 별의 커비
byeol-ui keobi
Kirby of the Stars
Portuguese Kirby -
Spanish Kirby -

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nintendo JP page containing the Staff list for the anime
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. May 2003 licensing flier
  4. "アニメ「星のカービィ』制作中のできごと(週刊ファミ通2003年9月12日号、9月19日号揭載)" –桜井政博のゲームについて思うこと Think about the Video Games (エンターブレイン), pg. 65
  5. Nintendo JP page containing the interview with Sōji Yoshikawa
  6. CBC page discussing Sakurai's vision of Kirby in the anime
  7. Nintendo JP page discussing Kirby's animation and rendering in the anime
  8. Nintendo JP page discussing the animation techniques and software
  9. Nintendo JP page discussing the animation discussing the frame count
  10. 10.0 10.1 Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library (FANDOM). Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  11. The earliest Wayback Machine screenshots of,, and prominently use the show's branding. The Fox Box's Kirby subpage redirected to until it moved to in 2005.
  12. While captures from 2008 are more complete, retained Kirby content as late as 2009. The site was redesigned in 2010 according to Wayback Machine screenshots, and captures of its Kirby section from this period lead to a 404 page; the redesigned home page no longer lists Kirby: Right Back at Ya! as one of its shows.
  13. For example, the official Flash site for Kirby Super Star Ultra remains on the Wayback Machine archive as
  14. According to the Wayback Machine, became a redirect in August of 2011, which aligns with the creation of the official Kirby Mass Attack website. The Wayback Machine's timeline of in 2022 shows a lapse in activity between May (where the site redirects to the official Kirby and the Rainbow Curse website) and September (where the site redirects to, suggesting that the domain expired by June and was subsequently purchased by by September.
  15. Nintendo Anime Channel page on Nintendo of Europe website
  16. Kirby JP Twitter announcement
  18. 4Kids press release for GBA-TV; Licensing Show 2003 promotional flyer