Monster Management is the 40th (37th in the 4Kids broadcast) episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series. In this episode, Knuckle Joe gets hired as a new monster manager by Night Mare Enterprises and proceeds to flood Dream Land with a horde of small irritating monsters against King Dedede's wishes. After Kirby exhausts himself inhaling all the little monsters, Knuckle Joe persuades N.M.E. to send their toughest monster Masher to finish Kirby off while he is weak. Just as Kirby is about to be killed by this tremendous robot, however, Knuckle Joe turns on N.M.E. and helps Kirby defeat Masher by giving him the Fighter Copy Ability and then fighting alongside him. Knuckle Joe reveals that him being hired on by N.M.E. was a ruse to get them to reveal their toughest monster so he could bring it down with Kirby's help.
The following characters appear in this episode:
|Cast of "Monster Management"|
|"Perfect! Just like I planned!"|
|"No browsing without buying!"||Bibli appears only in the Japanese version, so his line is translated from that version.|
|"Ah! Knock it off, you lowlifes, or at least order something!"|
|"Forget it! Let those fools think they've beaten us! When they let their guard down, we'll teach them a lethal lesson!" *laughs*|
|"We can fail on our own!"|
|"What's with you guys?!"||Gengu appears only in the Japanese version, so his line is translated from that version.|
|"Hey! That's dangerous, stop!"||Gus appears only in the Japanese version, so his line is translated from that version.|
|"Knuckle Joe ain't qualified to work for N.M.E.!"|
|"Hmm... So you hunted down Masher...with a suit and tie!"|
|"Our new management director suggested that we give you a hands-on demonstration! I believe you've met! Say hello, Joe!"|
|"Ahh! That urn is an antique you uncultured brute!"|
|(no dialogue)||Samo appears only in the Japanese version.|
|"Look how they fight!"|
|"But Joe! I thought you wanted to battle on the side of the good guys!"|
|"Hey! Quick pluckin' my plumage, bub!"|
|"Oh, that Knuckle Joe! Why did he make all this trouble?!"|
|"Yo! No pigging out at my place without payin'!"|
- Dream Land
- eNeMeE's Fortress
The episode begins in the morning hours at Castle Dedede, where King Dedede is being bathed by Escargoon. Meanwhile, the Night Mare Enterprises Teleporter activates itself and releases a large number of small monsters that proceed to bother Dedede, Escargoon and Tiff. After quickly getting dressed, King Dedede runs into the throne room to see monsters pouring continuously out of the teleporter and tries to shut it off, but is unable to do so. The television relay screen then turns on and the N.M.E. Sales Guy explains that this is part of a new "monster management" service. He then introduces the new "manager": Knuckle Joe. Later on, at Kirby's house, Kirby's sleep is interrupted by Tokkori's shouting as the small monsters make their way over and torment him. Kirby soon sees that the little pests are everywhere in Dream Land.
Back in the castle, Meta Knight and his apprentices get to work fighting them off and rendezvous with Tiff and Tuff. Meanwhile, Kirby and Tokkori make their way to the castle to deal with the problem as well. After getting kicked around a little by the horde of monsters, Kirby manages to reach Tiff and Tuff, and then proceeds to inhale many of the monsters. Meta Knight then leads the group to the throne room while Dedede and Escargoon bicker with Knuckle Joe about his intentions and his plans. To butter them up, Knuckle Joe insists the monsters he sent already are free, and then heads down to Dream Land himself to discipline the monsters and direct them. At that moment, Meta Knight and the others arrive and see Knuckle Joe with the monsters, and become upset at him turning traitor. Tiff tries to talk him down by recalling the events of Here Comes the Son and begs him to return to their side, but Knuckle Joe brushes them off, telling them he only cares to get paid. He then orders the monsters out to town and leaps out of the castle himself to follow them as the group makes chase.
The horde of monsters enters Cappy Town and proceeds to wreck the place, while Doron takes advantage of the chaos to steal things. Knuckle Joe looks on from a rooftop as the town starts to go up in smoke. Once Kirby arrives, he proceeds to inhale as many of the monsters as he can. As Kirby wears himself out, King Dedede and Escargoon watch from the castle, planning on sending a tougher monster to get him once he's exhausted, but they begin to have second thoughts once they realize this could be another scam from N.M.E. At that moment, Knuckle Joe returns to the castle and proceeds to step two of his plan by ordering the company's strongest monster to come in and defeat Kirby. The N.M.E. Sales Guy questions Knuckle Joe on this move, but Joe reassures him by insisting that Kirby is worn out from the effort of cleaning up the little monsters, and now would be the best time to strike. Through the teleporter comes the giant robotic knight Masher, and Knuckle Joe sends it to go crush Kirby.
Back in town, Kirby finishes inhaling the monsters after much effort, but is not given a chance to rest before Meta Knight warns the group about a new threat at the castle. As they approach, they are set upon by Masher, who proceeds to strike at Kirby with its flail. Kirby tries to inhale again, but is not given a chance, as Masher's attacks are too quick and forceful. As Kirby becomes battered and bruised, Meta Knight runs in to assist, but is promptly swatted away by Masher's quick reaction. Masher then proceeds to initiate a flying spinning attack that puts Kirby on the ropes, and Knuckle Joe runs in looking to finish the job, knocking Kirby back with a series of attacks and tossing him into a nearby cliff. Knuckle Joe then approaches Kirby and sees that the pink Star Warrior is unable to even get up anymore. Knuckle Joe strikes with a Smash Punch, but as the energy blast travels, he shouts at Kirby to suck it up. Kirby does so, and gains the Fighter Copy Ability, restoring his strength in the process.
Feigning that this was done to make it a fair fight, Knuckle Joe orders Masher in to finish Kirby off, but then immediately turns around and delivers several blows to Masher, knocking it over. Knuckle Joe reveals he was playing a long trick to get N.M.E. to send their toughest monster for him to destroy and teams up with Kirby to get the job done. Masher soon gets up and proceeds to battle both of them, but finds that it cannot focus on both at once and is pelted with further attacks. After disarming Masher, Kirby and Knuckle Joe run in and finish it off with a Rising Break, destroying it. Back at N.M.E. headquarters, the N.M.E. Sales Guy offers to resign after such a disastrous outcome, but eNeMeE is not too concerned about Masher's destruction, plotting to catch their assailants later when they least expect it. Back in Dream Land, Knuckle Joe bids farewell to his friends and promises Kirby that he will "be there in a flash" if he needs him. The episode ends as Knuckle Joe flies away with the group bidding him farewell.
Differences between versions
- In the Japanese version, Bibli, Gengu, Gus, and Samo are shown alongside the Cappies being tormented by the mini-monsters. Gus' scene in particular is shown to be the source of the explosion that occurs within town.
- In the Japanese version, as Knuckle Joe approaches Kirby after throwing him into the cliff, he asks Kirby if he wants to die, and if not, to inhale his Smash Punch.
- In the Japanese version, Kirby repeats the names of the Fighter attacks as he uses them. He and Knuckle Joe also shout the name of Rising Break as they use it to finish Masher off.
- This is the first episode to feature Knuckle Joe in a color palette that matches his video game appearance.
Names in other languages
||Monster Hunter Knuckle Joe!|