Kirby: Right Back At Ya! - Production



Producer Soji Yoshikawa speaks in length about the challenges faced by the creators of the Kirby anime. He expressed concern as most video game to anime adaptations don't go well, but as time went on, he says he began to see a character with strength, and felt it could be successful.

Two of the main challenges were set by Kirby's creator Masahiro Sakurai. He said there were to be no humans, and Kirby must not speak. Yoshikawa says in his interview how difficult it was to have a main character who does not speak, as well as coming up with entirely unique settings and characters. Kirby is unusual in that it has no humans in the cast. He likens it to the Finnish series The Moomins, which was quite popular in Japan.

The series boasts very smooth animation that combines 3DCG with traditional 2D drawings. Because of this, the animators were able to use a much higher framerate than most TV anime, anywhere from 1.5-3X more on average. (About 10,000 frames are used in each episode, compared to the 4000-5000 used by most TV anime.)

The main concern was to have as much movement as possible, as Japanese animation has come to rely on shortcuts to reduce production costs. This attention to detail becomes apparent upon watching, as the character animations are fluid and there is a low incidence of stock footage or still frames. Despite being such a long series, there is also no degradation of quality as the show progresses.

Nintendo had big plans for releasing the series in the US, putting $10 million dollars into an advertising campaign to make Kirby "the next Pikachu". Kirby has enjoyed high levels of popularity and financial success in Japan, selling a wide range of merchandise, but Nintendo's efforts in the US appear to have failed, judging by comparatively lackluster reviews and TV ratings the series received there. The dub as been claimed to be "a stab at educational value, but really all about fighting monsters" and "More pandering kiddy fluff from the Fox Box". The official websites spoke much about Kirby toys and other merchandise, but almost nothing was actually released outside of the DVDs.

Read more about this topic:  Kirby: Right Back At Ya!

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