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Stitch! (yes, the exclamation point is mandatory) is an Anime series from Madhouse and the Disney Channel. At first it was an Alternate Continuity to the entire Lilo & Stitch franchise, notable for lacking Lilo until the third season where it has turned into a Time Skip series. Three seasons and a couple post-series specials have been produced - the first two seasons by Madhouse, and the rest by Shin Ei Doga.
Yuuna is a young girl who lives on Izayoi, a tiny (fictional) island off the coast of Okinawa, with her father and grandmother. Much like Kaua'i in the original film and series, Izayoi is a tropical island full of pineapples, sugar cane, and hibiscus, all of which are native to both the Hawaiian and Ryukyu Islands. Yuuna practices karate every day with her friends down at a run-down old dojo, and considers herself to be a "protector" of sorts for the local kids. Her mother took off for parts unknown, and she worries for her father's safety. One day, while visiting the "Spirit Stone" in the Spiritual Forest, she sees an explosion in the distance, and reports start coming in of "blue monster" running amok in town.
Meanwhile, Stitch who left Earth shortly after Lilo went to college and has since fallen off the wagon is on the run from several Galactic Federation officials when he and Jumba are sucked into a Space Storm that desposits them outside Earth. Stitch, confused, hungry, and thirsty, then runs amok looking for food. He attracts the eye of the locals, who are rather fearful of him. But Yuuna goes to confront him, and after they square off in a pseudo-karate match, they bond and become friends.
While Yuuna is taking Stitch back through the forest, he sees the Spirit Stone. Yuuna explains that the stone holds immense power, and can grant any wish. Stitch wants to be the strongest thing in the galaxy, and so tries to wish on the stone--and gets zapped. Yuuna then explains that only those who do good deeds will have their wishes granted. Stitch then makes it his mission to do enough good deeds to have his wish, to be the most powerful creature in the galaxy, granted. But all of Stitch's old nemeses are on his heels...
This anime contains examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Several of the experiments, due to the whole Japan Loves Stitch phenomenon, but especially Angel. She doesn't have to prove herself to Yuuna near as much as she did Lilo, nor did she have to be locked away until the end of the series, and she's gotten much more screen time as a result.
- Badass Creed: The members of Yuuna's dojo say it before every practice session:
Protect the weak!
When we meet, we become family!
- Broken Aesop: Stitch is racking up points for good deeds purely for his own benefit, rather than because they're the right thing to do.
- Canon Foreigner: In addition to the main cast, new experiments, such as Experiment 027, were added with along with the ones from the original series.
- Characterization Marches On: Experiment 627, while still Stitch's Always Someone Better rival, makes a complete 180 in personality, going from the wild, slobbering The Hyena whose only dialogue was Pokémon-Speak "Evil!" in the original series, to a Wicked Cultured eloquent speaking gentleman with some Noble Demon traits after he saved Stitch and his love interest, Angel, from being crushed by Hamsterviel's ship (despite Jumba proclaiming him completely incapable of turning good in the original series). Could count as Fridge Brilliance considering the series took place after Stitch left his original Hawaii home where Lilo grew up into an older girl, so 627 must have had time to mature.
- Continuity Nod: The Recurring Extras from the original series--the fat tourist with the ice cream cone--returns. And he still doesn't get his ice cream.
- Cool Old Lady: Jumba seems to really respect Yuuna's grandmother, and even calls her "Professor Grandma."
- Cute Bruiser: Mess with Yuuna, and you're liable to lose your nose.
- Disney Theme Parks: An episode focuses on a trip to Tokyo Disneyland.
- Dub Induced Plot Hole: The English dub makes an attempt to connect it to the old continuity by claiming Stitch ran away from Lilo as she got a boyfriend. What about Ohana?
- Girlish Pigtails: Yuna.
- What's funny about that is being dishonorably dicharged is worse than being fired.
- Ideal Hero: Yuuna. Even after she accosts the bullies who hurt her friend--and forcefully makes them return his game--she still offers to help them, and gives the Myrtle Expy some sugar cane.
- I Know Karate: Yuna
- Lighter and Softer
- Missing Mom: Yuuna's mom. At one point, an Expy of Myrtle from the original teases her that her mom left because she's such a screwup.
- Non Standard Character Design: Stitch and all the other alien characters are drawn using the same style from the movie. All the new human characters, however, are done in a more traditionally Animesque fashion.
- Lilo and her daughter are also drawn in the same style as the movie.
- Pinky Swear
- Plot Hole: It's quite clear as the series progresses that this is not an Alternate Continuity as it shows in the episode "Reunion With Lilo" that Stitch left Hawaii after Lilo matured into a full grown adult and had a child, yet it doesn't explain why Gantu and Reuben (experiment 624) are back working with Hamsterviel even though according to the DVD movie after the American series ended "Leroy and Stitch", Gantu was reinstated as a Captain of the Armada by the Grand Councilwoman and Reuben did a complete Heel Face Turn and found his one true place in the world.
- Series Continuity Error: Several, perhaps due to the series being originally intended as an Alternate Continuity.
- In the third episode of the dub, Pleakley says his species is genderless, despite his species having been shown to have genders in the initial series.
- Stitch needing Yuna to teach him right from wrong, despite having already gone over that extensively with Lilo.
- Gantu and Reuben being evil again, despite Gantu having been reinstated to his position in the Galactic Armada and Reuben finding his one true place in Leroy and Stitch.
- She Is All Grown Up: Lilo
- Shout-Out: In the first episode, several kids are shown playing a game that is very obviously Spectrobes 2--another Disney production.
- Smelly Skunk: Hamsterviel sends a skunk-like alien (possibly an experment of his) to retrieve Mr. Stenchy for him. It has the ability to shoot powerful stink bombs. It's also apparently female as in the end it falls in love with Mr. Stenchy and their respective stenches cancle each other out.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears: Happens to Pleakley when he is reunited with Jumba.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Yuuna for Lilo. Also count as Expy.
- Piko (Penny) for Mertle.
- Take Over the World: Apparently Stitch's plan in this continuity.
- Take That: One gets the feeling Stitch "running away" in the dub was directed at Chris Sanders, one of the creators of the characters as well as the original voice of Stitch, who left Disney after being booted off Bolt.
- The Other Darrin: The dub has an all new cast of 'sound-alikes', resulting in an experience similar to that of watching the first episode of Dragon Ball Z season 3. Such as Ben Diskin (Numbuhs 1 and 2) as the title character.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted in that the series takes place on the fictional island of Izayoi in Okinawa Prefecture that oddly resembles the island of Kauai (the ecology of the Hawaiian Islands and the Ryukyu Islands is fairly similar). Much like how the original focused on the Hawaiian culture, the culture of Okinawa and the Ryukyus is featured in Stitch!.
- True Companions: The show's tagline is, "When we meet, we become family", an Okinawan phrase that describes their hospitality.
- Truth in Television: Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyus are pretty much the Hawaii of Japan: pineapples, hibiscus, floral patterned clothing, their own language, a rich cultural history... A perfect analog for Lilo and Stitch IN JAPAN! minus Lilo plus Yuuna.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Adult Lilo's daughter looks exactly like her younger self complete with red flowered shirt and Scrump doll.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: What do the people of Yuuna's town do when they realize a pair of aliens have just landed in their town? Throw a party to welcome them, of course.
- Youkai: There are several varieties living in the Spiritual Forest.
- You Keep Using That Word: They say Frenchfry's food makes people fat, but it's more like inflation, what with the body shape and the floating.