Kappa Mikey is an American animated sitcom created by Larry Schwarz, who chose 4Kids Entertainment as the worldwide licensing, marketing and official promotional agent of the series. The show is Nicktoons Network's first original half-hour series, bought during the same period as other Animation Collective series such as Three Delivery and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, as well as Flash shows from other studios, such as Edgar and Ellen and The Secret Show, though the latter was made from BBC. The series premiered on February 25, 2006, as Nickelodeon aired several reruns and premieres as a promotional movement from August 20, 2006 to January 2007. The series is MTV's first global acquisition, and is currently available on iTunes.
Kappa Mikey was marketed as "the first anime to be produced entirely in the United States", according to press releases from MTV, Nicktoons Network, and various other sources, as the term anime in English is generally reserved for animation originally produced for the Japanese market. It uses Japanese animation and culture as inspiration for its concept, rather than being "true" anime. As a matter of fact, the series is a homage/parody of the Japanese anime genre. On February 16, 2008, during their "Music Week", Nicktoons Network aired their first and only original television movie, an hour-long Kappa Mikey musical entitled "Kappa Karaoke". Officially, the episode's title is "The Karaoke Episode"
The series focuses on a rather self-centered, cocky adolescent American boy named Mikey who wins a starring role in a popular Japanese television series "LilyMu", centering around a team of crime-fighters with personalities based around typical anime characters. He becomes acquainted with his co-stars, including Gonard, a tall, husky, sweet, rather dimwitted boy who portrays the primary antagonist of the "LilyMu" series, Lily, the spoiled, heartless portrayer of the otherwise ingenuous and sweet damsel-in-distress of "LilyMu" who contempts Mikey for having overtaken her limelight, Mitsuki, a sweet-natured actress infatuated with Mikey who plays a much tougher character in the series than in reality, and Guano, a small, fuzzy purple creature with many insecurities, responsibilities, strange habits and tendencies. The program in which the actors are featured is run by a tyrannical, strict, and loud boss named Ozu, noted for his sour demeanor yet mentoring guide and constant infuriation with Mikey, aided by "Yes-Man," his dedicated and trustworthy assistant who loyally upholds him and agrees with any decision that he makes. The series centers on the actors' daily lives aside from filming the television program and the predicaments in which they may entangle themselves at the hands of their own cockiness, incompetence, or celebrity status, and episodes usually feature sub-plots following the lives of whichever characters are not being primarily featured in that particular episode. The series relies heavily on gags and other things for comedy.