Local Wire

Puffy AmiYumi

If you haven't been to Japan or watched the Cartoon Network of late, you might be unaware of the aidorus known as Puffy AmiYumi -- the female twosome that's at least as big, if not bigger, on the streets of Tokyo than even heyday Britney or the Backstreet Boys ever were in the U.S. Nearly 10 years ago, Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura were paired up after a Spice Girls-like talent search, and as is the case with so many assembly-line icons, they were soon headlining arenas, hosting TV shows, and selling millions of albums, action figures and lunchboxes. Over here, they enjoyed cult status among the Hello Kitty set for a while, but the recent arrival and immense success of their animated Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show (like Josie and the Pussycats meets The Powerpuff Girls) is finally bringing mainstream acclaim and creating buzz like a sugar high around this tour. Sure, the duo's voices are pure candy, and there's plenty of bubbly J-pop kitsch goin' on, but Puffy AmiYumi's tunes offer loads of crunchy guitar punch and ultra-addictive New Wave synth-happiness -- put together, it's like a Shonen Knife/Bis/No Doubt/Ramones/ELO smoothie. What could possibly be more tasty than that?!
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Michael Alan Goldberg