Puffy are somewhat unique in the fact that they've had successful television shows in both Japan and in America. They appeared for several years on the show Saku Saku Morning Call in the late '90s, and at the same time had their own successful show, the variety show Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy, where they sang songs and hosted celebrities on a frequent basis. A couple of years after that ended, Cartoon Network debuted Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, a cartoon featuring Ami and Yumi's animated counterparts (though not the same cartoon alter-egos that Rodney Alan Greenblat created for Puffy) and their various adventures.
Undoubtedly, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was where many Americans were first introduced to Puffy (the promotion for which even included Ami and Yumi appearing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2005). It might be argued, though, that the success of the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi cartoon in America hindered Puffy's success (and acceptance) as geniune musical artists there, because most people ended up merely associating Puffy with their cartoon counterparts - figuring that their music and image were aimed for the same pre-teen audience their cartoon appealed to.
In 2006 Puffy returned to the TV Asahi lineup with Hi Hi Puffy Bu, a special limited series that - among other things - helped celebrate Puffy's 10th anniversary in Japan. And in 2007 Yumi became a co-host of "TV Geracho" on the music channel Space Shower TV along with Pierre Taki, longtime friend and contributor of Puffy. Ami has appeared on the show on several occasions with Yumi, performing as Puffy (obviously).
In addition to all that, Puffy have lent their music and likenesses to a wide variety of commercial products in Japan though the years, as is the norm for many popular Japanese artists and celebrities (and even a number of Western celebrities, it should be noted). Some of these companies are listed below. Also, Ami and Yumi have appeared on countless television shows in Japan - as both music performers and non-performing guests - and even performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in the U.S. in 2005.
Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy was a variety/talk show hosted by Ami and Yumi that ran on TV Asahi from 1997 through 2002. On the show they sang songs, interviewed celebrities (both Japanese and from abroad), and engaged in wacky games/stunts, among other things.
The outlandish, colorful set for the show, designed by Rodney Alan Greenblat, can be seen in the video for the song "Nehorina Hahrorina" (available on Jet DVD) - a screenshot of which is on the right.
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (initially called The Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show before being shortened some time before the show's first broadcast) was a cartoon created by Cartoon Network's Sam Register that debuted in November 2004, airing as part of Cartoon Network's "Fridays" programming block. The series followed the various adventures of the animated Ami and Yumi (as well as their manager Kaz, somewhat modeled after one of Puffy's acutal managers in the real world), set to a soundtrack of both Puffy songs and original incidental music composed by Andy Sturmer.
Episodes during the show's first season would typically start and end with short live-action sequences starring the real Ami and Yumi (speaking English), goofing off in one way or another. By the time the show made it to its second season, these clips were scrapped - instead, footage of Ami and Yumi rehearsing in the studio (or the like) was used instead of newly shot English-language openings.
Additionally, Ami and Yumi usually read off the title of each animated short as it began (as there were typically three shorts per episode).
A general criticism of the show was that the plots of each animated short were retreads of practically any and every sitcom convention that's been used over the last fifty years. Also, the drawing style and animation quality (usually done in Macromedia Flash) left a lot to be desired with many fans. Despite that, the show was successful and spawned a ton of related merchandise, from coloring books to dolls and all points in-between. There were even a pair of DVDs released in the U.S. (Let's Go! and Rock Forever), which are now fairly hard to find.
The show completed its run in Japan in late 2006 (after appearing there in both subtitled and dubbed form). In America, however, the show never got that far; despite claims from the show's creators that there are unaired (and unproduced) episodes remaining, Cartoon Network has not shown any episodes of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi in quite some time, and have even taken the show off of their website (and probably won't show the series again).
The show's theme song, "Hi Hi", is available on both versions of the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi CD, and was released on a single in Japan in November of 2005.
Hi Hi PUFFY Bu
As noted above, Hi Hi Puffy Bu was a limited series that aired on TV Asashi in the summer of 2006, in conjunction with Puffy's 10th anniversary activities. Each episode was fairly short (about 10 minutes or so), and usually had Ami and Yumi performing some sort of task. Among the things they did were: knit; learn how to place bets at the horse-racing track; judge food dishes from various chefs; take part in a fitness competition (where the computer that kept track claimed that Yumi's performance in the competition was equivalent to a 50-something year-old woman!); try to make radio-controlled robots (and a RC helicopter) perform menial tasks; as well as a few other things. The final episode was a "clip show" of sorts, with Ami and Yumi reflecting and watching bits from all the previous episodes.
The opening theme to the show was "Shall We Dance?", from the Japanese Splurge CD.
A list of some of the companies (and products) Puffy have been spokespersons for:
- Daihatsu Move Latte
- Sotec Afina PC
- Shiseido Beauty Products
- Suntory beverages
- Tu-ka phones
- JR Kyushu (Japan Railways)
- Pizza Hut
- Assorted Sony electronics
- Kanebo Cosmetics (specifically, for the Lavshuca brand)
A small list of some Puffy songs that have been used in said commercials (obviously, this is not a complete list - more of a sampling):
- "Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi"
- "Nagisa ni Matsuwaru EtCetera"
- "Love So Pure"
- "Nice Buddy"
- "Sekai no Hajikko"
- "Koi no Etude"
Yes, it's true: Ami and Yumi have dabbled in big-screen acting, though Yumi has done more work in this area than Ami. Both girls had bit parts in Mohou-han ("Copycat Killer"), while Yumi actually had a couple of featured roles elsehwere: she played "Tajima Ryoko" in Walking with the Dog and "Akai Nozomi" in Neighbor No. 13. Puffy's songs have also appeared on the occasional movie soundtrack, like in the movies Wasabi and The Waterboys. Short descriptions and screen captures from some of these films can be checked out under the all-encompassing Discography section of this site.