On Monday, Gwen Stefani premiered her own TV cartoon series, Kuu Kuu Harajuku, on kid’s channel Nickelodeon.


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For Stefani fans, the term “Harajuku” is a part of her stage identity. It’s been over 12 years since the singer released her multi-platinum debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and first introduced listeners to her controversial colorful and Japan-inspired visions of pop music, starring her entourage of “Harajuku Girls.”

The “Make Me Like You” singer has been repeatedly criticized for exploiting Japanese kawaii culture and casting Asian women as entertaining musical props. Nevertheless, it hasn’t stopped her from launching a “Harajuku Lovers” fragrance line as well as other similar-themed clothing and accessories under her label.

She now finds herself as the executive-producer of an animated children’s show focused on the Tokyo famous neighborhood. She also confessed to USA Today that she did not want the cartoon “to just be a musical record, I wanted it to be a world,” she noted.

The show follows the adventures of the girl group HJ5 — named after the initials of her debut album — as they navigate their fictional Harajuku World. “The show’s DNA, its visual ideas, was taken from Harajuku land, or whatever, but the show is definitely not that,” Stefani said. “It’s a make-believe world where anything can happen.”

And as a mom of three boys, the pop star made sure that Kuu Kuu Harajuku appealed to kids of all genders. “My boys still watch ‘girl stuff,’ my niece plays with ‘boy stuff’ too, and that’s what’s so fun to me,” she revealed in a recent interview.

With her last album This Is What the Truth Feels Like, released in March of this year, her recent stint as a coach on NBC’s The Voice and her TV show, Stefani is pretty busy these days.

Catch Kuu Kuu Harajuku daily at 4 p.m. ET/PT this week, then Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. on Nickelodeon. In case you have missed Monday’s first episode, it is already available online on the channel’s website.

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