Gwen Stefani is producing a kids’ show on Japanese street culture, which she’s clearly an expert on as a white woman
Pop artist Gwen Stefani really wants you to know how much she loves Japanese street culture, which, being the white woman she is and all, she has authoritative knowledge on. In fact, Stefani is producing an animated children’s show following Japanese culture with Nickelodeon. The show, titled Kuu Kuu Harajuku, follows the adventures of a music group called HJ5, based on the Harajuku girls who joined Stefani’s 2004 solo act.
The girls of HJ5 are very fittingly named Love, Angel, Music, and Baby after the real life Harajuku girls and follow their leader, “G” (hm, I wonder who she’s named after). Throughout the series, they’ll be warding off “aliens, politicians, and monster pets” in order to perform their concerts.
Now, how much audience members are expected to learn about Japanese street culture from a 26-episode series based on the early days of a white pop artist’s music career is up for debate. But for her own part, Stefani remains optimistic about other aspects of the animated series unrelated to Japanese culture. “The artwork is so beautiful and the whole series turned out better than I could have ever imagined,” Stefani said in a statement. “I love that this is an animated series for young girls that celebrates creativity, imagination and individuality.”
Stefani has previously channeled her expertise on Japanese culture to her L.A.M.B. fashion line, which is additionally influenced by Guatemalan, Indian, and Jamaican styles, cultures she is also clearly an expert on as a white woman.
Why Stefani has chosen now to try and make her Harajuku girls a thing again — roughly 12 years later — is a mystery. Also a mystery is whether or not any Japanese people were consulted or involved in this upcoming animated series, which supposedly revolves around their culture.
At any rate, if animated young girls’ TV shows rooted in white-splaining are your thing, or you were a fan of Stefani and the Harajuku girls back in ’04, the series is slated to premiere on Nickelodeon Oct. 3. You could also feel free to devote 1:40 minutes of your life to watching the trailer, above.