The Franco-British-American cartoon series, “The Amazing World of Gumball,” will parody a Chinese bootleg made of the series in its upcoming 2017 season.

Just what is ‘Miracle Star'?

Miracle Star” is a set of Chinese animated commercials that have become infamous for using a similar animation style and character designs to the “Gumball” cartoon. The main protagonist, Kiki, although portrayed as a goat instead of a cat, was notably compared to Gumball himself, and his sidekick, a frog named Quack, was compared to Gumball’s fish sidekick, Darwin. In addition, the Chinese animation features similar backgrounds, characters, and even sequences.

The Chinese animations became known to the show’s English speaking audience after it was covered by the Cartoon Brew animation news website. “Gumball” creator Ben Bocquelet confirmed that there would be an episode making light of the bootleg characters during an appearance at the November Pictoplasma conference in New York City.

Gumball will meet a bootleg of a bootleg

According to a released clip from the upcoming episode, Gumball and Darwin will encounter the two main copycat characters within a supermarket. Given the names of Chi-Chi and Ribbit, the two main characters notice that the pair do and mimic everything that they do, and even have the same voices, employed by giving them the same voice actors.

The “Gumball” characters will at one point perform a musical number, “Be Your Own You,” where they will encourage the bootleg characters to try to become more original. While probably intended to be light-hearted, they even refer to the actions of copying as “criminal” and the characters as “dirty hack[s].” The song does not appear to work, as the copycat characters and their parents continue to copy Gumball and his family.

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Parodying the nature of the bootleg, the main cast even obtains information about their doppelgangers from a Chinese website. The characters also watch a video of the copycats parodying one of the Chinese commercials. In addition to making light of the fact that the "Miracle Star" cast lacks a counterpart to the Anais character, the dark parody will show that the "Gumball" cast will go as far as to try to manipulate their copies into killing themselves by performing dangerous acts that they will try to mimic.

However, the copycat characters appear to be parodies of the “Miracle Star” characters, rather than involving a direct crossover. In addition to giving the copycat characters new names, they will be portrayed as re-colored versions of the characters from the parent show, giving them different designs than the characters that appear in “Miracle Star.”

The episode is titled, “The Copycats,” and will air on February 6, 2017 in the United States, but will be released on video on February 3, 2017. The international release date of the episode has not yet been confirmed.