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A Novel Approach is the 44th episode (38th in Japan) of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. It is notable for the first appearance of the Clean ability, featuring Rowlin, and one of the few monsters with the ability to speak: Broom King.


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A new book is sweeping Cappy Town like a sandstorm. King Dedede wants to read it too, but can't due to being illiterate, so he takes drastic measures to understand the book. 

Episode Summary

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Spoiler alert: The following section contains plot-specific details.(Skip Section)
A Novel Approach

Tiff finishes her letter to the author.

The episode starts off with Tiff writing a letter to an author. She states her name and her location: Cappy Town. She writes that she wants to be a great author like her one day. Tiff jots down that she is reading Pappy Pottey and the Fool's Stone, and that it's so exciting, she can't put it down. Tiff also asks the author how she comes up with amazing characters because they all seem so real, especially the hero Pappy. She says that she loves the part when he gets the letter from the magic school and finds out that his parents were really great wizards; Tuff takes the book from Tiff. She concludes her letter by asking how she writes so well because she wants to become a great author like her one day. Tuff tells his sister that she's wasting her time because the author gets zillions of fan letters. Tiff tells him "So what?" but Tuff asks her if she thinks that the author actually reads them. Tuff looks at Kirby and says that she won't write back. He opens the book to a picture of the author and says that she's the most popular author on the planet and that she will be too busy writing books to answer her mail. Tiff tells Tuff that she doesn't care because she just wants the author to see how much she loves her work and that's all that really matters. Tuff puts down the book and says that it's a really cool story and for Tiff to read them more.

Channel DDD begins its comedy show with King Dedede dressed as a clown and Escargoon dressed in women's clothing. Dedede chases Escargoon and hits him with a paper fan. The duo finally conclude their show and tell them that it's time to go. Meanwhile, Dedede laughs his head off at his comedy routine. Escargoon suddenly bursts through the door, saying that there has been a catastrophe. Dedede asks if Castle Dedede is under attack, but Escargoon says that it's worse. He tells Dedede that Channel DDD's ratings are down to zero. Dedede thinks for a moment and asks Escargoon why no one is tuning in to the tube. Dedede grabs Escargoon and says that he wants answers and he wants them quick. The king says that there has to be a logical explanation.

A Novel Approach 2

Biblio scolds Dedede for trying to steal.

Dedede and Escargoon begin snooping around the town to solve the mystery of why everyone is not watching Channel DDD. They spot the mayor's shepherd and the sheep reading a purple book. Escargoon and Dedede blankly stare baffled at each other for a moment. They spy on some more Cappies, who are also reading the same purple book. Escargoon tells the king that they're all bookworms and Dedede agrees, saying that all the Cappies are eyeballing the same book. Escargoon folds his arms and proclaims that this could be an outbreak of best seller-itis. Dedede asks if it is a disease like pneumonia. Escargoon says that it spreads when there's a book everyone wants to read and they go from dedicated couch potatoes to avid readers, which Dedede claims sick. Professor Curio tells Chief Bookem and Buttercup that he's glad that everyone is so enthusiastic about reading. The chief says that the book is a real page-turner and Buttercup says that they haven't turned on the TV since they've got the book. Curio says that a good book beats TV any day. Dedede tells Escargoon that this is serious and Escargoon responds by saying that if a book can make the Cappies lose interest in TV, it must be good. Dedede says that he wants to buy one and Escargoon is surprised. Dedede drives up to the front of the library in his limo, scaring everyone away. Escargoon tells the Cappies to make way, but Biblio tells them that they have to wait till they get to the front of the line. Dedede tells Biblio that wherever he is the front of the line. Escargoon tells Biblio to fetch them a copy of the book everyone is reading and to make it snappy. Biblio tells them that the book is for folks on the waiting list. Escargoon whispers to the king to turn on his Dedede charm. Dedede goes to grab a copy of the book, saying that one of them could be spared. However, Biblio scolds Dedede and slaps his hand with a feather duster, saying that rules are rules, even for kings. Dedede justs says "True," but quickly points in the opposite direction, saying that there is a flying giraffe. The king snatches a book and runs away while Escargoon shoves some D-bills at Biblio. Biblio says that he can't ignore infractions by every self-important dictator that waltzes in. Dedede and Escargoon hide behind a house while Biblio runs out looking for them.

A Novel Approach 3

Dedede believes that somebody has stolen the pictures from the book, inadvertently revealing his illiteracy.

Escargoon says that they gave him the slip and Dedede stares at the book, saying that this is it. Escargoon says that the cover doesn't look too bad and reads the title, "Pappy Pottey and the Fool's Stone." Escargoon then says it's a nice picture, but Dedede says that he's going to read it first. Escargoon complains that the king should have snagged two copies, but his majesty just flips through the pages. As he flips through the book, he says that this can't be right. In the end, he says not here and proceeds to flip through the book once more. Dedede asks if this is some kind of joke and cries out that someone stole all the pictures from the book. Escargoon is baffled, but Dedede shows Escargoon that it's all "gobblety-gook" here, but Escargoon says that those are words. Escargoon then yells out that Dedede rules a kingdom, yet he doesn't know how to read. Dedede is speechless for a moment. After recollecting himself, he tells Escargoon that he learned how to read before he got expelled from kindergarten. Escargoon asks Dedede what the book is about. Dedede becomes dumbstruck with his mouth gaping open, so Escargoon decides to take the book asking him this part. Dedede just becomes angered and Escargoon says that since the king doesn't feel like reading, he won't mind if he takes the book. Dedede wraps his arm around Escargoon's neck and tells him that if he's reading anyway, to read it out loud because his eyes are too tired. Escargoon chuckles a bit and proceeds to read Chapter 1. The story starts off with a boy named Pappy Pottey who lived with his uncle's family. One day, Pappy received a letter from a magic school. Escargoon and Dedede look at each other, surprised. Pappy was sure it was a mistake until one evening, a giant visitor came to his uncle's doorstep. Escargoon begins to read to himself. Dedede asks what is happening and Escargoon tells the king that Pappy's parents were world-famous wizards. As Escargoon continues to read to himself, Dedede's anger builds up. He yells at Escargoon to stop mumbling and read it to him too. Escargoon is amazed by the book, but Dedede has had enough and conks Escargoon's head with his fist. Escargoon asks what did he do to deserve this. Dedede tells him to read louder because there is more where that came from. Escargoon closes the book and runs away, with Dedede on his tail. The two run around town until Escargoon finally hides in a nearby bush. Dedede can't find him and decides to search elsewhere. Escargoon then says that there's nothing more relaxing than squatting down inside a bush with a good book.

A Novel Approach 4

Tiff reads to the other children.

Dedede continues to run around town, saying to himself that he has to find out if Pappy Pottey goes to magic school or not. He peers through one of the Cappy's windows, where both residents are reading the book. Dedede then says that they're not reading out loud and if anybody in this town doesn't know how to read right. Dedede suddenly hears a voice reading the book, stating that a train whistle blew as Pappy prepared to board, unknowing that adventures laid ahead for him. Dedede looks to see Tiff reading to Tuff, Kirby, Fololo, Falala, and the three Cappy kids. She continues to read: "Their noses were all pressed to the window as the train finally came to a stop at the edge of a dreary lake shrouded in fog." Honey then says that Pappy looks like Kirby. Kirby begins to dance in joy, but Spikehead tells him that the book isn't about him because he doesn't know anything about magic. Tiff ends the fighting and continues to read: "As Pappy peered through the gathering gloom, he saw an enormous building covered in ivy. It was..." Just then, Iro interrupts, claiming it to be the old magic school. Spikehead hushes Iro because he is going to ruin the best part. Dedede then says that he can hardly hear anything and that he has to get a little closer. He crawls under some shrubs and finds himself behind the kids. Meanwhile, Tiff says that it was the magic school and that Pappy had to give the gatekeeper the secret password. Kirby notices Dedede, but Dedede tells the puffball not to make a word. Honey tells Kirby to be quiet; meanwhile, Tiff says that the gatekeeper nodded and the big wooden door to the magic school crept open. Dedede then states that that magic school sounds interesting. Tiff continues, "What he didn't know was that the wizard was hiding and biding his time." Tiff then concludes her story and says that that's all. Dedede is shocked and Honey asks her to read a little more because Spikehead wants to know about the wizard. Tiff says that she'll read tomorrow because it's getting dark and the book takes more than a day to finish. Tuff says that nobody in town has gotten to the boon. Dedede then proclaims that nobody in town knows how the book turns out. Dedede snickers and then runs out of the bush. Spikehead gives Tiff a farewell and to read them more tomorrow. Tiff tells them not to worry and then asks Kirby if he liked the story. Kirby agrees, but suddenly, a mechanical claw snatches the book out of Tiff's hand. Tiff notices Dedede in his limo and demands her book back. Dedede laughs and says that he's "confiscating" all the Pappy Potty books in town. Dedede laughs and drives off.

He starts to take books from random Cappies. Chef Kawasaki and Gengu had their books taken away along with the other citizens. Bookem tells Dedede to give his book or he'll throw the book at him. Mayor Len Blustergas says that he wasn't done with the book. Mabel says that she can't foresee the ending and Yabui says that he gave up a golf game for that book. As Dedede drives in, he says that he bans Pappy Pottey books from this kingdom. Dedede raids the library and steals all the books there. Biblio runs after him, saying that he lost his customers. Escargoon's book is even taken away. Escargoon complains to the king that he's only up to Chapter 2. Dedede says that he's banning this book from Cappy Town because he has a novel idea of his own.

A Novel Approach 5

Rowlin reads to everyone.

Escargoon and Dedede walk through the throne room inside the castle. Escargoon tells Dedede that he can't just ban Pappy Pottey willy-nilly. Dedede sits on his chair and laughs. He pulls out a copy of the book and says that he has the last copy and that it's his and nobody else is gonna read it. Escargoon sarcastically laughs and says that that's a laugh because he is going to need someone to read it for him. Dedede presses a button on his throne and the Nightmare Enterprises teleporter starts to activate. A woman appears suddenly from the teleporter. The N.M.E. Sales Guy tells the king that he would like to introduce the author of Pappy Potty: Rowlin. Escargoon is shocked and asks the king if he downloaded the writer. Dedede laughs and says that she came all the way here just to read him her book. Rowlin tells the king that best-selling authors like herself only do readings for large audiences. King Dedede is dumbfounded and asks for everybody. Rowlin tells the king that they could transform the castle into a magic school. Dedede and Escargoon are both surprised at the thought.

Outside the castle, the citizens form a mob and Tiff demands that the king replace all the books that he took away. Tuff says that they want their books back. The town starts to chant “Free Pappy Pottey” when suddenly the drawbridge comes down. Waddle Doo appears and tells the citizens that whoever wants to learn how the book ends or wants free magic lessons can come into the castle because, by the king’s order, the castle has officially turned into a magic school. Tiff questions this idea and Tuff says that it’s another trick. However, the rest of the town run into the castle with Tuff trailing behind them. Tiff warns him that it’s a trap, but he ignores her. Tiff and Kirby decided to go into the castle to see what is happening. As everyone is waiting to hear how the book ends, Iro spots Dedede up in the balcony. Dedede welcomes the Cappies to Dedede Magic School and introduces himself as Headmaster Dedede. Escargoon introduces himself as Professor Escargoon, their magic tutor. Tiff tells the two that they aren’t magicians, they’re phonies. Tuff asks them why they should be trusted because they have been tricked plenty of times by them. Dedede says that he has nothing up his sleeve and laughs. Professor Escargoon tells them that class will begin as soon as the schlemiels put on their uniforms. Meanwhile, Meta Knight, Sword, and Blade watch from the ceiling as class begins. Tuff is confused about why they have to learn magic to find out how Pappy’s story ends. Tiff says that the only magic trick she wants to learn is how to make Dedede and Escargoon disappear. Dedede welcomes the class to the magic school and says that he knows everybody wants to know how the story ends. The king says that who better to tell it than the author herself. Tiff gasps as Dedede brings out Rowlin. Suddenly, the whole class is speechless as Rowlin introduces herself. Tiff cannot believe that it’s her and Tuff says that she must know how the story turns out. Tiff is baffled though, on how someone like Dedede could meet someone like Rowlin. Rowlin begins the class by asking the citizens if anybody has a question. Tiff raises her hand, proclaiming she does. Rowlin looks at her rollcall book and asks if her name is Tiff. Tiff then asks Rowlin if she got a chance to read the note that she wrote her. Rowlin asks what note? Tiff is disappointed and says never mind. Rowlin tells her that she can't bear fanmail and that she has a warehouse full of unopened fan mail from her readers. Tiff asks her if there was anything that inspired Rowlin to come up with her wonderful story. Rowlin tells her that it was the money, which shocks Tiff. Rowlin tells her that she knew that that story would make her scans of money and why else would she write it. Tiff blankly stares at Rowlin and asks why else would she write it. Everyone tells Rowlin that the questions are unimportant because they just want to hear the end. Kawasaki asks what happens when Pappy goes to magic school. Rowlin says that that is when the real story takes off. When Pappy goes to magic school, he learns how to play a new ball game...while flying on a broom. Iro is amazed and Spikehead asks how. Rowlin says that they'll see and Dedede tells the Cappies that they can fly too, they just need to pick out a broom. Escargoon rolls in a wagon of seemingly ordinary brooms. He tells the Cappies to watch out for splinters. The Cappies all rush to get a broom, and even Kirby. However, Kirby cannot get through the crowd of Cappies. Escargoon tells the puffball that he has to sit this one out. Kirby becomes saddened.

A Novel Approach 6

Mabel is about to smack Kirby.

As soon as the Cappies go on the brooms, they start to float up in the air with a hockey stick in their hand; however, their eyes oddly turn green. The citizens test out their new brooms. Professor Curio claims that he's soaring like a bald eagle. The Cappies continue to fly on their brooms when Tiff notices that their eyes are glowing green. Dedede laughs with a mischievous grin. Bookem asks what they are supposed to do with the fancy sticks. Iro says that they use it to hit the ball. The mayor says that you score a point by throwing the ball into the opposing team's hoop. Kawasaki says that there is no ball. Rowlin points at Kirby and says that they'll have to use Kirby. Tiff gasps as all the Cappies rush towards Kirby. Dedede runs behind Kirby and smacks him with the hockey stick, sending him flying into the air and out of his wardrobe. Gus and Dedede rally with Kirby for a little bit, until Gus hits Kirby towards Kawasaki. Kawasaki hits Kirby towards Iro and Iro hits him to Professor Curio. Professor Curio spikes Kirby. Mabel gets Kirby and bounces him on her stick before trying to make him into the goal. Tuff says that he's got it and bashes Kirby with the stick, sending him in the opposite direction. Tiff assumes that they must be under a spell, and she tries to snap them out of it by saying that it's a game just to hurt Kirby. Rowlin chuckles as she tells Tiff that it's too late to break her spell. Rowlin laughs until someone calls her an imposter. Tiff turns around to see Meta Knight...with another Rowlin.

Broom King

The Broom King

Tiff becomes confused, but the Rowlin with Meta Knight scolds the other Rowlin for impersonating her. Tiff is then surprised to find out that the Rowlin with Meta Knight is the real author. She says that the Cappies have been hoodwinked by the imposter and that the faker didn't write the book. Everyone stops and Kirby is unconscious on Tuggle's hockey stick. The real Rowlin says that there is a game in her book that involves flying broomsticks, but Kirby isn't meant to be the ball. As Rowlin tells her speech, the Cappies become dehypnotized. Dedede asks what is going on here and Escargoon shrugs and tells the king that he's been snookered again. Tuggle asks if she is really the author and Kawasaki asks to tell them why she wrote Pappy Pottey in the first place. Tuff angrily asks if she wanted to be famous and Iro asks if it was about the money. Rowlin says that it's true that some authors write books just hoping to make a lot of money, but that wasn't the reason she wrote hers. She said that she wrote it to inspire her readers to live their dreams. Tiff then asks Rowlin that it was about living their dreams. Rowlin says that when she wrote Pappy's world, it felt like she was really there. She claims that that's the power of imagination. Tiff becomes speechless. Rowlin says that no matter how sad they feel or how bad their circumstances, they can use their imaginations to dream something better. Dedede scowls as he hears this. Rowlin says that they should never give up their dreams because they are what build the tomorrows. Tiff is awestruck and proceeds to clap. Everyone else joins in on the clapping and Kirby becomes conscious again. However, the fake Rowlin's eyes turn a deep red. She charges towards the real Rowlin. Rowlin tries to block the attack, but luckily, Meta Knight hits the imposter and sends her in the opposite direction. However, the imposter does a backflip in the air and lands on her feet. She crosses her arms and then screams. A puff of smoke covers her for a quick second, but then reveals her true form: a giant broom with arms. The town is shocked and Rowlin says that she was a monster all along. Meta Knight says that the monster is Broom King.

Clean Kirby Anime

Clean Kirby

The Broom King laughs and says that he'll show them who's king. He lifts his hands in the air and all of the brooms magically come under his possession. Broom King lines up the brooms and then orders them to attack the Cappies. The brooms sweep the Cappies into the air as they try to escape. The Broom King laughs and tells them that anyone who opposes him will be swept away. Tiff tells Kirby to suck him up. Kirby inhales a broomstick, transforming him into Clean Kirby, which Meta Knight explains. Suddenly, an onslaught of brooms surrounds Kirby. Broom King laughs and says that they have got him now. However, Kirby spins around and knocks the brooms off of him. Kirby sends the brooms flying, leaving only Broom King. Tiff is amazed, but Meta Knight says that it's not over because Broom King will try to give Kirby the brush-off. Broom King flies up in the air, spins a little, and expels a wave of garbage at Kirby. Kirby is hit by the garbage and knocked unconscious and pinned against the wall. Broom King goes up to Kirby, asks him if he can "handle" this, and repeatedly whacks him with his handle. Tuff tells the Broom King to quit it and Tiff tells Kirby not to give up. Kirby wakes up and blocks the Broom King's attacks with his own broomstick. The two continue to fight until Kirby catches the king off guard and knocks him back. The Broom King becomes angered and kicks some dust towards Kirby. Kirby repels the dust with his broom, sending it back at the Broom King. While the Broom King is covered by the dust storm, he tries to get away from Kirby. Kirby hops onto his broom and flies up towards the Broom King. The Broom King notices and panics, but it is too late. With one powerful sweep of his broom, Kirby sends the king to his demise. The crowd cheers as the Broom King explodes and Kirby comes back down.

A Novel Approach End

Tiff admires Rowlin.

Kirby tries to ask Rowlin something, but she can't understand what he's saying. Tiff tells Rowlin that she thinks Kirby is asking for the rest of the story. The rest of Cappy Town also wants to hear the rest of the story. Rowlin promises them that she will send replacement books to everyone in Cappy Town. Everyone cheers and Tiff thanks Rowlin. Rowlin looks at Tiff and says that she must be Tiff. Tiff is a bit confused, but she says yeah and asks how she knows. Rowlin says that Tiff sent a letter and she liked it so much that she came here to meet her. Tiff is surprised. Suddenly, Dedede and Escargoon come by with a book claiming to be Rowlin's biggest fans and that they want her autograph. Tiff says that they were the ones who started this trouble. Dedede tells her that he and Escargoon were fooled by Broom King like the rest of them. Dedede asks for Escargoon's agreement, but Escargoon says that that's a likely story. Dedede kicks Escargoon out of the way and gives Rowlin his book; Rowlin signs it. Tiff tells Rowlin that she hopes that she can use her imagination to write books like her. Rowlin tells Tiff to keep writing. Tiff blushes, but Dedede interrupts and tells Rowlin to put a lot of pictures in her next book. Escargoon comes by and says that "his majesty never learned to-". Dedede whips out his hammer and crushes Escargoon before he could say another word. Rowlin hands Dedede the book and tells him to continue reading. Dedede says that he's never owned a book with the author's own handwriting scribbled down inside of it. Dedede takes a look at the writing and asks how is anyone supposed to read that. The episode ends with Escargoon chuckling and the picture of Pappy Pottey on the front turning into Clean Kirby.

End of spoilers

Changes in the dub

  • The scene where Dedede burns the Pappy Pottey books is removed from the dub, possibly for religious reasons; it may have also been that it was a bit similar to the Nazi book burnings (especially because Dedede is saying the book is "anti-Dedede").
    • This may have also been a reference to the famous book Fahrenheit 451.
  • The word "chips" on King Dedede's chip bag was airbrushed out.
  • The text on one of Biblio's books in his bookstore was airbrushed out.


  • The whole episode is a spoof of the Harry Potter books, most notably Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (originally called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the UK). Sorcerer's Stone was spoofed as Fool's Stone. The broomball game that Rowlin mentions and the Cappies play is based on Quidditch, and the magic school is heavily based on Hogwarts. Rowlin's name has a one letter difference from the author of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling.
  • This is one of the only episodes in which Meta Knight uses a physical attack; the others include Monster Management and Kirby's Duel Role.
  • The American version of this episode first aired on June 21, 2003, the same day that the original Japanese version of the 87th episode Waste Management first aired.