Domo is THE ORIGINAL MASCOT TV STATION IN JAPAN . . . The name of the TV Station is NHK . . .
Domo-kun first appeared in short stop-motion sketches in December 1998 to mark the 10th anniversary of NHK’s satellite broadcasting. The name “Domo” was acquired during the second episode of his show in which a TV announcer said, “dōmo, konnichiwa” (どうも、こんにちは), which is a greeting meaning something along the lines of, “Well, hello there!”, but which can also be interpreted as “Hello, Domo”, and thus is a convenient pun (dajare). The kun suffix on “Domo-kun,” the name used to describe the character in the Japanese versions, is a Japanese honorific often used with young males.
Domo, the main character, is described as “a strange creature that hatched from an egg,” with a large, sawtoothed mouth that is locked wide open. Domo’s favorite food is nikujaga, a Japanese meat and potato stew, and he has a strong dislike for apples, because of an unexplained mystery in his DNA. Domo can only communicate by producing a low-pitched noise which sounds somewhat like his own name, but other characters appear to understand him. A Tokyopop press release of the Domo comic book states that “he communicates sotto voce with a verve that only his friends can understand.” Clint Bickham, the writer of the Domo comic book, said that to him Domo’s expression is “a sort of cheery wonderment. Like when a kid wakes to a room full of presents on Christmas day.” While Domo’s face has variants, to Bickham most of his expressions have “an underlying sense of fascination.” Domo is known to pass gas repeatedly when nervous or upset.
Domo lives in an underground cave with Mr. Usaji, known in Japanese-language versions as Usajii (うさじい), a portmanteau of the words usagi (うさぎ), (rabbit), and jii (じい)(old man, grandpa). Mr. Usaji is a wise old rabbit who has lived in a cave for decades, loves to watch television and drink astringent green tea. Mr. Usaji is not into any “new” materials, and does not own a telephone. In terms of fashion, Mr. Usaji focuses on materials instead of shapes. Mr. Usaji’s favorite food is carrots, and his least favorite food is “something that is meaningless.”
Also in the cave live two bats, a mother named Maya (Shinobu (しのぶ?) in the Japanese version) and her child Mario (Morio (もりお) in the Japanese version). Maya suffers fromalcoholism; her favorite foods are seasonal while her least favorite food is alcohol. Mario’s favorite food is Japanese-style tomato spaghetti, while his least favorite food is shiitake mushrooms.
The other main character in the shorts is a weasel girl named Tashanna (Tā-chan (たーちゃん?) in the Japanese version). Tashanna, 17 years old, is a weasel who aspires to be a fashion stylist or model in Tokyo and is always using technology (televisions, mobile phones, and cameras). In English Tashanna has a “weaselly accent” (いたちなまり itachi namari)(bear in mind weasels in Japan are not associated with underhandedness) and ends her sentences with “y”s. In the Japanese version, she ends her sentences with “chi” (ち). She has not had a boyfriend in ten years and she is seeking a platonic boyfriend. She has a passion for bidding in auctions, but she gives up by the end. Tashanna’s favorite food is apricotand mint tarts, and her least favorite food is sea urchin. The Japanese name originates from the word “multichannel” (多チャンネル tachanneru) of digital broadcasting.
Bear Boy (Kogumagorō (こぐまゴロー)), also known as A Little Bear (くまのこ Kuma no ko, literally “A bear cub”), is a Moon Bear and one of Domo’s friends from the neighborhood; the timid cub enjoys playing baseball.
Hee (Flower One (花一 Hanaichi)) and Haw (Flower Two (花二 Hanaji)) are pixie twins from a flower. Domo is the only individual who can see them.
The Fox Trio consists of Esther (Esuko (エスコ)), Brother Fox (あにきち Aniki-chi), and Fox Boy (Konjirō (コンジロー)). Esther, the youngest member, enjoys producing crocodile tears, plotting schemes, and causing havoc. Brother Fox, the eldest member, dutifully cares for his youngest siblings and feels upset when referred to as “short-legged” (短足 tansoku). Fox Boy, having a quiet demeanor, converses with Domo and Bear Boy and prefers to read.
Hungry Bear (はらぺこぐま Harapekoguma), a large and powerful bear, feels too hungry to take advantage of his strength.
The Ghost (Hyūtarou (ヒュ～たろう)) randomly appears and disappears.