The holidays are upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with some Unico holiday cheer! Spending time with friends and loved ones is what this time of year is all about. For this article, we are sharing a Christmas related comic about Unico, Esuo, and Santa Claus. We’ve also added a few holiday images as well.
Santa Came Too Early
Through his travels, Unico has met and dealt with many things. It’s interesting to know that Santa Claus has appeared in Unico. The chapter, “Santa Came Too Early” (早くきすぎたサンタさん) was published in First Grader (Shougaku Ichinensei) magazine in December 1982, but you can normally find it as the last chapter in collected manga versions.
In this comical episode, Santa arrives at Esuo’s home, knocking on the sliding glass door because they do not have a chimney. After Santa enters, Esuo tells Santa it’s not Christmas yet. Santa is confused and holds up an issue of First Grader Magazine, pointing out it says December. Esuo explains they release the issues a month early, and when Santa realizes his mistake, he went to leave. Without hesitation, Esuo stops Santa and asks for a present since he is already there.
Unico tells Esuo it’s against the rules and to not do that. Esuo brushes Unico off and Santa Claus agrees to give the young boy a present. When Santa asks what he’d like, Esuo thinks for a second, then says he wants Santa as his present. Esuo thought this would allow Santa to give him presents all the time.
It doesn’t go as planned.
Santa pulls a snot-nosed boy from his sack and presents him to Esuo. Esuo looked at the boy in front of him, confused by Santa’s actions. The young boy responds, “I’m Santa,” which is a clever play on words as both Santa (サンタ) — as in Santa Claus — and Santa (三太) are pronounced the same in Japanese. Esuo grumbled and told Santa that he doesn’t want a person named Santa, he wanted the real Santa Claus.
Santa reaches into his bag again, but this time he pulls out a small child dressed like Santa. He mentions the child is family, meaning it is also a Santa, and excuses himself in a hurry. Esuo wondered if the child could still give him presents and asked for a combining robot toy.
The child pees on Esuo’s face instead.
Esuo told the baby not to pee on him and asked for electronic games next. Like before, Esuo gets peed on.
Growing irritated, Esuo held the infant up and wondered if it was really Santa Claus. He asks for a baseball glove next and dodged the next attack of urine. Unico warned his friend to stop, but was told to be quiet. Esuo asks the infant for the glove, combining robot, electronic games, and to watch videos. This causes the baby to expel massive amounts of urine that will not stop.
Esuo and Unico take the baby out of the house as it continues to urinate. A store owner says they flooded the front of his restaurant while a police officer tells them they can’t pee in the street. Unico becomes an adult and tells the baby to pee in a bag, so it causes no more trouble. The three fly into the sky looking for Santa Claus. While the bag of urine gets bigger, Unico spots Santa and flies to him.
Santa Claus explains the infant is a Santa named Sanzan Clausel (サンザン・クロースル). Regardless, Esuo wants to return the child. Upon seeing Unico, Santa tells Esuo that he already has a friend who can do anything. The bag of urine burst, and Esuo woke up, confused by the strange dream. Esuo scoops Unico into his arms and says that he’s happy with just him.
Even though it was a dream, the events made Esuo appreciate Unico. Throughout the First Grader series, Unico is often helping Esuo even through hilarious adventures.
Unico Holiday Art and Merchandise
Japan celebrates holidays like Christmas differently than Western countries, but they still enjoy the season by connecting with one another. Coworkers and friends may throw parties, and couples may have a romantic dinner. You can find Christmas and holiday themed food, holiday shops, merchandise, and gifts for those to show your appreciation.
Over the years, Osamu Tezuka created a few Christmas related illustrations, but his company continues to produce new artwork with his characters. When looking for holiday related merchandise, you can find calendars, cards, figures, postcards, and more.
Some of the best holiday illustrations you will find with Unico and his friends (and other Tezuka characters) will be from calendars. These calendars are around 364×540mm (14.3 x 21.3 inches) in size with bright illustrations you can’t find anywhere else.
Several calendars from over the years have Tezuka’s characters gathering around a Christmas tree while enjoying each other’s company. The image to the right is from the 1978 Osamu Tezuka Calendar with the popular characters during that time.
The image to the left has a Tezuka Moderno styled Unico in holiday garb for a gift box released in 2007. Three different gift boxes were available, with Astro Boy on the first gift box, Leo on the second, and Unico on the third. They included three picture books for children in each set, but all books were available to purchase separately.
This illustration is from the 2008 Osamu Tezuka Calendar and features several characters. Unico, Chao, and Akuma-kun are also present as everyone decorates a pine cone.
The official Tezuka Productions Goods Twitter account shared this image recently for a Christmas Present Campaign to receive their 2023 calendar (Japanese residence only). The calendar is available for purchase in certain online stores even if you don’t live in Japan. To view each month’s design, check out the Mushi-n-bo News website.
We especially love Unico’s and Atom’s “antlers” in this illustration.
Best Wishes and Goals
We hope 2023 brings you good health, wealth, joy, opportunities, peace, and so much more. It’s time for a fresh start with renewed energy, so get out there and do your best! You know it’s what Unico and all of his friends would want as well.
Here at My Unico Fans, we hope to continue updating the site with more information and news throughout the year. We’re excited to see what new things will appear and share them with you! Unico: Awakening is definitely top of our list for Unico releases next year, so we hope the project is going smoothly for all those involved and that they get to relax soon before moving on to the next adventure.
Again, we want to thank everyone who enjoys and visits our site, and hope the information we’ve provided has helped you. We also appreciate all the help we’ve received in 2022 and hope it will continue the next year. Thank you, everyone, for your support and see you next year!
– We are not fluent in Japanese so any translations may be incorrect.
– Cover art, comic examples, and Christmas tree Unico used are from the Unico 3 First Grader Pikka Pika Comics book.
– Calendar images are from personal collection.
– Tezuka Moderno gift set and Twitter illustrations are from online.