It’s the end of 2023! Where did this year go? Jeez!
Before I roll into the updates, I want to thank everyone who visits this site and hope your 2024 will be amazing! I hope it’ll be a fun Unico-filled period with more to look forward to. While this year was up and down for me at various times, overall I was happy I could accomplish many things. Some Unico-related highlights from 2023 for me have been the information and texts I could translate and add to the site. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a big nerd for information which includes behind-the-scenes kind of stuff. Not only did I have to search, acquire, and import materials, I still needed to translate and edit the best I could. My translations are not perfect, but it’s something I continue to improve as I go.
Unico Fan Love!
Mr. B shared with us Julia Pott’s (award-winning British animator and illustrator) substack post titled The Hierarchy of Cuteness. This is a wonderful read that I meant to share sooner, but as a goofy, forgetful and busy mom, I obviously forgot. What I enjoyed about this post is how Julia dives into several cute series (many from my childhood) with the use of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Julia’s breakdown of the first Unico film (aka The Fantastic Adventures of Unico) deals with “love and belonging” in Maslow’s pyramid, and provides a wonderful look into the more psychological aspects of Unico, as well as other cute series. Definitely check it out and the rest of Julia’s exceptional substack!
- Translated a blurb from the December 1982 issue of Animage. It features a few words from the animation director, Kazuo Tomizawa. You can read it here. Apparently, Cherry was his favorite character!
- Thanks to Mr. B, we learned the American band Mr Twin Sister had released a song titled “Beezle” in 2021 and it’s about the little devil that Unico befriends. We’ve added this information to Akuma-kun’s profile page. You can listen to the song and view the music video on YouTube!
- Added another Unico appearance to his profile. This is another animation I forgot about, but now the information was added to the site. Unico appeared in the OVA series Lion Books (ライオンブックス) released from 1983 to 1993. While Unico wasn’t in any episodes, he was in the opening. The official Osamu Tezuka website has more information on the six episodes if you are curious (it’s in Japanese). See the clip below!
- Sometimes we don’t know something exists until there is an image that pops up online! They released them in 2012, but we now know there was a Vietnamese translation of the First Grader version of Unico and added the information to the language page. These are translated versions of the Pikka Pika Comics publications and are fully colored comics. As we don’t own the books ourselves, we do not have a chapter title list yet.
- Added the Narrator (Andrea Brix) and Old Woman’s (Senta Moira) German voice actors to the German Langauage page.
- Updated the Spanish Language page because it needed some love! Similar to the English Language page, I put the video releases on their own page to help keep things organized. You’ll find VHS, DVD, and Bluray information, voice actors, and more on the new Spanish Video Releases page. I know there are several sites (Wikipedia, TV Tropes, etc) that mention a Mexican (or Latin American) dub for the films, but we have found no legitimate sources. It may have aired in countries like Mexico, South America, and so on, but we don’t have channels or date information. For now, check out what we’ve provided for Spain’s dub of Unico.
- Added a section to the links page to separate the official stores. There you will find the actual Osamu Tezuka World Official Store and tokyo atom shop’s STORE. If you live outside of Japan, you’ll need to use a proxy service like Zenmarket or any of the many others to purchase items for you and ship to your location. While you can find Unico items on several kinds of websites, we wanted to at least include the official stores that focus on Osamu Tezuka merchandise. Often, items made for collaborations will end up on the main store page if there is still stock, so this gives you a chance to purchase items at retail price.
- Created and added a Toy section. Here you’ll find play balls and the Unico bike.
- Added another translation to the Articles and Interviews section. Been meaning to translate this sooner, but it’s finally up. It’s a small informative piece from Strawberry News about Osamu Tezuka and how he got the idea for Unico. You can read it here.
- Since I got a handle on the spam junk, I’ve turned on comments again for posts. Any new posts in the future SHOULD have the comment section open for anyone to leave comments. I hope this will save time for some, but you are always welcome to email as well!
- And finally, I’m working on improving the website’s performance and loading speed. As I add more information and images to the site, this can bog down loading times for some, and nobody likes to feel they’ve returned to the dial-up days! Don’t need to go into all the technical junk, but I’m adding more caching tools and cleaning up files. I’m treating this like a New Year’s cleaning tradition.
Thanks for checking out the updates! If there is anything you’d like us to research or look into, please contact us! I hope you enjoy visiting. To stay up to date on any news or updates, please check back often, join our newsletter or follow our Facebook page! I do monthly updates on the last day of the month, so definitely stop by!
※ This isn’t news, but a quick reminder for those visiting this site. I’m a fan of Osamu Tezuka’s work and focus on the Unico series. I enjoy researching and sharing information, but I won’t upload any full comics, movies, soundtracks, or similar content. You will only find information and news on this site, but never hesitate to contact us if you’re looking for something specific that I may help you with.