Other Names: Katy, Kati, Katie, Chow, Čao, Chloe, 챠오 (Chyao), เชา (Cheā), Чао (Chao)
First Appeared: Chao appears in the 3rd Chapter – The Cat on the Broomstick (Part 1) of the June 1977 issue of Sanrio’s Lyrica Magazine.
Chao (チャオ Chao) is a popular character in the Unico series and appears in both manga and anime. When Unico is being mistreated by farm animals, Chao helps him out. The two become friends and adventure together.
Japanese Voice: Kazuko Sugiyama (1981); Ayari Fukamachi (2010); Yurika Suda (2020)
English Voice: Robin Levenson
German Voice: Ranja Bonalana
Hungarian Voice: Sándor Erzsi
Italian Voice: Clelia Bernacchi (1986 dub); Laura Valastro (2022 dub)
Spanish Voice: Ángel González
In her cat form, Chao has black and white fur with a red bow often attached to the back of her head or around her neck. Chao’s human form in the manga has short, brown hair and blue eyes. Her dress is black with a white apron over it and red boots. In the anime, Chao has short, black hair and green eyes. She wears a pink dress with an apron and red ballet flats.
Chao is a sweet kitty, but has her own goals. They often show her being mistreated or neglected by humans, but she remains positive. Chao also falls for attractive and kind men fairly easily.
- With Unico’s magic, Chao can transform into a human girl.
- In her human form, she has a beautiful singing voice.
- In the First Grader version, Chao has the unique ability to call upon cockroaches when she meows loudly.
Timeline of Appearances
|1977||Chao appears in the 3rd Chapter – The Cat on the Broomstick (Part 1) of the June 1977 issue of Sanrio’s Lyrica Magazine. While Unico is being mistreated by farm animals, Chao helps him out. Because Chao helped Unico, this left a mess which upset the farmers. They tossed Chao into the river, but Unico joined her.|
Together, they venture through the forest until they find an old woman. Unico uses his magic to turn Chao into a human for 10 minutes. As long as Chao is helping the old woman, the time she’s able to stay as a human increases.
One day, she meets the Baron Ghost and is smitten. He invites Chao to his estate, where she can sing for him, but things go down a terrible path when Chao and Unico learn the Baron’s true intentions.
|1977||Chao appears in the first gift book, and meets Unico near a forest. The two find a girl named Sweet and the three adventure out to find a music box. They learn a witch has stolen the music box, so they must get it back.|
|1981||In the first theatrical movie, Unico falls into Chao’s basket while she flows down the river, abandoned by her human owners. Chao wants to become a witch, and Unico helps her become human so she can help the old woman. Once Chao meets Baron Ghost, she falls in love. After sneaking out to the Baron’s castle, Chao is soon in danger and Unico rushes out to save her.|
|1983||Chao appears in the September issue of First Grader (Shougaku Ichinensei) magazine. The chapter “Chao Has Arrived” (チャオがやってきた) features Chao hiding in Esuo’s house in various spots. She is homeless and wants a place to stay.|
Chao appears in a few other chapters, along with Esuo, Unico, and Ragon, before the comic concluded in January 1984.
|2000||Chao appears in the animation titled Osamu Tezuka’s Last Mystery of the 20th Century (手塚治虫が消えた？！20世紀最後の怪事件) toward the end of the film. She’s seen in the background with Tezuka’s other characters when they all appear to greet him. The animation originally aired on December 5, 2000 on ABC as a year-end special during the TV station’s 50th anniversary.|
|2010||On August 1, 2010, the Unico manga aired as a movie comic version on Bee TV. Updated every Wednesday, there were 20 episodes, each running around six minutes long. You could only purchase the Unico manga in black and white during those years, but the Bee TV version provided the comic with full color, voice actors, sound effects, and minor animations.|
|2016||LINE released Unico stamps for its app, featuring over 40 designs. Akuma-kun, Chao, and a few other characters were included in the set. They later released a second set.|
|2017||The adorable dress-up mobile game, Pokecolo (ポケコロ) collaborated with Osamu Tezuka World to bring items for your avatar. Unico and Chao appear in the game, along with other Tezuka characters.|
|2020||Tezuka Productions and the mobile game, Eshigami no Kizuna (絵師神の絆) collaborated with their game, turning several Tezuka characters into beautiful females. Chao features a cute design along with the other characters like Unico, Atom, Black Jack, Melmo, etc. The game closed on September 30,2022.|