Character Profile | Grandmother

Grandmother from Unico


Name: Grandmother
Other Names: Obaa-san, Old Woman, Granny, Beggar, Anciana, Vecchietta, Nonna, Mémé, 할머니 (Halmeoni), alte Frau
Gender: Female
First Appeared: Grandmother first appears in the 3rd Chapter – The Cat on the Broomstick (Part 1) of the June 1977 issue of Sanrio’s Lyrica Magazine.

Grandmother (おばあさん Obaasan) is a character that appears in both the manga and the first animated film. We know not much about her other than she appears to be a beggar living in an abandoned home.

Voice Actors

Japanese Voice: Taeko Nakanishi (1981)
Czech Voice: Běla Jurdová
German Voice: Senta Moira
Italian Voice: Clelia Bernacchi (1986 dub); Simona Biasetti (2022 dub)
Korean Voice: Minah Park (박민아)
Spanish Voice: Mercedes Barranco

Physical Appearance

She’s an older woman with her white hair in a bun. Her eyes appear closed most of the time, and she has an enormous nose. In the manga, she wears a red headscarf and a tattered blouse.


Grandmother is a sweet older woman trying to get by. When Chao and Unico stumbled upon her home, she welcomes the company. She’s even more appreciative of the human Chao who helps her with day-to-day tasks.


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Timeline of Appearances

DateMore Information
1977Grandmother first appears in the 3rd Chapter – The Cat on the Broomstick (Part 1) of the June 1977 issue of Lyrica magazine while Chao and Unico are in her home. She’s an old beggar woman, scraping by to live. When Unico turns Chao into a human, she helps the old woman with chores and other daily tasks. The old woman appreciates the help and company that Chao provides.

While Chao is passed out at his castle, the Baron orders his hawks to kill the grandmother. By the time Chao and Unico escape, the old woman has already been attacked. Chao moves her inside while Unico fends off the hawks. Because of the shock, granny falls ill. After the forest creatures take the Baron away, and Chao is safe once more, Unico uses his magic to heal her.
1981Grandmother appears in the first theatrical film released on March 14, 1981. Similar to the manga, the grandmother meets Chao and Unico as she stumbles into the home. Believing she’s a witch, Chao wants to learn magic from her. Even though Unico uses his magic to turn Chao human, she helps the old woman out for a while.

We don’t see as much of the old woman as we do in the manga, but thankfully she seems unaware of the crazy events going on around the forest. Human Chao returns to the grandmother as West Wind flies off with Unico.

2024The Kickstarter that began in 2022 to create a retelling of “The Cat on the Broomstick” chapter from the original manga called Unico: Awakening was a success. Scholastic picked up the series and the first volume will be released on August 6, 2024. The elderly woman will appear again!