Unico and the Golden Planet (ユニコと黄金の惑星) is another manuscript written by Osamu Tezuka during Unico in the Island of Magic’s conception stage in the early 80s. First published in the Osamu Tezuka Scenario Aggregation in 2017, only the beginning chunk of the script is present, while the majority is missing. The manuscript has allowed us to see the brainstorming and transformations that created the characters and plot of the second movie. The female protagonist Chieri (チエリ Chieri) seems similar to the movie version Cherry (チェリー Cherii), but her name is read and pronounced slightly different. Chieri is a young woman in this script, and the plot resembles a folktale.
We have created a summary to provide information, but since the book is available in Japan, we will not offer a direct translation, only our own telling of the story. While we do not know the official spelling of names used, we provided what we believe might be a proper name for the characters. Chieri and Cherry are pronounced similarly, but we kept the Japanese spelling to help differentiate between the two characters.
Retelling written by Xellis (5/31/23):
In a village, a young girl named Chieri lived with her stepmother and stepsister. The stepmother believed her daughter Milva (ミルバ Miruba) was the most beautiful woman in the world and hoped to marry her off to a family in one of the neighboring countries. One day, a fortune teller predicted Milva would be blessed with great wealth and power.
In reality, Chieri was far more beautiful, but her stepmother would not allow her to look nice, and gave her plenty of work. As a result, no one knew how beautiful Chieri was because she was always filthy and dressed in rags.
One day during a snowstorm, an exhausted soldier knocked on the door of Chieri’s home. The stepmother rudely dismissed the young man, but Chieri felt sorry for him. She secretly brought him to the cowshed where she fed and cared for him. The soldier thanked her and tried to leave, saying that he was being chased by the enemy and did not want her in harm’s way. As he stepped out, wolf-like creatures surrounded him and transformed into a demonic army led by a blue-skinned witch. The soldier suddenly fell into a magically created hole and was now trapped in ice. The stepmother, stepsister, and Chieri fearfully look out as the villains leave.
Soon, a group of horsemen bolted toward the three women, and the stepmother noticed the king among them. The king demanded to know where his son Prince Rubinas was and noticed the soldier encased in ice. He recognized his son and grew angry, ordering his men to break the ice. When they hit the ice, it deflected their attacks. The stepmother watched the king sob and told him they were not the witches who turned the prince to ice, but they would find the witch who did. In return, she asked that her daughter (Milva) to be allowed to marry the prince. The king agreed and left with his men.
After they are gone, the stepmother ordered Chieri to find the witch and bring her back. She gave Chieri some bread and promptly kicked her out. Chieri said goodbye to Prince Rubinas, as her love for him grew, and began her journey to find the witch.
Tired from her travels, Chieri sits upon a hill to eat some bread. She suddenly heard a faint voice asking for her food and looked up to find a baby unicorn. The unicorn was weak, and it had a broken leg. Chieri gave all her bread to the injured creature, who had not eaten for over a week because of its injury.
After it ate, its strength returned and a beam of light shot into the sky from its horn. Two adult unicorns appeared and swooped down, believing Chieri to be the one who hurt their child. They lifted her up with their mouths and tossed her around. The baby unicorn stopped his parents, saying that Chieri helped him. Hearing this, the unicorns put her down and apologized. The father unicorn used his magic to heal his son, and Chieri left to continue her journey.
Now it rained, and Chieri was drenched. She spent most of the night freezing and hiding under a stone bridge until a warm fire appeared in front of her. The baby unicorn popped out to greet her, and told Chieri that his father wanted him to help her because she saved his life. When a unicorn receives love, they can perform any magic.
The little unicorn begged Chieri to be his friend and not reject him because he’ll lose his powers if she does. He said his name is Unico, and Chieri then told her story to him.
The manuscript is missing after this point, minus a sentence where Chieri and the others escape.
Tezuka, Osamu. “Unico and the Golden Planet.” Osamu Tezuka Scenario Collection 1981-1989, Ritsutosha, March 2017, pp. 42-47