KAWAII AS ALL HELL
The purest, cutest, largest-hearted, chubbiest, sweetest, most doe-eyed and altruistic creature ever known to humankind (including races both real and fantastical) is a winged baby unicorn named Unico. This adorable (courageous!) bundle of baby joy has a little white body and a big head. He has big eyes and a stubby horn. He is blessed with tiny wings and a sweet tail. We are blessed with the opportunity to watch said tale swing. We are blessed with the chance to see his pink (or red) mane flutter in the breeze.
A being of love and happiness, the only negative emotion that Unico can even come close to feeling is righteous anger or sadness as a result of harm befalling the innocents to whom Unico invariably brings peace and joy.
What is Unico’s only desire?
Unico’s only desire is to help others.
What will he do to accomplish this goal?
Anything he can.
He can do a lot of things.
When dire need arises he can transform from a fat baby unicorn to a sleek and graceful grown-up unicorn, but only for the sake of someone he really loves.
Unico loves everyone.
Everyone who is not evil. When Unico truly cares for a non-evil being, and uses his sacred Unicorn power to become an adult Unicorn, he becomes powerful enough to grant wishes.
Early in Unico’s life, he was the beloved pet of the goddess Psyche (though at the time, she was still a mortal girl).
Now Psyche, as we dedicated young scholars of Greek mythology know, was so beautiful that the goddess Aphrodite (or Venus) became jealous of the poor girl, due to the attentions that were being paid her (at Aphrodite’s expense, the goddess was convinced). What the Greeks didn’t know, however, was that Psyche’s unusual beauty and good fortune were a direct result of her association with the baby Unico, blessed bringer of happiness and joy and pure light of goodness, et al.
Osamu Tezuka knew this.
According to Tezuka, the angry Venus banished the cute Unico from the land of mythology, ordering Zephyrus, the West Wind, to take him away to the Hill of Oblivion. The West Wind stole Unico away from his mother while they slept, but was ultimately too kind-hearted to leave him on the Hill of Oblivion, and instead she deposited him in the Land of Mists. From that point on, Unico had no choice but to wander throughout the world, a lost orphan. Whenever he uses his magic to help someone, it draws the attention of Venus, and the West Wind rescues Unico from the goddess’s wrath and hides him from her by leaving him in a new place. Each time that this happens, Unico awakens in the new locale with no memory of where he came from.
Created by Osamu Tezuka, Unico starred in at least two manga ("Ririka" and "Ichigo-ehon"?) and three anime films, all published by Sanrio in the late 70’s – early 80’s. The first film was called Unico : Black Cloud and White Feather (1979). This short pilot was intended to be released for the theater, but for some reason it never was, and didn’t come out on video until 1989. Despite it’s high quality animation (it has a higher reputation among anime fans than the two later films) it was never dubbed in English. The two full-length films, The Fantastic Adventures of Unico (1981) and Unico in the Island of Magic (1983), were both dubbed and released on video in the U.S. by RCA/Magic Window.
The information below is taken from The Anime! Movie Guide by Helen McCarthy:
UNICO Eng title for Unico: Haho no Shinai E. lit. Unico: To the isle of Magic, aka FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF UNICO 2: UNICO IN THE LAND OF MAGIC.
Japanese Credits: Dir & writer: Osamu Tezuka. Prod: Madhouse for Sanrio (c) Tezuka, Sanrio. 90 minutes.
US video release on RCA/Columbia Magic Window children's label.