, also known as "Domo-kun" (どーも くん), is the mascot of Japan's NHK TV station who has gained fame in other parts of the world. Initially starting out as the star of multiple thirty-second interstitial segments, Domo has branched out into a longer two-minute episodes as well as video game and Internet appearances. In his little world, Domo interacts with multiple anthropomorphic animals, expresses a childlike imagination at the world, and is obsessed with eating and watching TV. He also farts pink clouds when under stress or nervous. It's a wondrous world.
It is notable as a series filmed in Stop Motion
. Among the cast include Domo's adoptive father, the rabbit Usajii (Mr. Usaji in the English dub), his tech-savvy weasel associate Tā-chan (Tashanna in the English dub), and the mother and son bats Shinobu and Morio (Maya and Mario in the English dub) who take residence on the ceiling of Mr. Usaji's den.
Domo also got a 5-episode web-series in 2015 that can be watched
on the official YouTube
channel and follows his adventures in the real world.
Domo gives examples of:
- Art Shift: The series sometimes employs standard animation to portray Domo's thoughts. Notable examples include "Footprint" and the 7-11 promotion.
- Bears Are Bad News: In "Hungry", Domo runs afoul of a hungry bear that tries to catch him for a meal. Domo exhausts the bear and, after Domo starts getting hungry, it's the bear's turn to run away.
- Big Eater: Domo has a big appetite, and it comes with having a perpetually open mouth.
- Black Bead Eyes: Domo, Mr. Usaji and Tashanna all simply have black dots for eyes.
- Cartoon Creature: The eponymous character, who resembles a weird mammalian creature that hatched from an egg.
- Cool Old Guy: Mr. Usaji can be pretty energetic and impressive for the grandpa figure of the group, like the time he not only stops scolding Domo for rocking out to loud music but even joins him and has a good time.
- Does Not Like Spam: Domo can't eat apples due to a mystery in his DNA.
- Doorstop Baby: The first thirty-second segment features Domo's egg near the hole leading to Mr. Usaji's home before it rolls into it.
- Downer Ending: "Today's Rule" features Domo following the direction pointed out by an arrow-shaped stick after throwing it. This leads to some humorous bits, such as rolling down a hill and jumping atop the Hungry Bear. However, he sees Mr. Usaji with a nice big cake that others eat slices of. The arrow stick, however, points everywhere but towards the cake. Mr. Usaji manages to save one last slice for Domo, and the arrow stick finally points towards it. A snake eats the slice before Domo can get to it.
- G-Rated Drug: In the 7-11 promotional short, it's shown that Domo gets a brain freeze after swallowing a whole Slurpee...yet his body language (twitchy eyes and freezing in place) suggests it's more like a drug trip. Interestingly, it leads to a 2D animated sequence of Domo in an Arctic-like locale, with the promotional red Slurpee in lieu of water. And when it's over, Domo takes Mr. Usaji's Slurpee so he can experience it again.
- Halloween Episode: For Target's Halloween 2008 promotion, a special episode was made featuring Domo trying to find a decent costume so he can get candy. He eventually settles on a vampire Frankenstein's monster pirate costume.
- Happily Adopted: Despite Domo appearing in his home out of nowhere and the stress he can put him under, Mr. Usaji really does care for Domo and Domo also sees him as a good parental or grandfather figure.
- The Hunter Becomes The Hunted: The ending of "Hungry" when the Hungry Bear tries to eat Domo, only to flee when Domo gets hungry.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tashanna seems to go back and forth between being Domo's gentle friend and acting mean towards him.
- Mr. Imagination: Domo is very imaginative and viewers often get a glimpse of what he's imagining.
- Once an Episode: A shot of Domo (and possibly other characters) sweating happens at least once per episode.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Domo somehow thinks donning a pair of sunglasses will hide his identity in "Secret Hideout".
- Pokémon Speak: The only thing Domo can really say is his own name. Fittingly, it's also the very first word he hears (from a Japanese news reporter greeting the audience).
- Powerpuff Girl Hands: Domo has them. Despite lacking fingers, his grip is strong enough to swing Mr. Usaji high into the air in an attempt to reach his lost balloon.
- Punny Name:
- Mr. Usaji/Usajii's name is a portmanteau of usagi (rabbit) and jii (old man, grandpa)
- Tashanna's name in the original Japanese is a pun on tachanneru, meaning "multichannel" (yet another TV reference)
- Reality Warper: Domo demonstrates shades of this from time to time. In "Spoon", everyone but Domo seems to bend their spoons after watching a psychic. However, it's revealed that their bent spoons are the result of Domo's misdirected concentration, which leads to Mr. Usaji, Tashanna, and everything in the room floating around. And in "On the Boat", Domo manages to fit a lot of objects into his knapsack, including himself, to keep the boat from sinking.
- Sick Episode: One of the Japanese episodes has Tashanna catch the cold and so Mr. Usaji takes care of her. Domo tries to fake sickness so he can be pampered too but it doesn't work.
- Stealth Pun: Domo's name is derived from him parroting a news reporter's greeting of "Dōmo, konnichiwa", which means something along the lines of "Hello there!" However, it could also be interpreted as the news reporter saying hello to Domo specifically, which is why he got his name. Japanese puns are fun.
- Tanuki: One episode features a tanuki impersonating everyone in the main cast. Your only clue to its true identity is its tail.
- Toilet Humor: Domo's tendency to fart pink clouds when under stress or nervous
- Trash Can Band: "Rock and Roll" features Domo and the fox child playing on guitars while the little bear plays on drums made from a toaster, a log, and a dangled pot lid.
- The Unintelligible: For a creature that can only say "Domo", everyone else seems to understand him fine.
- Whale Egg: The mammalian-looking Domo hatches from an egg in the first episode.