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Get ready for Domo-Nation!

By Leslie King
CNN Headline News

(CNN) -- He looks like a brown Twinkie with teeth, he's a huge hit in Japan, and he's slowly achieving the kind of world domination that Pikachu could only dream about. I'm talking about Domo-kun, and if you haven't already seen him, you will, most likely on a Christmas list this year.

Domo-kun -- which roughly translates to "Mr. Thank You" -- first came to light as the furry predator in "God Kills a Kitten." Try for some background.

Here's the deal: Domo-kun is a mascot of Japanese public television station NHK and the logo for its 10th anniversary promotional campaign. The adventures of Domo-kun and his friends are broadcast as movie shorts between feature films. Think of the "Monkey Movies" on TBS.

The station even has a bio for him: favorite food, seasoned beef with potatoes; least favorite food, apples; favorite bands, The Guitar Wolf and MAX.

The basic plot line

The story line isn't too tough. Domo-kun hatches from an egg one day in the cave of his friend Usaji, an old rabbit who likes to watch TV.

Domo learns to love being a couch potato, too, and becomes a TV fiend. His voice sounds like the teacher in "Peanuts," but much deeper. The peanut gallery of sorts is played by two bats hanging from the ceiling of Usaji's cave -- Shinobu and her kid Morio.

Ta-chan the weasel moved near Usaji's cave this spring, and has sent Domo-kun's heart aflutter. It's kinda like Domo-kun is Charlie Brown and Ta-chan is the little red-haired girl. Domo-kun gets so nervous around Ta-chan that he sweats and occasionally lets one rip.

Do you Domo-kun?

Once you've watched the Domo-kun show clips for yourself (try for the best ones) and made your Domo-Kun screensaver ( has tons of images), you've probably already worked up a serious Jones for a Domo-kun of your very own. If you're lucky enough to find a real plush Domo-kun toy, as some fervent fans have been, you can check out how some of his owners are helping him to adapt to "Western culture." Just keep it legal, kids.




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