More than Just an Internet Meme
For most people outside of the Japan-loving world, internet memes were the gateway into the world of Domo. From killing kittens to just about everything else, Domo is taking over the world, at least the internet..., and has become insanely popular.
But what the hell is Domo really?
Domo became the official mascot of Japan’s NHK television station since 1998 and first appeared in several 30 second stop-motion shorts. These sketches were shown as station identification during TV programs which were part of a promotion celebrating the 10th anniversary of NHK’s satellite broadcasting.
Domo the TV Star
The guy behind these TV shorts goes by the name of Tsuneo Goda. He directs the Domo episodes using stop motion animation and claims that “by using this process, one can create a work filled with feeling.” I don’t know if the shorts evoke any feelings, but it’s pretty damn entertaining stuff.
Domo is here to stay
Domo is “a strange creature hatched from egg,” with a large, saw-toothed mouth that is permanently stuck in the wide-open position. Domo’s favourite past-time is to devour nikujaga, a meat and potato stew, and he has a strong dislike for apples. This is due to a strange unexplained mystery in his DNA. How warped but intriguing!
Domo’s only mean of communication is producing a loud low-pitched noise that sounds kind of like his own name. A Tokyopop press release of the Domo comic book states that “he communicates sotto voice (intentionally lowering one’s voice for emphasis) with verve that only his friends can understand. Sounds legit..
Clint Bickham (writer of the Domo comic book) describes Domo’s expression as “a sort of cheery wonderment. Like when a kid wakes to a room full of presents on Christmas day.” He says that most of Domo’s expressions have “an underlying sense of fascination.” The big brown monster is also known to pass gas repeatedly when nervous or upset.
Yep, he’s a strange one and definitely here to stay.