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Kyorochan (キョロちゃん) is a Japanese cartoon bird that serves as a mascot for a brand of Morinaga chocolate known as ChocoBall. He first appeared in 1967 in the anime television series Uchuu-shonen Soran (Space Boy Soran). Originally, when the series began in 1965, Choco-Balls were consumed by a cartoon "space squirrel" known as "Chappy"; it was found that sales of Choco-Balls did not increase; Kyorochan was devised in 1967 as a replacement.
His popularity began to take off in 1987, when TV commercials starring Kyorochan, as well as commercial songs performed by famous artists appeared. In 1991, the name "Kyorochan" was printed on the boxes of Choco-Ball candies, and in that same year, the sales of Kyorochan stuffed animals and related products exceeded the sales of the Choco-Ball brand itself.
An anime series starring Kyorochan was produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and SPE Visual Works and animated by Group TAC. The series was released in very limited amounts in DVD format (though there is a rare box-set containing the whole series, which is usually very expensive), and, outside Japan, is found only in Hungary (Kukucska Kalandjai), Romania (the original name), Taiwan (大嘴鳥), the Czech Republic (Červánek), and South Korea (왕부리 팅코).
The Indian channel Pogo began showing Kyorochan from May 31, 2010. It is currently unknown if it was dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, or English, since the channel has programming in all three languages. It was most likely a Hindi dub, however.[weasel words]
Characters in the anime
- Kyoro-chan (Voiced by Miyako Ito) - The titular character and a cute parrot who lives on Angel Island and has adventures with his friends. He was hatched from an egg in a temple found by the scientist Dr. Matsugale. He has an orange beak, red head, and brown and yellow pattern on his body. His name comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia "kyorokyoro", meaning "to look around"/"restlessly". The second opening theme for the anime references this.
- Dr. Matsugale (Voiced by Rokuro Naya) - A scientist and Kyoro-chan's "adoptive father" who found him in the temple and traveled the world with him until they got separated during a storm. He can be seen at the end of many episodes reading letters Kyoro-chan sent him.
- Pachikuri (Voiced by Takako Honda) - Kyoro-chan's first friend after returning to Angel Island, who introduced himself as "Mega Ultra Super Hot Pachikuri", but it was shortened to just Pachikuri because Kyoro-chan always got it wrong. Pachikuri is a dark blue and white penguin who is usually seen wearing a green cape and matching flippers on his feet. He is quite good at martial arts and never backs down from a challenge. His name means "blinking with surprise".
- Mikken (Voiced by Kurumi Mamiya) - A yellow chicken and another of Kyoro-chan's friends. He always has a rather angry-looking expression no matter his mood (though occasionally this changes if he is extremely sad or happy), and his beak is always on one side of his face or the other, causing an odd aspect. He wears a broken eggshell as trousers. His name comes from the word "miken", meaning "area between one's eyebrows", in a reference to his large forehead and eyebrows that slump and make him look gruffer.
- Kurin (Voiced by Takako Uemura) - Another of Kyoro-chan's friends, Kurin is a cute pink duck who runs Angel Island's bakery shop with her big sister. Her name comes from "kuri", or chestnut, referring to the shape of her head.
- Masukara (Voiced by Hinako Kanamaru) - A cute yellow duck and Kurin's big sister. She is Kurin's caretaker and they run the bakery shop together. Her name literally means "mascara".
- Girori - A blackbird who is often mean to Kyoro-chan and his friends. His parents are the richest birds on Angel Island, so he is rather stuck up. He has a crush on Kurin's big sister.
- Konto and Takuto - A short green bird (likely either a hummingbird or kiwi bird) and pink duck who are Girori's henchmen. They are not very smart. Takuto wears a mask.
- Don Girori (Voiced by Hideyuki Umezu (Japanese), Richie Campos (Unknown English dub)) - Girori's dad and a millionaire who presides over Angel Island's economy. He is also the president of the toy company where Mikken's dad works.
- Memeritcho (Voiced by Rin Mizuhara) - Girori's mother and Don Girori's wife who loves him very much.
- Meguro (Voiced by Kiyomitsu Mizuuchi) - Pachikuri's uncle and a light blue penguin with a pink hat. He is the primary caretaker of Pachikuri.
- Manajiri (Voiced by Kōzō Shioya) - Mikken's dad and a yellow chicken with a very square head. He works as a designer at a toy factory.
- Rinkoru - Mikken's grandma. Her name literally means "wrinkle".
- Makumo (Voiced by Hiroshi Ōtake (Japanese), Richie Campos (Unknown English dub)) - An elderly greyish-blue bird with a beard and a hat. He often hangs out with Mikken's grandma.
- Ms. Metori - An old lady bird who seems to like Kyoro-chan, and he sometimes goes shopping with her. She calls him "Kyorobo" (combination of "Kyoro" and "dorobo", or thief) for unknown reasons. She is also the town gossip.
- Inspector Guriguri (Voiced by Junpei Morita) - A condor who is Angel Island's private investigator. He wears a gray trench coat and glasses with swirls on them. His name is a reference to this because "guriguri" means "googly eyes" or "rolling one's eyes".
- Phantom Thief Girosshu (Voiced by Junpei Morita (Japanese), Richie Campos (Unknown English dub)) - A mysterious thief and Inspector Guriguri's alter ego. Though he is a thief, he is still kind and saved Kyoro-chan from falling off his balcony one night. It is rather ironic that a detective would have a thief alter ego, but since he saves people and doesn't hurt them, he's sort of a heroic criminal, so to speak.
- Shibashiba - Large hairy black monster bird who everyone on Angel Island is afraid of (though Kyoro-chan himself sometimes isn't). It can shapeshift and reproduce itself, and it can turn someone else into a Shibashiba (as once happened to Mikken). There seems to be some religious connection to the Shibashiba, as the townspeople once sacrificed Kyoro-chan to it (actually, he volunteered, but ended up making friends with the Shibashiba anyway). The only thing that it can say is "shibashiba", hence its name. If you are turned into a Shibashiba, all your speech will come out that way. Mikken's grandma seemed to be able to recognize Mikken even when he was turned into a Shibashiba. Somehow this recognition turned him back. So it's possible that if someone realizes who you really are, you stop being a Shibashiba. The name Shibashiba has two meanings: (1) often/frequently/again and again, and (2) blinking repeatedly. The second is more relevant, since the names of Kyoro-chan and some of his friends refer to eyes in some manner (Kyorokyoro = looking around restlessly, Pachikuri = blinking with surprise, Miken = area between eyebrows, Masukara = mascara). Though it's possible that the double meaning is intentional, since episode 43 is called "Matamata, Shibashiba" meaning "Once again, Shibashiba" or literally "Once again, again and again". The Shibashiba does show up multiple times in the series too, which also makes that meaning more relevant.
- Mayu - A cute girl penguin who Kyoro-chan once played with. Pachikuri has a crush on her.
- Pafu (or Puff) - A cloud/cat like creature who Kyoro-chan keeps as a pet in the second season. It is unknown where he came from. The only sound he can make is a whistle-like sound, which kind of sounds like "pafu", hence his name. His name also might come from the fact that he looks like a cloud, and clouds are puffy.
- Dementon (Voiced by Toru Ohkawa (Japanese), Richie Campos (Unknown English dub)) - A toucan who was kind to Kyoro-chan early in the series. The "deme" part of his name means "protruding eyes", continuing the eye themed names.
The "Kyorosk" is a kiosk constructed in the JR East train station at Tamachi, Tokyo, in 2003. The store features Morinaga products, focusing especially on Kyoro-chan. Since the Morinaga corporate headquarters are located near Tamachi-eki Station, this store was devised as a joint venture between the company and JR East.
- KyoroChan Land, an adapted conversion of Nebulus (also known as Castelian, Subline and Tower Toppler) was released for the NES and Game Boy (By The Sales Curve/HIRO).
- Pocket KyoroChan, a (Super) Game Boy game, with a sequel (By Tomy and Jupiter)
- KyoroChan's Purikura Daisakusen - Sequel of the Game Boy game above for PlayStation, based on Atlus's Purikura Daisakusen (By Tomy).
- "Castelian Release Information for NES - GameFAQs". gamefaqs.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "Castelian Release Information for Game Boy - GameFAQs". gamefaqs.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "Pocket Kyoro-Chan Release Information for Game Boy - GameFAQs". gamefaqs.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "Kyoro-chan no Purikura Daisakusen Release Information for PlayStation - GameFAQs". gamefaqs.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2019-04-17.