Shizuku-chan the raindrop sprite ((c)2006 Q-LiA CO.,LTD)
The fantastic story of Shizuku-chan, a raindrop sprite born in the clouds, is winning fans among Japanese children. Shizuku-chan has a raindrop-shaped face and sparkling eyes. (Shizuku means "drop of water" in Japanese.)
The Shizuku-chan character was created by a designer working for Q-LiA, a stationery maker based in Osaka. Shizuku-chan is a boy sprite. When rain falls, he gets happy and energetic. When he is happy, beautiful rainbows come out of his forehead.
Shizuku-chan lives in Shizuku Forest with his sprite friends, including Mirumiru-chan, a milk sprite who has great strength although he is only a baby; and Uruoi-chan, the skin-lotion sprite of Shizuku Forest. Uruoi-chan is very stylish. There is also Aseo-kun, a big eater who is always sweating buckets, and Dororon, the mischievous mud sprite who wants to have fun with his friends but always ends up playing tricks on them. These characters share a fun-packed life that includes playing, fighting, and going to school.
Since 2003, when the first Shizuku-chan book came out, Shizuku-chan has grown into a hit series of seven books. Counting sticker books and other publications, a total of 2.7 million Shizuku-chan books have been sold. Now a Shizuku-chan TV anime (cartoon) series has come out. Pururun! Shizuku-chan has been on the air since October 2006. And of course, the Shizuku-chan characters are popping up on kids' notebooks, pencils, and stickers. Elementary-school kids love to fill their school backpacks with Shizuku-chan school supplies.
As a third-grade girl named Yae explains, "I like Shizuku-chan and Uruoi-chan because I like their colors and their faces! I have a Shizuku-chan pin." Yae's four-year-old brother, Keigo, also loves Shizuku-chan. The brother and sister sit peacefully side by side watching Shizuku-chan on TV.
"On the TV cartoon, when Shizuku-chan caught a cold and turned into ice, Uruoi-chan tried to melt the ice by kissing him. I found it funny because usually I don't think of things like that," Yae comments. Keigo, meanwhile, prefers Aseo-kun. "Aseo-kun likes curry, but they don't say what kind. I want to know what kind of curry he likes," Keigo says with a laugh.
The story of the friendship and adventures of these lovable sprites has the power to charm children of all ages.
(Updated in December 2006)