Keiko and Mouse -
GM's note - Keiko and mouse are background. Many earth people in a TNG/DS9/Voy era game will have seen these fictional characters. (Much as modern people know of the Flintstones or the Simpsons)
Status - open for use.
Keiko and Mouse are fiction characters first created in 2336 by Tanaki Isadoru of Japan.
They first appeared in a Children's book illustrated and written by Tanaki in that year.
Tanaki has said that she used Keiko, Mouse as a tool to educate her nieces, nephews, and later her own children about other races in the Federation.
The core of the Keiko and mouse stories is that Keiko meets aliens, and through ignorance, naiveté and general clueless ness, Keiko causes a humorous social disaster.
Following this, the helpful alien usually set Keiko straight about what his people prefer and enjoy.
Sometimes, Mouse explains to Keiko how she caused the problem, and coaches Keiko through a socially appropriate apology and amends-making process.
Keiko is a Japanese girl; her apparent age varies depending on context from young teen to early adult.
Keiko is kind hearted, well meaning and joyful. However, she is often seriously uniformed and naive about people from other planets in the Federation.
In the first few books, Keiko resides in Tokyo, Japan and interacts with Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites and others on Earth, meeting them in Tokyo or during school trips to other parts of earth.
Later Keiko travels the galaxy for reasons that change or are not explained, visiting Federation and other worlds.
Keiko is slim, dark haired and big eyed, often drawn in an anime style.
Mouse is Keiko's all-black house cat. In the first few books, Mouse did not speak, but by being himself often made favorable impressions on Aliens he encountered.
Tanaki began putting words in Mouse's mouth as her own wry commentary on the action. These early speaking roles for Mouse are good natured and mild.
In the hands of other writers mouse ranges from mean and cynical to very Wry.
Mouse accompanies Keiko on her travels, again for reasons that vary or are left unexplained, unless he is required to stay home for humorous effect.
Mouse seems to know far more about the galaxy than Keiko, but lets her make her own mistakes, commenting wryly upon them.
A common story element is that, after cluelessly offering insult and committing social faux pas, Keiko lands in jail. Mouse Then Secures her release, offers socially appropriate apologies, pays Keiko's bail (Invariably stealing Keiko's money to accomplish this) and otherwise smoothes over the situation, allowing Keiko to continue her adventures.
Tanaki invented The Adventures of Keiko and Mouse to be a humorous teaching tool to introduce concepts of alien societies to her nieces and nephews.
The books and subsequent media succeeded wildly and became a craze among children and other consumers from the 2340s to the 2360s.
Keiko and Mouse were adapted to a humorous manga series, and then to animated cartoon adventures. Later still a series of interactive computer games for consumers of various ages was created.
In the mid 2350s, it was common in Japan to see Keiko and Mouse "Merchandise" - objects featuring images, logos and phrases from Keiko and Mouse.
Later video, computer and interactive added elements such as having Keiko pursue a quest across the galaxy, or joining Starfleet, being shipwrecked with a quirky bunch of survivors on a mysterious planet, or other story telling elements
There were many parodies of Keiko and Mouse, including guest appearances in other stories, and encounters with alien analogs for Keiko and Mouse by other characters in other stories.
There were even surreal deconstructionists stories, which attributed Keiko's clueless ness not to naiveté but to drug abuse and featured Mouse as a hostile hallucination.
In the early 2360s, there were a series of Keiko and Mouse Holodeck adventures where children would follow Keiko around and, with Mouse helpfully inform her about the people she met.
A subset of Parodies involving Keiko features her as a young adult engaging in sexual and romantic encounters with non-humans. These range from outright pornographic fantasies, to educational story lines where Keiko learns of the mating and sexual habits of various Federation peoples. Often such "Adult Keikos" are an enthusiastic mix of both.
Tanaki Isadoru refused to comment on these parodies, but the rumor is that she acted as an advisor for some of the more educational and technically accurate ones.
By 2369, Keiko and Mouse were considered tired hackneyed and old-fashioned. Although there is a community of die-hard fans of the genre, in the larger society of Earth and earth influence cultures, Keiko and Mouse are moribund.
The chief appeal of Keiko and Mouse were Keiko's good-natured clueless ness (Which many identified with) and Mouse's wry commentary that was often hilarious.
Critics complained that Keiko and Mouse often over simplified complex subjects and trivialized difficulty in human/alien relations.
In a classic piece, Tanaki brought in a character that combined features of several notable critics - Professor Kettlehead - and introduced him to Keiko and Mouse. The story features Mouse and Professor Kettlehead having a well-stated and earnest debate about the value of the Keiko and Mouse stories, while Keiko fails to follow along.
Professor Kettlehead instantly morphed into a buffoonish stuffed shirt and common antagonist of Keiko and Mouse.
The Manga and Animated Video of Keiko and Mouse developed an entire raft of supporting characters, many of which became popular on their own.
While Keiko and Mouse appeal to humans and some other people, (The Orions seem to like Keiko and Mouse pieces) - The series does not appeal to some.
Vulcans find Keiko and Mouse boring, except when Keiko and a Vulcan she has encountered engage in a variant of the classic "Who's on First?" comedy routine. Then Vulcans find the piece tiresome.
Tellarites especially like Mouse the cat.
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