Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. The series has also been adapted into a successful anime series and media franchise. The story revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a pre-teen boy named Nobita Nobi (野比のび太 Nobi Nobita).
The Doraemon manga series was first published in December 1969 in six different magazines. A total of 1,345 stories were created in the original series, which are published by Shogakukan. The volumes are collected in the Takaoka Central Library in Toyama, Japan, where Fujiko Fujio was born. Turner Broadcasting System bought the rights to the Doraemon anime series in the mid-1980s for an English-language release in the United States, but cancelled it without explanation before broadcasting any episodes. In July 2013 Voyager Japan announced the manga would be released digitally in English via the Amazon Kindle e-book service. It is one of the best-selling manga in the world, having sold over 100 million copies as of 2015.
Nobi Nobita is a young boy who suffers from poor grades, frequent bullying and negative emotions like sadness and jealousy. Many years in the future, one of his descendants sends the robotic cat Doraemon back in time to protect and guide Nobita. Doraemon has a four-dimensional pocket from which he produces items known as gadgets, which range from toys and medicine, to technology from the future. Examples include the Bamboo-Copter (Japanese: Take-Koputa), a small piece of headgear that allows flight and the Anywhere Door (Japanese: Doko Demo Doa), a door that opens up to any place the user wishes.
Nobita's closest friend is Minamoto Shizuka, who also serves as his romantic interest and eventually becomes his wife. Nobita is usually tormented by the bullying Goda Takeshi (nicknamed "Gian"), and the cunning and arrogant Honekawa. Suneo A typical story consists of Doraemon using one of his gadgets in order to assist Nobita in various ways, often causing more trouble than he was trying to solve.
Why It Rocks
- It's one of the longest-running TV show series in Japan, alongside Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.
- It paved the way for the Japanese anime industry to be able to compete against the American cartoon industry, mainly due to its simplistic and enjoyable story.
- The character designs are well-done.
- All of the characters are likable and have distinct various personalities.
- Nobita portrays a weak, lazy boy who has a crush on a pretty girl and wants to improve himself.
- Shizuka is a girl who is often seen protecting Nobita from bullying and is friendly and kind.
- Gian and Suneo, although usually portrayed as a bully and a rich, flamboyant boy. They usually help Nobita and friends in many episodes, including the movies.
- The gadgets that Doraemon uses have various creative different characteristics, ranging from simplistic stuff such as a Bamboo Copter to even powerful gadgets, such as a telephone booth, that is able to change the world as the user wishes.
- Some gadgets are very useful and make the viewers want them in real life, such as a door that makes the user travel everywhere.
- The theme songs and ending songs are catchy.
- Pokes fun at family and teacher stereotypes in a rather comedic way.
- It explained time travel theory into an understandable format.
- The episodes of the 1979 series have very funny stories and various endings, such an ending when Gian and Suneo were getting punished after stealing Doraemon's gadgets and used it carelessly, or a heartwarming ending. Many episodes later became a meme in Japan.
- The movie adaptions prior to 2007 are very entertaining.
- It spawned over 40 different movies. If you count Stand By Me Doraemon and it's sequel.
- It had fan favorite movies like Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey and Nobita and the Steel Troops (1986).
- It also spawned over 80 different video games.
- It teaches good morals.
- The American English dub is also good.
- It rivaled great shows like Crayon Shin-chan, Detective Conan, and Anpanman.
- Doraemon himself is super adorable.
- Gian is very cool in the movies.
- After 2006, the movies became very boring and confusing. Especially Nobita and the island of Miracles and Nobita's Space Heroes, though they aren't bad and they have been improving throughout the years like Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016.
- The 1979 series went downhill after Fujiko F. Fujio passed away in 1996, though not horribly. Many episodes have since used recycled plots with only a few additions.
- While not bad, Amazon Kindle version of the manga & the American English dub were heavily Americanized, such as renaming every character with American sounding names (Noby instead of Nobita, Sue instead of Shizuka, etc), and changing the setting from Tokyo to a town in the USA, and also replacing chopsticks with western eating utensils.
- Some very inappropriate moments for kids show like Nobita sometimes acting like a pervert to Shizuka and Nobita and his friends being naked (due to Japan having different laws on what's considered child friendly), fortunately, they were censored in a handful of dubs of the show.
- Shizuka is way too perfect, which was fixed by the American version by giving her a tomboy streak.
- Nobita (and at times alongside, Doraemon, Gian, and Suneo) causes trouble against everyone too much.
- Nobita and Doraemon trying to doing the right things with Doraemon's gadget, causing trouble.
- Gian's mother, towards him, is strict and stern too far than Nobita's mother.
- Both in the 1979 and the 2005 series, positivity turned more negativity too far.
Reception and Legacy
Until 2015, more than 100 million copies of the manga have been sold and the animated series is available in over 30 countries.
Doraemon was awarded the first Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga in 1982. In 1997, it was awarded the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award. In 2008, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed Doraemon as the first anime cultural ambassador.
On April 22, 2002, on the special issue of Asian Hero in Time magazine, Doraemon was selected as one of the 22 Asian Heroes. Being the only anime character selected, Doraemon was described as "The Cuddliest Hero in Asia". In 2005, the Taiwan Society of New York selected Doraemon as a culturally significant work of Japanese otaku pop-culture in its exhibit Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture, curated by renowned artist Takashi Murakami.
Jason Thompson praised the "silly situations" and "old fashioned, simple artwork", with Doraemon's expression and comments adding to the "surrounding elementary-school mischief".
On September 3, 2012, Doraemon was granted official residence in the city of Kawasaki, one hundred years before he was born.
With the 2013 film, Doraemon: Nobita and The Gadget Museum, Doraemon has surpassed Godzilla in terms of overall ticket sales for a film franchise as Toho's most lucrative movie property. The 33-year series (1980–2013) has sold a combined 100 million tickets vs. the 50-year Godzilla series (1954–2004), which sold a combined 99 million tickets. It also became the largest franchise by the number of admissions in Japan.
- Most of the original 1973 series is lost. While There is not much video, but there was pictures, scripts, and audio.
- Doraemon was not only popular in Japan, it was also popular in the United States of America, Spain, India, and in other Asian countries like South Korea and Indonesia too.