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 paved the way for Japanese anime industry to be able to compete against American cartoon industry, mainly due to its simplistic and enjoyable story.
- The character designs are well-done made and reflecting various personalities.
- Nobita portrays a weak, lazy boy who had a crush on a pretty girl, and wants to improve himself.
- Shizuka is a girl who had "perfect" personalities and often seen protecting Nobita from bullying.
- Gian and Suneo, although usually portrayed as bullies and rich, flamboyant boy. they usually helps Nobita and friends in many episode. Including Movie adaption.
- Each gadgets Doraemon uses has various different characteristics, ranged from a simplistic stuff such a Bamboo Copter to even a powerful gadget such telephone booth that are able to changing the world as the user wish.
- Some gadgets is very useful and makes the viewers want them in real life, such as a door that makes the user travels to everywhere they wishes.
- The theme song is catchy.
- Poking fun at family and teacher's stereotypes in a rather comedic way.
- It explained time travel theory into an understandable format.
- Each episodes in 1970-1990 era had very fun stories and various type of ending. 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 were later became a meme in Japan.
- Various movie adaption prior 2007 is very entertaining.
- This show has been affected by Elsagate with unlicensed videos of the characters being portrayed in unsettling situations. Some of these videos are "death stories", which re-purpose images and clips from the show to have certain characters die (usually Nobita or Doraemon). The most notable is "KURO TV".
- After 2006, Doraemon The Movie adaption tried to setting the stories into darker and more mature tone by inserting some violence, but still keeps it limit for kid-friendly with lack of story developments, making it very boring and confusing, and many of them are remakes from the old ones.
- The series went downhill after Fujiko F. Fujio passed away in 1996, as many episodes are using recycled plots with only few addition.
- The American version was heavily Americanized, such as renaming every character with English names (IE Noby instead of Nobita, Sue instead of Shizuka). A few of these changes were brought over to the Amazon Kindle version of the manga.
- The show is spammed all day 24/7 on Disney channel India.
- Shizuka is a bit too perfect, which was fixed by the American version by giving her a tomboy streak.
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 22 April 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 numbers of admissions in Japan.