is a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio (the pen name of Hiroshi Fujimoto) which later became an anime series and Asian franchise. The series is about a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, .
In March 2008, Japan's Foreign Ministry appointed Doraemon as the nation's first "anime ambassador. Ministry spokesman explained the novel decision as an attempt to help people in other countries to understand Japanese anime better and to deepen their interest in Japanese culture. The Foreign Ministry action confirms that Doraemon has come to be considered a Japanese cultural icon. In 2002, the anime character was acclaimed as an Asian Hero in a special feature survey conducted by Time Asia magazine.
The series first appeared in December 1969, when it was published simultaneously in six different magazines. In total, 1,344 stories were created in the original series, which are published by Shogakukan under the manga brand, extending to forty-five volumes. The volumes are collected in the Takaoka Central Library in Toyama, Japan, where Fujio was born.
A majority of Doraemon episodes are comedies with moral lessons regarding values such as integrity, perseverance, courage, family and respect for elders. Several noteworthy environmental issues are often visited, including homeless animals, endangered species, deforestation, and pollution. Topics such as dinosaurs, the flat earth theory, wormhole traveling, Gulliver's Travels, and the history of Japan are often covered.
Since the debut of Doraemon in 1969, the stories have been selectively collected into forty-five books published from 1974 to 1996, which had a circulation of over 80 million in 1992. In addition, Doraemon has appeared in a variety of manga series by Shōgakukan. In 2005, Shōgakukan published a series of five more manga volumes under the title Doraemon+ (Doraemon Plus), which were not found in the forty-five Tentōmushi pipi volumes.∞
Doraemon is sent back in time by Nobita Nobi's great-great grandson Sewashi to improve Nobita's circumstances so that his descendants may enjoy a better future. In the original timeline, Nobita experienced nothing but misery and misfortune throughout his life. As a result of this, Nobita's failures in school and subsequently, his career, have left his family line beset with financial problems. In order to alter history and better the Nobi family's fortunes, Sewashi sent a robot called Doraemon.
Doraemon has a large pocket from which he produces many gadgets from the future. The pocket is called yojigen-pocket, or 4 dimension pocket.
Although he can hear perfectly well, Doraemon has no ears: his robotic ears were eaten by a mouse, giving him a series-long phobia of the creatures.
The stories are formulaic, usually focused on the everyday struggles of fourth grader Nobita, the protagonist of the story. In a typical chapter, Nobita comes home crying about a problem he faces in school and/or the local neighborhood. After hearing him out, Doraemon always offers helpful advice to his problem(s), but that's never enough for Nobita, who is consistently looking for the "quick, easy" way out (which offers insight to the viewers as to why Nobita's life turned out the way it did). Finally, after Nobita's pleading and/or goading, Doraemon produces a futuristic gadget out of his aforementioned pouch to help Nobita fix his problem, enact revenge, or flaunt to his friends.
Nobita usually goes too far, despite Doraemon's best intentions and warnings, and gets into deeper trouble than before. Sometimes, Nobita's friends (usually Suneo or Jaian) steal the gadgets and end up misusing them. However, by the end of the story, there is usually retribution to the characters who end up misusing them, and a moral is taught.
The plausibility of these issues was discussed here and it was concluded that there is no ending to Doraemon.
There are three official endings to Doraemon that were made. Doraemon was discontinued in two media because readers were advancing in grades and an ending was believed to be needed. These two are not reprinted.
The third ending was actually meant to be the official ending due to low TV ratings and the Fujiko Fujio duo was busy with other works. But Doraemon did not leave their minds and restarted from next month's issue. In 1981, this episode was made into anime (called "Doraemon Comes Back"), and in 1998, this was released as an anime movie.
When the Fujiko Fujio duo broke up in 1987, the very idea of an official ending to the series was never discussed. Since Fujiko F. died in 1996 before any decisions were reached, any "endings" of Doraemon are fan fiction. However, it is apparent from many episodes and movies where Nobita travels to the future that in the end he does marry Shizuka, leads a happy life and separates with Doraemon, although Nobita and his friends fondly remember him.
Thousands of dōgu have been featured in Doraemon. Some have placed the number of dōgu at approximately 4,500.
Doraemon, Nobita, and the other characters also appear in various educational manga. Doraemon is also mentioned in several anime and manga by other mangakas.
Doraemon is referenced in the current Blue Man Group show running in Tokyo. The Blue Men play a short snippet of the show's theme song, and one dons Doraemon's beanie.
There are nearly 50 Japanese-only video games ranging from Action Adventure, to RPG games, that began with the Emerson's Arcadia 2001 system. For a complete list of these games see List of Doraemon media.
In 1980, Toho released the first of a series of annual feature length animated films based on the lengthly special volumes published annually. The films are more action-adventure oriented and unlike the anime and manga, they have more of a shōnen demographic, taking the familiar characters of Doraemon and placing them in a variety of exotic and perilous settings. Nobita and his friends have visited the age of the dinosaurs, the far reaches of the galaxy, the heart of darkest Africa (where they encountered a race of sentient bipedal dogs), the depths of the ocean, and a world of magic. Some of the films are based on legends such as Atlantis, and on literary works such as Journey to the West and Arabian Nights. Some films also have serious themes, especially on environmental topics and the use of technology.
The most recent Doraemon film is The New Record of Nobita: Spaceblazer, slated for a 2009 release.
|Character||Voice actor for April 1979 - March 2005||Voice actor for March 2005 - Present|
|Doraemon||Nobuyo Ōyama||Wasabi Mizuta|
|Shizuka||Michiko Nomura||Yumi Kakazu|
|Suneo||Kaneta Kimotsuki||Tomokazu Seki|
|Nobita's Mama||Sachiko Chijimatsu||Kotono Mitsuishi|
|Nobita's Papa||Yasunori Matsumoto|
|Sensei||Ryōichi Tanaka||Wataru Takagi|
|Kaminari||Takeshi Watabe||Katsuhisa Hōki|
|Shizuka's Mother||Ai Orikasa|
|Suneo's Mother||Minami Takayama|
|Suneo's Father||Hideyuki Tanaka|
|Jaian's Mother||Kazuyo Aoki|
|Doraemon|| Kousei Tomita (episodes 1 ~ 13)|
|Nobita's Mama||Noriko Ohara|
|Nobita's Papa||Ichirou Murakoshi|
|Suneo's Mama||Kazue Takahashi|
|Performer||Starting date||Ending date|
|1.||April 2 1979||October 2 1992|
|2.||October 9 1992||September 20 2002|
|3.||October 4 2002||April 11 2003|
|4.||Misato Watanabe||April 18 2003||April 23 2004|
|5.||AJI||April 30 2004||March 18 2005|
In the New Doraemon Series (2005), new opening themes songs were used, except for the first one.
|Performer||Song Title||Starting date||Ending date|
|1.||April 15 2005 (episode 1)||October 21 2005 (episode 24)|
|2.||Rimi Natsukawa||October 28 2005 (episode 25)||April 20 2007 (episode 86)|
|3.||mao||May 11 2007 (episode 87)||March 14 2008|
Two songs were used for a separate weekday Doraemon series which is a part of Fujiko Fujio Theater (藤子不二雄劇場, Fujiko Fujio Gekijoo), the first song being the same as the first song of the weekly series.
|Name||Song Title||Starting date||Ending date|
|1.||April 2 1979||September 29 1979|
|2.||October 1 1979||September 26 1981|
|Song Title||Performer||Starting date||Ending date|
|1.||April 8 1979||September 27 1981|
|2.||October 2 1981||March 30 1984|
|3.||November 18 1983||December 30 1983|
|4.||April 6 1984||April 8 1988|
|5.||April 15 1988||October 2 1992|
|6.||October 9 1992||April 7 1995|
|7.||April 14 1995||September 20 2002|
|8.||October 4 2002||April 11 2003|
|9.||April 18 2003||October 4 2003|
|10.||October 10 2003||May 28 2004|
|11.||June 4 2004||March 18 2005|
Since the 2005 series incorporated all the credits into the Opening Sequence, these three themes were used as the Ending Theme.
|Song Title||Performer||Starting date||Ending date|
|1.||August 5 2005||October 21 2005|
Three songs were used for the separate weekday Doraemon series.
In 2005, the Japan 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. In Murakami's analysis, he states that Doraemon's formulaic plotlines typified the "wish fulfilment" mentality of 1970s Japan, where the electronics revolution glamorized the idea that one could solve their problems with machines and gadgets rather than hard work or individual intelligence.
In 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) appointed Doraemon to be as the first anime cultural ambassador