Doraemon (character)

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Doraemon
Doraemon character
Doraemon character.png
Doraemon as depicted in a major portion of the series
First appearanceJanuary 1970
Created byFujiko Fujio
Portrayed byJean Reno[1]
Bruce Willis[2]
Voiced byKōsei Tomita (1973–1974, 1976)
Masako Nozawa (1973–1974, 1976)
Nobuyo Ōyama (1979–2005)[3]
Kazue Takahashi (1980, yellow)
Chisa Yokoyama (1995, yellow)
Wasabi Mizuta (2005–present)[4]

English
A.J. Henderson (1988-1996)
Hossan Leong (2002-2003)
Mona Marshall (2014–2015, 2021)
Age (in the story)10 (First appearance)
11 (Current)
In-universe information
AliasMS-903
Albert (CINAR dub)
SpeciesRobot cat
GenderMale
AffiliationNobi family
Significant otherMii-chan
RelativesDorami (sister)
BirthdaySeptember 3, 2112, age −90 in reality
HometownTokyo

Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん) is a fictional character in the Japanese manga and anime series of the same name created by Fujiko Fujio, the pen name of writing team Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko. He is a male robotic cat that travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a preteen boy named Nobita. An "official" birth certificate for the character gives him a birth date of 3 September 2112 and lists his city of residency as Kawasaki, Kanagawa, the city where the manga was created.[5] In 2008, Japan's Foreign Ministry appointed Doraemon the country's "anime ambassador".[6]

Creation and conception[edit]

Doraemon was originally conceived by Hiroshi Fujimoto following a series of three events. When searching for ideas for a new manga, he wished a machine existed that would come up with ideas for him, he tripped over his daughter's toy, and heard cats fighting in his neighborhood.[7]

The name Doraemon can be translated roughly to "stray". Unusually, the name "Doraemon" (ドラえもん) is written in a mixture of two Japanese scripts: Katakana (ドラ) and Hiragana (えもん). "Dora" derives from "dora neko" (どら猫, stray cat), and is a corruption of nora (stray),[7] while "-emon" (in kanji 衛門) is an old-fashioned suffix for male names (for example, as in Ishikawa Goemon).

Characteristics[edit]

Doraemon's physical appearance changed as the manga progressed. At first, he was predominantly kingfish colour, with a blue tail, a white stomach, and flesh-coloured hands and feet. He also stooped, and had a body much larger than his head. In later issues, he sported a smaller body, white hands and feet, and a red tail — the appearance most identify him with today. In "The Doraemons" story arc (and the 2112: The Birth of Doraemon short film), it is revealed that Doraemon's original paint color was yellow. After getting his ears gnawed off by a robot mouse at the 22nd century Nobi's residence, he slipped into depression on top of a tower, where he erroneously drank a potion labeled "sadness". As he wept, the yellow color washed off and his voice changed due to the potion. As a result, he developed a morbid fear of mice despite being a robotic cat. Doraemon often becomes enraged when he is mistaken for a raccoon dog due to his missing ears, which is a running gag in the series.

Doraemon is considered a substandard product because many of his robotic features (i.e. radar whiskers and cat-calling bell) malfunctioned after production due to an accident in the factory while he was being built. Due to this malfunction, Doraemon did not do well at the robot's school and during the final presentation show, he performed badly and nobody wanted to hire him, until baby Sewashi pushed the button. His parents were a bit reluctant, but since Sewashi liked him, they hired Doraemon, and he took care of him until Sewashi himself sent him to the past to take care of Nobita. Despite this, Doraemon shows a lot of intelligence and common sense. Whenever he hangs out with his friend, Mii-Chan (a cute street cat), he calls it 'important work' as an excuse for not doing chores that Nobita's mother asks him to do. As a robot, Doraemon can be programmed to complete a task by pushing a button on his nose, and can even shut down if his tail is pulled. In a few episodes, Doraemon has been shown to be in danger of factory-resting, or being on the verge of breaking.

Doraemon's favourite food is dorayaki (どら焼き) (known as "fudgy pudgy pie" in the first revision of the English manga, although it has since been reverted back to "dorayaki", "yummy buns" in the English dub, and "dora-cakes/bean jam buns" in other versions), a Japanese treat filled with red bean paste. While it might explain the origin of his name, it was revealed in one of the manga chapters that his name originates from the Japanese word nora neko (のら猫) for "stray cat", and the -emon (衛門) ending which is part of traditional Japanese names, as seen also in, for example, Ishikawa Goemon. Doraemon is also appeared in Perman series as Mitsuo's friend.[8][9][10]

Appearances[edit]

Doraemon[edit]

Doraemon is sent back in time by a young boy named Sewashi Nobi to improve the circumstances of his great-great-grandfather, Nobita, so that his descendants may enjoy a better future. In the original timeline, Nobita experienced nothing but misery and misfortune manifested in the form of very poor grades and bullying throughout his life. This culminates in the burning down of a future business he sets up which leaves his family line beset with financial problems. In order to alter history and better the Nobi family's fortunes, Sewashi initially wanted to send a super-robot to protect Nobita, but with his meager allowance he could only afford an imperfectly-made factory-rejected toy: an anthropomorphic robot cat called Doraemon.

Doraemon was created on 3 September 2112 by the Matsushiba Robot Factory (マツシバ • ロボット • 工場).[11] He has a fourth-dimensional pocket (四次元ポケット) from which he produces food, money, medicines, and desserts from the future. The 1995 film shows his original appearance; when first created Doraemon had ears and was painted yellow, but he turned blue after sobbing because rats ate his ears.[7] According to 2112: The Birth of Doraemon, he is coated and scented with eggs.[12]

In other media[edit]

French actor Jean Reno portrayed Doraemon in several live-action television commercials throughout 2011 and 2016. The advertisement's were created by Toyota and depict the series' characters two decades after they "grow up". [13]

Doraemon appeared at the Tokyo video showcase at the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in anime form with his fellow anime characters Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, Suneo and other famous Japanese characters such as Captain Tsubasa, Pac-Man & Hello Kitty. He later appeared at the video where he helped prime minister Shinzō Abe (dressed up as Mario) by planting a Warp Pipe from Shibuya Crossing to Maracanã Stadium.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

In terms of popularity the character has been compared to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse,[16][17][18] and the character is considered to be an iconic figure in Japan.[19] The character has received criticism in Chinese media outlets where they considered Doraemon to be a politically subversive character and that it was a tool of Japan's “cultural invasion".[20][21] In 2019, a resolution was made in the Pakistan assembly to ban Doremon claiming that it has "harmful impact on children".[22] In his book Japan Pop: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture, author Timothy J. Craig wrote that the character of Doraemon "Though Doraemon is himself a high-tech product, he possesses an endearing personality that captivates young audiences. He is both a full member of Nobita's family and an intimate friend to Nobita and his companions. Portrayed in this way, Doraemon represents the optimistic view of the relationship between technology and humanity."[23]

In a survey conducted by the Oricon in 2007 among 1,000 people, Doraemon was ranked as the second strongest manga character of all time, behind only Dragon Ball protagonist Son Goku.[citation needed]

In 2008 the character of Doraemon was appointed as an "anime ambassador" to help promote Japanese anime worldwide and in 2013 Doraemon was considered to be the most popular character among Japanese children in a survey held by Video Research Ltd, a position the character had held in the survey since June 2009.[24][25] On The Wall Street Journal's Japan Real Time, Toko Sekiguchi called it "arguably the most beloved cartoon character in Japan".[26] Google Japan utilized Doraemon in its Google Doodle for 3 September 2009, in celebration of the character's 40th birthday.[11]

In 2012, Hong Kong celebrated the birthday of Doraemon 100 years early with a series of displays of the character.[27]

Politician Osamu Fujimura is known as the "Doraemon of Nagatacho" due to his figure and warm personality.[28] Sumo wrestler Takamisugi was nicknamed "Doraemon" because of his resemblance to the character.[29] ESP Guitars, has also made several Doraemon shaped guitars.[30][31]

During 2014, Doraemon was featured on the cover of all 51 magazines published by Shogakukan.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Loo, Egan. "Movie Star Jean Reno Plays Doraemon in Live-Action Ads". Anime News Network. Anime News Network. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  2. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee. "Actor Bruce Willis Crashes Into a House as Doraemon in TV Ad". Anime News Network. Anime News Network. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Doraemon/Danganronpa Voice Actress Nobuyo Oyama Suffering From Dementia". Anime News Network. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Doraemon Voices Confirmed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Doraemon receives residency in Japan city". The China Post. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. ^ Japan enlists cartoon cat an ambassador The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2021
  7. ^ a b c Hui Min, Chew (23 December 2014). "Why Doraemon is blue and 4 other things you might not have known about the cat robot". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Online dictionary of manga and video games in Japan: doraemon". Docoja.com:8080. 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  9. ^ "elanso网站调整". Elanso.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  10. ^ "Just how many gadgets does comic cat Doraemon have?". Kyodo World News Service. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2009-02-19. Doraemon, whose name derives from "doraneko," meaning "stray cat" and "-aemon,"[dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Google.co.jp's Homepage Celebrates Doraemon's Birthday". Anime News Network. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  12. ^ 2112: The Birth of Doraemon
  13. ^ "Movie Star Jean Reno Plays Doraemon in Live-Action Ads". Anime News Network. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  14. ^ Palazzo, Chiara (August 22, 2016). "Shinzo Abe emerges from a green pipe disguised as Super Mario during Rio Closing Ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  15. ^ Samuelson, Kate (August 22, 2016). "Shinzo Abe Dresses as Super Mario for Rio Closing Ceremony". Time. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  16. ^ Kagawa, Marcie (25 June 2014). "Doraemon hitting U.S. airwaves this summer". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  17. ^ Bricken, Rob. "Japan's Most Beloved Anime Character, Doraemon, Is Coming To The U.S." io9. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  18. ^ Schodt, Frederik L. (2011). Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Stone Bridge Press. p. 361. ISBN 978-1-933330-95-2. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  19. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "Iconic Anime Character Painted on Buddhist Temple". Kotaku. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  20. ^ McCurry, Justin. "Doraemon a character of subversion, claim Chinese media". The Star. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  21. ^ PIAO, VANESSA (29 September 2014). "A Warning in China: Beware the 'Blue Fatty' Cat". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  22. ^ "PTI wants Japanese cartoon series 'Doraemon' banned". Dawn. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  23. ^ Craig, Timothy J. (2000). Japan Pop: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture. Routledge. p. 296. ISBN 0-7656-0561-9. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  24. ^ Yamaguchi, Mari. "Doraemon appointed Japan's first ever cartoon ambassador". The China Post. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Anime News: Doraemon named the most popular character among children". Asahi Shimbum. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  26. ^ Toko Sekiguchi (March 26, 2013). "Godzilla Loses Top Spot to Kittybot Doraemon". Japan Real Time. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  27. ^ West, David (August 13, 2012). "Hong Kong Celebrates Doraemon's 100th Birthday (Early!)". Neo. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  28. ^ "Noda chooses 'Doraemon' as chief Cabinet secretary". The Asahi Shimbun. September 2, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. p. 216. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X.
  30. ^ "ESP X Doraemon". ESP Guitars. Archived from the original on September 3, 2013.
  31. ^ "ESP X Doraemon". ESP Guitars. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  32. ^ "Doraemon Takes Over Shogakukan Covers". Anime News Network. March 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2015.

External links[edit]