100 Years Before the Birth of Doraemon
January 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
For those of you that are scratching their heads in confusion, let me back up a few. Doraemon is a Japanese comic series about an extremely intelligent robotic cat (Doraemon) from the future, that travels back into time to help a rather miserable, often bullied young boy named Nobi. Doraemon owns a magical pocket, which allows him to conjure up thousands of different gadgets, tools and potions. Most of these special tools are used to help get Nobi out of his sticky situations that arise in his daily life.
This year, 2013, marks Doraemon’s 100th pre-birth year.
Though Doraemon originated as a Japanese Manga, he’s been a staple part of many Taiwanese childhoods. It wasn’t uncommon to find the neighborhood kids swapping the comic books, watching the tv show before dinner, and eagerly saving up our allowances to watch the latest Doraemon movie.
One of my favorite gadgets was the Dokodemo door, which allowed you to travel ANYWHERE by simply passing through the entrance. The door had a mind of itself, figuring out where the user wants to go without so much of a hint. It’s perfect for any quick escapes.
The other equally badass gadget is the Time Machine, which is located in Nobi’s desk drawer. You use the knobs to pick a time and travel through a time vortex. In the comics, Doraemon, Nobi and the rest of the crew would go on epic journeys into space or back into prehistoric times when dinosaurs still roamed earth.
Besides time travel, the capabilities of the gadgets and tools available would boggle your mind ! There was all sorts of things such as creating a clone so you don’t have to go to class, magical pens that can automatically writes down the correct answer on tests, a cloth that can reverse or fast forward time, gravitational paint that allows you to walk upside down, a phone where you can call and order anything…the list goes on and on. Anything your mind can think of, Doraemon will most likely have it in his pocket.
It’s not at all surprising that after almost 45 years of the original publication date, this character and story remains as popular as ever. The stories that Nobi runs into; the bullying, being a lazy bum, getting bad grades, wanting to have fun and all the other daily life problems that he encounters are things that people can easily relate to. He comes home to Doraemon crying for help each time because he wants to solve his problems through the quickest and easiest solutions available. Doraemon usually denies offering help in the beginning but always caves in to his request cause he’s the nicest cat ever. Predictably, even with the assistance of magical tools, Nobi’s problems often causes him to end up in a deeper trouble due to his greed and idiocy. The point that author, Fujiko F. Fujio, is driving home seems pretty clear; that there aren’t any shortcuts or quick fixes in life.
But no one reads the manga because they get pleasure out of the moral lessons the author is trying to get across. The greatest reason why Doraemon remains dear to me is the imaginative world and characters that Fujio created and the impact it had on my imagination as a child. There was nothing quite as satisfying as daydreaming about time travel and how awesome your life would be if only Doraemon was it in.