Doraemon started up in 1969. However, the fact that it continued until 1996 should make it very clear that it was very popular. In fact, Doraemon is one of the best-selling manga series of all time with more than 100 million copies sold in countries situated all around the world. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Doraemon:
1. It Is Named for the Most Recognizable Character
Doraemon is named for its most recognizable character. In short, Doraemon is a robotic cat from the 22nd century who has come back in time for the purpose of protecting a boy named Nobita Nobi, who suffers from a wide range of very normal but nonetheless serious problems.
2. The Main Character Is Nobita
With that said, Doraemon isn’t the main character. Instead, that would be Nobita. Personality-wise, well, suffice to say that Nobita has a lot of negative characteristics. However, he isn’t wholly terrible, as shown by how he is capable of overcoming these negative characteristics when there is something important enough for him to do so.
3. Time Travel Is Weird
Perhaps unsurprisingly, time travel in Doraemon is weird. For example, Doraemon was sent back in time by one of Nobita’s descendants to guide him onto a better path. However, Doraemon knows how Nobita will turn out if he succeeds as well as how Nobita will turn out if he fails, which raises a lot of serious questions about the nature of time travel in the Doraemon setting.
4. Doraemon Tech Is Even Weirder
With that said, Doraemon tech is even weirder. For example, there is konjac jelly that enables the eater to speak every language in the universe. Likewise, there is a cloth that can either make something older or make something younger.
5. Doraemon Is Considered to Be a Substandard Product
It is interesting to note that Doraemon is considered to be a substandard product. This is because a manufacturing error caused malfunctions in some of his features such as his radar whiskers. As a result, Doraemon was hampered in his education process, with the result that no one wanted to hire him until Nobita’s descendant took a liking to him.
6. Doraemon Is Named for Stray Cats
Speaking of which, Doraemon is named for stray cats. In short, the Japanese term for a stray cat is a nora neko, which was turned into the Dora in Doraemon. As for the -emon, it is an element that sees use in a fair number of traditional Japanese names, thus explaining why it was tacked on.
7. Doraemon Has a Younger Sister
Curiously, Doraemon has a younger sister named Dorami, who sometimes shows up in the past to either help out Doraemon or cover for him when he needs to head back to the future. Dorami is much more capable than Doraemon, not least because she hasn’t suffered from any malfunctions. However, while this caused Nobita to want to replace Doraemon with Dorami, he soon realized that wasn’t a good idea because Dorami isn’t as tolerant of his more negative characteristics.
8. Nobita Has a Rival
It is amusing to note that Nobita has a rival named Hidetoshi Dekisugi, whose name literally means “brilliant over-achiever.” Simply put, Hidetoshi is smart, athletic, and comes from a rich family. Moreover, he maintains a friendly attitude towards Nobita in spite of Nobita’s schemes against him, which tend to be motivated by a sense of jealousy.
9. Iconic Figure
Doraemon is a very well-known figure in not just Japan but also other countries as well. In fact, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs literally named him Japan’s first anime cultural ambassador, which happened in 2008.
10. Highest-Grossing Anime Film Franchise
Each component of the Doraemon franchise has managed to find incredible success. For example, the movies are the highest-grossing film franchise in Japan, having sold more than 103 million tickets at the Japanese box office as of 2015. Combined with sales in other countries, this was enough to make the Doraemon movies the highest-grossing anime film franchise with more than $1.2 billion at the box office. There might come a time when Doraemon is dethroned by something else, but considering its numbers, chances are good that it won’t be happening anytime soon.