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Reviewer: Apatt Seriniyom 01/06/2001

Nobita is a 4th grade boy who seems to be the ultimate loser. He can't see anything without his glasses. He doesn't appear to possess any kind of talent. He's always getting failing grades for his tests at school. He isn't popular among his peers. Clearly a hopeless case, if left to his own devices Nobita will ultimately lead future generations of his family down the path of extreme poverty. In order to avoid this catastrophe, his great-great-great (etc) grandson from the future sends a rotund blue cat robot (robocat?) called Doraemon to help Nobita straighten out his life. So one day Doraemon pops out of Nobita's desk drawer and he has been the silly boy's constant companion and troubleshooter ever since. Doraemon's most remarkable talent is that he has a 4-dimensional pocket on his belly from which he can produce all kinds of weird and wonderful futuristic gadgets to help solve Nobita's problems, and solving Nobita's problems is a full time job...
Doraemon was created as a manga series in 1969-70 by Fujimoto Hiroshi and Motoo Abiko. To this day the manga is still in print and the anime (as well as all kinds of merchandise) can still be seen and purchased in many Southeast Asian countries. I am not going to beat around the bush here, I *love* this anime!!! I have loved it since I was a wee lad (and those who know me know how many centuries ago that was). What makes Doraemon special is the good nature of the show which never fails to solicit smiles and laughter. Doraemon's humor is clever, fresh and never crude. It is usually based on the writer's creative ideas for fantastic objects that Doraemon brings out each episode, which Nobita or one of his friends somehow always manages to misuse with hilarious consequences. For example in one episode Nobita wanted to become popular at school, after much pleading and crying Doraemon produced a little device from his 4D pocket that can generate instant popularity. Once the gadget is set to work, everybody in school immediately liked Nobita. Thus he got what he wished for, or so it seemed. The device, which had a mind of its own, did not stop at making Nobita popular at school, it continued to boost his popularity to ludicrous degrees. Eventually he became so popular that he became a national figure and the government announced that Nobita's birthday will be a public holiday from then on. The drawback of such popularity is that poor Nobita never gets a moment of peace or privacy, so eventually he had to ask Doraemon to get the gadget to change everything back to the way things were. Some episodes contain little moral lessons about friendship, kindness, the environment etc. but these are never heavy-handed, and most of the time the situations are just plain wacky. Characterization is fine, as the lightness of the show doesn't call for for deep, complex, nor enigmatic characters. The anime is also entirely wholesome. The only violence in the show usually involve a big fat bully called Giant whacking Nobita on the head. Doraemon himself is highly amiable and I am sure most children would want to have a friend like him. It's a pity that Doraemon was never released in the US because the anime does seem to have a cross-generation appeal, as wherever Doraemon is shown it becomes popular. In Japan and in other Asian countries like Hong Kong, Thailand, etc. Doraemon is regarded as a classic. Some detractors would tell you that Doraemon's art work is primitive. Certainly it is not as finely drawn as the likes of "Fushigi Yuugi" or "Evangelion", but it is pleasant enough, and at the end of the day, the zany adventures of Doraemon and his friends transcend every limitation to create one of the greatest anime ever made.
Our Ro is not fond of Nobita (to put it mildly), poor chap, as if he doesn't have enough problems already ^_-. However, to his credit Nobita does have a good heart and often tries to do the right thing for the sake of others.

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Review Title:
650 Minutes
General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
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