Since Doraemon has caused such a stir in Singapore recently (see previous post), I decided to post a bit more about the character :)
Doraemon (ドラえもん) is a Japanese manga series which first appeared in December 1969 and 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, Nobita Nobi (野比 のび太). Doraemon was sent back to the 20th century because Nobita's grandson couldn't bear to see his grandfather suffer. So he sends Doraemon to help out with Nobita's troubles.
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, global warming, 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. [ source: wiki ]
This Bandai die-cast metal (Chogokin) Doraemon is a gashapon (capsule) dispenser, released in 2006. You put prizes (actually, Doraemon's dōgu or magic tools/gadgets) inside the capsules (gashapons) and then load them inside Doraemon's body through a hole in his head. You then pull and release his tail which has a spring in it like those in a pinball machine and it will push a capsule out from the pocket on his tummy in front. There are a lot of accessories in this set: 21 prizes, 10 gachapons/capsules, four sets of interchangeable eyes and a capsule opener.
Bandai chogokin GACHA DORAEMON gashapon action figure out of the box. Because it is die-cast, it has a nice weighty feel to it. Not at all pasticky and actually feels heavy. It is about 15cm tall (6 inches) and 12cm wide (5 inches) and as cute as a kitty ;>
Doraemon is afraid of mice (what a pussy) and hates rats because his ears were eaten off by rats (?) which really doesn't make any sense since he's supposed to be a robotic cat
The set of accessories shown in the picture below does not go inside the capsules as they are much bigger in size. They are all magnetic and can connect to his head or hand. On his right hand is attached his Air cannon (空気砲, Kūkihō), a gun barrel worn on the arm used to fire a powerful burst of air which can knock out the victim when the user says "bang". The propeller thing is the Take-copter (タケコプター?), a propeller attached to a tiny suction cup which can be attached to enable flight. Ever since the first few Doraemon stories, the take-copter is seen attached to the head instead of the waist, similar to a propeller beanie. Everything you see can be put on his head i.e. the angel, leaf etc.
Here's Gacha Doraemon with one pair of his interchangeable eyes and the capsule-sized dōgu or magic tools/gadgets. The brown circular thing on the left is not a cymbal but his favorite food, dorayaki, a sweet bean paste filled bun. There's the Clothes Changing Camera (着せ替えカメラ, Kisekae kamera), a camera that uses a picture of clothing instead of film, and changes the clothes of the person in the viewfinder to the clothing in the picture.
Notice the red door? That's the Dokodemo door (どこでもドア, lit. anywhere door), a door which allows travel to anywhere by simply going through the door. Isn't that the concept Pixar used in the 2001 "Monsters, Inc."? Entering children's rooms via closets linked to special doors on the company's "scare floor"?
Near to the door is the Small light (スモールライト), a flashlight that will shrink objects and people to minuscule sizes. And right in front is Memory bread (アンキパン, Anki pan), a bread used to imprint pages, which after ingestion, will imbue the consumer with the content imprinted on the bread. Don't we all wish we had that when studying for our exams.
Next to the Clothes Changing Camera is the Time machine (タイムマシン). The entrance to Doraemon's time machine is in Nobita's desk drawer.
Another view of the Small light as well as a mouse and what looks like a very small tiny band of 3 members
Another pair of his interchangeable eyes
More interchangeable eyes
Altogether there are four pairs of his interchangeable eyes
Doraemon's Fourth-dimensional pocket (四次元ポケット) is located in front of his tummy - the inside of this pocket connects to the fourth dimension and acts like a wormhole. It is usually shown attached to Doraemon's abdomen.
This picture shows the hole on Doraemon's head where you drop in the capsule (gashapon)
The tail is where you pull and release to eject the capsule out
Green capsule with mouse
Tray with ten capsules - three yellow, three blue, two red and two green
In the picture below, you can see the capsule opener. You insert the blue tip into the gap at the centre of the capsule and twist it to open.
In many ways, Doraemon was the first of its kind. It has been considered to be a prototype of the modern slapstick cartoon series for children such as the Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants and Fujiko Fujio's own Kiteretsu Daihyakka.