Some people love Mario. Others love Mickey. But I love Doraemon, that blue robotic cat from the future with a pocket full of gizmos and a fear of mice. And now the manga artist who created Doraemon has his own museum.
And it looks amazing.
Fujiko F. Fujio (what a name!) is a nom de plume for Hiroshi Fujimoto. Fujimoto, however, was not the sole creator of Doraemon. His co-creator and long time collaborator Moto Abiko wrote and drew with Fujimoto under the name Fujiko Fujio until the duo broke up in 1987, but continued as friends and both worked under the Fujiko Productions banner until Fujimoto passed away in 1996. The museum honours Fujimoto's work and greatest creation, Doraemon.
(Fujio also created Perman, another iconic character and series in Japan.)
Like Sazae-San, Doraemon is a cultural institution in Japan, with generations now growing up watching the adventures of Nobita and his robot cat from the future—sent from the future because Nobita isn't very smart, is lazy, and needs all the help he can get! That's one of my favourite things about Doraemon is that the characters generally aren't perfect, which makes them very human and appealing. And really, who doesn't want the Dokodemo Door?
Doraemon originally debuted as a manga in 1969, and after an initial, unsuccessful TV anime run, the character finally got a hit show when the anime relaunched in 1979, propelling the character's voice actor, Nobuyo Oyama, towards national fame. She not only resembled the blue cat, she's also a total shark at Arkanoid.
The character has since spawned a new feature film every spring in Japan, when children are on spring break, since the early 1980s and over sixty video games. There's even been a Doraemon musical.
No wonder when the Japanese government was looking for its first anime cultural ambassador in 2008, it selected Doraemon.
Website Gigazine recently visited the Fujiko F. Fujio museum in Kawasaki City. The museum doesn't officially open until September 3. The city's museum buses are already covered in Doraemon to mark the opening and get visitors humming the show's iconic theme song. Here's a look at what to expect, from Fujimoto's original drawings to the books and movies that inspired him to a lovely garden populated with his characters.
For those interested in more images of anime storyboards or original drawings, check out the Gigazine links below. And for those interested in visiting the Fujiko F. Fujio museum, here is the museum's homepage. Note that reservations are required.
SF(すこしふしぎ)を詰め込んだ川崎市 藤子・F・不二雄ミュージアムに行ってきた [GIGAZINE]