Anime Cat Is An Attack On China, Says Journalist

Anime Cat Is An Attack On China, Says Journalist

Doraemon, the blue earless robotic cat from the future, super popular in most of Asia, is under attack. Sort of. A Chinese newspaper is positing that the cartoon character is nothing more than a tool for Japan to subvert Chinese culture.

Last Friday, the Chengdu Daily News published an editorial about Doraemon. In it, the writer says that one of Japan’s best cultural exports is nothing more than a “blue fatty”, and that the recent wave of exhibitions across China has a “sinister hidden meaning”.

This isn’t the first time that a Chinese publication has taken issue with a foreign product “subverting” the Chinese public, with publications like People’s Liberation Daily have taken to criticise US-made movies as American propaganda, for example.

The writer seems to be offended by the “hypocrisies” of the various Doraemon exhibitions around China. Citing the themes of the exhibitions, “respect and friendship,” as nothing more than political double speak, the writer says that all the values the cartoon cat portrays is very different from what Japan actually does. The writer at one point says that the cartoon is a veil for Japan to distract from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s actions in office.

Perhaps one of the weirdest things in the editorial is the writer’s definition of culture. The writer explains culture in a way similar to the dictionary definition, “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively,” but then goes on to say that Japan’s history makes Doraemon’s cultural significance suspect. The writer then says that everyone should be wary of Doraemon and understand the historical meaning behind it.

Doraemon is Japan’s attempt to weaken China’s firm stance on and understanding of history.”

Most of the claims the writer points out do sorta of make sense, if you’re the paranoid type. Foreign countries have long made comments about the US’s dominance of soft power, and Doraemon’s success across Asia is definitely soft power at its best.

Chinese netizens, part of the demographic this article was meant to reach, don’t seem amused by this attack on a pillar of their childhood. One netizen even wrote: “the writer should move to North Korea, it’s the actual heavenly kingdom (a sarcastic term for how great China is).”

As it stands now, Chinese children barely have access to Doraemon. The cartoon isn’t shown on TV in the Chinese mainland. Instead, children have Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf.

成都日报评论:警惕哆啦A梦蒙蔽我们的双眼[Chengdu Daily via]


  • Most of the Chinese newspapers put out this sort of wankery about anything that is not Chinese. It’s quite funny how backwards a lot of their thinking is, but maybe that is the government’s big stick talking?

  • How long ago did Doraemon come out again? Article makes it sound like it was a recent creation by the government =.=

  • Watched Doraemon, growing up in China.
    Didn’t even know it was Japanese, until later. So… What the topic again?

  • Yeah, the Chinese national papers are full of crap like this. Not too many common people on the street pay attention to these mad rantings. American and Japanese films are popular in China and amongst Chinese people, and no amount of fear-mongering from third-rate party flunkies is going to change that.

    I’m half Chinese and ALL my Chinese relatives love South Korean, Japanese and American films and soap operas. When I ask them why they don’t watch the Chinese stuff, they say to me “Because it sucks”. If China doesn’t want its people watching too many foreign shows, maybe it should loosen up its media restrictions so that the Chinese can start making decent shows. Have you seen the recent films and TV shows out of China? They’re either dead boring or ridiculously inaccurate “historical” films about Communist Triumph (they still pretend they beat the Japanese single-handedly, no help from the US whatsoever)

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