Original Date: September 27, 2014
Ready to get in some super crazy antics with a talking robot cat from the future? Doraemon has been a large part of Japan’s pop-culture and beyond since its 1969 manga incarnation by Fujiko F Fujio. As for its anime adaptations — 3 versions spanning the past 40 years, over 1,000+ episodes, from the ineffective 1973 version to its more prosperous successor in 1979, and now 2005’s most recent, on-going incarnation. In 2014, Disney XD acquired the show to air in the United States, with a few changes to appeal to American viewers, and an edited English dub fromBang Zoom Entertainment.
Doraemon, a cat-like robot from the future goes back to the present to steer Nobita (Noby in the U.S. version) in the right path to a better or hopeful future. The premise is straightforward to the point that once you get into the show, it does get into the silly madcap misadventures in every way possible.
From what we’ve seen in the Disney XD run, each episode does go by the two 15-minute short format and sometimes goes into a 30-minute story, much akin to anime like Sgt. Frog, Crayon Shin-Chan and various other programs — both western animation and anime.
The formula of the show does bring in an ample amount of good laughs in where the humor is light-hearted and entertaining and grasp onto being particularly lively in its own ground to where it is a pleasure to view but it can end up being monotonous at a point. The formula being Doraemon shows an invention from the future to Noby, he uses it to his own enjoyment and then abuses it causing much mayhem anyone and anything around him and in the end, he learns his lesson whether for better or worse and then it happens again.
There’s nothing frustrating about the formula being repetitive as long as it manages to be consistently funny and the comedy is also pleasant for kids to watch.
Animation / Art
Shin-Ei Animation may not be that well-known as an anime studio in the terms of Madhouse or Production I.G. with some recognizable titles of theirs being Crayon Shin-Chan, Hare+Guu, and the 3rd season of the Stitch anime.
Animation and art style is simplistic and reminiscent of the ‘70s style of animation and their past iterations of the show with muted coloring in there. Character designs are basic and straightforward for the part being, especially with Doraemon’s design. The animation delivered on the comedic and silly charm of the show and it performs hastily
And now, to bring this little subject out as the English version replaces most of the Japanese cultural icons and items and replaces them with items more familiar to American young viewers, such as replacing chopsticks with folks, yen notes to dollar bills and of course, dorayaki buns being referred to yummy buns. However, those changes are mostly justifiable as some younger viewers may not know some of those items and the editing and changes were done by the Japanese counterparts.
Performances by the voice actors have done a remarkably credible job on their parts and the writing and direction was completely noble with Kristi Reed and Wendee Lee on the helms of being co-directors.
Granted, there aren’t really many standout performances within the cast but I will give credit where credit is due. Johnny Yong Bosch gives a solid performance as Noby, although few didn’t even notice it at first as the one only time he seemed unrecognizable at first was in Eureka Seven.
Brian Beacock as Sneech was another voice that caught me off-guard as you’ve have never heard him as a child character before but there was an instant distinguishable voice that is Cassandra Lee as Sue and both actors deliver their part justly. Kaiji Tang is another voice that’s been heard from little anime but he’s well-known in video games and him as Big G was pleasing.
However, Mona Marshall as Doraemon is the highlight of the dub as I thought she delivered the funniest lines and quirks out of him.
Doraemon accomplishes the show’s direct premise and it delivers on the amusement and joy to its audience, whether they’re young or young at heart. Despite the little changes made for American audiences, it never had a feeling that it was trying to be trendy or popular where it ends up mishandling the translation of the original work and that is something most anime fans can be calm about.
It doesn’t try to go overboard with animation, characters or sound as sometimes the minimalist aspects of the show makes it worth watching. Hopefully, the show can garner an audience in America and can continue their U.S. run for years to come.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable and fun anime that’ll grow on you once you start watching it.
FINAL VERDICT – The Mind of the Hybrid One Version (6/25/2016): I don’t have much new to say about this except for what I have written above. This is really a good show despite some changes for the American version and most of them aren’t even big enough to throw a fit over.
With that said, Doraemon in what we got in the Disney XD dub is a worthy….
8/10 – SOLID B.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, and……if you’re wondering why I skip over the “Where you can watch this” part, well, check on Disney XD for any updates if the show continues to air on that channel.
DORAEMON – courtesy of TV ASAHI