Posted by: James Shannon | March 17, 2012

I Am Doraemon: A Photo Essay Of Asia’s Mickey Mouse

 A display case filled with Doraemon memorbilia at the old site of Almost Famous in Pai, Thailand.  Doraemon is famous across Asia, but has a particularly high popularity in Thailand, where he can be found in the most peculiar places!

In Japan in the late 1960’s, a cartoon called Doraemon hit the airwaves for the first time.  It was about a boy by the name of Nobita and his robot cat friend Doraemon.  You see, in a alternate universe, Nobita grew up to become a man filled with despair and wasted potential.  As a result, he struggled throughout his adult life financially, thus effecting the financial fortunes of ancestors in turn.  In an effort to improve their fortunes, Nobita’s great great grandson sent Doraemon, a helper robot from the 22nd century back to when Nobita was a boy, so Doraemon could help Nobita get better grades and heighten his self-esteem.

The toon, a comedic adventure every episode, and infused with life lessons to help teach Nobita (and several generations of Asian children) how to realize his full potential, proved massively popular.  In addition to being shown in Japan, it has been ported to countless nations across Asia in the 40+ years that Doraemon has been broadcast, including Thailand.  Below, you’ll find a selection of Doraemon sightings that I have found in my travels throughout SE Asia … enjoy!

 Doraemon license plate holder … though you may think that only girls and younger teens might have these on the back of their bikes, many grown men also have these adorning their bikes, along with stickers on the side of the body … even full-on murals on the footdeck of scooters have been spotted by Yours Truly!

 The Doraemon Drink House, spotted in Sandakhan, Sabah, Malaysia … tried to stop by shortly after for a coke, but they closed at 5pm.  That’s how it is when your main demographic is schoolkids!

 Hello.  I’ll be your dental hygienist today!  500 baht for a cleaning?  Photo shot in Chiang Mai Old City on Moon Muang Rd (east side of the moat).

 Doraemon craft at the Saturday Night Walking Street in Chiang Rai, Thailand … even got the winking pose down right (he is often winking in alot of his promotional pictures)

 How many cartoon characters have their own flowerpots in their repertoire of licensed products?  Doraemon does!

 Normally buses in Thailand and Laos will hang a garland of flowers from the bus windshield as a good luck charm … this bus driver also trusts in the power of our favourite blue cat!  Doraemon keeps these passengers on the highway from Vientiane, Laos to Tha Khek, Laos safe!

Now that I have poisoned your minds with this adorable, cute, robotic cat, you WILL see him everywhere you travel in SE Asia, even if you haven’t noticed him before… MUAHHAHAHAHAHA! 🙂

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