First appearing in manga in 1969 and later in three anime series that spanned around 2,000 episodes and translated in over a dozen languages, Doraemon is definitely one of Japan’s most iconic characters, and his popularity spans almost five decades and transcends generations. Despite the emergence of many, more recent Japanese characters, Doraemon remains among the more enduring ones, as his likeness continues to be seen on t-shirts, hats, wristwatches, toys, school supplies, and even musical instruments, among many other consumer products and collectibles, all over the world.
In the Philippines, Doraemon continues to have a large fan base, thanks to the continued airing of the anime series on GMA 7, as well as the efforts of Animation International Philippines, the local branch of the Hong Kong-based licensing company Animation International Ltd., which is committed to distributing popular anime TV series and films and licensing authentic, quality consumer products and services bearing the brands of renowned anime titles and characters like Doraemon for the satisfaction and entertainment of families all over Asia. Animation International’s aim is to raise Doraemon’s profile in the Philippines even further by obtaining partners in bringing the character into the consciousness of anime and pop culture fans and aficionados all over the country, especially in the digital age.
It is with this goal that Animation International, headed by i Director Hiroshi Kondo, welcomed guests to its one-of-a-kind trade show on April 20at the Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City, where it reintroduced the world of Doraemon, showcased its partners and their wide range of merchandise, and announced Doraemon’s upcoming “I’m Your Hero” campaign, which will include Doraemon Roadventure (a traveling exhibit/road show), Doraemon School Adventure (a campus tour), and the Grand Doraemon Blow-out, that will bring Doraemon and friends closer to fans of all ages, and potentially make new ones.
In this era of social media and instant messaging, Doraemon remains as relevant and as ‘cool’ as ever, as this robot cat was sent from the future to be a guardian to the young Nobita, helping the boy stay out of trouble and achieve his goals.
Thus, Doraemon himself carries a positive message worth spreading, one of being proactive, goal-oriented, kind, and helpful to others. Animation International Philippines looks forward to forming more partnerships to spread this message, while bringing quality entertainment in the form of merchandise, media, events, and other promotions to families and fans of all ages. In 2008, Japan’s Foreign Ministry appointed Doraemon to be the country’s first ‘anime ambassador,’ to promote its culture to other countries. Let us then welcome Doraemon into our country again, and introduce even more Filipinos to this iconic character, his funny adventures, and the positive values he represents.