This year, 2012, marks an important event—it is 100 years before the birth of Doraemon, the blue robot cat from the future in 2112 created by Fujiko F. Fujio. I attended the special exhibition in Taipei as the city and its many Doraemon fans celebrates the beloved cat.
Doraemon, a robot cat from the future, is famous for his “fourth-dimensional pocket,” where he produces mind-blowing gadgets from the future. The most iconic ones include the “bamboo-copter” (the gadget lets you fly in the air), “Anywhere Door” (the door connects you to anywhere you want to go), and “Time Machine” (the machine takes you back and forward in time). At the exhibit there are one hundred Doraemon models, each paired with a gadget from the future and available for pictures. One of my favorites is called the “Memory Bread” that allows you to remember anything you want to. First, you have to write on the bread what you want to remember (i.e. exam cheat sheets, to-do-lists, etc.) and then eat the bread. After you’ve eaten the bread, you will remember everything that is written on it.
The most surprising and exciting discovery for me was learning that Doraemon, which has always been blue for as long as I can remember, wasn’t supposed to be blue at all.
The Original Doraemon
The robot cat from the future was (1) not blue but yellow (2) has ears. How did it go from yellow to blue, and sans ears? The story goes as thus:
In the way way future, 2112 to be exact, in a land far far away from Earth, there is a robot factory that produces prototypes of domestic robots. They look like yellow cats. Doraemon is one of these robots. Like people on Earth, these cat robots go to school to learn. Unfortunately, because of a missing screw, Doraemon fails at all of his classes. When the robots go on auction, nobody wants to purchase Doraemon, a partially broken robot.
However, one person ended up buying Doraemon. It was Sewashi Nobi. Nobi, who later sent the blue robot cat from the future back in time to help his great grandfather, Nobita, be a better person so the family wouldn’t be so poor, pressed the “Purchase” button by mistake.
At this point, Doraemon is still yellow and with ears. Doraemon later turned yellow and lost his ears because of a freak accident. You see, one day, Nobi decided to make a Doraemon doll out of clay. Nobi couldn’t get the ears right (they look like cheese with holes) so he commanded his robot mouse to bite the clay Doraemon’s ears and make them look like the real Doraemon’s ears. But Nobi mixed up his order and instead of biting the clay doll’s ears, the robot mouse bit off the real Doraemon’s ears.
Doraemon was sent to the hospital but the doctor, instead of fixing Doraemon’s ears, ended up losing both of his ears. The inconsolable Doraemon decided to take the “Potion of Optimism,” but he made a mistake and drank the “Potion of Depression” instead!
Well, Doraemon cried and cried and cried.
He cried so much that his yellow coating started to peel and he became blue.
Well, if it’s any consolation, blue is the most popular and beloved color in the world. We love you Doraemon!