Any resemblance to Doraemon
is purely coincidental.
is a Science Fiction
manga created by Fujiko Fujio in 1974. Adopting the same basic formula set by Doraemon
, the child-friendly
comic strip continued until 1977, after which it was adapted into animated form
by Studio Gallop
in 1988. Broadcast for a total of six years on Fuji TV, the anime
expanded the original storyline considerably, developing an extended romance arc
as the principal characters matured. The cartoon finished up on June 9, 1996, having completed 331 episodes and one TV special.
The series' premise recycled elements of several earlier Fujio projects, particularly the everyboy hero
with a magical helper
. In this case, however, the usual character dynamic was reversed, with the protagonist being a child prodigy and the Robot Buddy
being an incompetent twit.
At the outset of the story, young Eiichi Kite
has been experimenting with various ingenious devices, all of which cause massive property damage
when activated. Frustrated to the point of surrender, Eiichi takes heart when he learns that one of his ancestors was the Japanese Da Vinci
(ie a brilliant engineer who constructed flying machines during the Edo period
Investigating further into his family's history, Eiichi stumbles over an ancient manuscript - Kiteretsu's Encyclopedia
- and discovers that his ancestor invented considerably more
than bamboo hang-gliders. Using the codex, Eiichi successfully constructs a small (but completely useless
) robot named Korosuke
. Hilarity Ensues
as the pair join forces to bring Kiteretsu's designs to life...with predictably catastrophic consequences
This work provides examples of:
- Applied Phlebotinum: Like Doraemon's four-dimensional pocket, Kiteretsu's Encyclopedia is an unending source of miraculous gadgets.
- Animated Adaptation: The animated version ran considerably longer than the original manga, resulting in stronger plotlines and character development.
- Art Evolution: A considerable amount during the anime's eight year run. Starting out rushed and rather cartoonish, the artwork grew progressively more sophisticated with each passing year.
- Author Existence Failure: Hiroshi Fujimoto died of liver failure in 1996, and one may assume that his health had been in decline for some time beforehand. Significantly, the anime series ended the same year, barely three months before his death.
- Bad Future: Largely averted in this case; it's established early on that Eiichi is destined to marry Miyoko. The opening to the final season even shows Miyo-chan dressing up in a bridal gown.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted to some degree, due to Japan's more relaxed attitude to child nudity. As in most Fujio collaborations, bathing scenes were fairly common, especially where Miyoko was concerned.
- Boring but Practical: Totally averted. Everything Eiichi builds is exciting but impractical.
- Bamboo Technology: To the nth degree; all of Kiteretsu's designs are based on pre-industrial materials, allowing Eiichi to devise time machines from wooden planks and coconut shells.
- Book Dumb: Maybe. While Eiichi is an engineering genius, it's suggested that he's only an average student.
- Then again, Einstein's intelligence was frequently questioned during his childhood...
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Kaoru, aka Buta (Gorilla), the neighborhood bully. There's always one in every Fujio series, usually with soft spot for lost puppies and helpless babies.
- Butt Monkey: Korosuke for the most part. In contrast to Doraemon, Koro-san usually takes the fall when one of Eiichi's experiments malfunctions.
- Expy: Suneo (from Doraemon) is cloned under the name Tongari, serving as Eiichi's chief rival in the manga. Amusingly, while Tongari has eyes for Miyoko, she barely even acknowledges his existence. (Eventually Tongari got a steady girlfriend, a traveling child singer).
- Buta Gorilla is an expy of Gian from Doraemon as well.
- Grand Finale: Both the manga and the anime had a finale, although how it went out was different:
- In the manga Eiichi's mother threw out the Encyclopedias, fearing he wasn't studying enough. They managed to recover one page, which showed how to make a device that can smell a thing you're looking for. Kiteretsu wasn't successful and decides to quit making stuff.
- In the anime a thief enters the home and steals the encyclopedias, thinking they're valuable. Unfortunately the thief wasn't wearing the glasses and though it was just a bunch of blank pages so he threw it in a passing garbage truck. So Kiteretsu and gang decides to travel back in time to get the books straight from his ancestor, whom they come across (but ill). It was then revealed that Korosuke was actually a recreation of the ancestor's dead son. Unfortunately it turned out that he is wanted by the army of samurai and must escape. Eiichi helps him escape through a teleportation tape, but just before he does Korosuke announces that he's staying behind to look after his "dad". Eiichi agrees, and they both agree not to say goodbye, saying that they will meet again in the future. The two escape as Eiichi and the gang returns to their time.
- Panty Shot: Miyoko. Usually Played for Laughs.
- Romance Arc: Eiichi and Miyoko, more or less from day one. Interesting to note that Miyo-chan became a Breakout Character in the anime, indicating how important the relationship had become to the general storyline.
- Verbal Tic: Korosuke ends his sentences with "nari".