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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops

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Original anime poster.
2011 remake.

Doraemon and friends against a Robot War.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops is a 1984 anime film, the seventh in the Doraemon Film Series, based on the seventh entry of Doraemon's Long Tales.

Nobita, being envious over Suneo's new human-sized remote-controlled robot, hastily asks Doraemon to get him a building-sized robot to get back at Suneo. After being rejected by Doraemon, Nobita unexpectedly finds what appears to be the foot of a Humongous Mecha in the Arctic through the Anywhere Door (which Doraemon took out in order to escape the summer heat). Followed by the thigh. And more mechanical body parts.

Soon enough, Nobita does end up with a giant, building-sized mecha, which Doraemon denies being one of his gadgets, while a mysterious Robot Girl named Riruru shows up in Tokyo claiming the giant robot currently in Nobita's possession - which Nobita nicknames "Zanda Claus" - belongs to her. And then an army of hostile robots from the distant Planet Mechatopia starts targeting Earth.

The movie receives a 2011 remake, Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops ~Winged Angels~, which fleshes out both Riruru and Zanda Claus, the new characters. Notably, Zanda Claus' brain turns out to have a sentient mind of it's own, hatching into a chick named Pippo.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops / Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops ~Winged Angels~ (manga, 1986, 2011) contain examples of:

  • Adam and Eve Plot: The robots of Mechatopia are actually descended from two robots named Amu and Emu, created by a human scientist who is the last human alive in a barren world who wishes to form a peaceful utopia.
  • Adaptational Context Change: After Riruru sneaks out of Shizuka's room, Doraemon and the boys start searching for her only for Nobita to find Riruru first. In the manga and original anime, Nobita threatens to gun her down, only for Riruru to blast Nobita before leaving, though with non-fatal effects (since she's still recovering) and her subsequent rendezvous with the Robot Commander... but then changes her mind about exposing the Mirror-verse in the last minute. The remake instead have Riruru trying to blast Nobita... before Pippo jumps into her way in a Taking the Bullet moment, causing Riruru to have a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original manga and anime, Zanda Claus' brain remains villainous with a desire to Kill All Humans until Doraemon forcefully converts it into one of their allies by remodifying it's interior circuits. The 2011 anime instead had Doraemon putting Zanda Claus' brain into an incubator which hatches it into a chick-like form, that the gang names Pippo. After making amends with Pippo and becoming friends with it, Pippo then willingly turns over a new leaf to become one of the good guys.
  • Adaptational Species Change: Zanda Claus' brain in the originals is a living bowling ball with mechanical interiors. The 2011 remake turns it into an egg instead, which hatches into a chick that the gang named Pippo.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: As Shizuka and Riruru finds out after travelling to Mechatopia in the past, the robots are intended to create a utopia, instead of creating an unequal society and eventually invading planets. As it turns out, the two robots from which the robots are descended have competition instinct programmed in them, causing them to sacrifice others for their own good. Though it takes generations of robots for the trope to have full effect, which is a much longer time compared to most other examples.
  • Alternate Self: Moments before she's erased from existence, Riruru apologizes of her actions to Shizuka and wishes if she can be reborn, she'd like to return as an angel in an alternate timeline, which the rest of the heroes learns afterwards. In the final scene, Nobita does meet Riruru again... an alternate version who is born in a peaceful Mechatopia full of benevolent robots, where she is a tourist instead of a spy. The anime also have alternate!Pippo with Riruru in the final scene.
  • Apocalyptic Montage: When the robot army starts invading the Mirror!world en masse, there's a lengthy scene of them destroying New York, Paris and London... and questioning why there are no humans in the aftermath.
  • Ascended Extra: Zanda Claus' "brain" in the manga and original anime. The remake gives it a further personality by having it hatch into a robot chick thanks to Doraemon's incubator gadget, which Nobita names Pippo and bonds with it.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Riruru's Establishing Character Moment has her on a scouting mission in the North Pole and attacked by a polar bear. But being a highly-durable elite robot, she took down the bear easily enough with her energy blast.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobita and Doraemon found out about the upcoming robot invasion, and absolutely fails to convince anyone its the truth, with Tamako Nobi scolding them for reading too much manga. After some effort trying (and failing) to alert the authorities, Nobita and Doraemon eventually gets Suneo and Gian as a last resort... but surprise surprise, Gian and Suneo believes them.
  • Centrifugal Gravity: Zanda Claus seems to have this in it's central cockpit which Nobita, Shizuka and Doraemon rides in while controlling the robot. They have Zanda Claus performing sumersaults, backflips, and all sorts of gymnastic maneuvers, and they don't feel a thing while in the machine. Lampshaded by Shizuka who asks why aren't they feeling dizzy, at which point Doraemon explains the concept of the trope.
  • Covers Always Lie: The 2011 remake have Doraemon's sister, Dorami, showing up on the front poster and promotional materials, suggesting she will play a major role. Actually, she only appears for one scene.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The foot soldiers and sergeants of the Mechatopia robot army has only a single eye in the center of their faces, as do some of their common worker drones (which Nobita and friends find themselves fending off while destroying the first robot facility). The 2011 anime gives them the ability to fire Eye Beams for good measure. Their commander averts it with having two eyes.
  • Defiant to the End: (original manga) The final battle at the lake ends with Zanda Claus being defeated as Doraemon, Nobita, Gian and Suneo gets taken alive by the robots. Gian, however, is defiant enough to kick his shoe into a nearby robot mook while struggling and cursing at his captors, not that it did him any good. Thankfully, the very next scene had the Ret-Gone happen...
  • Demoted to Extra: Suneo's robot Micros in the remake, who goes from a new major character to having only two scenes.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Riruru, while being embraced by Shizuka as she is written out of existance. Also the 2011 remake has Pippo in Nobita's arms as the same thing happens to him. The final scene reveals them to be reborn again, however.
  • Eating Machine: Averted but discussed in the original. While the gang are having a barbeque, Suneo's robot, Micros, tries taking some of the meat... and ends up choking on it. Doraemon then explains that despite being implemented by future technology, Micros is still a creation from the present, so unlike Doraemon Micros couldn't take a bite of human food (much to Micros' frustration).
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In the anime and original manga, Shizuka and Micros is watching after the caged-up Riruru as Doraemon and the boys are at the lake fending off the robot army, a frustrated Micros angrily complains that he'd go back in time to tell off the robots' creators for making them so hyper-competitive. This suddenly gives Shizuka an idea – they CAN indeed go back to time, at which point Shizuka, Riruru and Micros hop on the Time Machine in Nobita's room and travel to Planet Mechatopia 30,000 years earlier to inform the creator of Amu and Emu of the war in the future. The remake has Riruru coming up with the idea herself, though.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Riruru's first scene have her clad in a one-piece bodysuit that exposes her legs... in the Arctic. But then again she's a robot.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: There are tons and tons of large-scale battles in this one between the heroes and the robot army, but since it's, well, Doraemon... the villains use lasers and electronic blasters instead of actual firearms, while the heroes, armed with Doraemon's gadgets, would use Air Cannons, Shrink Lights, Glue Guns and all sorts of family-friendly projectile weapons to take down scores and scores of enemy robots.
  • Fear-Induced Idiocy: When Doraemon and gang, including Suneo's new human-sized robot Micros, have to infiltrate mirror dimension's Tokyo conquered by hostile robots, with the steel troops patrolling the streets. As everyone hides in a Blind Alley, Micros suddenly had a panic attack and runs out, right in front of an enemy robot... who simply ignores him. Turns out the steel troops had mistaken Micros for one of them, though Micros later got a scolding from Suneo for being cowardly and embarrassing him.
  • Finger Firearms: Riruru and the robot army's foot soldiers can fire energy blasts out of their fingertips.
  • Four Is Death: Downplayed. A group of four consisting of Doraemon, Nobita, Suneo, and Gian are fighting a losing battle against Machatopian robot army professionally designed for war. If it isn't for the Ret-Gone, Doraemon and friends would definitely die right then and there.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • This funny scene early on, after Suneo boasts his new kid-sized robot toy, Micros, in front of Nobita ad Shizuka. Nobita leaves the scene, insisting he's NOT envious over Suneo.
    Nobita: I'm not jealous. It was just a stupid toy. Why do I have to be jealous over that stupid thing?
    [one scene later]
    Nobita: I'm so jealous!
    • And another equally-funny one, when Nobita returns from the North Pole and realize Doraemon isn't back yet.
    Nobita: When is Doraemon coming back anyway? Don't tell me he lost himself in the North Pole and is being chased by a polar bear.
    [cue Doraemon stumbling through the Anywhere Door, looking absolutely tired]
    Doraemon: You can't believe this! I just lost myself in the North Pole... and I was chased by a polar bear!
  • Godzilla Threshold: The first battle to prevent the robot army crossing the lake have Doraemon and friends exhausting most of their weapons - the laser gun, air cannon, shrink light, reverse mantle, and everything else - before Doraemon decide to send out Zanda Claus by enlarging him.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: How Doraemon converts Zanda Claus on their side, by modifying it's sphere like "brain" making it an ally. Not so much in the remake, that has Doraemon putting the brain's egg form in a special incubator hatching it into a chick named Pippo. While it's implied Pippo's chick form gains a personality that makes it develop affections, unlike the original counterpart it isn't "brainwashed" but it is befriended by the heroes before turning a new leaf.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Riruru, after being saved by the heroes from being damaged in the portal explosion. And befriending Shizuka, the same person she tried to strangle the moment she wakes up. Also Pippo in the remake after bonding with Nobita.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Essentially what Riruru did in the end; realizing it may be too late to reprogram Amu and Emu and remove their competition instinct, Riruru decides to do it herself, even though this could very well erase her from existence. She succeeds, and then starts to dissappear into light particles when history rewrites itself, her last words being telling Shizuka she wished she could be friends with her in another timeline. It seems to have worked, though: the last scene in Nobita, then alone after school, seeing the reborn Riruru, now an angel from a benevolent, non-violent robot planet.
  • Hold the Line: Twice from Doraemon and friends when they need to prevent the robot army from passing the portal from the mirror-verse to the real world at the lake near Mount Uta.
  • Humongous Mecha: Zanda Claus, the giant robot used by the invaders to conquer earth, which fortunately turns up in Nobita and Doraemon's posession - so they can modify it to be on their side instead of serving the villains.
  • Improvised Imprisonment: Riruru, after realizing humans are capable of love and care from being nursed back to health by Doraemon and gang and becoming friends with Shizuka, decides to turn herself in to self-confinement as punishment for being a robot spy. But having become close friends with Doraemon and the gang, understandably none of them wants to inflict any sort of punishment for Riruru, so instead Doraemon uses his Shrink Ray to reduce Riruru's size to a doll and keep her in Shizuka's birdcage as an impromptu prison.
  • Just a Machine: Another discussed trope, after Nobita and gang finds out Shizuka had stumbled into their mirror world and is keeping the badly-damaged Riruru in her bedroom. Having barely survived an assault from enemy robots, Suneo simply said "Just dismantle her already!" only for Shizuka to reprimand that it's too cruel. Gian seems to agree with Suneo, stating that Riruru is a robot invader, but Nobita feels it isn't right to kill an injured opponent. Which culminates in Doraemon deciding to fix Riruru with his gadgets leading to the latter's Heel–Face Turn. Meanwhile, the gang have NO issues blowing up dozens and dozens of robot soldiers...
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: After Nobita has to hand over the Roll-Up Fishing Hole containing the Pool Portal to Riruru, the latter who demands he keep their meeting a secret. Nobita becomes quiet and moody trying not to let his family know about it, finally losing it at dinnertime when his dad Nobisuke randomly mentions his colleague's interest of fishing while his mom Tamako talks about a friend of hers spending so much time applying make-up before a mirror. Doraemon realize Nobita's peculiar behavior, puts two-and-two together, and caught Nobita sneaking to the fishing-hole at night before discovering the robot invasion conspiracy.
  • Lost Technology: When Nobita finds a giant robot leg in the middle of the Arctic (trying to find Doraemon who went there to escape the summer heat), and brings it back to his room (after quite some effort), the returned Doraemon assumes the robot is one of these. Later disproven when it turns out the robot parts belongs to an invading robot army en route to earth.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": All of the heroes, when they realize the entirety of the robot army is now heading for the lake at Mount Uta, Doraemon deducing that they have discovered the truth that the real world they're supposed to conquer is on the other side.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The army of robots from Mechatopia coming over to enslave the rest of humanity. Them being machines allow Doraemon, Nobita, Suneo and Gian to destroy in massive amounts without any gore or blood.
  • Monumental Damage: To nobody's surprise, the robot's destruction montage including shattering the Statue of Liberty, blowing up the Eiffel Tower, and crushing the Tower of London.
  • Near-Villain Victory: The final battle has Doraemon and the boys, with Zanda Claus, getting defeated despite their valiant efforts, after a lengthy battle. Zanda Claus is taken down, the heroes are surrounded, and the robot army is seconds away from entering the lake into the real world... and then the Ret-Gone happens.
  • No Name Given: The robot army's leader (simply referred as the Machatopian Army Commander) and the unnamed scientist on the barren surface of Mechatopia 30,000 thousand years ago, who grew disgusted with society and strives to create a new world populated entirely by robots by creating Amu and Emu.
  • Not Himself: When Zanda Claus reveals himself to the invading robot army at the first lake battle, the robot general angrily demands where he had been the whole time. Zanda Claus responds by firing his huge laser cannon towards the hostile robots, blowing up a few dozen of them all at once, leading to the invaders realizing Zanda Claus has been modified by the heroes and no longer on their side.
  • Playing Possum: A variant, but while Riruru is supposed to be recuperating, Doraemon gave Shizuka his Computer Sleeping Pills which is supposed to make robots fall asleep for 24 hours. Riruru pretends to take the pill to recover, but spits it once Shizuka turns her back and sneaks out of the house.
  • Portal Pool: Doraemon and friends use Shizuka's bathtub, dabbled with the Come to the Reverse World Oil, to enter the Mirror-verse. Later on in order to create an entrance large enough to lure the invading robot army from the real world to the Mirror-verse, Doraemon uses a whole can of the Come to the Reverse World Oil to turn the lake in Mt. Ura into a giant portal. Leading to entire armies of robot soldiers swarming through the pool thanks to receiving Zanda Claus' radio signal.
  • Portal Splat: The first confrontation between Doraemon and Nobita and the robot army leads to Riruru and Zanda Claus (then under her control) pursuing them to the Roll-Up Fishing Hole converted into the mirror world's entrance. Doraemon and Nobita made their way through, only for Zanda Claus to shove a giant arm into the pool and tearing it open, despite Doraemon shouting to stop because of the consequences of tampering with the entrances of dimensional portals. Riruru doesn't listen, so Doraemon drags Nobita as far away as possible... just as the breaking portal results in a huge explosion that destroys the first entrance, burying Riruru and Zanda Claus alive and nearly does the same to Doraemon and Nobita.
  • The Power of Love: A major theme, especially in the remake. The original robots are designed to be competitive, ruthless, until one of their spies, Riruru, befriends humans (notably, Shizuka) and starts realizing the value of compassion and began turning against the other robots' plans of enslaving humans. The remake fleshes out the theme further with more scenes involving Riruru, and throws the new character Pippo into the mix. It all leads to Shizuka and Riruru traveling back to Mechatopia 30,000 thousand years ago to convince the scientist who made the first two robots, Amu and Emu, to reprogram compassion and love into the machines, turning their descendants into peaceful robots and therefore erasing the whole future war.
  • Puny Earthlings: The robot army's consensus towards humans in general. Riruru seems to think that way until she learns humans can have compassion, love, and decide to defect, which doesn't bode well for her when the Robot Commander finds out. Even in the final battle the Commander would holler his army with this:
    "Attack! Do not be afraid, for centuries we robots have always been better than humans!"
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Riruru in the remake had a moment of these when she sees herself - a human-looking robot - reflected in a puddle, and hits her own reflection due to feeling conflicts over her loyalty.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Riruru, a robot spy designed to look exactly like humans, and later developed a human personality after being nursed back to health by humans. The original manga also had Suneo's toy robot, Micros, who gains a human-like personality (similar to it's master) after Doraemon implanted a futuristic microchip in it, while the remake has Zanda Claus' robotic brain which becomes a chick named Pippo, capable of feeling emotions and bonding with Nobita.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: After the Ret-Gone, there's no reason why Nobita and friends would even remember anything about Riruru, or have any memories about the robot invasion, since they're now in a timeline where the robots of Mechatopia are peaceful and the invasion never occurred in the first place. But they still do in the aftermath, with Nobita staying back in school and missing Riruru.
  • Robotic Reveal: When Shizuka found Riruru for the first time, after the portal explosion where Shizuka assumed Riruru to be a human victim caught by the blast. But upon closer inspection, Shizuka saw the wires under Riruru's skin. And Riruru then attacks Shizuka because she knows too much.
  • Robot War: The very premise of this entire story, with Riruru the Robot Girl acting as an agent leading the Mechatopia robot army into our world.
  • Ret-Gone: The fates of Riruru and the whole robot army (and in the remake, Pippo) at the end, after the past was changed thanks to Riruru and Shizuka.
  • Sarcastic Confession: The first night after Nobita and Doraemon barely managed to escape capture by Riruru, Zanda Claus and the rest of the robot army through the mirror portal, resulting in a time-warp induced explosion that destroys the first portal, the very next morning had a sleepy Nobita dozing off in class because of staying up late from the previous night's events. When Sensei reprimands Nobita for slacking off, Nobita replies with a "I was too busy saving the world."
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: What Shizuka and Riruru (and in the original manga, Micros) did at the end, using the Time Machine to return to 30,000 years ago to convince the robots' creator to undo their violent, competitive tendencies.
  • Shoot the Rope: (original manga and anime only) A robot guard had Riruru handcuffed to him while dragging her to her punishment cell, but Nobita and Doraemon comes to the rescue, with Nobita shooting the cuff's chain with a laser pistol (who else can be so precise?) and Doraemon firing a second shot taking down the guard.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: A non-fatal example. In the remake, Nobita doesn't receive the blast shot by Riruru as in the original film. Instead, Pippo leaps in front of him and takes the shot.
  • Spotting the Thread: After destroying the mirror-verse equivalent of New York, Paris and London, and failing to find a single human being in the ruins, the pissed off Robot Commander who is in outer space quickly takes a second look at earth. It was then the Commander saw Japan on satellite and realize it's flipped around - they're in an empty mirror universe created by Doraemon, the other side of lake where their army entered in the first place is the correct world all along.
  • Uncertain Doom: While it is not explicitly stated, it is strongly implied in the remake that the creator of Amu and Emu died while instructing Riruru on how to reprogram the robots, as he falls unconscious and is not shown waking up again (despite Shizuka trying frantically to rouse him), leaving Riruru to figure out how to finish the reprogramming herself by drawing on her and Pippo's memories of Nobita and friends. In the original movie, he is clearly still conscious when Riruru disappears. In the manga, his fate is ambiguous as he is not shown on-panel after Riruru takes over the programming, but he presumably was able to stay conscious long enough to finish directing her.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Zanda Claus has one built in it's belt, which can be triggered manually by pressing a button (see below) or, if it's brain is in place, fired on it's own. It can destroy skyscrapers in a single hit or take down waves and waves of lesser enemies, but it needs to be used sparingly.
  • What Does This Button Do?: While Nobita, Doraemon and Shizuka are taking a stroll in the middle of Mirror!Tokyo in Zanda Claus' cockpit, Shizuka enquires what the buttons in Zanda Claus' cockpit does (since they're piloting it with a remote Doraemon is using). When Nobita and Doraemon admits they don't know, Shizuka randomly presses a button... and reveals the robot's massive laser cannon in it's belt which levels a nearby skyscraper, much to the trio's shock. Luckily it's an empty building due to being in the mirror-verse, but this leads to Doraemon coming to the ultimatum that they should keep Zanda Claus' existance a secret.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: This trope is probably the reason why Nobita and friends decide to fix Riruru, a robot designed to look like a human girl around their age, despite Riruru actually trying to kill Nobita and Doraemon earlier during the forest chase, and attempting to strangle Shizuka the moment she wakes up (before getting knocked out). Meanwhile, the common robot drones, guards and soldiers (none of them human-looking) are killed by the multiple dozens without a single care, especially when Zanda Claus uses the Wave-Motion Gun to level entire enemies platoons at a time.
  • Worthy Opponent: Machatopian Army Commander considers Doraemon and friends as this, for they are brave enough to stand their ground and defend their home planet despite getting outnumbered and outgunned.
  • You Have Failed Me: The robot commander, learning of Riruru's Heel–Face Turn, orders for her to be locked up so he can personally dismantle her in afterwards. Luckily Nobita and Doraemon are around...
  • Zerg Rush: The robot army uses this tactic on Doraemon and the gang, which is easy considering they outnumber the heroes by the hundreds. Especially once they realized their ultimate weapon, Zanda Claus has been converted to the heroes' side. They even managed to take down the seemingly-unbeatable Zanda Claus in the finale though sheer numbers!

Alternative Title(s): Doraemon Nobita And The New Steel Troops, Doraemon Nobita And The New Steel Troops 2011, Doraemon Nobita And The New Steel Troops Winged Angels