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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicles of the Moon Exploration

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Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration is the 39th film installment in the Doraemon franchise. The film was released in Japan on March 1, 2019.

Nobita believes that a real rabbit lives on the Moon. Doraemon then uses one of his gadgets to make a theory of rabbits living on the moon become true, prompting Nobita to invite the gang, along with a mysterious new classmate to join the experience.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Luna is as proactive as Luka when it comes to defending the other Espals, and kicks ass whenever she gets to let loose with her powers. As usual for Doraemon films, Shizuka also contributes during the final battle.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The movie is based on the manga short "Doctrine Association Badges", which has Nobita and Doraemon creating their own mini-universe of sentient beings which later develops into a civilization of their own, although the more fantastical elements (aliens from the moon, a rogue planet-destroying AI) are made just for the movie. And like the short itself, the movie also ends with Doraemon and gang ditching their badges forever in order to keep the underground civilization a secret.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Big Bad Diabolo is in fact the Weapon of Mass Destruction, having gained artificial intelligence.
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  • All Myths Are True: The Espals inspired Japanese folklore about rabbits on the moon, and Luna identifies herself as the origin of the Princess Kaguya story.
  • All Up to You: In the film's Darkest Hour, Shizuka and Luna become the guys' only hope in rescuing them.
  • Any Last Words?: Diabolos says this to the guys when he's about to melt them in magma. The response: Goddard vows that the Kaguyans will revolt someday, Doraemon angrily voices his shame that Diabolos could ever be an intelligent machine like him, Gian threatens to turn Diabolos into junk, Nobita laments not finishing an anime yet, and Suneo just cries "Mama!".
  • Badass Adorable: The Espals look like children but wield extremely powerful abilities, with Luka and Luna showing theirs off the most during the course of the movie.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The Espals are cute or good-looking, with kind personalities to match. Luka and Luna especially stand out.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Espals are a kind and peaceful people, but can and do use their powers offensively if they have to.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Diabolo is defeated, life is restored to Kaguya, and the Espals get to live in peace on the Moon. However, to ensure that the Espals are kept a secret, Nobita and his friends decide to bury the Fringe Theory Club Badges that will allow them to see the Espals, pretty much preventing them from ever meeting or even contacting each other again. Nonetheless, Nobita remains hopeful that they will find a way to reunite someday.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: To avoid continued abuse of the Espals' powers, their parents (the scientists who bioengineered them) sent them away from Kaguya in a spaceship. When Luka refused to go, his mother slapped him to convince him otherwise.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Espals request Doraemon to use the Fringe Theory Club Badges to create an alternate universe in which they can live as ordinary humans, giving up their psychic powers and immortality.
  • The Cavalry: Shizuka, Luna, and all of the Moobits show up to the rescue when the guys are captured.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Mozo's shell is made out of the hardest substance in the universe. Comes in handy when the heroes need a projectile that can take down Diabolo.
    • The family heirloom that Goddard gifts to Luka contains luminescent moss that multiplies when exposed to the Espals' power, which helps restore life to Kaguya.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Nobita absentmindedly tosses away his first attempt at sculpting a rabbit, which is later shown to have also come to life as a monstrous creature terrorizing the Moobits. After Shizuka manages to tame it, it also shows up as part of The Cavalry during the final battle.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mozo repeatedly insists that he is fast-moving throughout the film. He's proven right when he uses this ability to retrieve Doraemon's pocket from Diabolo.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Early in the film when the news broadcast reports of an unidentified object being spotted on the moon, Nobita's entire class have a lengthy discussion regarding what the object could be. Gian says it's probably a UFO, Suneo thinks it's merely dust on the lens, Haruo and Yasuo says it's probably ectoplasm... and then Nobita thinks it's a Moon Rabbit. Guess who got the closest answer?
  • Continuity Nod: The Moonbits (moon-rabbits) in this film appears to be based on Chammy and Tap, bipedal alien rabbit sidekicks from earlier films of the franchise.
  • Cool Big Bro: Gian becomes this to Aru. In the physical sense, as Aru is actually over a thousand years old, although he still acts like a younger child.
  • Crapsack World: Kaguya under Diabolos's rule is a terrible place to live. The planet is shrouded in thick clouds caused by the impacts a thousand years ago, leaving year-long darkness and cold temperatures and very few resources.
  • Damsel in Distress: Despite her proficiency at using her powers, Luna is captured and needs to be rescued twice during the film, first while the gang is fleeing from Goddard after he uses a machine to nullify the Espals' psychic abilities, and once again when Diabolo catches her off-guard and kidnaps her in a last-ditch effort to power himself up.
  • Ditzy Genius: Nobit is a Gadgeteer Genius, but is also clumsy and apparently can't invent corrective glasses that actually work.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Aru has trouble controlling his powers, which can lead to him releasing too much of it at once.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Nobit manages to invent and build a Moon-traversing vehicle, his own version of the Take-copter, and even badges that invert the effect of the Fringe Theory Club Badges (i.e. allow the Moobits to interact with regular people).
  • Good All Along: Commander Goddard honestly thought that Diabolo would use the power of the Espals to save Kaguya. When Diabolo reveals his plan is actually to use that power to conquer Earth, Goddard immediately turns against him. After they are imprisoned, Goddard reveals to Luka he is a descendent of the Espals' parents.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted during the final battle, in which the boys mostly wield pistol and cannon gadgets, whereas Shizuka uses Super Gloves to throw large objects at the Imperial guards.
  • Heroic BSoD: Goddard is stunned by the revelation that the ruler of Kaguya is the very machine that destroyed it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When cornered by Goddard and his men, Luka realizes that he can escape into the Moobits' city since he's wearing a Fringe Theory Club Badge whereas the Kaguyans aren't. Instead of heading to the city himself though, he gives his badge to Luna (who had already been caught by Goddard), allowing her to escape while he gets captured.
  • Human Aliens: The Kaguyans are basically indistinguishable from humans on Earth.
  • Interspecies Romance: Nobit (a Moobit) is shown crushing on Shizuka, and Suneo blushes when he saves Luna (an Espal) at the end of the movie.
  • Karmic Death: Diabolo is destroyed when Nobita, combined with Luka's Espal powers, fire Mozo straight through him with the air cannon.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Diabolo. Whenever he shows up, all comedy is dropped.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The rabbit-like "ears" of the Espals give off this effect, though it is explained that they are actually antennae used for channeling their psychic powers.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Aru's "singing" manifests as sonic blasts.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Imperial guards are revealed to be robotic.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The "rabbit monster" looks more like a rabbit-kangaroo hybrid.
  • Mind over Matter: Among the Espals' psychic powers is telekinesis.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Nobita attempts to teleport himself with the Esper Hat, and succeeds... sans clothing. This is another Mythology Gag lifted from the comics, with Nobita doing exactly that during the chapter introducing the Esper Hat.
  • Older Than They Look: The Espals are immortal but stop physically aging in the youth. Goddard even warns his subordinates not to underestimate the Espals based on their child-like appearances.
  • Pillar of Light: How the Shining Moss activates, by firing a pillar of blue energy into the heavens, followed by a World-Healing Wave.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: When Aru loses control of his powers at one point, he blows up an entire cave.
  • Power Nullifier: Commander Goddard uses a machine to nullify the Espals' abilities when he comes to capture them.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Espals were used to power a Weapon of Mass Destruction on Kaguya over a thousand years ago, forcing the scientists who created them to send them away from the planet. In the present day, Diabolo is in fact the superweapon, and plots to recapture the Espals so his power can be restored.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Espals have lived for over 1000 years in spite of looking like children. Mozo is 2000 years old, and mentions that he can be expected to live to 10,000.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Moobits turn the tide of the final battle despite lacking any high-tech weaponry.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Other than their antennae, the Espals are very human-like in appearance. Justified in that they had been bioengineered by Kaguyans, who themselves are Human Aliens.
  • Shock and Awe: The Imperial guards use electricity-based attacks.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening credits have a shot where the gang - wearing Victorian European era clothing - gets into a spaceship (shaped like a dorayaki!) and launches themselves into the full moon (shaped like Doraemon's head), where they land on the moon's side - evoking a famous shot from the then-117-year-old A Trip to the Moon.
    • Luca seems to get his outfit ideas from Ash Ketchum. Even making a similar tipping pose on his cap.
  • Sibling Team: All of the Espals, but Luka and Luna in particular are shown fighting alongside each other during action scenes.
  • Speedy Snail: Mozo is a turtle-like alien with the power of Super Speed.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Espals have powerful psychic powers, but have the physical capabilities of human children if those powers are nullified.
  • Survivor Guilt: The main cast suffers this when the Espals get captured, including Luka who chose to stay behind, though this motivates them into forming a rescue party. Also happens to Luna when she is the only Espal left on the moon, after Luka gave her his Fringe Theory Club Badge to save her from Goddard and his men.
  • Team Mom: As the oldest of the Espals, Luna often takes on the role of caretaker for the others.
  • Translation Convention: As the Kaguyans explicitly do not speak the same languages as humans on Earth, it can be assumed that their dialogue is subject to this.
  • Translator Microbes: The Espals' telepathic abilities allow them to communicate in the same language as whoever they are speaking to. In contrast, Doraemon mentions that the heroes will need to eat Translation Jelly to communicate with the Kaguyans.
  • Turtle Power: Mozo is a turtle-like creature with Super Speed, a life expectancy of 10,000, and a shell harder than anything else in the universe.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: The Moonbit communities use rice dough as cement for their buildings. It's surprisingly sturdy despite being, well, rice.
  • Waif Prophet: Aru is a young Espal with prophetic powers.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: One was invented on Kaguya over 1000 years ago and used to destroy their own moon as a show of force. However, debris from the moon rained down and led to desolation of the planet. In the present day, the weapon is revealed to still be around as the ruler Diabolo.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Luka didn't know what friends are until Nobita tells him about it.
  • Wise Old Turtle: Mozo is a 2000-year-old alien turtle who is very intelligent.
  • World-Healing Wave: Luca's Shining Moss, which activates in the presence of Espal powers and restores Planet Kaguya instantly to the way it was before her destruction in a powerful blue aura.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Diabolos attempts to have Nobita, Gian, and Suneo dunked in magma along with Doraemon, Mozo, and Goddard.
  • Zerg Rush: When they arrive as The Cavalry, there are so many Moobits that they quickly overwhelm the Imperial guards despite their small size and limited technology.