The anime is way more wide-spread worldwide than the nevertheless very popular manga series.
How many people know that The Doraemons began as a video game? This explains how The Doraemons was labelled as a "Game Comic" even though contains no gaming elements (although some of the plots are videogame-esque).
Americans Hate Tingle: While a cultural icon in Japan, Doraemon has always had a hard time becoming recognized in America. The fact that anime aimed at children are usually a hard sell in the American market these days also plays a factor. It also doesn't help the fact that the United States was officially introduced to Doraemon not too long ago in 2014, while in Japan it's been around for decades and that many edits had to be made to make sure Moral Guardians didn't complain about things that are seen as okay in Japan but not North America.
And how! The 1973 anime-only lasted 26 episodes of 30 minutes each. That's around a paltry 13 hours of nonstop viewing. Then comes the 1979 anime, which ran all the way to 2005. How many episodes are there, you ask? 1787 half-hour episodes, which a simple calculation will tell you that it will take around around 37 days and 8 hours of nonstop viewing to complete. Wait, it gets better! 2005 wasn't the year it ended, but the year the show was overhauled! It ran another 497 half-hour episodes as of September 10th, 2014, or almost 10 days nonstop. To enjoy all the anime alone, you will need 50 days and 9 hours of nonstop binging. And that's not counting the movies, of which there are roughly 34 of them, one movie annually since 1980. And the kicker is, the episodes are still being made, with new episodes coming out weekly and new movies annually. Not every episode is easily available either, making the panic even worse than it should be already.
Or the manga- even though the collected manga is only 45 volumes long, the rest of the manga that isn't in the collection are also printed across various other magazines since 1969. Plus 5 Doraemon Plus volumes, various colour-printed manga volumes, 23 The Doraemons series volumes, and various educational book cartoons.
Awesome Music: As noted below, the old theme from the 70s is notoriously catchy. But for the "Legend of the Sun King" movie, it was performed by the Vienna Boys' Choir.
The North American fans are split neatly into two factions: one who thinks the Bowdlerization of Disney XD's broadcast of the anime is well done and justified, while another would rather the show not be culturally localized and the original Japanese settings and names are preserved. Then we have a third group that feels like the show didn't succeed well in North America was due to the numerous edits that were made to the show.
The general franchise fanbase is divided with those who prefer the 1979 anime over the 2005 remake, and vice-versa (including all the remake movies and their original counterparts), and those who are neutral over them.
Can't Un-Hear It: For Malaysian fans, Ruhaiyah Ibrahim of Take One Productions will always be remembered as the titular character's voice in Malay.
Cult Classic: Despite failing commercially, the American English comic and show still has a devoted cult following.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Suneo/Sneech seems to be gathering a number of fans in the USA if you take a look at sites such as DeviantArt. This may actually be an interesting case of Values Dissonance. While they still won't deny he's a jerk, said fans on our side of the globe find his arrogance rather entertaining, while Japan sees this as more shameful due to their society's emphasis on humility. Which is ironic, since the main bully Gian is loved by the Japanese fandom (especially for his Hidden Depths), while in the west he's much more of a Base-Breaking Character.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Of the "Not nice, but true" variety. One manga story involves Gian trying to be a nicer person after Doraemon points out that his bullying scares away his friends. Soon after Gian's HeelFace Turn, all the other kids take revenge by breaking his stuff and picking on him since he won't beat them up now. In the end, it drives him to go back to his old ways. The message we get is "Even if you change yourself for the better, people won't just forget the trouble you've caused them in the past, so you shouldn't expect to be Easily Forgiven."
Fanfic Magnet: Sofia from Nobita's Great Merman Sea Battle seems to get even more love with Ariel fans from The Little Mermaid (by Western Standards, at least.).
As mentioned in the Sacred Cow entry below, if you live in the Asia region, Doraemon is everywhere.
In Indonesia, it's a Gateway Series to Japanese animation and manga in general. And HOW. Its popularity is close to Japan's, with local TV channels still regularly showing reruns of the anime and the movies, almost every manga in the series localized and in reprint, and the series is often cited by Indonesians as their first. Some Indonesians love collecting merchandise.
The series is also treated with godlike stature among kids in Indonesia's neighbour, Malaysia. And the local TV stations that air the show give the same treatment to the series as the Indonesian TV station does, and that's saying a lot: Said TV station, RTM 1, screws other popular cartoons regularly and Doraemon is one of the channel's long runners. And when the TV station finally dropped the shownote Probably because it was only screening the 1979-2005 episodes, it was immediately picked up by the other TV station who likes to screw other popular cartoons regularly, NTV 7, and managed to remain to become one of the channel's long runners as wellnote This channel airs both the 1979 and 2005 series. The fact that the show has the best Malay dub in the said country note Most anime(or any animated works in general) in Malaysia get sub-par dubbing and long-running ones tend to get screwed regularly due to Executive Meddling. Animation Age Ghetto is strong in Malaysia unless it is 3D shows how influential it is there. There was a Doraemon gadgets exhibition going on in the country. And Doraemon's negative-100th birthday ("100 years until Doraemon" rolls off the assembly lines!) was celebrated with loud fanfare.
It's also quite the hot stuff in Spain, having aired since almost as early as in Japan and still going strong. No other manga or anime has experienced the popularity Doraemon has, with the possible exception of Dragon Ball, and certainly no other is more popular nowadays. After being aired in regional channels for over 15 years, the Boing TV station acquired it for nation-wide broadcast. In the beginning, they aired lots of anime (DBZ, brand new episodes of One Piece...) but over the years they cancelled all of them and severed all their times to anime... exceptDoraemon.
It was starting to become popular in the USA, since unlike other anime dubbed there, it wasn't a Macekre and it was actually funny and well-done. There was even a touring costume mascot in the USA! Despite this, it slightly decreased in popularity. The Americans who still like it tend to be really into it, though.
The American English dub was more successful in Japan than in America. America stopped airing it in 2017, but it still airs in Japan to this day on Disney Channel Japan.
Doraemon is hugely popular in India, where it was introduced in 2005. It's telling how consistently popular it has been when it still airs for 12 hours a day without ads on some channels. The Doraemon movies were also among the first animated films to release in theatres as opposed to just shown on TV.
Doraemon is also very popular in Italy, in a similar way to Spain (though it's not the most popular, especially compared to other animes).
Doraemon has near-mythical status in Vietnam due to the manga being among of the first non-Eastern Bloc works to be imported after the liberalization of the communist government. Memes using the manga as templates are still highly popular and many of the characters are regarded as memetic figures on the level of Pepe the Frog. The manga remains the best-selling comic in Vietnam to this day.
Sophia from "Doraemon: Nobita's Mermaid Legend" movie is ironically popular in the West, likely due to Many fans comparing her to Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
In the remake, Tamako is voiced by none other than Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Moon herself, the multiple-time saviour of the universe. The kicker? (In the movies) Nobita is a heroic kid character with a robot cat who gets into adventures involving time-travelling, defeating villains with a group of friends via the help of powerful tools. That description fits Chibiusa, Sailor Moon's daughter. Luna-P is her robot cat toy that can transform into a hypnotic umbrella, among other things. Also, Chibiusa travelled back in time to save her mom. Sewashi sent Doraemon back in time so his great-great-grandfather would shape up. The future Nobita and Sailor Moon are both much more mature and accomplished than their child selves.
An eye-catcher in the 1979 anime had Doraemon turning around to reveal evil side of him that grins evilly.◊ Then came Danganronpa, where the mascot Monokuma has a very similar design motif, and they're both voiced by Nobuyo Oyama.
In the short 'What Am I for Momotarou' Nobita ends up portraying the eponymous folktale hero; the next year his seiyuu, Noriko Ohara, voiced a bespectacled Momotarou in the New Year Special of Urusei Yatsura.
One of the shenanigans revolving Doraemon's advanced futuristic tools involves a liquid solution which renders a food item to be able to replicate itself within a period of time if not being eaten. Sounds harmless enough until Nobita gets full and no one else is left to eat the food since everyone is stuffed from just eating them, which results in the threat of the food keeps on replicating itself endlessly. Years later, as the SCP-871 article is conceived, some cannot deny the eerily (or hilariously) similar premise between these two stories.
Memetic Badass: In spite of his canon wimpiness, Nobita is often depicted among the Vietnamese fandom as a Street SmartMagnificent Bastard who is fond of giving unethical life pro-tips. This depiction leads to Nobita getting the nickname "Thánh Nô", meaning Saint No(bita).explanation "Saint" in Vietnamese is also used as a slang term for individuals who are intelligent beyond the level of mere mortals.
The poster◊ of the remake of Doraemon: Noby the Spaceblazer has become a meme due to it being used on tons of bootleg uploads and toys.
"The Gamble Gun" has a scene where Noby points a gun at his head and Doraemon tells him to pull the trigger. It's often used without context to make jokes about Noby's death or suicide.
A rare Asian CD includes a cover of the theme song. It's become a meme due to having less-than-perfect lyrics and vocals. "This is nice, paradise..."
Misblamed: Many people blame Disney for the editing, but it was the Japanese holders/companies of this series (Fujiko-Pro, Shin-Ei Animation and TV Asahi) editing it for the US broadcast, due to their interpretation of stricter US broadcasting standards and the desire to localize it for their target audience of American children.
Moe: Any girl in Doraemon, especially Shizuka and Sophia.
Movement Mascot: Doaemon had been this as well, being already selected before as anime ambassador for the world. Recently, he was chosen as one of the "anime ambassadors" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Doraemon: Giga Zombie no Gyakushou is a decent Dragon Quest clone with some interesting features within the game itself.
The sidescroller Doraemon 2 SOS, despite the Donkey Kong Country-esque polygonal sprites, is a decent storybook themed platformer with varied levels unique and numerous weaponry that is Doraemon's tools itself.
Periphery Demographic: There are some adults who watch it out of nostalgia and some adults watch it for it finally getting released in North America.
Sacred Cow: If your country has an eastern border in the Pacificnote Japan, Taiwan, ASEAN countries, etc., then you will find it extremely difficult to find someone, anyone, who doesn't like Doraemon. Even if the modern anime fandom leans toward the dark and the edgy, hating Doraemon is unthinkable. The only other anime that gets this treatment is Sazae-san, and only in Japan.
Self-Fanservice: Remember above, how it said that Suneo has a fairly nice following on DeviantArt? More often than not, he'll be far more adorable than Gonk -y in fan art.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Many of Doraemon's story revolves about how the humanity should take care of its home planet carefully and learn how to not to spoil and damage the environment if humanity wouldn't want to be put into a situation where their survival is threatened. In fact, many of the villains in Doraemon's theatre movies have a recurring motive to destroy the natural environment for their own nefarious purposes, which prompts our heroes to defend the nature at all costs.
Squick: In one story, Nobita's father speaks about a time when he was young and working in the fields, and ended up being nearly Driven to Suicide after he collapsed and was unable to finish the day's work. However, a girl "as beautiful as a lily," with long black hair, pale skin, and large eyes, appeared to him, smiled, and gave him a bar of chocolate, which was enough to bring him back from the Despair Event Horizon. Doraemon and Nobita decide to go back in time to see who this girl is. When they see Nobita's dad collapsed, they decide to take him aside and have Nobita take his place. Nobita ends up having to shave his hair, and then his clothes get muddy and have to be washed. Doraemon sprinkles the powder on him that makes his hair grow and grabs him clothes from someone's washline. The clothes turn out to be a girl's dress, and the hair growth powder both makes Nobita's skin look pale and his hair look long, as well as the fact that glasses make his eyes look much bigger. Doraemon then realizes that Nobita is actually his dad's dream girl. They naturally decide not to share any photos of this scene when they get back to the present. Think about it - this basically means that Nobita's dad has had a crush on his own son without realizing it. It may make more sense if you realize that Nobita and Tamako basically have the same face.
They Changed It, So It Sucks: As mentioned above, the editing of the series in US television brought ire to many people, accusing Disney despite the editing came from the Japanese side of localization.
Vindicated by History: The English dub was originally hated for all of its edits, but over time, it's become a Cult Classic and people have grown to like the dub changes.
Shizuka's bath scenes and some of the boys' nudity here and there might be a little shocking if you're not from Japan, which is laxer on nudity and plays these strictly for laughs. It's likely why Disney XD had all of the nude scenes from the back censored, but who really knows why they made that decision.
In the manga story Chapter 111: "I Loved a Cat" Doraemon is worried about not being good enough for Mii Chan and, while lighting a bundle of dynamite, claims "I'M GONNA BOMB MYSELF!" before Nobita stops him. Suicide isn't something you'd normally put in a kiddie comic in the States or make jokes about.
Some might find that Gian's bullying and the kids' constant fear of poundings from him is highly tasteless specifically if you think of cases of Bully Brutality brought to light in recent years, where kids are often injured or killed by violent aggressors like him.
Some stories in the manga involve gags that would be considered sexual harassment towards Shizuka and not a silly (or child-friendly) joke to U.S. readers, like Nobita using Doraemon's gadgets to peek under her skirt. note Shizuka's Panty Shots are Values Dissonance on their own, but most of them are meant to be innocent. (However, this is actually a subversion, since in the chapter Nobita has NO intention of doing that, Doraemon is too negative-minded). This type of dissonance is discussed more thoroughly here.
In a few of the manga chapters and anime episodes, sometimes the kids' parents lock them out of the house for misbehaviour. This seems cruel as well as dangerous to the west but is pretty standard in the east.
One of the early manga had several stories about gadgets that are able to duplicate toys or games, usually Suneo's or peeking on another person's book or comic. Considering today's copyright laws...
Values Resonance: Be that as it may, given the current societal situation where the climate issues are on the rise and the existence of people who disregards or denies the climate change issue as a problem, many found that Doraemon's theme about natural preservation seems as timeless as when it was first conceived.
Woolseyism: In the Italian dub, Doraemon's gadgets are referred to as "Ciusky", a made-up term based on the Milanese dialect exclamation "Ciusca!" (which could be loosely translated as "Wowzers!").