On May 9, Anime News Network reported that Disney would begin airing the iconic Japanese animated series, "Doraemon," on its' sister channel, Disney XD, later this summer. While the series has aired in over thirty-five different countries and territories, this will be the first time the animated series has ever aired in the United States.
The series follows the adventures of Doraemon, a futuristic robotic cat who travels from the 22nd century to present day to aid a young boy named Nobita, an only child whose considered a social outcast by his peers. Together, Doraemon, Nobita, and his neighborhood friends learn more about important life values, like respecting one another and honesty, as they embark on adventures that push the boundaries of both time and space.
According to financial news site Nikkei, the series is set to air a total of twenty-six episodes, fives times a week on Disney XD. Nikkei also notes that the story, along with the names of characters and gadgets Doraemon uses in the series, have been changed to reflect American culture. Noted name changes include Doraemon's owner Nobita to "Noby," the bully Gian to "Big G," and the magical portal Doraemon uses, the “Dokodemo Door” to the “Anywhere Door.”
Since its’ first appearance in several Japanese magazines in December 1969, the original “Doraemon” manga is comprised of over forty-five volumes, with a total of 1,344 different stories. It has been the recipient of several Japanese writing awards, including the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1982 and the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award in 1997. In March 2008, Japan's Foreign Ministry appointed Doraemon as its’ first "anime ambassador" to promote better understanding of the Japanese culture in other countries around the world.
Along with "Doraemon," Disney XD, which reaches over 78 million households, has also aired several other hit animé series in the past, including “Naruto Shippuden,” “Digimon: Data Squad,” and “Battle B-Daman.”