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Doraemon in North America

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Doraemon in North America refers to the English adaptation of the Doraemon series in North America.
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Manga

See also: List of Doraemon manga (Kindle version) chapters
Doraemon USA manga

Cover of the first volume of the printed manga

In July 2013, Fujiko Fujio Productions announced that they along with Voyager Japan and Alt Japan Co., Ltd would release an English version of the manga digitally in color on the Amazon Kindle e-book service in North America. The first volume was released by Shogakukan on November 23, 2013. As of March 6, 2016 a total of 200 volumes have been released.

The same translation has been published in English in print by Shogakukan Asia. There are also bilingual releases (Japanese and English) of the manga.

Changes (For Amazon Kindle)

  • The manga is in full-color.
  • Each volume contains selected chapters from the original manga.
  • Dorayaki are referred to as "Fudgy Pudgy Pies".

Character name changes

Anime

1979 anime

Although Doraemon (1979 anime) has not been released in North America, three unsuccessful attempts were made to release an English version.

In 1985, Atlanta-based media mogul Ted Turner, who founded such cable TV networks as TBS, CNN, and TNT, acquired the US rights to the 1979 anime and planned to air the first 50 episodes on TBS (known during the time as SuperStation WTBS). For unknown reasons, the English version got cancelled before any episodes could air and the license was eventually dropped. Many people attribute the cancellation to the levels of censorship that would be applied to make it acceptable by FCC standards, however it is also rumored that the TV producers disliked Nobita's dependence on Doraemon.

According to historian Fred Patten, Streamline Pictures asked lots of TV producers including Patten to get them the 1979 anime, following the huge success of Pokémon on American TV. However, the TV producers rejected the request and would explain that the 1979 anime would not succeed in the United States due to it being "too ethnically Japanese" and having content that would be inappropriate for American children.[1]

Sometime during the early 2000s, Unbound Creative, Inc. (known during the time as phuuz entertainment inc.) made a pilot episode for network pitching, but it was never picked up by any network most likely due to lack of interest. The amount of edits done in the pilot, the voice actors plus their roles, and the episode that was dubbed remain unknown.

2005 anime

See also: List of Doraemon (Disney XD version) episodes

TV Japan aired Doraemon (2005 anime) in the United States and Canada every Friday at 6:30 PM. In March 2014, it was taken off the network's schedule and replaced by the Anne of Green Gables anime. It is unknown if the show was knocked off the air by the orders of TV Asahi Corporation, who had recently banned the international export of its Japanese-language programming after an incident in Japan where a man was arrested for sharing the entirety of the network's Pretty Cure series up to that point in time on Perfect Dark.[2]

On May 9, 2014 Nikkei announced that The Walt Disney Company would begin running an English dub of the 2005 anime on Disney XD in the United States starting in July 2014. The network would run a total of 26 episodes. Fujiko Fujio Productions (Fujiko-Pro), TV Asahi, and Shin-Ei Animation produced the English dub together with Bang Zoom! Entertainment. The dub is currently distributed by Viz Media.

The dub has been edited to appeal more to American audiences and its strict guidelines of violence, depictions of discrimination, and depictions of sexual content. The announcement of the changes led to an outcry by American otaku. Disney was blamed for the edits, which they were actually not responsible for doing. The edits were actually done by Fujiko Pro and TV Asahi. The dub focuses heavily on episodes that feature more action rather than those that focus on "heartwarming relationships". The animation edits were done by the South Korean animation studio, Studio Mir, who also did the animation edits for the Korean dub.

On June 17, 2014 Fujko Fujio Productions and Viz Media opened an English website for the anime. The website features character info, a gadget list, a free preview of the manga, a link to the Doraemon Repair Shop app, and a trailer that shows the intro of the dub. The intro was later replaced by a video of the full episode "Big G: Master Chef".

On June 19, 2014 Japan Plus Inc., announced that the first episode of the dub would make its US premiere screening at the Japan America Theater during the Anime De Summer Festival on July 5, 2014.

The dub premiered on July 7, 2014. Episodes aired every weekday at 12:30 PM ET/11:30 AM CT, and on August 18, 2014 was moved to an earlier timeslot, at 11:00 AM ET/10:00 AM CT. In March 2015, Brian Beacock, the voice of Sneech, noted on his Twitter account that he was doing further dubbing work for the dub. It was believed to be a sign of further English airings being scheduled. On June 3, 2015 a second season was confirmed by Disney. It later premiered on June 15, 2015 at 1:00 PM in the US and ended on September 1.

The dub later premiered on the Canadian version of Disney XD in August 2015, with episodes airing at 12:00 PM. For unknown reasons, the network aired only 9 episodes before the dub was eventually removed from their schedule. There are currently no plans for the dub to air on any other network in Canada.

Since February 1, 2016 the US adaptation airs bilingually in Japan on Disney Channel Japan.

As of June 2016, Bang Zoom! Entertainment has stated that there are currently no plans for a third season of the dub.

Changes

  • The setting has been changed from Japan to a fictitious place in America.
  • Omurice are called "pancakes".
  • Chopsticks are replaced by forks.
  • Japanese yen notes are replaced by US dollar bills.
  • Japanese check marks have been replaced by "X" marks along with an "F" letter grade added on test papers.
  • Japanese signage has been translated into English.
    USchange
  • Ishiyaki imo stands have been replaced by popcorn stands.
  • Most snacks are replaced by fruits due to a guideline encouraging the promotion of healthy eating. This rule was put into use by the Federal Communications Commision (the US telecommunications regulator, who also oversees the regulation of television broadcasting in the country).
  • Doraemon is mistaken for a seal instead of a tanuki/raccoon.
  • Shizuka's character has been partially changed to reflect a more tomboyish personality, although her sweet and kind personality were retained. This was done because in test viewings of the Japanese version, most of the American children requested for her character to be changed since her traditionally Japanese habits were difficult to understand. In addition, her love for bathing and sweet potatoes aren't seen or mentioned until Season 2.
  • There is no theme song leading towards the episode. Instead, Doraemon provides his own synopsis narration about how he was sent back to the future to aid "Noby", and the troubles that he encounters. The background music during episodes has also changed from the original Japanese version as well.
  • All scenes showing Nobisuke lying on a tatami mat have been removed.
  • Dorayaki are referred to as "Yummy Buns".
  • The episodes are re-ordered instead of dubbing the Japanese episode order chronologically.
  • All the Japanese background music has been replaced by original compositions in order to appeal more to American audiences, and to get around TV Asahi's restrictions on Japanese soundtrack export.
  • The episode title card sequence is excluded from dubbed episodes. The episode title is instead shown as an overlay at the beginning of the episode.
  • Fade to black transitions have been added to most of the episodes.
  • Some episodes have several minutes of footage cut. Examples include All the Way from the Future World, The Galaxy Grand Prix, and Moving to a Haunted Castle.
  • Nudity has been heavily censored by adding computer-generated steam (as seen in Transformade), as well as adding clothing, such as a tank top (as seen in The Horizon in Nobita's Room).

Character name changes

  • Nobita - Noby
  • Suneo - Sneech
  • Gian - Big G
  • Jaiko - Little G
  • Sewashi - Soby
  • Shizuka - Sue
  • Dekisugi - Ace Goody
  • Tamako - Tammy
  • Nobisuke - Toby
  • Sensei - Mr. S

Voice cast

Films

Nobita's Dinosaur 2006 was given a small-scale screening with English subtitles in Washington D.C. on November 14, 2008, marking the first time the series made an appearance in the United States.

An English dub of Stand by Me Doraemon was produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 24, 2014. Bang Zoom has yet to announce any plans on releasing it in the United States, however there is no word on cancellation either. In the meantime, an English subtitled version of the movie using the Bang! Zoom character names (except for Sue's name, which is her original Japanese name, Shizuka, which could've been an accident on the people writing the subtitles' behalf) appeared on Delta Airline's Delta Studio feature. There are DVD and Blu-ray releases of the movie with English subtitles.

Trivia

  • For many years, some American Doraemon fans and otaku speculated what prevented the franchise from being exported to the United States was that it was "too old", "too long", and "too Japanese" for the American market. It was also believed that the high costs of the license would be too much of a financial risk.
  • TV Asahi aired 10 episodes of the 2005 anime English dub in Japan from August 1 to August 10, 2014.
  • The typeface used on the official North American Doraemon website is titled "Soup Of Justice".
  • There are quite a few errors and inconsistencies on the North American Doraemon website. For example, on Sneech's About section, Noby is referred to as his original name, Nobita Nobi. Another error can be found on the SHFigarts Doraemon figure, which uses the Japanese names of Yummy Buns and the Hopter. The Delta Studio English subtitled version of Stand By Me Doraemon, which uses the Bang! Zoom character names, mistakenly calls Sue her Japanese name throughout the entire movie.

External Links

References

  1. Brubaker, Charles (May 28, 2013). The Strange Case of the 1973 "Doraemon" Series. Cartoon Research. Retrieved on August 11, 2016
  2. Mikikazu Komatsu (May 13, 2014). 38-year-old Unemployed Man Arrested for Uploading "Dokidoki! PreCure". Retrieved on October 5, 2016

Start a Discussion Discussions about Doraemon in North America

  • Let's Talk About Doraemon USA Season 3 (2)

    20 messages
    • TV guides don't get their schedules from thin air. ''As evident by the lack of an episode title.'' (DIRECTV uses Zap2it)
    • Well, it looks like CoinsCP is right. Zap2it no longer lists those episodes on their schedule. It's probably the same for the DirecTV gu...
  • Let's Talk About Doraemon USA Season 3

    354 messages
    • I will still wonder if we are even gonna get Doraemon Season 3 I mean it is having reruns again which could be a possible sign on a third sea...
    • I wish that Disney XD will give Doraemon a time slot on Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 pm so that it can air with the three current ani...

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