Millennials and even GenZ kids revere Doraemon as one of their favorite childhood heroes. Ever since the first Doraemon story was published in 1969, the heroic duo of Nobita and his robot cat Doraemon have created a glittering paradise to satisfy children’s fantasies. But the original story that inspired the birth of this franchise may be too horrifying to be meant for children.
Being the creation of the imaginative duo Fujiko Fujio, or Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko, this children’s series features Doraemon, who is a robotic cat from the future on a mission to help out Nobita, a 10-year-old boy, with a plethora of scientific inventions.
It has become a Japanese pop culture icon, with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs actually designating Doraemon as an anime ambassador.
Story of a Schizophrenic?
The real story behind this seemingly cheerful kids’ plot may strike a sinister chord in hearts. Nobita apparently suffers from a serious mental condition called schizophrenia, by which one’s anchor falls from the shore of reality. He is harassed and bullied at school, and also faces loneliness due to a lack of friends.
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As a schizophrenic, he fabricated this character called Doraemon in his own imagination, which was so strong that they became good friends. That was apparently the root of all their adventures together, which were imaginary. Later when Nobita went for medical counseling at 16, doctors informed him about the non-existence of his friend, thereby driving him to suicide.
However appealing this grim side of the story may sound, it may not be true. Recently the fact about a hidden mental condition behind the kids’ story has been doing the rounds on the internet, only to turn out to be a social experiment. The true story behind Nobita’s life was cooked up basically to prove how people easily fall for fake news.
Having said that, the theory has been circulating among the Doraemon fandom for ages. One theory has led to another, and this one where Nobita is actually a schizophrenic is one of the most popular ones. Fans have been divided over this idea, with no conclusive proof that the creators were inspired by such a heart-wrenching story of a helpless boy.
One horror aspect of the Doraemon franchise may be the Dictator Switch- a gadget that can erase a person completely out of existence, leaving not a trace behind. Guess what, it’s in the hands of a 10-year-old boy. Also, there’s a subplot of one Doraemon movie that features a mother who turns into a demon and almost kills her child in her demon form.
Anyhow, the creator duo Fujiko Fujio had come up with Doraemon’s story purely out of imagination. The story apparently occurred to Fujimoto after three things happened. He made a wish for a futuristic gadget that could supply potential manga stories for him, he tripped over his daughter’s toy, and lastly, he heard the wailing of cats in his neighborhood.
A great way to find a story about touching generations isn’t it?
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked
Sources: News 18, Otaku Kart, Polygon
Image sources: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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