Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
2.23.2008 Doraemon (a.k.a The Little Ding Dang) (Chinese Version)
This time when I visited Taiwan, I noticed something that I previously didn’t notice – I found that Doraemon, the robotic cat from a popular manga series, was present everywhere.
When I went to the night market in Taipei, there were flashlights with Doraemon printed on the body. The store owner was very courteous and said that they had Doreamon or the detective Conan, whatever we wanted they have! Not to mention other daily stuff, like clothing or bags, Doraemon is definitely printed on them, even on the food stuff. I bought a pack of instant noodles only to find that there were instructions printed on the package telling me on how to exchange a Doraemon puppet with the many bags I would have to consume.
Doraemon is a character from a long Japanese manga series. It was about this robotic cat from the future who was sent by his owner to the present time to help the owner’s great grand father, Nobita Nobi, who was not good with whatever he did, most important studying, and he was lousy at doing anything. He was often being taken advantages by his peers, Suneo and Jaian. Doraemon was meant to help Nobita study and teach him principles, since Nobita often bent himself in the favor of the situation. In order to do so, Doraemon had a lot of future gadgets and inventions to help at various situations. He was always trying to be straight and staying on principles at first, but often was compelled to help Nobita since he had a kind heart. But once Nobita was being helped with the gadgets, he got carried away and started to show off, then his peers would notice and try to steal the gadget away, so Doraemon would have to go help retrieve it back. The story evolved around one after one gadgets and one situation after another. Pages after pages of story lines and years after years, many school age children became fond with it.
I went online and googled and found that Doraemon was an old series, much to my surprise. In 1971 it had the first official ending then later there were several endings being introduced. Before in Taiwan it was translated to “Little Ding-Dang”, but now it is more accepted by its phonetically translation, Do-La-A- Mon. This series targeted fourth graders, and it eventually crossed the Pacific Ocean and was introduced to other places, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. I bet there are not many people who don’t know about Doraemon from these areas.
When I was growing up, I too read a lot of Doraemon eposides. The one that I remembered the most was this one time, Nobita needed to study because he always failed to study and consequently failed the test, then his mother would be scolding him, so as he remembered this horrible yet predictable pattern, he begged Doraemon for help in tears, as usual. Doraemon, being a nice cat, took out of loaf of memory bread from his pocket. Its usage was to cover a page with a slice of the bread, so the info was being copied onto the bread and then one just needed to eat the bread to gain the knowledge. It was a pretty clever invention and both Doraemon and Nobita validated that this approach worked, so they went on their day with ease and actually anticipated the test next day. However, bread, like any food, would get through the digested system and eventually being eliminated by the system. So as Nobita went and flushed the toilet, so did the knowledge that was being flushed away, so the next day he of course failed the test again and both of them got the scolding from the mother again.
True, every invention and every story was followed by a moral concept, and Doraemon always got into trouble with Nobita.
When I asked about Doraemon, a lot of people would reply and comment that, “yes, yes, it was funny, I have read it.”
I was thinking, other than the fact that it was being read at a younger age, what else made Doraemon something that we can’t let go? We always remember it. Its merchandise still sells and it has become a cultural phenomenon, just like Hell Kitty.
I guess it is because during the time of growing up, we always have a Doraemon to help us in the times of need, to allow us to remember him dearly.
In our lives, there was a person with a good heart, the stuff he did make us laugh, and when we were in trouble, this person always had ways to help us out. But since life is a series of stages, due to circumstances, we may lose contact and eventually we all become our own Doraemons, taking care of ourselves. When we mention about our Little Ding Dang again, we didn’t know where to start. It is not just about trying to search our Doraemons, but the fact of letting go and recognizing that dear pain.
Our maturity is connected by our growing up, whose is not? Therefore, we all become Nobita, no longer easily agitated.
What we can’t let go is the result of our child nature, isn’t it? In fact, we still remember our Doraemons, which explains our habitual searching.
Or eventually, good bye, Doraemon, the Little Ding Dang