In this series I shall be featuring mini-profiles of cat characters I have enjoyed in comics. Each post will feature an image and short description of the character.
The first cat in this series is Doraemon, the creation of Fujio Fujiki, the alias of two creators (mangaka) Motoo Akibo and Hiroshi Fujimoto, working in collaboration. Doraemon is a blue, earless, male, magical, back from the future, robot cat that lost his ears to a hungry rat. And like most cats he is very good to his owner, the little boy Nobita. This cat has been designed in a seriously super-deformed style with a large round head that takes up practically half its body length. First published in Japan in 1970 it has been so successful it was developed into an animation series and franchise with a massive amount of merchandise including postage stamps. Doraemon has the distinction of being the first Anime Ambassador of Japan. Most recently a museum has opened in Kawasaki. This cat is more than 40 years old although, as it is a cat that is back from the future, it has not yet been born, his birthday being just over a century away on 3rd September 2112. His popularity goes on and on, and taking a lead from the guitar I saw in a music shop in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, near Meiji University, I say “Rock on Doraemon!”
UPDATE 3 SEP 2112: On September 3rd 2012 Doraemon received an official residency certificate from Kawasaki city-100 years before his birth on September 3rd 2112.
UPDATE 21 NOV 2016: On a trip to Tokyo last month I found these two sets of Doraemon stamps on sale at a Japan Post shop:
and an old copy of the Doraemon magazine at a bookshop in Jimbocho:
and a toy figure in a food shop in Kappabashi:
UPDATE 19 APR 2017: On a trip to New York last month I found this Doraemon doll made up as Captain America in a shop window in Chinatown, along with a group of smaller Doraemons and a large Japanese neko.