Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん [doɾaemoɴ]) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. The manga was first serialized in December 1969, with its 1,345 individual chapters compiled into 45 tankōbon volumes and published by Shogakukan from 1970 to 1996. The story revolves around an earless robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a boy named Nobita Nobi.
The manga spawned a media franchise. Three anime TV series have been adapted in 1973, 1979, and 2005. Additionally, Shin-Ei Animation has produced over forty animated films, including two 3D computer animated films, all of which are distributed by Toho. Various types of merchandise and media have been developed, including soundtrack albums, video games, and musicals. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America, via Amazon Kindle, by a collaboration of Fujiko F. Fujio Pro with Voyager Japan and AltJapan Co., Ltd. The anime series was licensed by Disney for an English-language release in North America in 2014, and LUK International in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Doraemon was well-received by critics and became a hit in many Asian countries. It won numerous awards, including the Japan Cartoonists Association Award in 1973 and 1994, the Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga in 1982, and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 1997. As of 2019, it has sold over 250 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling manga series in history. Doraemon is also one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, of which the animated film series has the highest number of admissions in Japan. The Doraemon character has been viewed as a Japanese cultural icon, and was appointed as the first "anime ambassador" in 2008 by the country's Foreign Ministry.
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