Nobita Nobi

Nobita Nobi (野比のび太, Nobi Nobita) is a fictional character in the Doraemon anime and manga series created by Fujiko Fujio, the pen name of writing team Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko. Known as Sidney, Specky,chashmish and Noby Nobi in some of the English localizations of the anime, Nobita is usually depicted as an academically underachieving elementary school student in Tokyo's Nerima Ward and the only child of Nobisuke and Tamako Nobi, who is perpetually looked after by the series' title character, a robotic cat from the future sent back in time by Nobita's descendent.

Nobita Nobi
Doraemon character
NobitaNobi.png
Nobita Nobi as he appears in the 2005 Doraemon anime.
First appearanceDecember 1969
Created byFujiko Fujio
Voiced byJapanese:
Yoshiko Ōta (1973)
Noriko Ohara (1979 – March 2005)
Hiroko Maruyama (stand-in for Ohara)
Xu Jiao (April 2005 - April 2007)
Yuri Chinen (April 2005 - April 2007)
Tomomi Tenjinbayashi (October 2005 - present)
Haruka Tomatsu (October 2005 - present)
Megumi Ōhara (April 2005 – present)
Teen:
Makiko Ōmoto (2000)
Mai Kadowaki (2005–2007)
Adult:
Kōzō Shioya (1984)
Shingo Hiromori (1987–1990)
Noriko Ohara (2000–2004)
Tōru Ōkawa (April 2005 - present)
Hideyuki Hori (April 2005 - present)
Subaru Kimura (April 2005 - present)
Satoshi Tsumabuki (April 2005 - present)
English:
Steven Bednarski (1985),
Denise Tan (2002-2003),
Johnny Yong Bosch (2014-2015)
Indonesia:
Ivonne Rose (1989-2009,Stand by me)
Dewi Sartika (2009-now)
In-universe information
NicknameNoby (Bang Zoom! English dub)
GenderMale
Significant other Shizuka (future wife)
ChildrenNobisuke Nobi (future son)
RelativesNobisuke Nobi (father)
Tamako Nobi (mother)
Nobirou Nobi (paternal uncle)
Nobie Nobi (cousin)
Tamao Kataoka (maternal uncle)
Nobiru Nobi (paternal grandfather)
Nobita's Grandmother (paternal grandmother)
Sewashi Nobi (future great-great-grandson)
NationalityJapanese
Age10
BirthdayAugust 8, 1961 (1969)
August 7, 1964 (1973)
August 7, 1973 (1979)
August 7, 1999 (2005)
HometownTokyo, Japan

Along with Doraemon, Nobita is considered to be one of the most popular and widely recognizable manga characters due to the series' popularity, which extends beyond its native Japan, and has been referenced in a variety of contexts.

CharacteristicsEdit

Nobita's characterization depicts him as an lazy and flawed person, including but not limited to a lack of physical co-ordination or athletic talent, predisposition to laziness, reluctance to engage in critical thinking, and sometimes exhibits childish or even perverted behavior. He dislikes books and lacks a basic grasp of knowledge, such as being unable to understand concepts such as the definition of an eclipse. He often takes any chance to take a nap and is often known as 'The Lazy King'. In a typical episode, Nobita begs Doraemon to lend him a gadget to get revenge on his bully classmates, Gian and Suneo, show off to his classmate and future love interest, suneo honekawa, or to provide convenience for himself such as getting his homework done quicker. Whenever he possesses Doraemon's gadgets, he almost always abuses the gadget's power to the point that the effect backfires on him. He envies his classmate Hidetoshi Dekisugi, a straight-A student admired by all of the girls in his class, including Suneo. Nobita's typical day consists of arriving late to school, falling asleep during class, scoring low marks on his tests, getting scolded by his teacher and teased by Gian and Suneo, falling in the curbside rain gutters, getting chased by dogs, getting scolded by his mother for not completing his tasks, and being bullied by people he knows, except Shizuka.

Even though Nobita possesses many questionable character traits, he occasionally displays redeeming qualities such as kind-heartedness, courage, and even a good work ethic. In some full-length stories he has risked his life to help save others, or even entire civilizations. In some episodes, it is implied that his poor academic grades is due to his lazy nature as opposed to a lack of intellectual ability. Nobita is known for his sharp gunfiring abilities and also skilful in the game of Cat's cradle as shown in many episodes. The character has also demonstrated creativity when it comes to utilizing Doraemon's gadgets in novel ways. For example, in one instance he finds a way to profitably use a gadget called the "broadcasting mirror" for advertising, even when Doraemon himself couldn't think of any use for it. Other examples include his ability to co-opt free flying with the use of Doraemon's "power of wind" fans, which can create a gust of wind with just a gentle swish, and his use of the voice hardener, which is considered useless by Doraemon, for transportation.

AppearancesEdit

The central premise of the Doraemon media franchise is grounded on the relationship between its protagonists, Doraemon and Nobita.[1]

Nobita encounters Doraemon after the robot is sent back in time by one of his descendants, a young boy named Sewashi Nobi to improve the circumstances of his great great grandfather so that his descendants may enjoy a better future. In the original timeline, Nobita experienced nothing but misery and misfortune manifested in the form of very poor grades and bullying throughout his life. A running gag in the series involve Nobita crying for and begging Doraemon to use his gadgets to solve a problem, often at the beginning of an episode or scenario.[2][3] Throughout the series Nobita is mostly shown to be overly dependent on Doraemon; He begs Doraemon for many things, such as gadgets allowing him to have vengeance on Gian for hurting him or taking his belongings, or to have something better to show-off after listening to Suneo brag about his vacations, expensive games and toys, and other privileges that he enjoys.

In other mediaEdit

Japanese actor Satoshi Tsumabuki appeared as Nobita in several live-action television commercials throughout 2011 and 2016. The advertisement's were created by Toyota and depict the series' characters two decades after they "grow up."[4]

Nobita has appeared in various educational manga along with other Doraemon characters.[5][6] The character has been used in a public service campaign organized by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West), where posters of Doraemon, Nobita and several supporting characters from the series were distributed to promote appropriate etiquette for train travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

Cultural impactEdit

Due to the success of the Doraemon franchise, Nobita is an internationally recognized character that has attained considerable notoriety. The character's likeness has been recreated as figurines used in Hindu religious practices in India.[8] Nobita's family residence, a typical Japanese suburban house, is a recognizable element of the series to international audiences.[9]

Nobita's relationship with Suneo has been referenced by an Indian television personality from the Bigg Boss reality television series in a public discussion about the rivalry between his cast mates Sidharth Shukla and Rashami Desai,[10] whereas his relationship dynamic with Doraemon had been co-opted as a satirical form of criticism against a Malaysian politician.[11]

A footprint fossil of a dinosaur species discovered in China in 2020 is named Eubrontes nobitai after Nobita.[12]

ReceptionEdit

 
A cosplayer portraying Nobita Nobi.

Critics found that the character's flawed personality and modest background is considered to be a departure from other contemporary anime and manga protagonists typically portrayed as special or extraordinary,[13][14] and the consistent portrayal of Nobita as being relatable and down-to-earth had been cited as reasons behind the character's appeal as well as the contrary.[15][1] According to the Italian Parents Movement (Moige), in the manga, "the lazy Nobita does not know any kind of appreciable evolution", though there are still good points including "the criticism of bullying, the goodness that transpires from the little Nobita and the positive figure of Shizuka".[16] According to an analysis by Anne Allison, professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University, the strong point of the series and its heart is the relationship between Nobita and Doraemon, as opposed to the variety of the gadgets showcased by the latter.[17]

In early 2021, the character became a trending topic on social media following the international release of promotional material featuring the character getting married to Suneo in the 3D computer animated film Stand by Me Doraemon 2.[18][19]

ControversiesEdit

Nobita's physical appearance was referenced as a term of insult by Spanish YouTube personality AuronPlay against Spanish entrepreneur Josep Maria Bartomeu for his alleged resemblance to the character, which Bartomeu responded to by filing a police complaint and later taking legal action against AuronPlay.[20]

In August 2016, a member of the Tehreek-i-Insaf party submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly calling for a ban on the series, alleging the show's "negative impact" on Pakistani children: one of the cited reasons behind the motion was the depiction of Nobita's interactions with Shizuka at school, which was labelled as incompatible with Pakistani and Muslim culture.[21] Similarly, politicians and activists in neighbouring India have criticized Nobita's problematic behavioural traits for setting a bad example to children, with one activist even blaming the character's supposed influence for a 2013 exam-fixing scandal in the state of Madhya Pradesh.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Russell Thomas (1 February 2020). "Back to the future: The world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Doraemon". Japan Times. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  2. ^ "The Cuddliest Hero in Asia". Time. 5 June 2021. Archived from the original on 1 April 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  3. ^ Egan Loo (12 May 2014). "Doraemon Anime's Visual & Script Changes for U.S. TV Detailed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ Egan Loo (17 November 2011). "Movie Star Jean Reno Plays Doraemon in Live-Action Ads". Anime News Network. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  5. ^ Gravett, Paul (3 August 2004). Manga:Sixty years of Japanese Comics. Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 1-85669-391-0.
  6. ^ "Shogakukan Publishes Doraemon Earthquake Survival Guide". Anime News Network. 22 June 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  7. ^ Oona McGee (2 November 2020). "Japan's 'new normal' train manners poster: 7 steps for safe travel during the pandemic". Japan Today. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  8. ^ Sruthi Ganapathy Raman (21 September 2017). "In Chennai's festive season, Jayalalithaa dolls are giving the gods a run for their money". Scroll.in. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  9. ^ Athika Rahma (10 July 2020). "Terlihat Sederhana, Ternyata Rumah Nobita Harganya Rp 9 Miliar" (in Indonesian). Liputan6. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Bigg Boss 13: Hindustani Bhau on Sidharth Shukla and Rashami Desai's rivalry: They are like the Nobita and Suneo". Bollywood Life. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  11. ^ Tan Mei Zi (31 March 2020). "Doraemon memes blow up on Twitter after ministry blasted for sexist Covid-19 shutdown advice (VIDEO)". Malay Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  12. ^ The new ichnotaxon Eubrontes nobitai ichnosp. nov. and other saurischian tracks from the Lower Cretaceous of Sichuan Province and a review of Chinese Eubrontes-type tracks Li-Da Xing, Martin G. Lockley, Hendrik Klein, Li-Jun Zhang, Anthony Romilio, W. Scott Persons IV, Guang-Zhao Peng, Yong Ye & Miao-Yan Wang 05-July-2021 Journal of Palaeogeography
  13. ^ Inggil (15 November 2019). "Memaknai Hidup Layaknya Tokoh Nobita" (in Indonesian). Mancode.id. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  14. ^ TETSUO IWAMOTO, Asahi Staff Writer (3 September 2012). "Happy birthday! Doraemon will be born 100 years from today". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  15. ^ Adrian Enzastiga (17 October 2018). "UI student and rapper Nobi remains in the shadows of the hip-hop world". Daily Iowan. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  16. ^ Scala, Elisabetta (2016). "Un anno di zapping - Guida critica family friendly ai programmi televisivi" (PDF). Moige. p. 211. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  17. ^ Allison, Anne (2002). Playing with Power: Morphing Toys and Transforming Heroes in Kids' Mass Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0521004608.
  18. ^ "Twitterati get emotional as Nobita finally marries Suneo in 'Stand by Me Doraemon 2'". The Free Press Journal. 20 January 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Nobita seems to marry Suneo in 'Stand By Me Doraemon 2'". Manila Bulletin. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  20. ^ Plunkett, Luke (5 September 2019). "YouTuber Reported To Police For Saying Powerful Soccer Executive Looks Like A Doraemon Character". Kotaku. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  21. ^ Yuji Kuronuma (6 October 2016). "Doraemon under attack as a bad influence on children in India, Pakistan". Nikkei. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Japanese robot cat Doraemon raises hackles in India and Pakistan". the Guardian. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2021.

Further readingEdit