Compare the American Version of this Japanese Cartoon with the Original: It’s Funny!

  • Even if you have never been to Japan, you must have heard the name Doraemon before! Just in case you haven’t, Doraemon is a manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio and his team. It first appeared in December 1969. It is about a robotic cat called Doraemon from the 22nd century who travelled to modern Japan to aid a boy called Nobi Nobita.

    The anime version of the manga first appeared on TV in 1973. Since then, different companies have bought the anime rights and broadcasted the series in their countries, which include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and many others. It has become part of many people’s childhood memories. In the summer of 2014, the Doraemon anime series landed on American TV, and the children there can finally have a look at it. However, Disney, who bought the Doraemon anime series rights, made quite a few changes to it. Many Doraemon fans, therefore, claim that this Doraemon is no longer the one they used to know. What are some of the changes Disney made? Let’s take a look now.

    Character names

    From Nobita to Noby
    Well, since the surname of Nobita is Nobi, this name change is understandable as Nobi and Noby are pronounced the same way. But when I first saw the name Noby, I misread it as ‘Nobody’! I once thought that Disney tried to tell us that Nobi was actually nobody through the name change!

    Other name changes include Shizuka to Sue, Suneo to Sneech, Hidetoshi Dekisugi to ACE Goody, and Gian to Big G. Gian’s name is originated from the English word ‘Giant’, which is completely okay for him in my opinion. However, Disney thinks that this name is too ordinary. Therefore, they decided to call him Big G. But I think it’s a bit weird. In addition to Gian’s name change, his sister Jiako’s name has been changed to Little G!

    The final name change is Nobita’s unnamed teacher being called Mr. S. Nobita’s teacher is a strict unnamed taskmaster. Even though he played an important role in the story, the author Fujiko didn’t give him a name. Maybe out of pity, Disney names him Mr. S. I think this name sounds like some agents from the FBI.


    From chopsticks to forks
    American culture differs greatly from Japanese, so it’s understandable that the Nobi family switches from chopsticks to forks when dining after their apparent migration. But it’s still pretty odd that they would use forks to eat Japanese rice!

    From Japanese yen to US dollar bills

    From tanuki to seal

    In the Japanese version, Doraemon is continuously being mistaken as a tanuki (or raccoon). But in the American version, he is mistakenly being recognized as a seal.

    From a crybaby to… a man?

    Nobita is no longer a big crybaby in America… at least the exaggerated crying scenes have been eliminated.

    No More Gluttony!
    If you have watched the Japanese version of Doraemon before, you may remember that Doraemon always asks for Dorayaki, or is eating Dorayaki. However, in the American version, you will no longer see these scenes. Not only this, most snacks are replaced by fruit! This is because according to the Federal Communications Commission in the US, all TV programs should encourage the promotion of healthy eating.

    Other Changes

    Some other minor changes have been made to the American version as well. These are mostly translations or other names for Doraemon’s gadgets. Some examples of these include Nobita getting an “F” instead of a “0”, the Japanese name Goda Shouten being changed to Goda’s Goods, Doraemon’s Dokodemo Door translated to “Anywhere Door” and lastly his famous Take-copter has become a Hopter.


    The above are some big and interesting differences between the two versions. What do you think about them? Do you think it’s still the Doraemon you know? But no matter what changes have been made, Gian’s most classic line is still there: What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine! Maybe next time, you can have a try the Amercian version, too!

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