The origin of me as a sci-fi fanatic (part 1)

Just in case you don’t know, I am a long time, loyal sci-fi fan. I watch sci-fi anime regularly, I am fascinated by sci-fi movies even the bad ones. I read sci-fi novels until I fall asleep and I dream of another, distant world. During the last weekend, I dug through my old anime collection and came upon an old disc for Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Army. I remember I first watched it when I was only five or six years old. I recall I loved it a lot but never thought about the reason behind my passion, not to mention how influential to my later life this movie has become.

Watching it again after so many years, it’s like going back through time and one thing dawned on me; this is where it all began. This anime surprisingly contains almost all features commonly found in sci-fi flicks. It was my earliest exposure to science fiction genre and I now know why I have such insatiable passion for sci-fi nowadays.

this is where it all began

Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Army (aka Nobita and the Platoon of Iron Men) is the seventh Doraemon feature film released in 1986. The story begins when Nobita accidentally discovers a giant robot’s parts in the North Pole. He, with Doraemon’s help, brings the robot home and rebuilds it in the mirror world. None of them know that the robot is a deadly weapon sent to Earth in a scheme of world destruction. Later a mysterious girl, Lilulu, comes looking for the robot and Doraemon and friends learn about the invasion of the robot army. They eventually join forces and fight to pretect the Earth.

In this post, I will go into the details of the ten amazing yet common features of Sci-fi genre found in Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Army and pay homage to this probably forgotten anime that has become part of my sci-fi fandom.

ONE: Parallel universe

the other side of the mirror

You can call it a kid’s version of parallel universe because Doraemon presents it in a way anyone can understand, no technical terms and no headache-inducing theory. It’s a world in the mirror. What happens there stays there. The mirror is cleverly used during the Robot’s invasion to lured them into the parallel world and thus, preventing them from invading our real world.

TWO: Dystopia and Utopia

a familiar portrayal of dystopia

Doraemon is anything but a pessimistic anime but the idea about dystopia is well implied within the conversations and the background story concerning the invading robot army. The planet from which the army comes from is ruled by AI originally created by human trying to build a utopia but instead ending up creating tyranny robots. Though the anime never directly shows what the planet is like at the present time, one can easily assume that the human on that planet is no more.

THREE: The Mecha

an ideal friend in hard times

Sanda Claus appears solely to please kids. Nobita accidentally find the giant mecha at the North Pole out of pure luck. Kids cannot help feeling jealous about Nobita’s new big toy because this is like a dream comes true. The mecha is an obvious homage to other, greater mecha anime at that time.

FOUR: Cutting-edge technology and time warp

thanks to these hamless looking toys, the world is safe!

There isn’t much to discuss about advanced technology especially for those who know Doraemon. Doraemon seems to have wondrous gadgets for any occasion even for the most trivial things but curiously, he often fails to bring them out in the time of crisis. Another note worthy thing about technology is the robot army’s using time warp to transport Sanda Claus’s parts to earth.

Wait! This post doesn’t end here but it apparently gets too long. There are six more features to discuss so I decide to split this post into part 1 and part 2. Click here for part 2!

19 responses to “The origin of me as a sci-fi fanatic (part 1)

  1. That Doraemon movie looks adorable. I love sci-fi as well and will totally watch any anime that is about it.

    Cutting-edge technology and time warp has always been a favourite feature of sci-fi of mine. Especially in older movies. It can prove to be quite entertaining.

    Can’t wait for post 2 :D

  2. Doraemon is definitely a big part of many people’s childhoods. It is the start of my interest in manga and anime. I used to be so fascinated with the sci fi aspect of it as well.
    Anyway, interesting post. I’ve watched that movie, but I’ve never really thought about the dystopia and parallel universes in Doraemon.

    • Most of the worlds that Doraemon visits in various movies looks like Utopia. A paradise or the land of dream. Since Doraemon aims for kids, dystopia is only sporadically implied but dystopia is an essential thing to create a protective feeling towards our planet.
      Glad you find this post interesting, there are still several topic left for the part 2 :)

  3. An interesting turn of events, finding where your sc-fi passion from must have been a deep experience.
    I didn’t know anything about Doraemon even if i remember seeing the character somewhere.

    I do enjoy sc-fi myself once in a while. Depend on my mood really. I’m demanding with everything i watch so, sc-fi or not it has to be excellent.
    I’m more attracted to space and interstellar travel rather then mecha and such. Looooove big spaceships :)

    I’m looking forward post 2 ^^

    • Doraemon is big in Asia but somehow his popularity pales in Western countries. So I’m not surprise you don’t know him well. You know what, Interstellar travel is also very prominent in several other Doraemon movies. ^^

  4. It’s kind of interesting to find people who label themselves as sci-fi fans instead of mecha otaku, especially if they understood the fine line that separates them. Sci-fi and mecha ALWAYS (almost) come hand in hand with each other, and to say that one is a fan of the former without considering the latter, you’ve got great distinction on what you like.

    • That’s interesting. The thought of claiming myself as a mecha fan never crosses my mind. For me, Mecha is the subset of sci-fi. When I watch mecha anime, I am not especially fascinated by the mecha but tend to appreciate the whole thing as a combination of sci-fi elements.

  5. Like cereal (cereal = seriously), I don’t know how you could have any patience watching those >.>…I HATE shows with that 80s kind of feel to them. Even some early 90s anime shows get on my nerves :P But I gotta say my gateway anime (along with half of the other people who like anime) was dragonball z lol.

    • You know, I kind of understand how you feel. The 80s shows are made for people in the 80s. In my case, I literally watched Doraemon for the first time some where around late 80s to early 90s and I fell in love with it. Watching them right now has strong nostalgic effect. But now, I sometimes have difficulty watching old anime for the first time unless they are classic ones.

  6. Pingback: The origin of me as a sci-fi fanatic (part 2) « Canne's anime review blog

  7. “came upon an old disc for Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Army. I remember I first watched it when I was only five or six years old.”

    Wow. You had discs when you were 5?
    When I was 5, my TV was still black and white! o.0!

    “Doraemon is big in Asia but somehow his popularity pales in Western countries”

    True. Instead, I think the western part of the world got He-man and She-Rah. Which I loved as a kid. Lol. She-Rah was HOT!

  8. Oh! thank you for pointing out that timeline error. When I was five, I watched it on VHS. Then around my junior high school, I found multiple Doraemon CDs in a store and they were on sale. I swept the store clean without any slightest hesitation!

  9. Oh wow..Doraemon was the shit back then. I find it a bit interesting that you made a lot of your enumerations with Doraemon as a basis.

    Have you, by any chance, heard of Mojacko?

    • I recall seeing Mojacko way back then but don’t remember the details. As far as I know, it didn’t air for very long, did it?
      Thanks for dropping by :)

  10. I’ve long heard of Doraemon, but haven’t actually seen any of it. Despite that I am a huge sci-fi fan, which is probably why I took so well to mecha.

    The first model kit I ever built was the USS Enterprise 1701-A, the movie Enterprise. Since as with most people my introduction to sci fi was actually Star Trek XD

    There is that joke, everything I know I learned from Star Trek and in a way its right, because as you say sci fi encompasses so many features, it always seems like there is something to learn from it.

    • I am not really a guru about Star Trek. I only watched the later ones, not the old ones but considering the franchise’s enormous influence in the sci-fi community, I’m not surprised that Star Trek share all of these classic features. As I’ve said somewhere around here, there is no impossible thing in sci-fi and that’s why I can’t get enough of it.

  11. Pingback: Trapped in the past: How many gateway anime do we need, exactly? « Canne's anime review blog

  12. Pingback: Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops -Angel Wings- anime review | Canne's anime review blog

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