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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Doraemon: Stand by Me

I'm a huge fan of Doraemon but this seriously did not appeal to me at all. 

It's advertised as a huge finale to the Doraemon story but basically, it didn't bring anything new to it at all. I think the problem is basically this, Doraemon has had 50+ years of history behind it. This is about as long as SOME Marvel comic characters. During that time, lots of shit has happened to the characters and basically, it's hard to write a new story without rehashing some of the older plot elements. Which is the problem with Stand by Me and it's place in the Doraemon continuity. 

Let's go through the basic plot of the film so that people have an idea of what I'm talking about. In the film, Nobita is still obsessed with Shizuka and is mostly very useless. Doraemon tries to help him as much as possible but this being Nobita, it doesn't take very well as he seems to jinx everything he does. Then eventually Doraemon has to leave and Nobita decides to try and grow up so that Doraemon can be assured that Nobita will be able to go through life successfully. Throw in some tear jerk moments and a sudden 'twist' at the end where Doraemon comes back and you have this movie. Which really did nothing but establish what fans have already known for years. This movie is literally STATUS QUO IS GOD in a cinematic form. 

My issue with this is that I really was expecting more from this story. I think the problem is that for me, Nobita isn't really the useless crybaby that he is shown to be in the movie. That's how he appears in the comedy version of Doraemon but as any fan of Doraemon will tell you, there are SEVERAL different genres of Doraemon stories. Including the ones that involve exploration and adventure and basically Nobita and Co being Indiana Jones. In those stories, Nobita pretty much mans up when he needs to and ends up showing people the way. Those were the ones I read the most as a child and that was really the tone I was hoping for since the film was touted as being climatic. 

While I understand that they're trying to animate the third; supposedly final, ending to Doraemon that the original creators came up with, the problem may be that the ending was conceived of during the 70s and at least 40 years of Doraemon history has happened since then. That ending may no longer be sufficient for the Doraemon fans of the present. I mean, just as an addendum, the whole Indiana Nobita stories only started happening in the 80s and that's already wrecked the whole continuity of Doraemon as it is. 

Overall, I'd say this movie was a disappointment but I'm also willing to state that it's probably because I expected a lot more from this movie, which was more simplistic in its story telling and approach than I wanted.