National

Doraemon clock debuts in Odaiba to mark manga's 50th anniverary

Kyodo

A marionette clock based on Doraemon, the robotic cat from one of Japan’s most popular manga, was unveiled Friday in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the character, which has since been turned into anime, movies and video games.

The face of the cat, which travels back from the 22nd century to help an elementary school boy named Nobita, is depicted in the center of a clock that’s in a box sitting on top of a 3.8-meter tall, 4-meter wide base made up of other boxes.

One of Doraemon’s secret tools, a “mood-lifting orchestra,” appears from behind a curtain in the large main box at certain times to perform the theme to the Doraemon TV program.

Fujiko F. Fujio (1933-1996) started running Doraemon comic book stories in December 1969 in a kids magazines published by Shogakukan Inc.

“Fifty years on, Doraemon is still alive and kicking. I’m grateful” for the fans, said Zensho Ito, president of Fujiko Pro Co., as the clock began moving at around 10 a.m. in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.

The first official Doraemon store will open at the shopping complex on Sunday.