Doraemon, the blue robot cat who’s been beloved in Japan for almost 50 years, is being railed against in India and Pakistan where campaigns are calling to ban the character from their TV screens. The Guardian reports that social conservatives have called the anime out for corrupting children and encouraging misbehaviour, saying “The language that is used in the cartoons is destroying our societal norms”.
In his home country, the feline from the 22nd century has been praised as an example of the positive power of technology. But his critics have little faith that his gadgets improve anyone’s quality of life. Rather, they feel that when children see him use these inventions, they’re more likely to depend on others instead of solving their own problems.
The campaign has been gathering supporters since this summer, when Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) political party member Malik Taimur said Punjab should ban 24-hour cartoon channels, singling out Doraemon for the heaviest condemnation. The issue will be discussed in the largest province of Pakistan later this month, with the purpose of bringing the campaign to a resolution.
Crayon Shin-chan has also fallen foul of Middle-Eastern opinion, as last year authorities in Indonesia sought to censor his penchant for mooning his viewers. Regulators deemed the show to be “borderline pornography”, and warned broadcasters that they should conceal all scenes with scantily-clad women and silence five-year-old Shin-chan’s bawdy Freudian slips.
Fujiko F Fujio’s Doraemon manga has sold over 100 million copies, and its anime adaptation translated into more than 30 languages. The cat’s been meaning well since 1969, and if a cartoon makes some kids think it’s funny to insult their parents, well, we certainly aren’t blaming that on Doraemon.