Obvious Superman references are also dicks

Everyone's familiar, I hope, with Superman is a Dick. But what I didn't know was that superheroic dickishness has even reached Japan.

Here's the setup: it's a Doraemon comic, the plot of which is usually:

  1. Nobita is in trouble (or just inconvenienced, or bored)
  2. Doraemon produces a high-tech gadget to solve the problem
  3. Nobita gets cocky, over- or misuses the gadget, and gets himself in even worse trouble.

This particular comic begins with Nobita playing with a kendama in his room, and getting the ball to land in the cup for the first time in his life. Excited, he decides to go out (carefully balancing the ball as it is) and show his supporting characters friends. Doraemon tags along as usual.

But halfway to the door, his mother stops him. Her hanko has fallen down behind a desk, and she wants help getting it out. Nobita flees, but Doraemon stays behind and produces a box of eggs containing fictional characters. He breaks one open and Tom Thumb appears in a puff of smoke. Tom gets the hanko and then vanishes. "They disappear when their task is done," Doraemon explains.

Meanwhile, at the park, Gian and Suneo are unimpressed with Nobita's feat. So unimpressed that they beat him up and run off with the kendama. Nobita runs home to Sleeping Beauty washing the floor and soon gets the whole story from Doraemon. Once he understands the procedure, he immediately breaks open the Arsene Lupin egg.

Lupin steals the kendama back, but Gian and Suneo know that Nobita is behind the heist, because at Lupin's insistence Nobita hand-delivered the traditional letter to them beforehand: "I will steal your kendama today at 2:30 p.m. Erect your defences as you will. --Arsene Lupin."

So when Nobita goes to show Shizuko (another of his friends, and also his future wife) his kendama skill, Gian and Suneo chase him back into his house angrily -- though what they're angry about I do not know, since Lupin only stole back what was already Nobita's. Anyway, that's when Nobita gets an idea...

It's "Mighty Man", also known as "as close as our lawyers would let us get to Superman".

Nobita: "Mighty Man! I want to show Shizu-chan how I can get the ball into the cup."

Mighty Man: "I understand. I won't allow anyone to interfere until you show her your cup-and-ball skills."

On the way to Shizuka's house, Mighty Man takes care of Gian and Suneo:

Nobita: "That'll do!"

(Damn, Mighty Man, they're just kids.)

Predictably, on Shizuka's doorstep, Nobita can't perform.

Nobita: "It went so well before..."

Shizuka: "I'm kind of busy..."

So Nobita turns to leave, and Shizuka starts to go inside. But...

Mighty Man won't allow it.

Mighty Man: "Keep trying."

Nobita: "It's OK, you can vanish!"

Mighty Man: "NO, I CAN'T!"

Mighty Man: "I can't vanish until my task is complete! Now get that ball into that cup successfully!"

And so...

Nobita's mother: "Excuse me, but it's time for dinner..."


What a dick. Doraemon rules.

Popularity factor: 2


After far too much Doraemon watching in my day, I've concluded that it's Nobita who is the dick. Granted, the show wouldn't be much if he weren't a lazy, shiftless idiot, but come now. The entire reason for Doraemon to exist is to keep Nobita from fucking up his life too much ... which he successfully does every episode, as you said, by being too cocky or just himself. Doraemon is way cooler. If only one could go a full episode without Nobita's lame mug showing up. Such is life, however.


I'd call Nobita more of a loser than a dick. (If we're going to get technical.) But you're right on all the details.

Have you heard the unofficially-official "ending" of Doraemon? I guess they had to think of a way to transform him from a pathetic whiner into a decent, successful guy, so they say that Doraemon stops working and even in the future they can't fix him without resetting his memory. So Nobita suddenly starts studying hard so he can become an electrical engineer and fix him himself. And, eventually, he does.

But I don't buy it. First of all, it really doesn't seem like Nobita is CAPABLE of achieving at anything like a decent level, in any area of his life. And second of all, why couldn't Nobita just ask the future him, the robot-engineer him, to fix Doraemon the same way and then send him back?

I think way too hard about Doraemon.

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