The 1973 Doraemon anime series was a brief but successful attempt at adapting the original manga series into anime. It was initially aired on the Nippon TV network starting in April 1973, and lasted 6 months and ended with an episode named "Goodbye, Doraemon". After it ended, Doraemon remained exclusively as a manga until 1979 when Shin El Animation and TV Asahi produced and aired a more successfully second anime adaptation, which finished its run in March 2005. After the 1979 anime finished its run, a new version of the anime aired shortly after, which is still running to this day.
The series' episodes aired every Sunday from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, having two 11-minute segments in each broadcast. It had reruns from 1974 to 1979. The last rerun, in 1979, was ended abruptly after Shogakukan sent a letter to the TV station (Toyama TV) that was airing the series ordering them to stop airing the 1973 series since it would "damage the reputation of the new anime (1979 series)" or "confuse the children (referring to the difference between 1973 and 1979)".
It is worth noting that the character designs in this anime adaptation appear more stylized than the character designs used in the Shin El Animation and TV Asahi anime adaption (1979 and 2005), which were more true to the original manga. It also used a different opening theme, which was possibly influenced partly by the theme song to the original The Pink Panther cartoons.
- Main article: List of Doraemon (1973 anime) episodes
Contrary to popular belief, the series did have good ratings, although it was still considered unsuccessful. It was considered to be renewed for another year, but ultimately was not. It was mainly canceled due to financial issues with Nippon TV Video, as well as the president of the animation studio resigning. The new elected president of the animation studio did not have any interest in continuing the anime.
After Shogakukan sent a letter to the TV station (Toyama TV) in 1979, Nippon TV Video became defunct.
It is very difficult to find any footage of this version of Doraemon, aside from a few short clips and the opening and ending theme. Nippon TV Video sold off the film reels to attempt to cover their debt. It was also rumored that Nippon TV Video deliberately ordered a "cremation fire" and destroyed almost all of the episodes, cels and storyboard. Masami Jun, the production chief of the 1973 series, later confirmed that this was nothing more than a farce.
In 1995, episodes eighteen, and twenty through twenty-six were found to be stored in Studio Rush (now known as IMAGICA) completely intact but with only two episodes without audio. These episodes are commonly shown at Doraemon conventions, but can not be legally released on DVD, due to company (Nippon TV Video) being defunct in 1979 (This same happened to Cyborg Kuro-chan, which is have 53 episodes released on VHS but never released on DVD due to PIBI became defunct in early 2001, but all 66 episodes were released online.)
Date and Time of the original run and reruns
- Nippon Television (NTV, Tokyo, Nippon TV network): April 1, 1973 - September 30, 1973, weekdays and weekends at 7-7:30 pm
- Broadcasting System of Niigata (BSN, TBS network): September 4th, 1974 - October 11th, 1974, weekdays 5-5:30 pm.
- Ryukyu Broadcasting (RBC, Okinawa, TBS network): dates and times info unknown.
- TV Shizuoka (SUT, Fuji TV network): April 17th, 1975 - unknown, Thursdays 6-6:30 pm.
Dates unkown for Nagano, Ishikawa, Okayama and Saga.
- Nippon Television (NTV, Tokyo, Nippon TV network) :
- First rerun: Match 27th - May 2nd, 1974, weekdays 8:20 - 8:55 am, later moved to 8-8:30 pm.
- Second rerun: April 2, 1975 - May 6th, 1975, weekdays 8-8:30 pm.
- Aomori Broadcasting (RAB, Nippon TV Network): December 5th, 1974 - January 17th, 1975, weekdays 4:55-5:25 pm.
- Iwate Television (TVI, Nippon TV and TV Asahi network): January 5th, 1975 - February 17th, 1975, weekdays 4:55 - 5:25 pm.
- Fukuoka Broadcasting System (FBS, Nippon TV network): April 17th, 1975 - May 22nd, 1975, timeslot info unknown.
- Yomiuri Television (YTV, Osaka, Nippon TV network): May 12th, 1975 - June 12th, 1975, weekdays 6:30 pm, episode 26 unaired.
- Hiroshima HOME Television (UHT/HOME, Nippon TV network): May 22nd, 1975 - June 16th, 1975, timeslots unknown.
- Miyagi Television Broadcasting (MTB, Nippon TV network): July 9th, 1975 - August 18th, 1975, weekdays 8-8:30 am.
- RKK Kumamoto Broadcasting (TBS): 1976/1977, timezone info unknown.
- Toyama Television (T34/BBT, Fuji TV): July 24th, 1979 - August 3rd, 1979, weekdays 6:45-7pm, only one episode instead of two.
- Some of the 1973 anime episodes has never adapted into the 1979 or 2005 anime remake.
- However, few episodes has adapted into later anime adaption albeit in name.
- This anime is the only one of the three anime adaptions that never aired internationally due to the unsuccessful brief run.
- As of 2020, none of episode's video can be found online, as none of them aired internationally due of unsuccessful. Most of the episode's surviving assets and remain are only screenshots and animation cells which had appeared on internet indicating that none of 35 mm film even videotape recording are available online.
- Although the surviving assets are only screenshots and animation cells, it's unknown that the other collector after Masami Jun had own Doraemon's 35 mm film or videotape recording.
Differences between manga and subsequent anime series
This series had a total of 12 major changes from the original manga.
- Gian lives with his widowed father, who is weaker and shorter than his son. He usually contradicted him, and so, was often bullied by Gian himself. However, in the manga and the subsequent anime series, Gian's mother is alive, and a recurring character along with Gian's Dad.
- In this version, her mother had passed away and was only seen in a photo in some episodes.
- Later anime adaption, Gian's Father redesigned and become as strong as his son.
- Gian's Father has a given name Sasuke. But later unnamed in subsequent anime adaptations.
- The series ends with Doraemon leaving Nobita for good, and the former never comes back to the latter. There was going to be a second season in which Doraemon returns from the future, but due to its cancellation, it never happened.
- Doraemon leaving Nobita permanently almost occurred in the manga due to the writers considered cancelling the series because of its poor ratings at the time before Volume 6. However, due to the the manga becoming successful, Doraemon was brought back in Volume 7.
- After this anime series was cancelled, Doraemon was only available the manga series for almost 6 years until a newer and even more successful anime adaption was made in 1979 by Shin-El Animation and aired in TV Asahi which was running until 2005 and it's replaced by the new 2005 anime adaption which also made by same animation studios and currently still running today in Japan and several overseas countries.
- The Take-copter is named "Heritonbo", name used in the early manga.
- Doraemon comes from the 21st century, instead of the 22nd century.
- Sensei has a given name, Ganari (我成).
- "Ganari" literally "Ga" means "we" and "Nari" means "become".
- Later anime adaptations had Sensei's name changed into Eiichirou Senjou.
- There was an additional character named Gatchako, an annoying female robot duck. She was removed from later versions of the manga and never appeared in the subsequent anime series as Fujiko F. Fujio disliked her because of Gachako's personality.
- She was replaced with Dorami in later anime adaptations and later manga.
- Dorami, Dekisugi and Jaiko never appeared in this version. The latter is often mistaken with Botako due to their appearance.
- Dorami's first appearance was on the same year when this anime aired in the manga but she didn't appear in anime until the 1979 Anime.
- Dekisugi's first appearance was after this anime's cancellation. He debuted in a later episode of 1979 Anime.
- Jaiko has appeared in manga before this anime started, but in this version it's possible that she may have never been born as a result of Gian's mother being portrayed as deceased.
- The series emphasized slapstick comedy unlike 1979 and 2005 Anime.
- Nobita's school was named "Downtown Elementary School", which is become unnamed in the later anime adaptions or just simply "School".
- Doraemon's gadgets were called "Secret Weapons" instead "4D Pocket" in later anime adaption.
- Anywhere Door didn't appear on 1973 Anime but it first debuted in later anime adaption.
- Sewashi had glasses which similar like Nobita.
- Later adaption, He's not wearing glasses anymore.
- Botako is a recurring character and Shizuka's housekeeper.
- Later anime adaption, Shizuka no longer have a housekeeper and Botako become minor character and also had major difference.
Images whose corresponding episodes have not been identified