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Doraemon in Korea refers to the Korean adaptation of the Doraemon series in South Korea. In South Korea, the series was known as 도라에몽 (Doraemong). But in North Korea, it was banned there due to laws that forbids foreign media to reach there.

Overview[]

Due to the rocky history between Japan and (South) Korea, Japanese cultural imports—such as manga, anime, video games, music and movies—were banned by the South Korean government after Korean Independence at the end of World War II. This ban would be in effect throughout most of the 80s and 90s. Not only was there the ban, but a lot of Japanese media etc. often mocked Koreans in various ways (Example: Samurai Pizza Cats episode 49 "Quake, Rattle & Roll")

In the 1980s to 1990s, Doraemon manga were illegally translated into Korean and released by several Korean comic publishers.

Eventually, South Korean and Japanese relations had warmed up to the point where the South Korean government's ban on Japanese cultural imports was partially lifted in October 1998. On July 9, 2001 (the same year were Korean version of the 45th volume of the manga were released), a Korean dub of the 1979 anime series was first aired in South Korea on MBC. In January 2004, the South Korean government completely lifted its ban on Japanese cultural imports, and a new Korean dub was produced and aired on Champ TV sometime in 2006 and later Tooniverse (with the Korean dub of the 2005 anime series). The animation edits are done by Studio Mir, who would later provide the animation edits to the USA English dub. A few of the Doraemon films made it into Korea.

The Korean version of this series takes place in South Korea. This is also carried out in some other Japanese anime series.

North Korea banned Doraemon and most international franchises due to the series not being made there.

Manga[]

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The 1980s unofficial South Korean version of the manga covers.

Kor-0

The promo of Korean version of volume 0.

Kor-0-cover

The Korean cover for volume 0.

Before South Korea lifted the ban on Japanese imports partially (again completely after 6 years, 3 months) in October 1998, unofficial Korean versions of the manga was published in South Korea in between the 1980s and 1990s with the name of "동짜몽" (Dongjjamong) and several changes were made to the manga, such of changing from Japan to South Korea.

Daewon C.I. (Korean: 대원씨아이 Daewonssiai) obtained the genuine rights of the manga in December 1994 under the name Doramon (Korean: 도라몽 Doramong), and the 45th volume was published sometime in 2001. However, like other countries such of Indonesia and Thailand, the manga were published in left-to-right format.[1]

There's a Korean translated version of Doraemon: Japanese to English Dictionary which was released in Korea sometime in the 2000s.

It was announced that Daewon C.I. would publish the manga volume 0 in October 27 of 2020 in South Korea.[2]

Anime[]

In the 80s and 90s, a pirated Korean version of Doraemon was produced. Doraemon characters were changed to make them fit to a Korean audience. This version was released on VHS by several Korean home media distributors.

In North Korea, as stated above, this anime series was never aired there because the North Korean government bans the transmission of any TV show not made there, such as international programs.

1973 anime[]

There is no record of the 1973 version being officially aired in South Korea,[3] but a video store in Gwangju that had a recorded tape of the 1973 version of Doraemon existed until 2010.[4] Unfortunately, the owner of the video store died of cancer in 2010, putting the video store out of business, and according to his son, most of the videos were either sold elsewhere or ended up in a garbage incinerator.[5][6]

1979 anime[]

A Korean dub of the 1979 anime series aired in South Korea on MBC from July 9, 2001 to December 10, 2002. A new dub later aired on Anione and Champ TV sometime in 2006 and is currently ongoing alongside the 2005 anime.

Character name changes[]

Unlike most international dubs, some of the characters' names were changed into Korean sounding ones, as was carried out with several Japanese anime (such of Crayon Shin-chan and Keroro Gunso[7]) when they aired in South Korea and were dubbed in Korean.

Known voice actor[]

  • Doraemon - Kim Seo-young (MBC)
  • Nobita Nobi - Lee Mi-ja (MBC)
  • Shizuka Minamoto - Cho Hyun-jung (MBC)
  • Takeshi Gouda - Choi Seok-pil (MBC)
  • Suneo Honekawa - Yoon Sung-hae (MBC)

2005 anime[]

A screenshot of the Korean airing of 2017 anime remade adaption of Star Wars in My Attic episode.

A screenshot of the Korean airing of 2017 anime remade adaption of Star Wars in My Attic episode

A Korean dub of the 2005 anime series began airing in South Korea on Anione and Champ TV (Also Tooniverse) on January 5, 2009 and is currently ongoing. The animation edits are done by Studio Mir, who would later provide the animation edits to the USA English dub. As of May 21, 2021, a total of 491 episodes have been dubbed. The character name changes were retained.

The TV specials of the 2005 anime series has been dubbed in Korean, making the second country to do so. The dub has currently reached the Animation Update episodes (since mid-2017), which those were also dubbed as episodes of Korean season 16 and onward.

Films[]

Sbm2-kr

The Korean poster for Stand by Me Doraemon 2

Some of the Doraemon films have been dubbed into Korean.

Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration was announced to be released in August 2019 in South Korea, but was postponed for an indefinite time after once postponed for an October release due to the Japan-South Korea disputes and its anti-Japanese protests held on South Korea, which resulted in an devastating consequence between the two countries. However, South Korean official website stated that the movie would instead be available on VOD streaming websites such of SkyLife, BTV, etc. due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy also following that choice, but with different reasons instead due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Champ TV announced that the movie would be aired on July 17, 2020 on 6PM Korean time.[10]

Video Games[]

Doraemon: Yume Dorobou to 7 Nin no Gozans was released in Korea in 1993, the same year where the game was released in Japan, under the name of just "도라에몽", even though the Japanese version of the game was imported to Korea. Unlike in Japan, this game was (possibly) released singly only in South Korea. This was done by Samsung.

After a year of no news, Doraemon: Story of Seasons released in South Korea in 2019 and was translated in Korean, making it the first Doraemon video game to be released in South Korea.[11]

In 2020, the Korean version of the Nintendo Switch game adaption of Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration were released.

In 2021, the Korean version of the Nintendo Switch game adaption of Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur were released.

Merchandise[]

The 2021 South Korean promotion poster of the Doraemon McDonalds Kids Meal space-themed toy sets.

The 2021 South Korean promotion poster of the Doraemon McDonalds Kids Meal space toy sets.

In August 3, 2021, it is announced that McDonalds Korea will sell Kids' Meal including an Doraemon space toys. However, the space-themed toys were similar to Japan, except that toys were modified to remove references to Doraemon: Nobita's Little Space Wars 2021 since that movie wasn't released on Japan then on South Korea yet due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore will also sell the same merchandise on their McDonalds restaurants too.[12]

Trivia[]

  • As many though that Doraemon franchise have not available on North Korea due to laws that prohibits foreign stuffs available there, which is not the case, as a Doraemon plushie doll has been found on Pyongyang Aeyukwon in 2014. According to North Korean defector and head of Unification Broadcasting, Lim Young-seon (Korean: 임영선 im-yeongseon), North Korean people didn't know that the plushie doll is actually a Japanese anime character, and North Korea can just get any doll from especially China, and Doraemon is one of the dolls.

Controversy[]

MFDS[]

In 2020, MFDS made an advertising poster about a Doraemon-like robot mouse introducing Chinese, Japanese and Korean foods. However, after some Internet users knew MFDS used Doraemon and edited him without permission from original Japanese copyright holders, MFDS deleted the advertising poster and apologized about the poster.

Besides, the differences about the robot mouse character were:

  • The Doraemon-like robot mouse has yellow colored skin, as opposed to Doraemon's blue colored skin (though Doraemon was yellow at birth).
  • The Doraemon-like robot mouse has the MFDS logo as a bell and lacks the 4D Pocket, with the text "MFDS" on its belly.
  • The Doraemon-like robot mouse has mouse ears, as opposed to Doraemon's cat ears he had before they were bitten off by a mouse in the 22nd century.

Gallery[]

References[]

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