|“||Ichi? I don't know where are you from and why you are calling me Ichi. But when I was born, I was named Hachi.||”|
— Ichi, Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey
Ichi (イチ) (which means "one" in Japanese) also known as Hachi (ハチ, eight) is a dog that was once owned by Nobita. It was his very first dog. He first appeared in a Doraemon manga chapter Stray Dog Ichi's Country and 1979 series two-parter episode Help the Stray Dogs!! (aired in 1981) and special episode Stray Dog Ichi's Country (aired in 1987). He also appeared in Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey, which is based on the aforementioned manga chapter.
In the movie, young Ichi and old Ichi are voiced by Megumi Hayashibara and Osamu Saka respectively, while in the 2005 series episode, the young Ichi and adult Ichi are voiced by Mari Maruta and Nobuo Tobita respectively.
Note: Please be advised that the following content are from the 2004 movie and as such, it doesn't apply to the aforementioned manga chapter and episodes from the 1979 anime series and the 2005 anime series.
Ichi first appears when Nobita is practicing baseball with Gian and Suneo. The ball falls into the river and Ichi attempts to bring it back to Nobita- however, he almost loses his life due to that he can't swim and thus, he has to be rescued by him. Ichi lives with Nobita for a while until they are nearly discovered by Nobita's mother. They are forced to flee with Anywhere Door to a mountain area where they found more stray cats and dogs. Eventually, Nobita comes up with a plan to take all of them far back to the past and have them live in a world full of freedom for cats and dogs with help of the Evolution Ray. Nobita and Shizuka then teach Ichi to play Kendama which he does very well. When it's time to go home Gian accidentally causes the ball of Kendama to tear apart and it get left behind with Ichi. Ichi is sad but Nobita promises to come back for him tomorrow.
Ichi kept waiting for Nobita but to no avail. Many years passed and the colony of Dogs and Cats gradually evolved into a nation with Ichi serving as their first president. In old age, Ichi decided that he wouldn't wait for Nobita anymore- he decided that he is going to the future to meet him. He built his own Time Machine and used it to cross the time to the present.
Life as Hachi
Due to a problem in the Time Tunnel, Ichi ended up regressing back to a child and landed 1,000 years later. He is taken by a feline couple who look after him like their own son while the Time Machine's crash was taken away by Nekojara. Ichi then lives his new life as "Hachi" without his memories (or so he thought).
During one time in kindergarten, while going to school with Chiko, Bulltaro and Daku he was almost got into a traffic accident but thanks to his "charm" (the ball from Nobita's Kendama) he was able to evade it. At school, he bragged everyone and they challenged him with a mud fight which he lost. Angered, he threw it away and got scolded by his adoptive mother, she tells him that he can't come home unless he recovers the charm. Hachi then asked his friends to help him search for it.
The gang soon discovered that the charm was lost in the one of Nekojara's abandoned amusement park. At there they met an oracle named Omike. The Oracle offered to predict the group's destiny but Ichi turned her down which caused her to storm back into her tent. Chiko suggested Ichi ask her for his charm location which Ichi had to sweet talk her. As Omike is about to begin her prediction, Daku and Bulltaro found that the charm is stuck on a whisker of the jester cat robot. When the gang is about to receive the charm the robot goes into rampage with Omike reveal that it's the reason behind the shutdown of the amusement park. Bulltaro suggests everyone escape but Omike stops them as her scepter reveals that the charm is very magical and important. Hearing this, Hachi goes on his own to recover the charm which he succeeded. As the robot is about to lay a blow on Hachi it suddenly short-circuited and break apart. The gang thanks Omike and went home while the Oracle's scepter reveals her about Hachi's destiny to become a great savior of the nation. She noted to herself how unbelievable this prediction is.
Every day after that event, Hachi always kept the charm with him and always polished it until it shone.
Reign of Nekojara
By the time that Doraemon and the gang arrive, Hachi's adoptive parents were captured by Nekojara's henchmen when they went to Nekojaland. Hachi and friends decided to form a Resistance Group to unveil the secret of the dreadful amusement park. To achieve their goal, the gang begin their plan by first collecting(stealing) Noracium from the town people in order to powerup their special drill. He first appears to Nobita when he rescues Chiko from the Doraemon's Mental Eyedrop's power with Nobita follows after him and calls him "Ichi". This greatly confuses Hachi who believes himself to be nothing more than who he is. They later invited the group to stay at a factory owned by Bulltaro's family and tells them about their plan. However, when Daku is about to reveal their secret weapon, Hachi stops him as he doesn't fully trust the gang at the time yet.
The next day while Hachi is on run escaping the polices, he is caught by Nobita who once again calls him Ichi and lectures him that robbery isn't what he should do. Frustrated, Hachi shouts at Nobita that he should stop calling him by that name and run away. (In the manga Hachi instead bites Nobita to "prove" that he isn't Ichi.) He later meets up with his friend at the sewer under Nekojaland, using the stolen Noracium to power up the drill. Hachi however, asks Bulltaro to confirm again that they're not drilling into the river which Daku teases him for his Hydrophobia and Chiko affirms that she carefully calculate the coordinates so there should be no problem. Despite her claim, the tunnel crashes down which causes Sharmee's concert stage that Doraemon and the rest attended to crash down as well. Hachi is surprised to be reunited with the gang again. Before he could speak, the ceiling above him falls down on him but Nobita pushes him out of the way to save him. Confused with Nobita's behavior, Hachi asks why did he save him even though he isn't Ichi which Nobita answer that he couldn't let him get injured which leaves him lost in thought. Doraemon soon reunites with them thanks to the mole gloves.
The group advances toward the ground and reaches an underground facility. There, the group finds out the parents are forced to work and build a gigantic Time Machine, as well as surprise that Hachi's parents are feline. Chiko's attempt to call out to her parents causes them to get caught while Hachi is able to escape and hide. After everyone excepts Doraemon and Sharmee are captured, Hachi takes out the guards, allowing everyone to escape.
When at the opening scene, he looks like himself except he is already so old.
As of 1000 years later, now he wears a uniform and wears shoes. At the manga extra story, he appears the same except he's very young.
In his animal form, he acts like an animal and always plays with Nobita Nobi.
When Ichi is in human form, he acts angry at Nobi's side and his other friends. In the manga, he bites Nobita's leg and makes him cry. After Ichi remembers, he acts friendly towards Nobita.
He found Ichi once on a rainy day where Ichi was starving. Then Nobita gave him food which created a bond between them. He then later found Ichi in the playground.
Comparison between Manga and Movie
- There is fur in the shape of hair on Ichi in the movie.
- In the manga, Ichi is harsher to Nobita than in the anime and he also seems to be "Tsundere".
- Ichi didn't bite Nobita when he confronted him for acting like a thief in the movie. Also, the dialogue is a bit different. In the manga, he says that Nobita knows that he isn't Ichi. In the anime, he shouted at Nobita to stop calling him Ichi.
- During bait and attack on the Time Machine, in the manga it's Nobita who baits. In the movie, this is reversed with Ichi who baits instead.
- Megumi Hayashibara also voiced Nonbi and Wang Dora. She was also known as voicing Eri from Chimpui.
- He was Nobita's first dog.
- In the original manga chapter and 1979 series episode Stray Dog Ichi's Country, Hachi was Ichi's grandson, and Ichi's alternative name in 2004 movie comes from this character.
- However, in the 2005 anime series's two-parter episodes Child Dog Ichi's Country, Hachi's role in the original manga was replaced by the adult Ichi.
- Ichi is one of the few characters other than the main characters to appears in four Doraemon media. (The manga, the 1979 anime, the movie and the 2005 anime).