(Cover of the volume 1 manga)
If you live in Japan, you will know who Doraemon is. However, I don't, but I still know about Doraemon, because I was exposed to some of it because of the anime, which led me to get the manga, and it is a very intriguing series. For the uninformed, Doraemon is a robot cat from the future. He went back to the past to ensure that Nobita's life is on track to become better (in the beginning, he was shown to have a bad future). How does Doraemon do this? Well, thanks to his hyperspace pocket, he could dig out the necessary tool to solve problems. Other notable characters include Shizuka the love interest, Gian the big guy (or Takeshi) and Suneo the short boy.
One of the appeal of Doraemon are the tools. There are literally hundreds, possibly thousands of these, and they do amazing things. We have the commonly used ones like the Bamboo-copter (allows for flight by sticking it on the head, or in earlier versions, the back) and the Anywhere Door, or situational ones like a game controller that turns a person into a game character and that device that makes sure you adhere to a time table you give it. The other appeal is probably the adventures. Every year since 1980, there will be a Doraemon movie where the characters will go on epic adventures despite the main characters being children. That's right: Pokemon's not the only franchise to have annual movies!
Since I don't live in Japan, I don't get to see how famous Doraemon is there, but I understand its popularity because: One, even though the comics reached its end (Volume 6) due to the creators not thinking it to be popular, but after realising its significance, they continued by explaining how Doraemon returned; Two, it was one of the Asian Heroes, and as a fictional character to deserve this title, this is very significant because that title is normally given to real people.
This genius series is created by Fujiko F. Fujio, who is also known to work on some other series like Perman, Mami Sakura, Kiteretsu (Satoshi-kun is notably a big fan of this) and Mojacko. I guess they are even more rarely heard because Doraemon is just too big it eclipsed them all. Still, elements of those works manage to have cameo appearances in the world of Doraemon, so if you know the other series, you will recognise them.
I am not sure if you heard of Doraemon, but please share your thoughts or experiences about this long-running franchise if you do. In fact, the reason I made this thread in the first place is that I am surprised that no other person's first exposure to anime or manga is Doraemon.
Thanks for reading.