Uniqlo has just launched a new collection revolving around the classic manga and anime series, DORAEMON! Uniqlo USA first announced the collection on Instagram. It features collaboration pieces with Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. These items are currently New York City exclusives.

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DORAEMON first debuted in 1969 as a manga series | Image: Naver

Who is DORAEMON?

DORAEMON is named after its protagonist, a robotic blue cat from the 22nd century. The series was written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio and revolves around Doraemon’s friendship with a young boy named Nobita Nobi. Also known as Noby, this human protagonist is typically quite lazy. He often looks for Doraemon to help with his daily activities.

Doraemon tries to help with his futuristic gadgets since he is from another time. However, in spite of Doraemon’s good intentions, he usually ends up making the situation worse for Noby, rather than better.

The manga was first published in 1969 in several children’s monthly magazines. Since then, the stories equate to 45 volumes. DORAEMON came to Japanese television as a brief anime series in 1973 with a total of 26 episodes. Brought back again in 1979, it aired more than 1,700 episodes.

In 2005, TV Asahi Corporation produced a new DORAEMON series, which continues to air today. The “reboot” features a different voice actress (Wasabi Mizuta) for Doraemon’s character. In 2014, TV Asahi Corporation made an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to bring the anime to the U.S. As a result, an English dub of the anime aired on Disney XD up until September 2015.

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DORAEMON x Takashi Murakami shirt as seen on Uniqlo’s website | Image: Uniqlo

DORAEMON and Takashi Murakami

Nevertheless, the blue-haired feline seems to be making a comeback in Uniqlo’s newest collection, along with artwork by Murakami. The pieces combine the classic robot feline and Murakami’s signature flowers. 

The collection’s official description on the Uniqlo website shares:

“The main visual for this special collection is Murakami’s work, ‘Anna koto iina dekitara iina’ (lyrics from the DORAEMON theme song, meaning ‘this sort of thing is good, I wish I could do it.’), created for the Doraemon exhibition. This colorful work, featuring the main characters Doraemon and Nobita, Doraemon’s secret gadgets, and Murakami’s characteristic flowers, is now expressed on the UT canvas.”

(UT stands for “Uniqlo T,” which references the brand’s t-shirts.)

Moreover, since Murakami’s work is mostly inspired by anime and manga, this collaboration is no surprise. Founder of the postmodern art movement known as “Superflat,” Murakami takes from the different variations within Japanese art and pop culture and “flattens” them. His style is difficult to miss, as his work always features fun, vibrant colors and intricate detail.

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The Collection

Uniqlo’s range of t-shirts includes both collaboration pieces with Murakami, as well as original DORAEMON graphic tees. The collection includes a plush toy, which will only be available online and in select stores. The price range for the collection starts from $9.90 USD to $29.90 USD.

Additionally, a video preview for the collection can be viewed here, from Uniqlo’s official Youtube channel:

Murakami posted about the official collaboration launch on his Instagram inviting everyone to see him at the special meet and greet in NYC. If you’re close to the 5th Avenue Uniqlo store make sure to visit!

Will you be getting your hands on some pieces from the collection? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of Variety.

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