Though perhaps unknown to Western audiences, the character Doraemon is widely loved in his native Japan, where he has been the star of several comics, cartoons and even films since his debut in 1970. Doraemon is depicted as a blue, cat-like robot sent from the 22nd century to help a young boy named Nobita-kun. Together they have all sorts of adventures aided by the strange gadgets Doraemon has in his possession.
Unfortunately those adventures may soon come an end as it was recently announced that Oyama Nobuyo, the voice actress behind Doraemon, is suffering from dementia and can no longer continue acting.
On hearing the terrible news, netizens offered their sympathies and talked fondly about how much Doraemon had meant to them.
From Nikkan Sports:
Doraemon`s Oyama Nobuyo Struggling With Dementia
It has been learned that Oyama Nobuyo (age 78), the voice actress responsible for Doraemon, is currently battling dementia.
Oyama’s husband actor Sagawa Keisuke made the announcement during an appearance on TBS Radio`s “Ozawa Yuri`s Yuu Yuu Waido” program.
According to Sagawa, the symptoms had emerged not too long ago and that there were times when they’d come and gone. He said that Oyama had suffered a stroke in 2008 but that “she thought it was just the after-effects of the stroke and didn’t notice”.
Oyama is currently living at home while Sagawa, Oyama’s manager and household staff work together to take care of her. She is doing well physically but sometimes forgets things she just said, is unable to make her special dishes, and cannot bathe herself.
According to an affiliated office, Oyama is determined to continue work and gathers up her strength for when she goes out in public. However, she has recently become aware of her own illness and occasionally expresses feelings of hopelessness.
Comments from 2ch:
What?! This is a huge shock.
I wonder if she’s already completely forgotten about Doraemon.
Maybe she’s just playing dumb because she wants to quit working?
I’m sure if you make her act as Doraemon again she’ll be good as new.
Looks like Danganronpa is finished.[Note: In this game, Oyama provides the voice for a teddy bear character named Monokuma]
I was just listening to the radio. I was shocked.
It’s amazing that she still has the desire to continue voice acting.
When most people contract dementia they become withdrawn and depressed.
This is tragic.
Maybe she’s started to think she’s Doraemon.
Before long she’ll be saying, “I wonder what this is?” even when she sees Doraemon.
The shock is going to take a while to wear off.
I can’t bear to hear that voice anymore.
Fixing the damage is impossible with 21st century technology [Note: In the original storyline, the character of Doraemon time travels from the 22nd century to present day]
Do something, Doraemon!
Hurry up and make a sequel to Danganronpa
She’s not going to make it.
Make a Vocaloid version of Oyama
There’s still time.
To have dementia but still be able to partially remember things…it must be quite hard for her.
I really hope she recovers.
Of course they shouldn’t deprive her of her job
It’s best to let her work until she dies.
How sad. It feels like our generation is being pushed out to make room for another.