Doraemon is a popular and long-running anime based upon the manga of the same name by Fujiko F. Fujio. Its best-known adaptation originally ran from 1979 until 2005, while a reboot, that began airing a month after the first series' conclusion, is still airing to this day.
However, the very first attempt to adapt Doraemon to television had actually occurred in 1973, with a series produced by a company named NTV Video (previously known under the names of Japan Broadcast Film, and Tokyo TV Movie). It aired on the (unrelated) NTV network. The series was broadcast from April 1st, 1973 until September 30th, 1973, for 26 episodes. Each consisted of 2 segments, making the series 52 shorts in total.
While the series did well in the ratings and was considered to be extended for another year, it, unfortunately, encountered budget issues during its run, compounded by financial problems that the studio had, as well as the president of NTV Video abruptly resigning during the television run. The new president appeared to not regard the anime very highly, while the financial issues lead to the studio going bankrupt and being dissolved. Many of the staff that worked on the show wound up unpaid for their efforts due to this.
With the dissolution of NTV Video, the film reels to the series and other possessions wound up sold off to cover debt, while other belongings in the studio and production materials were either thrown out in the garbage or destroyed in a kerosene fire. It has been erroneously reported that NTV deliberately organized a "cremation" fire and destroyed all the episodes; however, the production chief Masami Jun (at the time credited under his real name, Hiroshi Shimosaki) has stated that this wasn't the case, and has gone on to attempt to debunk the misconceptions surrounding the series' production and fate. Even so, a significant portion of the anime can be considered lost to some degree.
In 1995, episodes 18, and 20 through 26 were found to be stored in Studio Rush (now known as IMAGICA), and other segments have been found, though 2 remain without their audio tracks. The opening and ending credits do still exist as well, along with a pilot film that was produced in 1972. These are occasionally shown at Doraemon fan conventions in Japan, but cannot be released legally on DVD owing to rights complications due to the production studio being defunct. Some episodes of the series also only survive in still image form. It is unknown what may have happened to the other reels.
This version was briefly rebroadcast in 1979, but was abruptly pulled off television by order of Shogakukan, who did not want the new adaptation's reputation to be affected by the existence of the previous one, or for child viewers to be confused with the two different versions. It is possible that recorded video from this time period may exist in some form.
While Hiroshi Fujimoto (aka "Fujiko F") was disappointed in the choice of studio to adapt Doraemon and the changes made to Nobita and Doraemon's characters, it is said that upon the closing of the NTV studio, he did not hold any hard feelings against the staff and expressed the hope that they could work on a new attempt at Doraemon in the future.
Fate with footage being released online
When asked about a possible release of the surviving footage, Masumi Jun, Chief Producer of Doraemon '73, responded:
Dear American fans of Doraemon
Thank you for the email. In 1973 we broadcasted NTV Doraemon (NTV Doraemon and Old Dora is what the Japanese call Doraemon '73), for a long time I thought that it was completely forgotten. So in 2003, I made a website about it. I got lots of emails from people saying that they wanted to see clips from the show. So I made a membership page with a Username and Password and uploaded the Opening and Ending.
Within a few minutes, I had heard that someone with access to the page had uploaded both clips onto another page (2chan). I removed the clip from my site right away. But because I gave it away only for a moment it is now all over YouTube and other sites.
Due to me uploading it I got in some trouble with the law, I am resolving the issue now but because of that, I will refrain from uploading the footage online. Though I have made it available at lectures and such for research use.
While Doraemon is still on the air, I am not allowed to release the footage. I hope you understand
-Signed Masumi Jun
- On 8/21/16 LMW User, "Marsh Shell" uploaded a large amount of assets to MEGA. On 8/26/16 LMW User "Esteban64ds" uploaded the pictures, including the screenshots and the cels, the screenshot was taken from this blog and the cel was taken from Doraemon Wikia. The rest of the cels and screenshots are uploaded in McSammy's FC2Web page (, , , ), while a screenshot of a 1973 episode can be seen here on a blog page.
- Furthermore, the audio for the last episode also can be found on YouTube, albeit in poor quality.   
- It has been rumored that the episodes for the 1973 version were uploaded to YouTube and NicoNicoDouga, as well as on Dailymotion. However, it was unknown if they were taken down, deleted or not.
- On 9/15/16 An LMW User by the name of ThatOneStupidPerson posted the extended ending on Dailymotion by the user (on Dailymotion) The RumbaMaster. Come check it out here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4lsbru
- A much more Updated Version of Marsh's archive made by Notelu, With tons of pictures not seen in the Marsh Shell Archive can be found here https://mega.nz/#F!XIYyAJqB!Xte10qIBvhictuHIgp4IbQ The link got removed for unknown reasons.
- A YouTuber by the name of Jijiジジ has uploaded screenshots for some episodes of the 1973 version and also a couple of clips from three of the 1973 episodes "Operation Cupid Love-Love", "Understand the Weakness" and "Lovely Camera" (the third being taken from a Japanese porno).
- Another source of ending credits has been found on YouTube, with brief footage from the episode "Operation Cupid Love-Love". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwKe0DSXirk
- On 2/25/18, a user by the name of Just zingo announced that he has the first segment of Episode 17 "I Hate Report Cards" (taped off a 1978 rerun) on a VHS, but sadly is unable to upload it anywhere nor sell it on eBay due to legal issues. However, it is in black-and-white, has choppy frames, and lacks its audio track. In some spots it has audio
- NOTE: All of the titles end with "no maki"(の巻), meaning 'part' or 'chapter'.
|Episode #||Original title||English translation||
|1||"出た！！ドラえもんの巻 / ペコペコバッタ大騒動の巻"||"Doraemon Came Out!! / The Apology Grasshopper Riot"||
April 1, 1973
|2||"屋根の上のすてきな子の巻 / のび太のご先祖さんの巻"||"Nice Girl on the Roof / Nobita's Ancestors"||April 8,
|3||"弱味をにぎれの巻 / キューピッドですきすき作戦の巻"||"Understand the Weakness / Operation Cupid Love-Love"||
April 15, 1973
|4||"ねずみに弱い猫もあるの巻 / ガキ大将をやっつけろの巻"||"Rats are as Weak as Cats / The Bully Bring an Army"||
April 22, 1973
|5||"おせじ鏡の巻 / パパとママの結婚記念日の巻"||"The Liar's Mirror / Papa and Mama's Wedding Anniversary"||April 29, 1973|
|6||"のろいカメラの巻 / 宝くじ大当り作戦の巻"||"Cursed Camera / Lottery Jackpot Strategy"||May 6, 1973|
|7||"決闘！のび太とジャイアンの巻 / わたしは誰でしょうの巻"||"Duel! Nobita and Gian / Who am I"||May 13, 1973|
|8||"アベコンベ騒動の巻 / おばけ屋敷の謎の巻"||"Abekonbe Riot / Mystery of the Ghost House"||May 20,
|9||"クイック・スロー大作戦の巻 / のび太は雨男の巻"||"The Quick-Slow Great Strategy / Nobita the Rain Man"||
May 27, 1973
|10||"ウルトラミキサーの巻 / ねがい星流れ星の巻"||"Ultra Mixer / Wishing Star, Shooting Star"||June 3,
|11||"ふしぎなふろしきの巻 / のび太のおばあちゃんの巻"||"The Mysterious Cloth / Nobita's Grandma"||June 10,
|12||"大リーグ赤バットの巻 / 男は力で勝負するの巻"||"Big League Red Bat / A Man Fights with Power"||June
|13||"ガチャ子登場の巻 / おしゃべり口べにの巻"||"Gachako's Appearance / The Talking Lipstick"||June 24,
|14||"すきすきカメラの巻 / 天の川でデイトしようの巻"||"Lovely Camera / Date in the Milky Way"||July 1, 1973|
|15||"へんなロボットカーの巻 / ニコニコせっけんの巻"||"Weird Robot Car / Smiling Soap"||July 8, 1973|
|16||"おれ署長のだいりの巻 / さあ夏だ！スキーをやろうの巻"||"My Chief of the Inner Palace / Now is Summer! Trying to Ski"||July 15, 1973|
|17||"成績表はいやだなあの巻 / 自分のかげをつかまえろの巻"||"I Hate Report Cards / Catching my Shadow"||July 29, 1973|
|18||"潜水艦で海へ行こうの巻 / くっるたハラ時計の巻"||"Going to Sea in a Submarine / Crazy Stomach Clock"||
August 5, 1973
|19||"キャンプ騒動の巻 / 忘れな草って何だっけの巻"||"Camp Riot / Who is Going to Forget"||August 12, 1973|
|20||"クーラーパラソルの巻 / いつでも日記の巻"||"Cooler Parasol / Always Diary"||August 19, 1973|
|21||"宿題おばけが出たの巻 / お天気ボックスの巻"||"The Homework Ghost Came Out / Weather Box"||August 26,
|22||"ぼくに清き一票をの巻 / まんが家修行の巻"||"I Have One Vote of Betrayal / Manga Artists Training"||September 2, 1973|
|23||"すてきなガールフレンドの巻 / 花いっぱい騒動の巻"||"Nice Girlfriend / Flowery Riot"||September 9, 1973|
|24||"そっくりクレヨンの巻 / 静香の誕生日の巻"||"Entirely Crayon / Shizuka's Birthday"||September 16,
|25||"宇宙飛行士になりたいの巻 / まいごマゴマゴ大騒動の巻"||"Becoming a Space Astronaut / Lost Grandchild Riot"||
September 23, 1973
|26||"ネンドロン大騒動の巻 / さようならドラえもんの巻"||"Nendoron Riot / Goodbye, Doraemon"||September 30, 1973|