Haven’t you ever wanted to take a journey through time with a robot cat from the 22nd century? Well now you can, with Doraemon, the beloved blue Japanese robot cat! At the new STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 XR Ride at Universal Studios Japan, we strapped on a pair of “Time Goggles” and soared through the past, present, and future with Doraemon and Nobita Nobi and lived to tell the tale! It’s really quite the production, and we’ve got a tour of the pre-ride experience as well as clips from the actual video just for you! Let’s dive in!
The ride’s entrance features an overlay to the normal Space Fantasy: The Ride sign featuring the top of Doraemon’s head, complete with Take-copter. Right inside, there’s a cute statue of Doraemon and Nobita on a Time Scooter.
Once you enter the Time Tours sign, you must deposit your items in a locker, then proceed into the queue. There’s two preshow areas – one outside, one inside. You can check out those experiences in our YouTube tour below!
The story goes that you are on a Time Tour to visit the wedding of two of the show’s main characters – Nobita and Shizuka. Unfortunately, Nobita has got cold feet, and decided to run away from the wedding. Once you board your Time Scooter, a Crew Member hands over a pair of “Time Goggles”, better known to us as a VR headset, and we set off on our journey through time! On the ride, you’ll visit a city of the future, Nobita’s hometown, and the dinosaur era! It’s a lot of fun, but sadly we couldn’t get a full video because it’s a VR experience. Fortunately, we did find clips thanks to Cinema Today, a popular Japanese movie news site. Part of the new ride video is available below.
It’s really quite well done, isn’t it? I had the good fortune to experience the last VR ride, based on the popular anime Attack on Titan, and I found this “XR” adventure with Doraemon to be much more enjoyable and repeatable! The video syncs up with the motions of the ride perfectly, and if you stop, the video and audio are able to re-sync easily.
STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 has no slated release date in Japan as of yet, but follows an adventure through time to return Nobita to his wedding with Shizuka. Since Nobita’s grandmother passed before he could meet her, he travels back in time to do so. Nobita meets his grandmother, and she wishes to see his wedding day. Once they arrive at his future wedding, the future Nobita escapes back to his childhood time, so present Nobita and Doraemon must chase after him. The film is part of a tribute to Doraemon’s 50th anniversary this year. You can watch a trailer (in Japanese) below.
We really enjoyed this attraction, and it definitely has major re-rideability, particularly if you’re familiar with the Doraemon family of characters, as most Japanese people are. If you’re at Universal Studios Japan before January 4th, 2021, be sure to stop by the STAND BY ME Doraemon 2 XR Ride in Hollywood. Even if you aren’t familiar with the IP, you’ll have a fantastic experience!