Woah, a lot has changed in this list since the last time I saw it, but, from what I've seen, it's definitely been for the better.
I just wanted to focus on this:
Well, actually it could be easily argued that Doraemon is "Japan's Mickey Mouse". It had an animated series that ran for almost thirty years non-stop, and the character is insanely popular. However, the series was never imported to the United States.
It may be kind of hard for American people to realize the real impact of Doraemon, but the fact is that it is HUGE. I mean, I'm from Portugal and there is a channel which has been showing Doraemon since I was little, and it is also quite popular here. In fact, this show and its characters are pretty recognizable icons amongst various European countries, and especially in Asia. It's kind of hard to put into very precise figures, but Doraemon should definitely warrant a spot amongst, at least, the top 30, if not the top 20.
If you do a bit of investigation on Doraemon, you'll easily see various achievements of this show which make my point. Just to name a few:
- As piper pointed out, it ran non-stop for almost thirty years (26, to be exact) and has a total of 1787 episodes. Just to put it in perspective, The Simpsons will have a total of 515 episodes by the end of next season.
- Doraemon was selected as one of the 22 Asian Heroes on a special issue of TIME Magazine, and was the only cartoon selected.
- There are various films and other sorts of released media based on Doraemon, including a total of 65 video games. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doraemon_media#Video_games
Doraemon truly is the "Mickey Mouse" figure of Japan and most of Asia.