Doraemon fans wowed by drone show in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

Spectators lined Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour for a glimpse of Doraemon on Saturday evening, as the world’s first drone show featuring the Japanese robot cat took place against the canvas of a cloudy sky.

The Tsim Sha Tsui promenade section in front of the K11 Musea Mall was packed with spectators by 6pm, 90 minutes before the show was to begin, as visitors jostled for a good viewing spot.

Within 30 minutes, sections of the promenade were packed with spectators stretching from the metal railing along the harbour to benches at the back.

A Post reporter observed an employee of the organiser asking those who were sitting at the back of the promenade to stand, as the area was set to become even more crowded.

The 15-minute display organised by local art studio AllRightsReserved included 1,000 drones taking flight from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade at 7.30pm on Saturday, recreating characters from the popular manga and animation series.

The drones also formed some of Doraemon’s famed futuristic gadgets such as his Anywhere Door that allows travel to anywhere and his flying machine, the Take-Copter.

The drone show lights up Victoria Harbour. Photo: Jess Ma

The classic blue-and-white robot cat has been beloved by Hongkongers since its creation by late manga master Fujiko F. Fujio in 1969.

Annie Lai, 47, told the Post she had gone from her office in Tsim Sha Tsui to the promenade before 4.30pm.

“I’m here for Doraemon tonight. I’ve watched the trailer already, and tonight’s Doraemon better be prettier than that in the video!” she said.

Cat Chong, a garment merchandiser in her 50s, brought along a tripod and camera, with her phone perched on top of the set-up as well.

Standing at the railing with only one person in front of her since 5.15pm, she said she was not sure whether she had secured the best spot.

“Communication from the organiser could be better. I saw signs here indicating a viewing area, but I’m still not sure [where the drones will fly out]. I might only be able to film the side of Doraemon,” she said.

Chong, who said she was a fan of the robot cat since childhood, said she was not able to catch a day-long flash exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park due to short notice, urging the organiser to issue earlier announcements about future events.

Fans flock to the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade to watch the Doraemon drone show. Photo: Dickson Lee

Zoe Leung brought her eight-year-old daughter Jamie Cheng and their 12-year-old poodle to see the show.

“We came at around 6pm. The crowds are still OK. I chose this spot because all the cameras are here. I’m afraid it might be too crowded if I go farther to the front,” Leung said as she stood a few metres behind the promenade’s metal railing.

The secretary said she decided to bring her dog along as she expected the drone show would be quieter than fireworks.

“Drones shouldn’t have any noise I guess, but I haven’t seen a drone show before so we’ll see,” Leung said.

While the mother said she wanted to see the blue-and-white robot cat the most, her daughter Cheng wondered whether she would see the cat’s human companion Nobi Nobita during the show.

Louie Lu, 25, and Centa Liu, 23, were among those who arrived later as the promenade was packed.

“We arrived at 6.30pm. I don’t mind my spot as the drones would fly up, they won’t be confined to a single spot,” Lu, a civil engineer, said.

The drone show featured some of Doraemon’s famed gadgets such as the Anywhere Door that allows travel to anywhere. Photo: Jess Ma

The last major attraction to feature Doraemon in Hong Kong was also organised by AllRightsReserved in 2012 and involved 100 sculptures placed outside Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Saturday’s drone show was a prelude to the largest exhibition yet of the beloved Japanese cartoon character set to run from July 13 to August 4.

Hong Kong fans of manga series will be able to get up close to 135 large-scale models of Doraemon and enjoy an animated short film incorporating signature elements of the city at an exhibition this summer.

The city is just the first stop in a world tour to mark what would have been the 90th birthday of creator Fujio, who died in 1996.

More than 100 people lined up in Causeway Bay at around noon as organisers handed out free balloons to promote the drone display.

Tickets for the first week of the paid area of the coming exhibition also launched at 11am on Saturday.

The organiser has already sold out of the 3,000 limited edition packages that came with souvenirs priced at HK$320 (US$41) each.



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