New Moe Anime “Kemono Friends”：Animal Girls Stirring Up a Craze in Japan
This time I am introducing “Kemono Friends (Animal Friends)”, an anime which belongs to a uniquely Japanese genre called “moe anime”.
However, the park was abandoned by humans and the animals lived on their own in its vast area. They evolved by mysterious power of energy material known as “Sandstar”, and they have been living freely as anthropomorphic “animal girls”.
Though retaining some appearance and characteristics of the original animals that they evolved from, the girls have been living free from predator-prey relationship in nature.
And Serval meets a wandering girl who has lost her memory including her name.
Serval names the girl “Kaban”(bag), and she starts a journey with her to the library where they may find a clue of who the girl is.
The basic pattern of “moe anime” is to observe and admire girls and their actions in everyday life.
This story adopts such a basic pattern of the moe anime.
The game was first released in 2015, then the manga was published, and this anime came on air starting in February 2017.
However, this anime is less than impressive in its graphic quality.
The character images created by 3DCG is inferior to the visual settings of the original.
You can easily tell that production of anime was carried out low-budget and short-handed.
However, when this anime was broadcasted, it immediately gained popularity, and Japanese celebrities and even large enterprises started tweeting about it (even Yamaha bike).
I’d say the perspectives and settings underlying this story must have significantly contributed to its popularity.
The first episode describes that Serval, one of the main characters, has a habit of pouncing on a moving object, a common characteristic of the feline.
The story similarly explains about characteristics and habits of another animal girl “Kaba” (hippopotamus), who appears in the middle of the story.
It’s such a thorough explanation that the story even includes interview of zoo keepers on real animals’ appearance and characteristics.
The anime was successful in capturing viewers’ interests by dispersing geeky knowledge.
Kind World without Discrimination
True to this word, Serval treats another main character “Kaban” equally in the story, though Kaban has inferior physical abilities.
And other animal girls are basically without hostility and are mutually supportive.
This tone of the story to emphasize kindness and mutual support gives a distinct impression from other anime works whose stories treat hostility and con-games as entertaining element. And I’d say this story has gained popularity by providing healing effects to us living in a harsh real world.
Big Mystery Underlying the Story
Most of the animal girls in the story are animals that look like humans, and they don’t find it strange.
The viewers are the only ones that recognize and question it. And this sparks the viewers’ curiosity and draws them deeper into the story.
This heartwarming moe anime ended in a moving and emotional final episode.
Raving responses stormed through Japan, and they were mostly favorable.
Kemono Friends has become a masterpiece of moe anime, and if you have not watched it yet, please do. I strongly recommend it.