This fall of 2019 is the season of beasts! Quite a number of anime have animal characters in the starring roles; so much so that it became a popular topic in our Anime! Anime! editorial department.
There's an animal lover/pro wrestler who got transmigrated to another world filled with wondrous beasts in 『Hata'age! Kemonomichi』 (Kemono Michi: Rise Up); a coming-of-age story about a world where carnivores and herbivores live together as a society in 『BEASTARS』; animals of Africa living as office workers and surviving through the cutthroat world in 『Africa no Salaryman』 (African Office Worker)……
But of course, there are many more animal characters throughout the history of anime, and also many degrees of beastliness; the character may simply have animal ears or other parts, or be just a few steps short from an actual animal, among various depictions. Question is, who's the most popular among them?
Therefore, we at Anime! Anime! have put out a reader survey titled 「Who's your favorite animal character in anime?」.
The survey was held from Oct 10th to Oct 17th, gathering answers from a total of 133 readers of which 45% were male and 55% were female. Most of them, however, were more toward the younger scale with 45% being those under 19 years old and 30% being those in their twenties.
■Serval takes the win！
Ranked first is Serval from 『Kemono Friends』, receiving 12% of the total votes.
Serval is based on serval cat classified as a member of the Falidae family. She is loved for her broad-mindedness that allows her to accept people for who they are, as evident by voters' comments: "It's wonderful how she doesn't judge others by their strengths and weaknesses, and in that kindness is also someone who will take action for her friend's sake in any critical moment." and "I voted for her because she gave me confidence, teaching me how different people are good at different things." Many also cited how relatable Serval is as their reason.
Ranked second is Tony Tony Chopper from 『One Piece』, receiving 5% of the total votes.
Chopper, the blue-nosed reindeer. Having ate the devil fruit, Hito Hito no Mi (Human-Human Fruit), he gained the ability to speak and transform into a humanoid form, among other things.
His voters love how he's not just a cutesy character but instead full-fledged, fleshed out, and an able member of the Straw Hat crew, as evident in the comments: "How he inherited the will of his adoptive father, Dr. Hiruluk, aiming to be a great doctor, is just so moving." and "No matter how you cut it, he's adorable, but his doctor side is really cool."
Ranked third is Sadaharu from 『Gintama』, receiving 4% of the total votes.
Sadaharu is the resident pet of Yorozuya, picked up by Kagura. A cute dog…larger than a person. His voters share their fondness of him through comments such as: "He IS an essential member of Yorozuya. It's touching how Gintoki would always count Sadaharu as part of the current Yorozuya." and "I really dig how Sadaharu, as cute-looking as he is, really has high capacity for bloodshed."
■Comments on some of the other characters!!
For 『Bungou Stray Dogs』's Nakajima Atsushi: "I like the tonal gap between his normal self and his tiger form!!"
For 『Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzuu』 (Animal Detective Kiruminzoo)'s Mikogami Riko: "A pink cat wearing a tiny crown is already cute enough by concept, so combining that with her abundant expressiveness, cat-like ears and tail movements, posture, and other stuff, really makes her even more wonderful. Yuuki Aoi-san's voice nailed it as well.
For 『Made in Abyss』's Nanachi: " 'Cause she's fluffy." "No need to explain beyond that 'Nnaa~' noise she usually makes."
For 『Hakumei to Mikochi』 (Hakumei and Mikochi)'s Iwashidani/Iwashi: "He's being cold and all, but he's a kind and proper boss; nice tsundere."
And this literal weasel character is yet another proof to the varieties of beloved beasts!
Our readers' answers range from a person with transformation ability to someone donning an animal costume and many other types of animal character; truly fitting for this vast and varied character archetype.
■The Top 20
[Who's your favorite animal character in anime?]
1st Serval 『Kemono Friends』
2nd Tony Tony Chopper 『One Piece』
3rd Sadaharu 『Gintama』
4th Senko 『Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san』
5th Wolfrun/Ulric 『Smile Pretty Cure!』
5th Nakajima Atsushi 『Bungou Stray Dogs』
5th Nanachi 『Made in Abyss』
5th Matsuno Ichimatsu 『Osomatsu-san』
5th Hashibira Inosuke 『Kimetsu no Yaiba』
5th Raphtalia 『Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari』
11th Atalanta 『Fate/Apocrypha』
11th Catherine 『Gintama』
11th Twinkle 『Sekai'ichi Hatsukoi』
11th Natsume Souseki 『Bungou Stray Dogs』
11th Nyanko-sensei 『Natsume Yuujinchou』
11th Hatsuse Izuna 『No Game No Life』
11th Panda-kun 『Shirokuma Cafe』
11th Holo 『Spice and Wolf』
11th Millhiore Firianno Biscotti 『DOG DAYS』
11th Yuni (Cure Cosmo) 『Star☆Twinkle PreCure』
11th Legosi 『BEASTARS』
（Survey period： October 10th ～ 17th, 2019）