Kemono Friends - Reviews

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2DWatcher's avatar
Mar 15, 2017

It's quite a cringe at first when I had the 6 minutes of the first episode because of the CGI pretty boring too, but a minute after I adapted well to the animation. The way they introduced each characters which are the "friends" are fun and cute, also it's very educational with a very nostalgic feeling of taking back you to your childhood, it is a fact too that this is an anime that is very easy to watch without any complicated plot which is something that both kids and adults can enjoy. The anime itself is bad and good, for the CGI is very stiff that the mouths of the characters are not that smooth and good because it's not that hard to watch except if you're preferences are high quality animation, the production of this anime consists of very few people with very low badget to make this project. But as for the story itself it is very well written to the point that you can't wait another wait for another week for the next episode to come and it's not even exaggerating and to the point that it became trending all over the world that the trends consists of 90% came from Japanese twitter users, it's clear that this show has something to offer. What's more, this anime has consists of hidden element settings which are set on different locations as Kaban and Serval journey progress, what's more amazing about this show is that this is yes cute, fun and more about learning about the truth of what really is happening which makes the show much more interesting. This is probably one of the most addictive anime and best written story that I had ever watch and probably no any other anime company that existing and will exist would be able to pull such an amazing series, well at least in my memory no one had ever did this before.

10/10 story
5/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.4/10 overall
Takafumi's avatar
Apr 8, 2017

Kemono Friends is part of a multimedia project also titled Kemono Friends.

Hoo boy this is an ugly show. Gonna be honest, I only picked this show up because I heard there was a Serval character and Servals are my favorite animal (and luckily the character got an amazing voice actor so I’m happy with the portrayal!) If you don’t know what the show is, this may sound strange, but uuuh… This is a show all about anthropomorphized animals in a giant Zoo. Following a couple main characters, we go from zone to zone learning about different humanized animals living in different climates with an end goal of leaving the park.


Kemono Friends is very weird in many regards. The thing that’ll stand out to most is the 3DCG. It sucks. The show’s CG looks like something I used to watch when I was 10 or something, nostalgic but not up to par with modern standards. The weird part about this is that the background art is some of the best I’ve seen this season. Very pretty environments and landscapes that feel almost ruined by the CG characters walking about. An even weirder part is that, while the CG sucks and doesn’t blend well with the background, the actual detail given to model animation is ridiculously good in comparison. The models all animate to the traits of the animals they represent, so for example Serval’s ears will twitch ever so slightly when there is noise near her.

Looking at more good, the voice acting. The main characters have voices that are very clear and easy to understand, different to most anime, even those aimed at kids. There’s a ridiculously large amount of other characters, but most of the voice actors manage to capture the spirit of the animal they represent. Very well done for such a large cast.
Also, speaking of sound, you gotta check out the ost for this show. BGM doesn’t play too often in the show, but when it does, it is really pretty. There’s a sense of wonderment to each track, adventurous almost. Reminds me of the big explorey video games I’d play as a kid. Digimon World vibes y’know? The ED is amazing too, almost got my ED of the Season award. Beautifully chilling visuals and some gooooood music.


The thing I’m most thankful for out of everything is that the show dodges the biggest pitfall for children’s TV. Early into the show a race of weird evil slime things named Ceruleans are introduced, and they are said to be a dangerous presence to all. Most creators would have every episode (or most of them) end with a fight against the monster! Kemono Friends doesn’t do that. Instead it has a really nice and simple structure… Travel to a new zone, meet the animals there, hear of a problem, fix the problem, and repeat. There IS a dangerous presence in this world, but not everything is solved by those dangerous things existing and being fought. The Ceruleans are just another part of the world, like everything else, and I think a focus on fighting against a threat would have stripped this show of its charm.


This show isn’t anything new or crazy, but it is definitely a top tier show intended for younger audiences, and speaking as a common watcher of children’s anime, this is the best I’ve seen in the past 15 or so years. I can believe in a future where Kemono Friends is to anime what Adventure Time was to western animation. Hopefully we get more stuff of this quality.

After thoughts: I want to take a bit of time to explain the background to this show, for those who haven’t seen it, and for those who didn’t hear of Kemono Friends’ origins. This was initially a mobile game, a fairly generic one at that. Standard gatcha rpg thing. You were put in charge of collecting “Friends” and fighting the Cerulean threat. Well, the game didn’t do well, and it shut down, along with the companion manga, but somehow they got an anime adaptation greenlit, albeit for a terrible timeslot past 1am. With 10 staff members and 500 days of work, this anime was created as a continuation of the game’s story. The first episode aired to horrible reception solely due to the CG animation, and by the time the show had finished it was the second most watched anime on Nico Nico Douga and the biggest topic trending on Japanese Twitter. It’s nothing short of a miracle. Previously I have given positive words to short cheap shows that fail in areas every show is expected to succeed by the masses. Million Doll is the first example to come to mind. These are shows that care so much despite not having the same luxuries as the popular anime, and they always go overlooked. So it’s nice to see, finally, appreciation for one of these shows. I’m happy to know that there is more to popularity than pretty pictures.

9/10 story
4/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall
Starletka's avatar
Jan 18, 2017

STORY:

The story follows "Bag", a young girl lost in the middle of wilderness, who befriends Serval, one of the animals living there. Together they set off on a long journey across the whole park, meeting its many inhabitants.

With it's tedious plot at first I thought the show was obivously intended for children, but then the fanservice hit hard, and now I'm just confused as to who the targeted audience is supposed to be. Either way, if you're over 5 you won't be able to comprehend its hidden genius.

In the last two episodes, the show suddenly gets serious and likes to pretend it has a deep, meaningful plot, but it leaves you cold and uninterested, because it just doesn't work when you have 10 episodes of absolutely nothing prior to the grand finale.

ANIMATION:

I have nothing against CG animation, though I prefer 2D when it comes to anime, but holy shit is this animation bad or what? It's choppy as hell, and the characters are hardly moving at all. The last time I've seen a show with animation this fugly must have been in Vampire Holmes. Even character design is lazy. They basically just put animal ears and tails on loli girls with giant honkers and bare asses. Oh, and the girls have double ears (both human and animal).

SOUND:

So. Much. Wailing. Prepare to have your ears bleed. The soundtrack is kind of nice, but the OP and ED are definitely skippable and nothing worth remembering.

CHARACTERS:

I don't even know what to say here, except that all the characters are flat and totally forgettable. Literally only three types of personalities exist in this world: the cute one, the hyperactive one, and the grumpy, tsundere one. Honestly, they could have just put actual animals in there, and it would have been for the better.

OVERALL:

It's like drinking bleach whilst listening to Nickleback.Why do I do this to myself?

Watched for the Anime Lottery Game WINTER 2017

3/10 story
0.5/10 animation
4/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall
Nicknames's avatar
Apr 16, 2017

Kemono Friends is a CG anime that aired back in Winter 2017 and turned out to be the sleeper hit of the season but, was it really that good or it just succeeded for some unforeseeable reason?

The show is about Bag-chan, a little girl who’s lost in the middle of a giant park and surrounded by anthropomorphic animals. There she meets Serval and then the duo starts an adventure to the library to learn what animal she’s supposed to be.

It’s kinda unclear what’s the target audience of this show. On one hand this is a cute animal girls doing cute things show, but on the other it airs at late-night and there are constant hints that everything may be darker than it seems at first glance.

Also this show is fairly repetitive. Each episode can be described as “Serval and Bag meet one or various animal girls (called friends in the show), helps them with whatever thing they need help, and then they leave to another biome”.

A fact that’s worth mentioning is the inclusion of an interlude about the friend of the week. They are really informative and add an extra educational value to the show.

Animation-wise it’s awful. As soon as you pay a bit of attention you start to notice how the mouth flapping doesn’t match at all, the characters seem to walk on the air from time to time, and sometimes everything is a bit laggy. Most of these issues get fixed in the later episodes, but then more issues arise (it’s going to be hard to forget that climbing animation).

Another thing that bugs me in this regard is how lazy the character designs are. Yes, some characters are easy to notice (like Shoebill) but there are others that look way too similar to each other to distinguish them (with Serval and Sand Cat being the worst offenders). There’s also the fact that the Japanese Black Bear lacks so many body features she looks like a black ink stain with a face.

Sound-wise it was ok. The opening and ending songs are the typical j-pop stuff you’d find in a show of this kind, and the OST is pretty much forgettable.

The most important part of the show is the characters. Even if they are plain and the supporting cast barely has more than 40 minutes of screentime they have enough charm to be memorable. Another thing that adds to their charms is that some of them behave like their real life counterparts (like Tsuchinoko being overly elusive or the beaver being way too focused on building stuff with wood).

All in all this show had all the ingredients to become a disaster of unknown proportions, but the charm of the characters turned this show into something tolerable. Some people might find the crappy animation and lack of a decent plot a huge turn-off and consider it a gigantic pile of crap while others might get entranced by the cuteness of the characters and call this show the greatest anime ever made. Should you watch it? It depends on the kind of shows you like. If you don’t mind bad CG and cute girls doing cute things is your jam then go ahead and watch it, but if you want your anime to have more substance then avoid it like a plague. If you're still indecisive then feel free to try it. The worse thing that could happen is that you'd hate it, but at least you can enjoy all the memes it spawned.

3/10 story
2/10 animation
5/10 sound
5/10 characters
5/10 overall
Wakasagihime's avatar
Oct 8, 2017

Came because of the Kadokawa flame rallies and stayed for the tanoshii.

Tbh this anime has like this syndrome of it being overrated because of how much of an underdog it was. Whenever there's anime that get passed up on by the majority of viewers initially, the few that do enjoy it shout louder to try and get attention for their hidden gem of an anime. I think this anime's overblown fan base is basically that. It eventually gained enough traction to reach the masses and steamrolled to victory within it's season (for Japan) to say the least.

Now I'm not saying this anime is bad, but I'm also not going to say it's some kind of crazy master piece gem either. I watched it late. I thought it looked like one of those usual moe blob shows getting over hyped. I only watched it because I was prompted by chance through the recent "no tatsuki, no tanoshi" memes. This means I entered my viewing with the bias of knowing the background to how this show came about. I know it was created on peanuts for budget, and that the director had full creative freedom with what was supposed to be a throwaway anime. Given literal crap to mold, the director and his team still put their hearts into the show. Without any corporate interference, we got this show. Knowing this I can not help but say that given the circumstances this show was born under, it is comparatively speaking a master piece to other moe blob throwaway shows that attempt to grab at low hanging $$$.

However once put on a proper pedestal besides all other anime, it's animation, straight forward plot and simple characters begin to weigh it down. The characters are fairly shallow and simple. The 3D speaks for itself, and the plot is very straight forward. MC duo traverses the land in search of who kaban chan is. In the process they make friends and solve problems while learning about kaban chan as an animal.

(LATER EPISODE SPOILERS)

Have some reasonable fake outs of character deaths and have everyone get together with the power of friendship for your finale.

(SPOILERS END)

All of this makes it seem pretty... meh in the eyes of some of the more critical viewers. However I feel a majority of these critics are comparing the show to other stories and series that DO have deep characters, more interesting settings, and good story lines or twists. All of which tend to be rarities in anime. I feel as though they don't give this anime enough credit for what it DID do and what it didn't ATTEMPT to do.

When you put Kemono friends in the context of it's own genre and weigh what it TRIED to do versus what it DID do, this anime is actually pretty good in what it did do. Many anime these days try to fit in corporate marketing agendas essentially they try to splice in as much as they can of what sells while putting as little effort into the writing the setting and script as possible. Tsunderes, isekais, harems, slight hints that seem open ended but actually go no where that are covered up by shiny animation so the casual goes into pretentious over thinking mode, SAOs, adding RE: to the title, pretentious;titleinfo dumps as opposed to showing the viewer etc.

Knowing the director said screw all of that, since he was literally free to say, screw it all, is what makes this show actually good. The show has minimal to non existent marketing agendas presented. Instead, it just aims to be honest and simple fun. The director sets low bars, but boy does did he pour his heart in to reach the bars. Most of the show goes as such: The simple characters are presented with a simple problem, then come up with a simple answer, which leaves the viewer with a SIMPLE kind of satisfaction when they watch it.

If you come in expecting something complex and deep you're left wondering why this anime is so popular, but it's popular because it's honest about what it is. It never tries to pull the rug over your eyes with fancy animation or overly complicated jargon that doesn't make sense. The most complex thing about this show is that it can do revelations to the viewer and characters without ass pulls or pretentious info dumps.

(SPOILERS EXTENDED)

Just a side rant here, but I think the reason many people including myself weren’t bored while watching two dimensional characters solve simple problems in various biomes is precisely because the biomes and situations were varied. I found that the most boring episode for me was the one with the penguin idols, and it was precisely because the episode was just a typical idol anime; literally just idols doing idol things on a stage. The animal aspect and the biome itself all were only different in name. The conflict and resolution were all extremely predictable, but more importantly were things I’d already seen in other anime, so I was pretty bored throughout the episode.

The reason the other episodes were actually interesting barring the travesty that is episode one, is because the setting wasn’t a very used one, so even if you gave me generic-mc-genericson excited grill that is Serval chan going SUGOI and TANOSHII at things, it still came off as interesting and amusing instead of stale because she would do it in different places and in different contexts. Many of the various types of “cutesy” archetypes that define several of the characters in this show experience this phenomenon which stops them from being entirely boring. It also helps that many of them are often a reflection of how their real world counter part might act if they were human, which helps keep them fresh.

Fino of Anime Elimination of YouTube describes this sort of phenomenon quite well. He says that character archetypes or “schtick” as he calls it will create a “snooze-fest” in one genre just because it’s been over done there like a school comedy, but lends itself to “some much needed variety.” when put into a different genre or context. (SP14 Anime Elimination 2: Chaika - The Coffin Princess 3:22-4:08)

Essentially Fino is saying that a stupid character archetype can be boring because we’ve seen it a billion times in the same situations, but put the same dumb character in a different setting and even though their mannerisms are similar, the situations are different leading to different outcomes that we haven’t seen before, which thereby make the whole scene including the stupid character interesting and fun to watch. This is my personal justification for liking many of the silly friends of this anime. Not just because they’re “pure” waifus or some garbage like that. (Lion san a best though.)

(SPOILERS END)

Tl;dr the director and the studio poured their heart into this anime to make it actually likable.

P.S. My overall rating is higher than the other scores because enjoyment plays a factor into my ratings. If I didn't enjoy an anime at all I'm not going to rate it highly or lowly just because others do the same.

7/10 story
3/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
8/10 overall
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