Episode 1 - Savanna Area
|Episode 1 - Savanna Area|
Savanna Area (Japanese: サバンナちほー) is the first episode of the Kemono Friends anime series. It introduces the show's main characters, Kaban and Serval, along with the overarching themes and conflict of the story. It is set in the Savanna Area, a dry and open grassland home to various Friends.
Kemono Friends starts with a vast view of the wild nature of the savanna. We are then introduced to the Friend Serval sleeping on the branch of a tree on a sunny day. She is awakened by a noise coming from a mysterious shade and jumps down the tree to pursue it, taking this situation as a game. She manages to spot her 'prey' and pounces on it. The unknown person appears to be a girl who instantly panics and begs Serval to not eat her.
Afterwards, Serval apologizes and presents herself, Japari Park and her territory, the Savanna Area. Serval's tail and animal ears shock the girl, whose lack of any such features, in turn, surprises Serval. The girl is then revealed not to know her identity or origin, her earliest memory being waking up in the Savanna Area not long prior to their meeting. Serval takes the guess that the girl might come from the sandstar that came flying out of the mountain during the previous night's sandstar eruption. Serval then tries to guess what kind of "Friend" the girl is but is unsuccessful, as she lacks defining traits of any of the Friend families that Serval checks. She tells the girl to find the library, an area for the Friends who search answers to their questions, in order to find out what her identity is, and decides to accompany her for part of the journey. Serval then decides to call the girl 'Kaban' (Japanese for "Bag") because of the bag on her back.
As Kaban and Serval cross the Savanna Area, Serval specifies that many other Friends inhabit the area, and presents Plains Zebra and Thomson's Gazelle. Serval plans to take Kaban to the Savanna Area's exit leading to the Jungle, beyond which is the Library.
Kaban is shown not to have great physical prowess, failing to go safely go down a steep hill and to cross a river without falling into it and has to be helped by Serval on multiple occasions. Kaban eventually encounters a Cerulean and initially mistakenly believes it to be a Friend before getting a warning from Serval, who fortunately manages to take it down quickly by breaking its stone with her claws thanks to it's small size, and describes her attack as a "Friend skill". Since, as of this point, Kaban has had to be helped many times and seemingly lacks any ability, she starts feeling like a dead weight. Serval, though, sympathizes with her, as she is also seen by other Friends as weak and clumsy, and tells Kaban she sees her as a hard worker. She helps her getting up and the duo continues their adventure to find the Savanna Area's exit.
After a while, they decide to get some rest under a tree to regain energy. Kaban asks Serval if there are different types of friends in each species. Serval answers by saying that Japari Park is inhabited by bigger cats than her. To reassure Kaban, Serval explains that the only entities she has to fear are the Ceruleans. Serval then takes notice of the fact that Kaban doesn't pant, and appears to be regaining energy very fast.
As they keep advancing, Serval teaches Kaban how to climb trees, though Kaban isn't able to climb even a small one without help at this point. They continue and finally reach the water spot to quench their thirst. As they are there, Hippopotamus, a dear friend of Serval who was taking a bath in that same water spot, suddenly appears, shocking Kaban. Hippopotamus warns them that a big Cerulean is guarding the gate of the area leading to the Jungle. After Serval presents Kaban to her, along with her situation and apparent weakness, Hippopotamus advises Kaban to learn how to protect herself, as the rule is Japari Park is that you must fend for yourself, and being blindly dependent of Serval would be irresponsible. As they leave, Hippopotamus gets worried, and tells them to be careful of the cerulean at the gate as well as other unimportant things in a motherly-like series of advices.
Along the way, Kaban and Serval discover a sign with a small glass box underneath it, with maps of Japari Park inside of it. Kaban takes one, to the surprise of Serval, who has difficulty opening the box, and they analyse it to find their position. Suddenly, Serval hears the scream of a helpless Friend.
Serval and Kaban make their way to the voice and discover the cerulean that Hippopotamus talked about, who was blocking the gate and had just attacked Aardwolf. Serval charges straight to the cerulean, but is forced to retreat after not seeing its stone, which she needs to break, and getting attacked. Kaban notices the stone of the back of the cerulean, but Serval isn't given a chance to attack it as it keeps facing her. While Serval starts to lose hope, a paper airplane made by Kaban flies near the cerulean and distracts it, offering Serval a chance to attack. Before Serval could attack, the cerulean's gaze, following the paper airplane, ends up on Kaban, who is promptly attacked by one of it's tentacles. Hippopotamus, though, shows up just in time to block and counter the attack, while Serval jumps behind the cerulean to reach the stone and destroys it. After the climax, Hippopotamus leave the place before everyone could see her, silently praising Kaban for her attempt at helping Serval.
As Serval and Kaban reach the end of the Savanna Area, they have to share their last words before Kaban could continue the adventure alone. Kaban courageously walks straight to the jungle without looking behind her. Nonetheless, Serval still follows Kaban greatly surprising her, and decides to keep adventuring with her, like best friends would do.
At dusk, a very excited Serval scratches a tree and accidentally makes it fall, prompting Kaban to call her name in surprise. The noise generates a response in a strange creature Serval calls "Boss". The creature walks to Kaban and greets her in a robotic voice. Kaban appreciates the move unlike Serval who is greatly shocked to see it talking.
- A human Friend gains consciousness in the Savanna Area.
- Serval meets the human Friend and gives her the name Kaban, after the bag she was born with.
- Serval offers to guide Kaban to the far end of the Savanna Area, and the two embark on their journey.
- Serval and Kaban meet Lucky
- Fennec and Arai-san start chasing after the hat thief nanoda!