Kemono Friends (Japanese: けものフレンズ Hepburn: Kemono Furenzu), sometimes shortened to KemoFure, is a Japanese multimedia franchise created by manga artist Mine Yoshizaki. The project initially began as a mobile game developed by Nexon, which ran from March 2015 until December 2016. Two volumes of a manga by Furai were also serialized in Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace in May 2015 and March 2017. The series met lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike until the release and subsequent explosion of Kemono Friends' 2017 anime, directed by TATSUKI, which is now considered to be one of the biggest sleeper hits of all time. Due to the anime's popularity, the IP was renewed for numerous additional projects, including a new mobile game by Bushiroad, a second season of the anime, and a live musical.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Plot
- 3 Media
The title Kemono Friends literally means "Animal Friends" or "Beast Friends" in Japanese, with the word "Friends" being written in Katakana and pronounced almost identically to the English word. The word "Kemono" is a reference to the animalian nature of the majority of the Friends, while the word "Friends" may refer to their generally amicable natures.
Kemono Friends focuses on the adventures of the titular Friends, anthropomorphized animals that have taken on the shape of human girls and live in a massive, open zoo known as Japari Park. Friends, as well as their alien predators and enemies the Cerulean, which serve as the collective antagonist of the series, are formed by a mysterious substance known as Sandstar. The different projects of Kemono Friends media take place in different periods of the series' timeline, however they are all related and connected. Although Friends from different parts of the timeline are typically identical and are referred to by the same name (i.e. that of the real animal or creature from which they were formed), these Friends hail from different generations and have different personalities and backstories despite the visual similarities. The world of Kemono Friends is complex and deep; this wiki exists as a resource to help guide fans and newcomers through the labyrinth of the series' lore.
The franchise has been featured in various mediums of fiction since its premiere in March 2015.
The first entry to the Kemono Friends multimedia franchise was a mobile game, developed by Nexon in March 2015 and ending in December 2016. It was met with lukewarm reception and failed to stand out amongst the many similar mobile games on the market at the time, and would not survive to see the premiere of the series' anime, which would go live in January 2017.
A second game, produced by Bushiroad, which has been announced for release in 2018. Details are yet to come and will be released to the public during the Tokyo Game Show.
A two-volume manga, serialized in Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace in May 2015 and March 2017 and written by Furai, was released early into the life of the franchise but not finished until around the time that the anime had concluded. It focuses on the misadventures of a young handler named Nana, who is newly employed at Japari Park, and the Friends she encounters in her time there.
An ongoing anthology manga, also serialized in Shōnen Ace, is currently being released, although the collection of stories in it (by various manga artists) is not canon and was simply produced in homage to the anime following its success.
An anime for Kemono Friends began broadcasting on January 10th, 2017 and concluded on March 28th of the same year. It was originally dismissed by critics for its poor animation quality (owing to a small budget and tiny staff), but became a sleeper hit of the season when fans took note of the show's excellent writing and worldbuilding.
The production of a second season was revealed on the obi of fifth official Blu-ray release of the original anime on July 26th, 2017, although additional information has yet to be released on the matter.
A stage play adaptation of Kemono Friends, featuring an original storyline separate from that of the existing media, ran from 2017 June 14 to 18 at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel Club eX in Tokyo. It was directed by Hiroki Murakami and starred many of the actresses who provided voices for characters in the anime. It has been announced for a second run in 2018, from January 13 to 21.