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.
The series was met with lukewarm reception until the release and subsequent explosion of Kemono Friends' 2017 anime, directed by TATSUKI. Due to the anime's popularity, the IP was renewed for numerous additional projects, including new mobile games, a second season of the anime, and a live musical.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Plot
- 3 Media
- 3.1 Mobile Games
- 3.2 Manga
- 3.3 Anime
- 3.4 Stage Play
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" refer to their generally amicable natures and their status as companions in various franchise installments.
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 a roleplaying game with a detailed storyline where players could take Friends into battle with the enemy Ceruleans. It was met with lukewarm reception and failed to stand out amongst the many similar mobile games on the market at the time. It would not survive to see the premiere of the series' anime in January 2017. Despite renewed interest in the mobile game after the success of the anime, the original game was not revived in favor of new mobile titles with different gameplay styles. Various elements in the mobile game show up in future installments of the franchise.
A second game, produced by Bushiroad and developed by Moshimo and UniqueWave, released on January 26, 2018. it is a passive "observation game" where players are primarily tasked with leaving out Japari Buns and Playthings for the Friends of Japari Park to enjoy. Players are able to watch Friends interact with one another as well as Playthings that they construct themselves and leave out in the game's different Areas.
A third game, developed and published by Goodroid, released on June 7, 2018. The game is a gacha-based adventure RPG with a different combat system from the original Nexon RPG.
A two-volume manga, written by Furai, was serialized in Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace from May 2015 to March 2017. It was an early installment in the franchise, but wasn't finished until around the time the anime 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 anthology manga, also serialized in Shōnen Ace, featuring non-canon stories by various manga artists. It was 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 and viewers for its poor animation quality, owed to a small budget and tiny staff). It became a sleeper hit of the season when fans took note of the show's unexpected charm and worldbuilding.
The production of a second season was revealed on the obi (packaging) of the fifth official Blu-ray release of the original anime on July 26th, 2017. Not much is known about the season, except for it not featuring the same director and animation studio as the first season.
Welcome to Japari Park (2018 ONA)
An original net animation based on the events of the original Nexon mobile game premiered on August 12, 2018.
A stage play adaptation of Kemono Friends, featuring an original storyline separate from that of the existing media, ran from June 14-18, 2017 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.