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Raccoon appears in the twelfth and eighteenth chapters of the manga. In both chapters she is the primary focus.
Raccoon is high-spirited, passionate and emotional. She boasts an abundance of self-belief and gives every pursuit her all, but suffers from a pronounced insecurity about the "plainness" of her animal origins, particularly when compared to other Friends. She is nevertheless ambitious and determined to live a happy and fulfilling life. As seems to be common for Raccoon Friends, she is somewhat dimwitted and does not always think her actions through.
Role in the Plot
Raccoon makes her manga debut by announcing a "proposition" to Nana -- she asks the young handler for one trillion yen, a request which is swiftly rejected. Confused, Nana asks what she might need all of that money for to begin with, and Raccoon explains that she's dissatisfied with her life and desires to start anew as a different kind of Friend. Being a raccoon, she explains, is unfulfilling because they are so abundant and unremarkable. Nana addresses the situation by asking her what kind of animal she'd rather be instead, to which Raccoon replies that she'd like to be an Ezo red fox. The human calls upon Ezo Red Fox herself, who is nearby, and suggests that Raccoon study her way of life for a little. She accepts, and the two Friends begin to have a conversation. Raccoon cuts to the chase and asks if she'll be happy if she becomes an Ezo red fox, but the fox Friend denies this, citing numerous complaints about her everyday life with Nana as a handler. Discouraged, Raccoon promptly abandons her plans to become an Ezo red fox and continues to investigate what kind of Friend she'd like to be elsewhere.
She meets with Tsuchinoko, Crested Ibis, Reindeer, Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey and Koala amidst her existential crisis, but Raccoon is dismayed to learn that none of their lifestyles appeal to her. Betraying all expectations, she laments, they're simply too weird for her. After a series of disappointing interactions, she calls it quits. Reflecting on her experiences by her lonesome on the side of a road, Raccoon questions whether all Friends are just weird to begin with. By comparison, she realizes, she's not so bad after all. It is at this point that Raccoon achieves an epiphany, concluding that just being herself makes her the most happy after all. However, this moment of clarity is cut short when she remembers that dissatisfaction with her plainness is the reason she was trying to become another Friend to begin with, and the vicious cycle of her insecurity starts anew.
In a fashion strikingly similar to her previous appearance, Raccoon begins the chapter by approaching Nana with an ambitious and farfetched plan. Rather than asking for money, she declares to the human that she's decided upon her life's dream: to become the director of Japari Park. A confused Nana reminds the Friend that actualizing such a goal isn't nearly as simple as it sounds. She suggests that she pursue a more reasonable objective in order to get her name out there first, informing her that Japari Park will soon be holding an election for the office of tourism ambassador. Raccoon is receptive to the idea, reasoning that this will be a good stepping stone for her ambitions. However, Nana cautions the ambassador hopeful that she'll be running against Indian Peafowl, a very popular and well-admired Friend. Raccoon admits that she is daunted by the bird Friend's odds, but stays determined to win the race.
The election campaign begins shortly thereafter, with only the two of them on the ballot. Raccoon calls together her friends Ezo Red Fox and Koala in hopes that they can help her form her platform. Although they are skeptical that she has any chance of winning at all, they exchange some ideas. Koala suggests that she announce something "awesome that no one else has thought of" in her speech, which turns out to be an all-you-can-eat pap buffet, while Ezo Red Fox interjects that there should at least be meat buns available too. Jotting down their ideas, Raccoon adds honey to the list of foods available at the buffet.
When the day of the election finally comes, after Peafowl has given her speech, Raccoon is invited to the podium by Mirai. She takes a deep breath and declares that if she is elected, she will serve everyone her "original super heavy special cooking" and make it the Park's specialty. A confused audience watches as she elaborates on the recipe, which consists of honey, meat puns and pap mixed in a blender and consumed as a beverage. She concludes her speech with a metaphor, comparing the unique recipe to the process of everyone getting along. Because the ingredients are mixed, she asserts, it's representative of the harmony of Japari Park despite everyone's different backgrounds. She concludes that "getting along and being happy" is her policy. Upon delivering the closing remarks of her speech, Raccoon mentally congratulates herself on a job well-done.
When the results come in, however, Nana regretfully informs the candidate that she has lost in a landslide defeat, accumulating a mere 2 votes out of 202 ballots cast. What's more, it is revealed out that her friends Koala and Ezo Red Fox didn't even vote for her to begin with. A crushed Raccoon then ponders who cast the other vote for her (as the first was by herself). Just then, Peafowl enters the scene and tells the would-be ambassador that it was none other than she herself. The newly-elected ambassador explains that she wanted to try Raccoon's special honey/meat bun/pap recipe, and proposes that the two work together to serve Japari Park with her special cooking. The would-be ambassador thanks her, and the chapter ends.
Nana is featured as a major character in both chapters that focus on Raccoon, and both stories begin with Raccoon proposing an ambitious idea to her. Raccoon seems to be comfortable around the human handler, valuing her insight and following her advice when she gives it. Nana is patient and considerate in their conversations, but is not afraid to give her realistic feedback when necessary.
Ezo Red Fox appears to be at least somewhat friendly with Raccoon, as the former is shown willing to come out early in the morning to help the latter build her platform during her gambit to win the election for tourism ambassador. However, despite their friendship, Ezo Red Fox does not cast her ballot for Raccoon on election day, justifying her decision because the "original super heavy special cooking" outlined in her speech sounded disgusting.
Koala, like Ezo Red Fox, seems to be on good terms with Raccoon. Koala comes to the raccoon Friend's aid when she summoned to help think of ideas for her candicacy as tourism ambassador hopeful, despite it being early in the morning and being visibly tired. In spite of this, Koala does not vote for Raccoon on the election day