The Cuddly Isekai Harem
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Airing Date : October 2019 to December 2019
- Producers : ENGI
Hataage! Kemono Michi (Kemono Michi: Rise Up) Introduction and Story
Tiger-themed pro wrestler Animal Mask is in the middle of his final fight with his greatest rival MAO when he and his cute canine sidekick Hiroyuki are transported into a new world, summoned by Princess Altena. Animal Mask—a.k.a. Genzou Shibata—already had plans for when he won his last fight: to live surrounded by animals. Lucky for him, this world is full of anthropomorphic animals and other half-animal beasts!
Appearing before the princess, Altena explains that she has summoned Genzou as a hero to slay the demon beasts in the land which have been causing problems in her kingdom. Unfortunately, what some consider “demon beasts”, Genzou considers the most adorable and huggable creatures! Genzou is not ok with this request and German suplexes Altena, exposing her butt for all to see and then running away with Hiroyuki in his arms. Running around in his wrestler garb (basically a speedo and a mask) and holding a small dog, Genzou manages to shock and terrify most of the locals, who understandably peg him for a weirdo perv.
Genzou takes off his mask and encounters a couple of ruffians meaning to rob him—a cat-girl named Misha and Wolfgang, a wolfman—which sends him over the edge with excitement thinking about petting them and touching the catgirl’s ears. After subduing the wolfman with belly rubs, he comes across a wolf-girl being dragged to be sold. Of course, as an animal lover and chivalrous man, Genzou intervenes, which freaks out the man as Genzou is still just in his underwear. Shigure, the wolf-girl, thanks Genzou as he finds out she was not getting kidnapped; she actually owed the man money and agreed to be sold as collateral… She’s a sneaky one that Shigure!
Seeing that his dream of being surrounded by animals—or at least demon beasts—is more likely to come true in this world, Genzou decides to befriend and collect animals/demon beasts and open a pet shop! And since there is always work for “demon beast slayers”, he always has the opportunity to meet and love a new furry friend. Of course, anyone who calls him a demon beast “slayer” will face the wrath of Animal Mask and suffer a German Suplex like Altena did.
1. It’s Just Hilarious
From the opening scene where musclebound Animal Mask is in his dressing room pre-fight holding Hiroyuki and daydreaming about being surrounded by animals, Genzou’s love for animals keeps the audience chuckling throughout the season. He falls in love with a married anthropomorphic cat-woman because that is so much better than just cat ears! The constant misunderstandings, random wrestling moves, Wolfgang’s trauma, Genzou’s obsession, and Shigure’s cheekiness are definitely a highlight of Kemono Michi!
2. So Many Cute and Sexy Creatures!
Of course, an anime all about a man obsessed with animals and a world that has lots of demon beasts to slay is full of cute, fuzzy creatures. But not just that. Though Genzou may be more interested in the fluffy Kobold cat-woman, there are many very sexy human and demi-human girls in his harem. There really is something for everybody in this anime! Genzou and MAO are well built, the girls are either cute or sexy, and the animals are super cute. You will not get tired of watching Kemono Michi. Especially with all the suplexes Genzou puts the girls through!
3. It Has an Original Isekai Setting
It seems as though every isekai setting has been done, but an animal-obsessed wrestler transported into a fantasy world filled with animals is definitely a first! Genzou is not generally OP, his only gifts are his physical strength and experience as a wrestler and his ability to overcome any beast he encounters with belly rubs, snacks, love or all of the above! The constant references to wrestling moves and such are a nice bonus for wrestling fans and those just looking for something different alike.
1. No Deep, Meaningful Story
Hataage! Kemono Michi is above all a comedy. While there is a storyline and it progresses, it’s more of an episodic, silly romp for the most part. You won’t find much character development or deep social themes. Kemono Michi is just a simple, relaxing, kemonomimi harem anime to make you laugh and enjoy looking at pretty/cute things.
2. Some of the Jokes Can Get Old
While the comedy is good, there are plenty of running gags that may feel a bit repetitive after a while. For example, every time that Genzou is referred to as a “demon beast slayer” someone gets suplexed; Wolgang develops PTSD after his first encounter with Genzou and so every time he sees him he either runs and hides or is pinned by belly rubs again; and since Genzou doesn’t care for regular, non-fuzzy humans, he’s constantly annoyed by or suplexing those around him that don’t fit the criteria.
Isekai is definitely not a new genre and it’s getting to the point where some anime fans even overlook anything isekai related. KonoSuba was one of the first titles to parody the genre and make it hilarious, Kemono Michi: Rise Up follows its footsteps well and adds its own twist to the new-world ridiculousness. If you like comedy, silly harems, and kemonomimi, you will enjoy Hataage! Kemono Michi. Even more so if you’re a fan of wrestling!
Did you watch Kemono Michi? Is Genzou your husbando? Who’s your favorite character? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!