Animals are great. They can be cute and cuddly or imposing and terrifying and anime creators know just how to bring that animal appeal to anime fans. Little by little, animal and anthropomorphized characters are somehow becoming even MORE popular. This Winter 2020 season, we have as many Kemonomimi anime as we did in the entire year of 2018! And there is something for everyone so sit back, relax and read about all the different kinds of—mostly ridiculous—kemonomimi anime airing this winter 2020! We’ve also included genres in parentheses that aren’t official but we believe fit and may help you decide on which to watch. Enjoy!
Murenase! Seton Gakuen (Come Together! to the Seton Academy)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Comedy, School, Shounen
Our first recommendation is fun for the whole family. Murenase! Seton Gakuen is set in the titular Seton Academy which is attended by animals—some are mostly human with ears and tails and some are talking animals—and humans. However, 1st years Jin and Hitomi are the only two humans attending. Jin had a traumatizing experience as a child that caused him to hate animals so he is extremely unhappy when a lone wolf-girl named Ranka decides to make him part of his pack. Hitomi decides they should start a cooking club and then the crazy animals start rolling in…
The setting of Come Together! to the Seton Academy is ridiculous as it is; add to that dinosaur teachers, three bear bullies, and jokes based on real animal biology and you got yourself twentysomething minutes of chuckles. The combination of ridiculous comedy and somewhat educational bits—we learned something shocking about koalas we did not know!—really make it an easy recommendation if you’re looking to chill and laugh. It’s not labeled as a shounen anime, but if you like shounen, you’ll probably enjoy Murenase! Seton Gakuen.
Uchi Tama?! Uchi no Tama Shirimasen ka? (Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama?)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Slice of Life (Comedy, Iyashikei)
Imagine The Secret Life of Pets but with anthropomorphic cats and dogs living in a Japanese neighborhood and you’ve got Uchitama?! Third Street—3 Chome in Japanese, which is more like “3rd Block”—is a safe, peaceful place where all the local pets roam free and hang out with each other all day and play games. While they are supposed to be real cats and dogs, when they interact with each other, we get to see them as people and their personifications are just perfect!
Tama is an airheaded boy cat that is best friends with Pochi, the tofu man’s dog and, together, they go on adventures, get lost, play, and visit their other cat and dog friends around the neighborhood. From Momo the pretty cat idol of the local cafe to Nora the stray cat boy and Bull the newcomer bulldog with a sweet spot for pretty cats, Uchitama?! has a wide variety of quirky characters that will remind you of your own pets or animals you’ve met before. Uchitama?! May not be labeled as a comedy or iyashikei but it is certainly both. These pets antics will make you laugh and smile and you’ll just feel a sense of calm and happiness after each episode almost like what you feel after a good cuddle session with your favorite furball.
Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh!!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Music, Comedy
Another wholesome kemonomimi anime this season is the new iteration of Show by Rock!! Howan is an aspiring singer from a snowy village who gets accepted to an audion in the music capital of—their—world, Midi City! The small-town girl arrives in Midi City wide-eyed and bushy-tailed but… she loses her audition pass. While pondering on her situation, she hears an aspiring all-girl band playing in the street and she’s invited to join them and perform. Her lost audition becomes a thing of the past when the girls ask her to join them and reach for the stars together!
Another gorgeous animation by Sanrio, Show by Rock!! Mashumairesh!!, revisits themes like loner, selfish characters opening up and becoming an integral part of the team, band rivalries, and they even have a weird little manager-type guy too! Of course, besides all the comedy, character development, and beautiful art and animation, a main highlight is the music! Well thought out lyrics and performances that make you wish you could see them live will attract and keep music anime fans. As we enjoyed the first Show by Rock! and are currently loving Mashumairesh, we recommend you give it a look and a listen!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Comedy, Romance (Ecchi, GL)
Nekopara is set in a reality like our own except for the fact that cats aren’t how we know them, instead, they are basically humans with cat ears and cat tails and cat behaviors—and are apparently all/mostly female. But they’re still considered pets and are treated as such. Kashou Minaduki just opened his own patisserie and, since his 2 cats, Chocola and Vanilla are old enough to help, they moved out of his family’s house into his so they can help run the shop! His sister Shigure kept the rest of the family cats with her but they all work at the shop as well—dressed as maids, of course!
While Nekopara looks super cutesy, it really isn’t that innocent. As we mentioned earlier, these are basically girls being treated as pets and made to work with no pay, but then when you have to feed and house basically two other people, it seems like a fair exchange. The girls are adorable and are basically cute catgirls doing cute cat things like kneading each other’s bellies, running along rooftops, playing with cat toys, pouncing on each other, fighting, and enjoying tuna… All with interspersed girl-on-girl PDA, panty shots, bent-over angles, and a Maine Coon (we think) who is spilling out of her tiny shorts and top at all times. If you like fanservice, catgirls, and/or mild GL, you’ll probably enjoy Nekopara!
So many cute animals!!! There is also Hentatsu, which stars two catgirls basically having conversations at an abandoned Nakano Broadway cafe. It’s only 2 minutes per episode and seems to not have a reason, plot or direction, but hey, maybe you’re into that!
We hope you found at least one new animal-themed anime to check out this season in our list! Most series are on their 6th episode at the time of writing so there’s time to catch up if you really like any of these. Are you already watching any of these anime? Which is your favorite? Share your thoughts and feelings with us down below!