Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Watch These Anime!

The latest entry in the Animal Crossing franchise has become a favorite among quarantined gamers for its idyllic depiction of life on a deserted island. Players can meet adorable animal neighbors, customize the island to their liking, and have fun exploring the relaxing paradise. So, if you’re an anime fan who’s been swept up in the Animal Crossing craze and you’re looking for something similar to go along with it, here are two shows that you’ll definitely enjoy!

Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Watch Doubutsu no Mori!

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: December 2006

Based on the second main game in the series, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Doubutsu no Mori is a sweet little film about how a girl named Ai makes the most of her new life in the cartoon-animal-filled countryside. She starts out working a meager delivery job at Nook’s Cranny (despite never applying in the first place), but soon meets a colorful cast of friends and settles into the town comfortably. From gathering fruit to discovering fossils to accidentally summoning a spaceship, every day is full of surprises for Ai!

Major Similarities Between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doubutsu no Mori

1. Captures the Feeling of True Friendship with the Villagers

Ai grows close to her new animal friends in much the same way as we players do with our villagers. She learns their goals and hobbies, plays games with them, and relies on them in times of need. When one of her favorite villagers suddenly moved away, we legitimately teared up because we understand that feeling all too well!

2. Moves at a Relaxed Pace

There’s not much of a straightforward plot to this movie – it focuses more on the relationships between its characters and the individual adventures that Ai gets up to. Just like the game series on which it’s based, it doesn’t need constant action or suspense to be enjoyable. Sit back, relax, and drink in the relaxed ambiance of Doubutsu no Mori.

Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Watch Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2020 – currently airing

A peppy young otaku reincarnates into her favorite otome game, Fortune Lover, and is elated until she realizes that she’s inhabiting the body of the main villain, Katarina Claes! Katarina is doomed to death or exile in every single route, so she sets out to change her fate by avoiding the constant doom flags that surround her. Along the way, her kind and cheerful attitude draws the game’s characters closer to her, and soon she has accumulated an entire harem completely by accident!

Major Similarities Between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)

1. Embraces the Tactical Side of Life/Dating Simulators

Those of us who enjoy working toward 5-star islands, breeding hybrid flowers, and collecting best friend photos from villagers will quickly identify with Katarina’s efforts to manipulate the game world to her advantage. Early on, her insider knowledge of the characters’ sad backstories allows her to prevent many of those unfortunate events from happening in the first place, fundamentally changing their personalities for the better and gaining new friends in the process.

2. Katarina is All of Us

Katarina’s joy is infectious – despite initially focusing only on avoiding her own doom, she grows to love her group of friends and goes out of her way to make them happy. If Katarina played Animal Crossing, she’d definitely be the type to give her villagers thoughtful presents every single day!

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve watched these two anime, be sure to check out That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime and Kemono Friends for even more wholesome Animal Crossing flavored entertainment. Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen any of these shows or have any more to recommend, and thanks so much for reading!

Dobutsu-no-Mori-dvd-225x350 Like Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Watch These Anime!


Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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