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The furry fandom, for those that don't know, is a fandom dedicated specifically to anthropomorphic characters. The notion of animals with human characteristics has captivated people for much longer than animation has existed, as is evidenced by legends told by cultures all around the world.
Anthropomorphic characters are loosely defined as characters that aren't human but possess human traits. Such characters have been widely featured in animation the world over, and Japanese anime is no exception. What follows is a list of shows that feature these characters, and whether you're in the furry fandom or not, you might find something you like here.
10. Kaiketsu Zorori
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: February 1, 2004 - February 6, 2005
Anthropomorphic foxes are almost always tricksters, and Zorori is a cunning character in typical fox fashion. Kaiketsu Zorori follows the adventures and antics of this crafty canine as he tries to use his wits to obtain the title of King of Mischief. However, his plans rarely go off without a hitch. Rather than creating chaos, he often winds up causing more good than harm.
This is a series primarily aimed at children, and is relatively simple in terms of its plot. It is still enjoyable to watch if you're looking for a lighthearted series to enjoy , and if anthros are what you're after, you're in luck. Kaiketsu Zorori features a varied cast full of anthropomorphic characters of all varieties, putting it on this list.
9. Cat Shit One
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 17, 2010
A fast paced military action flick, with cute little anthropomorphized rabbits playing the leads. It might sound farfetched, but that's exactly what Cat Shit One is. While only one episode was released it remains one of the most aesthetically stunning Japanese animations featuring anthropomorphized characters.
The CGI used is exceptional, and because of its astounding production quality, Cat Shit One is a feast for the eyes the whole way through. Be warned - it is short, and if you're used to longer movies this may leave you wanting more. The characters are all anthropomorphized animals and as such, it earns a spot here.
8. Juusenshi Gulkeeva (Beast Warriors Gulkeeva)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 4, 1995 to September 26, 1995
When the planet Earthside is invaded, Touya must take up arms to defend it. An allied planet, Heavenstia, sends three warriors who are half beast, half human to fight the invasion. Touya finds out he is more than human himself and, with the help of his new friends, may stand a chance defending his home planet.
Touya's companions are anthropomorphized, including a gorilla named Gariell, a wolf named Greyfass, and an eagle named Beakwood. This action packed series is a little known gem, and certainly qualifies as one of the top anime with furry fandom appeal.
7. Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru (Night on the Galactic Railroad)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 13, 1985
The main character Giovanni lives in a small, quiet town. Sent off by his mother to run an errand, he finds himself on a journey across the universe on an intergalactic railroad. He travels to a series of heavenly bodies, each of which presents him with a new adventure.
Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru as a series is loosely based on a children's novel, but the movie is better suited to be viewed by more mature audiences. The majority of the characters are anthropomorphic and it is certainly a unique viewing experience as far as anime goes, one that lands it a spot on this list.
6. Kyatto Ninden Teyande (Samurai Pizza Cats)
- Episodes: 54
- Aired: February 1, 1990 - February 12, 1991
This show is about cats running a pizza shop, and it's just as hilarious as it sounds. For Speedy, Polly, and Guido, the restaurant business is just their day job. Not all is well in their village of little Tokyo, and the three felines secretly work against a corrupt local government, fighting for justice when they're not busy tossing pizza dough.
The three main characters of this series are all feline anthromorphs. Not only is this show successful as a light-hearted comedy, but the animation style is unique. This show is widely regarded as a classic, making Kyatto Ninden Teyande one of the shows included in this list.
5. Ginga Nagareboshi Gin (Silver Fang)
- Episodes: 21
- Aired: April 7, 1986 - August 22, 1986
Gin is still a pup when he witnesses the death of his father at the hands of a bear. This isn't just any bear, though - Akakabuto is a beast that is feared by all that are unlucky enough to cross him. This means that Gin will have to gather an exceptional team of canines to fight by his side to succeed where those before him have failed and end the fearsome creature’s reign of terror once and for all.
Though the characters are physically humanoid, the emotional depth they present as canines gives this show an appeal to the furry fandom. Ginga Nareboshi Gin has a cast of engaging personalities, is a wonderful retro series that has stood the test of time, and certainly deserves a mention on this list.
4. Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star (Outlaw Star)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: January 8, 1998 - June 25, 1998
Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking go from operating a small business to becoming fugitives almost overnight. This series is set in a colorful, futuristic dystopia, and features an appropriately eccentric set of adversaries on the tail of these two unlikely heroes. Gene and Jim would be inadequately equipped to handle the challenges that ensue but luckily they are in possession of the most powerful spaceship in the universe, The Outlaw Star.
This series makes the list for featuring a furry fan favorite as a protagonist - Aisha Clanclan. Though at first glance she might appear to be a cat girl, she is in fact a proud member of the Ctarl-Ctarl Empire, an entire race of cat-people featured in this show. Between her physical traits and behaviors, she can definitely be considered an anthromorph.
3. Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: October 19, 2002
The year is 2010, and Tamala is a kitten tired of living in a corporate-controlled world. Though young, she is brave - this movie tells the story of her bold journey to find her home planet. On the first leg of her trip, her ship breaks down and she finds herself making an unintended pit-stop. What awaits her there, and will she ever safely reach her destination?
This film is quite a head trip - "bizarre" doesn't do it justice. Though the animation may appear simple, there are many deeper themes that are explored by this award winning picture. This quirky film is one that anyone who appreciates strange anime, furry or not, will enjoy. All the characters are anthropomorphic, helping this movie secure its place here.
2. Ao no 6-Gou (Blue Submarine No. 6)
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: October 25, 1998 to March 25, 2000
Humanity is under threat from a mad scientist who believes its time as the dominant species on earth is up. In order to eliminate humans, he genetically engineers ocean dwelling creatures to take their place, and an all-out war begins. Their last hope against this aquatic menace is a special aquatic force known as the Blue Fleet, but will they be enough?
This series features a number of enchanting humanoid creatures who are anthropomorphic versions of marine animals. The furry fandom extends beyond mammalian characters, to a subset commonly referred to as "scalies" that encompasses aquatic and cold-blooded characters. Because this series features such characters, and tells a dynamic and unique story it earns a place on this list.
1. Hyper Police
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 3, 1997 - September 25, 1997
Natsuki works as a hired gun in a science fiction universe where humans and monsters live at odds with one another. She struggles to make ends meet financially, and being a half-breed doesn't make her life any easier. Natsuki tries to maintain morality in her work but often encounters internal conflict along the way. Luckily, she has her friends to support her - a kitsune named Sakura, and two werewolves named Bataten and Tomy.
The universe in which Hyper Police takes place is intricately crafted, and learning more about it is almost as interesting as watching the plot progress. This series features a rich cast of characters, including fully anthropomorphic characters, kemonomimi, monsters, and everything in-between. On its own, it's an exceptional show, and one of the few serious series that has an anthromorph as one of its main characters, putting it at the top of this list.
Anthropomorphic characters in anime have been around for almost as long as the ones in western animation. Today, anime with furry fandom appeal span across a wide variety of genres from children’s shows, to action series, to art films. Each of these anime has much more to offer than simply being an anime with furry characters, and hopefully you found at least one on this list that intrigued you!