A is for Apple is a common refrain for children educational multimedia programs. I’ve seen it (or something close to it) in books, on TV, on a DVD, in a video game, in a board game, in all kinds of toys, and obviously on the internet. Learning and trying to understand the basics of our world is what little kids do. If learning is lifelong, we all do it when we were little at any rate.
Kemono Friends sort of reverse engineers the experience for us. We learn how cable carts work. We know how a cafe works. Or what a bus does. Or how to cook, in general. The mysteries of life are about the questions we don’t realize we could ask, and not just the questions we have no answers to. All Bag-chan wanted to know is who she is. This is the existential question, of all existential questions. Arguably it’s the only question that truly matters.
In its ruthless-but-with-baby-gloves inquiry, Kemono Friends reveals obvious answers to obvious questions: Yes, it is as we think, Bag-chan. But in the process it only answers every other question we dare to dream to ask. And since this is a Japanese cartoon, Kemono Friends is set in a post-apocalyptic world, unlike another show I’m trying to infer to with this blog topic. Because it’s anime, we are concerned about trauma, not just happiness. The ending sequence of post-bubble, abandoned amusement parks does more talking than the rest of the show. It isn’t just about furries or they are girls. It’s about the overall messaging.
Which is to say, when you’re like this guy, it’s like trying to create an anti-abuse subsystem for Twitter, but all you get to use is a TI-84. There’s some novelty and amusement from seeing people trying to figure out what’s Kemono Friends about–not so much to do what I try to do, but to merely put it in one of their mental bins. I think that’s kind of why humanity is in decline, I guess. But I think, much like Bag-chan, this journey is only fun if you come unencumbered. The messaging may be meme-tinted, but people stay in Japari Park because there’s something worthwhile behind it all.
Well, maybe not that worthwhile. Pretty okay for an anime though.