Everything you need to know about Kemono Jihen.
What’s up guys, welcome to your regular dose of all things anime! Today’s topic is everything you need to know about Kemono Jihen. Well then, shall we begin?
This anime came out early this year in January, and as you can expect, Kemono Jihen got heavily overshadowed by the sheer amount of anime sequels as well as hyped-up non-sequels we had in winter 2021 anime season.
However, even though it never reached the same level of popularity that most modern-day shonen animes are usually prone to, Kemono Jihen is still a genuinely good shonen. To put it simply, Kemono Jihen goes like this: there are different species of beasts called kemono. Some of them can be half human and have kemono, such as our main characters.
There are unusual established regions where the most intelligent kimonos reside, but this topic hasn’t been touched upon in detail, at least not in the anime. And there is also a firm rule that all kimono-related incidents must be kept hidden from the normal populace. Nothing revolutionary, but definitely interesting.
Kemono Jihen: main characters
The main characters are all a bunch of kids who worked under a kind and compassionate man named Inugami. Though he can sometimes be more of a father figure for them, he runs a detective agency, and their job is to take care of kimono-related endeavors. Now, this is where things get interesting.
Even though this plot seems cliche or childish, the actual reality of Kemono Jihen’s narrative is a lot graver than what it initially seems to be like. It may not directly induce them, but it continues to hint upon highly sensitive topics like child abuse, slavery, the essence of family, and that’s still just the beginning.
It’s these overshadowed elements that people may overlook while deciding whether to watch this anime or not, and honestly, these greatly contribute to what makes Kemono Jihen such a hidden gem.
The protagonists are all kids, so in essence, they are all naive. And yet, seeing their innocence triumph over sinister obstacles is all part of Kemono Jihen’s charm. Though, for what it’s worth, the first season of Kemono Jihen appears to be somewhat of a prologue to the grander narrative of the story.
The backstories of certain characters have been revealed, and the audience now has a fair idea of what the world the Kemono Jihen is about. So, whenever we get a second season, it’ll be something more complex.
Alright, now let’s talk about the initial starting point of the story, the main characters, the nature of conflicts in this anime, and the mysterious world-building. The story begins with the main character named Kabane working in the fields of an ordinary household in the countryside. He is clearly getting bullied by the other boys his age, and yet, the boy’s face remains expressionless.
This is where a mysterious yet very pleasant man named Inugami comes up. He wonders about the boy and tries to connect with him, but Kabane found this sudden change in behavior towards him quite odd.
Not because he didn’t like it, but because it felt like this was the first time in forever that someone showed him kindness, Kobani’s emotionless persona just couldn’t understand what this was about, and it wasn’t until later that his basic understanding of human emotions finally emerged.
Coincidentally, this strange man is hired by the household to get rid of Kabbani as they could no longer be living with a boy they can’t understand. Your guess is just as good as mine, guys. Kabane is a kemono, or should I say, half-kimono. So even though he has human-like traits and appearance, he doesn’t classify as a whole human being. He has no idea where his parents are or even who they are. This is the initial starting point of the story. He faced Kabane’s death and then takes him under his wing, and just like that, he becomes a part of the detective agency.
This is where Kabane meets people who treat him like an actual person, and slowly but surely, his emotionless persona begins to change. He begins to understand terms like friendship and love. And even though he is as innocent as one can be, his character development is quite subtle.
You get to experience him becoming more and more like an actual person, and that, in itself, makes for some great development. Though since this was still just a 12-episode long anime, we can’t talk much about development. Talking about other characters, we have Akira. He is a young boy who adores cute things, and then there is Shiki. He sometimes tends to be blunt, but he is also a genuinely good guy. There are other organizations that deal with tax-related kimono, and Inugami’s detective agency just happens to be one of them.
The three boys are frequently given missions which can sometimes also endanger their lives, but that’s just part of being a kemono specialist. They do their best to maintain the order of things in the society. Now, as the plot progresses, and the three of them continue on together with Inugami, other major recurring characters began to appear, and through these encounters, the topic of innocent love is also portrayed in a very light and subtle manner.
Or should I say, Kabane begins to perceive the topic of love in a very light and subtle manner. On the surface, these childish moments may not seem much, but for the right audience, Kemono Jihen can do wonders with its heartwarming way of dealing with conflicts.
They all encounter grave problems as part of their jobs, their backgrounds come to light, and through it all, the three of them forged this relationship where all of them are more like comrades that go through the same stuff together than just friends. If I were to use a popular One Piece term to describe this, you could say they became each other’s nakamai.
As it stands, the main focus has been these three, but considering the story is still in its initial stages, other characters will definitely come in the spotlight. The manga is held in high regards among the shonen manga community, so feel free to check that out. If we consider the world-building, I’d say it is still as mysterious as it can get.
We have been introduced to the concept of kemono villages, established kemono regions that can’t be trespassed by ordinary humans, and there’s also a notion that a war happened between the humans and kimonos, but it was quite a long time ago. As it stands, the major organizations that we know of are still the Inugumi detective agency and the Shinjuku police station. As for the power system in this story, it’s quite diverse.
There could be a number of Kemono Jihen species in this world, and that makes for any number of supernatural abilities and fighting styles. There are also special stones that play a significant part in the story, but we will still keep it in the dark about them for most of this season. Now to conclude this all, the world of Kemono Jihen can be perceived as a world that is not as it seems.
It’s mysterious, but the narrative itself is quite straightforward. The characters are still children, so they don’t have complex personalities either, but you can still see the influence of their past in their behavior. Overall, since the anime version of this story is still in its early phases, it may seem mature, and yet, even if that’s the case, the way this anime handles dark themes is quite mature, which is a good enough reason to believe that the story will only continue to get better from here on out. So there you go, guys, this was a Kemono Jihen analysis.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.