- Title: Kemono Michi: Rise Up / Hataage! Kemono Michi
- Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Studios: ENGI
- Episodes: 12 – 24min (Completed)
- Date: 2 October 2019 — 18 December 2019
- Source: Manga
Professional wrestler Genzou Shibata sports the body of a mountain, but beneath his hulking appearance is a man with an extreme affection for animals. Facing off his opponents in the ring as the legendary “Animal Mask,” Genzou wins the hearts of crowds everywhere with his iconic tiger persona.
During the bout for the title of World Champion against his greatest rival, the Macadamian Ogre, Genzou is suddenly summoned to a fantasy world by a princess. With her kingdom being threatened by a monster infestation, she pleads the wrestler for assistance—to which he answers by knocking her out with a German suplex! Escaping the castle and finding himself stranded in a mysterious land, Genzou decides to begin his career as a beast hunter to capture and befriend creatures far and wide. Joined by the wolf-girl Shigure, the dragon-girl Hanako, and the vampire Carmilla Vanstein, the professional wrestler pursues all kinds of dangerous requests for the sake of fulfilling his dream as a pet shop owner.
Should I Watch Kemono Michi?
Okay just in case you were wondering about the title, being in love with animals is completely different from loving them.
Sure, there are lots of animals, and lots and lots of love for them, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a show for animal lovers. If anything, it might actually be more accurate to say that it’s a show about animal fetishes. Okay, I jest. But hold up! If you thought I was about to bash this show, you’re gravely mistaken.
Taking a step back, Kemono Michi is ultimately a comedy that’s essentially a parody. But a parody that takes itself seriously. It makes fun of the Isekai trope by transporting completely unexpected and ridiculous concepts into another world, while being serious about them. All the while, managing to tell a pretty decent adventure story, filled with missions and mischief. Looking closely, Kemono Michi felt like a pervert’s honest story of his fetish seeking adventures in another world. Seriously. It’s pretty good.
Looking at this anime, I was intrigued at the thought of a different style of Isekai where, unlike the typical Isekai protagonist, our main character in this anime wanted to live the simple life of being a pet shop owner, a concept in which this other world has never heard of. Thus ensuing the comedy of a peculiar man and his dream that would change the world he now lives in.
The highlight of Kemono Michi had been its characters and their interactions. From their dialogues, to their personalities and their roles, every character, not just the main cast, were all able to make an impact on the show. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Kemono Michi’s strongest point came from the many different characters serving as a source of unique interaction. With this many characters influencing the show in their own ways, Kemono Michi felt fun, lively, and definitely had enough entertainment.
And then there’s the main cast, being the most ridiculous of them all. I loved how Genzou, despite obviously being the weirdest of the lot, is also the straight guy. He’s serious about his peculiarities, and stands up for his fascinating ideals, so it’s endlessly fun to watch this guy go about his business. Meanwhile, the rest of his party isn’t any less quirky. They each complement this ridiculous farce with their own personalities, with Carmilla being my personal favourite among them. Watching Genzou and Carmilla’s occasional bickering and the even more occasional physical confrontations were among the best moments of this show.
In regards to story and plot, the anime kept it simple — Summoned Hero tries to achieve his dream as a pet store owner in another world, but inevitably has to battle the Demon King (Mao) before that. There’s definitely nothing heavy in the plot, because Kemono Michi uses the main plot as the side story instead, with the other events happening around this story being the central focus. As a result, our focus isn’t in the progression of some sort of story, but rather the shenanigans of the protagonist’s adventure in this new world. It’s these shenanigans that end up replacing the story to make the anime enjoyable.
All things considered, if you’re expecting Kemono Michi to be an Isekai action blockbuster, then I’m sorry but it simply isn’t. But that doesn’t mean that this show is poor. There’s a different sense of gratification from watching an adventure show that deals with a really peculiar cast. Plus, the anime itself included several of the fun aspects of an Isekai such as completing quests for money and battling and conquering monsters. Sure, it’s nothing too special, but it definitely holds its own in terms of value, and will still be a gratifying watch. I personally loved this show immensely.
If you actually looked at the short snippets above, my theory that this anime is about fetishes becomes a lot more believable!
Thanks for reading! Did you see a resemblance with KonoSuba? What were your own thoughts on this anime? I’d like to know!