Penguin Grape-kun gets to keep cutout of anime ‘waifu’
Anime TV series Kemono Friends and its collaboration with Tobu Zoo has already come to an end. This signaled the removal of anime cutouts of the show’s anthropomorphized animal characters from the zoo’s enclosures, except one.
Recent visitors to Tobu Zoo have noticed that the cutout for Hululu the Humboldt penguin is still on display and has not left the side of its biggest fan, Grape-kun the penguin, according to a report from Comic Natalie via Anime News Network.
Sometime in April, Grape-kun had taken great interest with the anime girl cutout, leading the 20-year-old Humboldt penguin to start neglecting his meals. At this point, zookeepers had to isolate Grape-kun to make sure he ate properly.
Later on, Grape-kun also got to meet Ikuko Chikuta, the voice actress for Hululu.
“Kemono Friends” is a surprise anime hit which stars a cast of zoo animals depicted as cute or “moe” anime girls.
Zoos around Japan have collaborated with the anime series in an effort to educate and raise more awareness about animals. Thanks to this campaign, zoos gained an increase in visitor count during the Golden Week holidays.
The campaign is not quite over yet. The next step for the “Kemono Friends” zoo collaboration is night tours. For Tobu Zoo, it will begin on July 15 and last until September 3. The character cutouts will be relocated to the zoo’s “Heartful Garden” area and will be illuminated in the evening. A zoo guide will go with visitors to discuss about insects that are active at night.
Zoo kiosks will also sell Kemono Friends merchandise, like character pin badges of the Eurasian eagle-owl, hippopotamus, Humboldt penguin, raccoon and white tiger. Alfred Bayle/JB
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