|Video game fandom|
Dōbutsu no Mori
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD (2001–2015)|
Monolith Soft (2015)
Nintendo EPD (2015–present)
|Release date||14 April 2001 (Dōbutsu no Mori JP release)|
|External link(s)||Official website|
|Related articles on Fanlore.|
Animal Crossing is a community simulation video game series created by Nintendo. The series is currently on its 8th main series entry (5th for players outside of Japan), Animal Crossing New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch.
Animal Crossing features a human player who lives in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities including fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, etc. The series is notable for its open-ended gameplay and extensive use of the game systems' internal clock and calendar to simulate real passage of time.
The series gives the player a lot of creative freedom in terms of the design of their character, house, and, depending on the game, even their town. Most games have featured the ability to create and share custom pixel art patterns that can be displayed on clothing or signs. As such, Animal Crossing is often a creative medium as much as it is a video game, with many people making recreations of fandom outfits, designs, or theme songs and posting them online for others' to view and use.
- Animal Crossing
- Animal Crossing: Wild World
- Animal Crossing: City Folk
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- The Villager, the player character
- Tom Nook, tanuki, a businessman and main character in every Animal Crossing title
- Timmy & Tommy Nook, tanuki, apprentices and nephews to Tom Nook
- K.K. Slider, dog, a traveling musician and DJ
- Blathers, owl, a museum curator
- Isabelle, dog, introduced in New Leaf as the secretary and assistant to the player
- Kapp'n, kappa/turtle, a driver of various forms of transport
- Celeste, owl, museum worker and stargazing aficionado
- Digby, dog, works at the Happy Home Showcase in New Leaf
- Brewster, pigeon, operates a coffee shop
- Redd, kitsune/fox, seller of black market goods
- Resetti, mole, lectures the player if they reset their game
- Raymond, cat, a popular New Horizons villager
- Audie, a peppy wolf villager
- Apollo, a cranky eagle villager
New Horizons introduced several new NPCs that would fulfill similar roles to NPCs from previous games. One of these was CJ, a beaver who would visit the player's island and offer to buy fish at a premium. With interaction, CJ says that his "partner" makes fish-related collectable items, and "he is sooooo talented." The use of the male pronoun and the way CJ was speaking about this person caused widespread squee, with some people interpreting this to mean CJ was talking about a romantic partner. Dialogue by another new NPC named Flick, seemed to reveal that he is in fact the artist behind CJ's collectables. This quickly spread through social media, with even some gaming news outlets claiming that CJ and Flick were the franchise's "first openly gay characters". Fanart of the pairing began frequently appearing on Twitter, gaining such widespread reach that even those who have not played the game had seemingly heard about the ship and were aware of it.
The official guide for the game states that Flick and CJ are "roommates and business partners", possibly in an attempt to quell any speculation on the nature of CJ's dialogue. However, this led some fans to read even more romantic undertones into their relationship, often invoking the Oh My God, They Were Roommates meme. A subsequent Polygon article proposed that whether or not the pairing was "official" did not matter, because it's the fans who give the characters their meaning and worth, and "why starve waiting on brands to feed us scraps of affirmation?" 
- Anthropomorphism and Kemonomimi: It is fairly popular in fanart to imagine what the animal villagers would look like as humans. They may be fully human or may retain some animal characteristics.
- Some fans have attempted to subvert the cute and cartoony feeling of the series by creating transformative works that exaggerate its unexplained or supposedly "dark" aspects. "Aika Village", a creepypasta town created in New Leaf, exemplifies this trope.
- K.K. Slider Art Meme: In late April 2020, a trend began of redrawing album covers as if they were K.K. Slider's music, replacing any people with K.K. Slider.
- Time traveling, the practice of changing the console's date to change the in-game date, is a point of contention among fans. Some see it as a valid way to progress in the game, while others see it as cheating and missing the point of the game's laid back pace. Animal Crossing New Horizons limited players to one island per Switch, even if they had multiple copies of the game. They also disabled cloud saving for the game. Supposedly, this was to limit the effects of players using time travel or multiple islands for in-game advantage. The decision was incredibly controversial, as it limited players who shared a Switch and meant save data could not be recovered if the game or system was lost or damaged.
Connections with Other Fandoms
In 2014, the Villager became a playable fighter in Super Smash Brothers 4. Following a trailer revealing the Villager's inclusion in Smash, fans of the game quickly began characterizing the Villager as a psychotic and ruthless killer through image macros and video remixes, as well as referencing to them as "Killager".
Since New Horizons released around the same time as Doom: Eternal, both fandoms supported each other while waiting for their new game and there was a recurring meme of art and edits of characters from both games going to buy the other one.
After the popularity of New Leaf and New Horizons, many fanartists began drawing characters from their fandom as original animal villagers.
In-game cosplay of characters from other fandoms is quite popular, often through the use of the custom design system, which enables players to make and share their own clothing.
- Animal Crossing New Leaf, Archived version by Attyca
- Animal Crossing, Archived version by XsuperabbitX
- I couldn't let my boy down., Archived version, fanart of stitches responding to an in-game dialogue prompt in which Stitches asks the player character to draw their portrait.
- untitled, Archived version by Libowty, 28 March 2020, Marshal Kemonomimi AU NSFW
- untitled, Archived version by AgresteCest, 29 March 2020, Marshal/Raymond NSFW
- The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing by Chewbot - was originally posted on SomethingAwful and has since gained its own TV Tropes page, as well as spawning fanart and animations. (2007)
- Walk into the club like what up I got a cute secretary by GinjaNinjaOwO
- Animal Crossing: Turning a New Leaf by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Bunny Day by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Item Scavenger by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Halloween by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Festivale by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Harvest Festival by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - Toy Day by CharlesCBernardo
- Animal Crossing - New Beef by Sooch & Nubski
- Dreams into Nightmares! "Tales From the Crossing Ep. 1" Animal Crossing Parody (Skylegend Animation) by Skylegend Animation
- Animal Crossing Cartoon! | TALES FROM THE CROSSING EP. 2 "NIGHTMARE COCO!" (Skylegend Animation) by Skylegend Animation
- Animal Crossing | Complete PMV MAP by ThatScruffyDuckling
- Creative Catalog, an art anthology themed around fashion (2020)
- Happy Travels, an art anthology themed around the series' NPCs going on vacation (2020)
- PokéCrossing, a Pokémon crossover art anthology (2020)
- Tides & Seasons, an art anthology (2020)
Archives & Fannish Links
- "wikipedia". Archived from the original on 2022-06-15.
- "TheGamer.net: Animal Crossing: New Horizons May Feature Nintendo's First Openly Gay Characters".
- "C.J. and Flick's 'official' Animal Crossing status doesn't matter". Archived from the original on 2022-05-17.
- "creepy villager". Archived from the original on 2021-10-09.