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Name(s): Kemono
Scope/Focus: anthropomorphic animals
Date(s): ???-present
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Kemono is the Japanese equivalent to the Western furry. It means “beast” and fans are referred to as kemoners. Kemoners dress up in fursuits, go to conventions, draw art, and enjoy the same movies as furries, like Zootopia. In many ways, the fandoms are nearly identical, but there are some differences.

Kemoners’ Differences from Other Furries

Kemono characters and fursuits differ from Western anthro characters in a few ways. First, kemono characters and fursuits have shorter muzzles and anime-style eyes. They are influenced by kawaii and moe styles, whereas Western fursuits tend to have long noses and eyes like American cartoon characters. Kemono style characters are also more likely to have human-shaped hands and feet than furries, who usually have paws, hooves or claws. Some fursuit-makers in other countries have begun offering “kemono-style” or “Japanese-style” fursuits inspired by these.

Kemono is also a wider term than furry, as it simply means beast. Kemono covers furries, scalies, avians, etc. Furry is sometimes used as an umbrella term for all anthros but not everyone agrees with using it that way.

Kemono Versus Kemonomimi

Kemonomimi refers to mostly-human characters with animal ears. Such characters are common in Japan, but kemoners see them as a separate thing from kemono. Some kemoners were angry when the anime Kemono Friends was released, as the characters were kemonomimi rather than kemono and this caused confusion.