Doing something fun which included my own artwork is how I wanted to start off 2022 on my blog.
In place of creating a tag post, I chose to go with something simple like a listicle, but with an artsy twist.
Inspired by my recent obsession with Animal Crossing New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch, the thought popped up into my mind to discuss some of my favourite 2021 anime characters and transforming them into Animal Crossing villagers.
Today’s listicle wasn’t compiled in a particular order. I decided on choosing one or two characters from each anime season in 2021 and cut the selection down to six characters.
Ranking of Kings’ Bojji
Ranking of Kings was a series I was looking forward to in 2021 because despite how its children’s storybook artstyle seemed unimpressive at first glance, its storyline and characters were nothing to scoff at. And like, To Your Eternity, this anime made me tear up within the first episode.
The series’ underdog protagonist, Bojji, is a major sweetheart with a strong resolve to become king. Despite being constantly ridiculed for his shortcomings (being physically weak, deaf and mute), he takes charge of his destiny and deserves all my respect and love.
To translate Bojji’s character into a villager, my first design was to make him into a turtle because for me, they’re pretty resilient creatures. I later changed my mind to making Bojji into a frog because of how he moves swiftly to avoid attacks. The outfit is based off his iconic look on the anime’s key visual and first episode of the series. Bojji’s character design was the easiest to translate since Animal Crossing’s cuteness comes simplistic character designs. With his personality, Bojji fits into the Peppy personality type.
FRuits Basket The Final’s Hatsuharu Sohma
…You know, I was surprised that I didn’t choose Kureno too. (I consider him my husbando in Furuba despite his small role and how he comes in later in the anime and manga’s storyline.)
There’s something special about Haru. It’s not just the fact that all Sohmas are good looking people but he is a considerate and sweet character (although that may not be the case when Black Haru comes out). He also didn’t have a huge part in the third and final season of Fruits Basket (but whatever, shhhhh), the character arc we did see in the first and second seasons make him out to be such a good boy.
This entry may be considered cheating because Hatsuharu has his own animal form, but I think it just makes his character that much more charming by fusing his animal and human form together to create a villager. He would definitely be a Lazy villager type.
Tokyo Revengers’ Chifuyu Matsuno
Tokyo Revengers a.k.a the show about this one time travelling guy who grows from being a doormat to joining a renown teenage (or were they really just adults dressed up as teens?) delinquent gang in Tokyo all for the sake of changing his future.
Chifuyu Matsuno comes in during the midway point in the anime but he’s a really loyal friend that reminded me of a cute dog. (The strong image of a Shiba Inu really complimented Chifuyu and made its home rent-free in my head, okay.) I had trouble deciding if he was going to become a Jock personality or a Cranky personality but the Cranky type came out on top. Despite being part of a gang, I felt that Chifuyu kept up a tough exterior.
His design didn’t come easily for me. For one thing, Chifuyu’s character design compared to the others on this list didn’t have his own signature detail and I was not down to re-draw the cool mega-detailed black coat. Secondly, I wanted to emphasize his pretty blue eyes but found that it wasn’t working in the first design where his eyes were drawn fairly large. This final design is definitely cuter with smaller eyes than its predecessor.
Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House’s Kiyo Nozuki
There wasn’t much talk about this series because its update schedule was really spaced out, but like most recent slice-of-life food anime, a charming uplifting tale about a female friendship paired with yummy food makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
After moving to Kyoto with her best friend Sumire to live the dream of becoming a maiko, Kiyo unfortunately fails. Her positive upbeat personality pushes her to become the dedicated live-in-chef of the establishment where Sumire trains and works. Determined to cook delicious and nutritious food and support Sumire and the other live-in maiko in training, I made Kiyo into a Normal Bunny villager.
I thought the image of a bunny fit her character well since she’s such a force in the kitchen and is a major hustler when she goes out grocery shopping.
Zombieland Saga: Revenge’s Tae Yamada
The sequel of Zombieland Saga surprised me because I wasn’t sure how they were going to start this new season after wrapping up the first season nicely. I wasn’t disappointed because I was thoroughly entertained with having more screen time for Tae.
Tae’s personality definitely becomes more palpable in the second season. She’s not just a mindless zombie who follows along with the rest of the cast and has amazing abilities. She’s someone who works hard to help others and is kind to all she meets, (even though she can’t really speak back to them in proper Japanese.) In my mind, Tae makes for a pretty solid Big Sister Personality type.
I had two ideas for her character design, the first being to create a robot version of an alligator villager to represent how she’s pretending to be alive when she’s in fact a zombie girl. The second, which turned out to be the final design, was to re-draw Tae as an alligator in the chicken suit she wore in the first season for the Drive-In Tori commercial. The final design is more comical compared to the initial brainstormed idea but it’s still charming and fun.
The Aquatope on White Sand’s Kukuru Misakino
When watching The Aquatope on White Sand, Kukuru was someone who grew on me. She made mistakes, got discouraged but learned how to grow from her failures and picked herself off the ground to continue working on her goals. She’s super obsessed with all aquatic life in the ocean and can be hard headed and stubborn at times.
It was a no brainer that her design was going to be a penguin since the First Penguin concept was introduced in the anime and how she has a strong connection to penguins at her family’s aquarium.
It was tricky trying to work in her braid but I thought it would be a nice detail on a cute hat. Now that I’m looking at the image again, I’m unsure about the hat and if I were to re-design Kukuru as an Animal Crossing villager, I’d most likely swap it for a pair of goggles, take out the braid but leave the shell as an accessory attached to the google or a design on one of the lenses, so that the whole outfit stays with the swimmer theme. The swimsuit was inspired by the Tingara Aquarium uniform for the specialists and the shell itself was a detail I added to make the swim suit feel more like the default Animal Crossing New Horizons swimsuit design.