Merlion turned into cutesy anthropomorphic anime girl
By creator of Night Safari-inspired anime, Kemono Friends.
Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia
12 January 2018 - 25 March 2018, 10am-7pm
Singapore Art Museum
FOSSASIA Submit 2018
22 March 2018 - 25 February 2018, -
Earlier this year, we wrote about Kemono Friends (literally, Beast Friends), the sleeper hit series that turned out to be inspired by a trip that creator Yoshizaki Mine had made to the Singapore Night Safari.
Kemono Friends takes place in a strange safari park, where the young female protagonist wakes up with no memory or knowledge and no idea who she is, but finds and befriends anthropomorphic animals, who call themselves “friends”.
Voice actors in town
Recently, the voice actors of the series, who call themselves Doubutsu Biscuits (Animal Biscuits) were in town for Japanese culture event Chara Expo as special guests, and they were warmly received.
— けものフレンズ＠公式アカウント (@kemo_anime) September 10, 2017
To commemorate the occasion, Yoshizaki drew our Merlion welcoming the voice-acting quintet to our shores.
But it wasn’t our usual Merlion we’re familiar with, it’s a cutesy anthropomorphic one.
— 吉崎 観音 (@yosRRX) September 9, 2017
Welcome, Animal Biscuits! (Do your best!)
The way Yoshizaki portrayed our Merlion was pretty loyal to the statue in real life, especially with the mane and the fish tail.
Her Merlion is also dressed classy, with a handkerchief in her breast pocket, designed after the Singapore flag, no less.
But why the green eyes though? The last we checked, the Merlion doesn’t have coloured eyes.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to just be brown or black, as with the average Asian eye colour?
Well, a Twitter user theorised that this was based on the Merlion at Sentosa, actually.
This is because the Merlion situated at Sentosa shoots green laser beams for light shows, which makes sense if it was the reason why Yoshizaki chose green as a colour for her version of the Merlion.
— おつきみどろぼう (@tuki3457) September 9, 2017
The eyes are green, so you must have noticed the Sentosa Island’s Merlion! I really respect the fact that you researched about the Merlion so thoroughly!
Furthermore, Yoshizaki’s Merlion has a slight rainbow hue, which may have been a nod to the projection mapping shows, which bathes the half-lion half-fish statue in various colours too.
Who knows, maybe this could translate into real merchandise, but more likely than not, this is just a one-off thing.
This is because Yoshizaki’s characters are based off real animals, and we know all too well that the Merlion is a man-made creature.
Regardless, it could be the starting point for a Kemono Friends-centric tour of Singapore, or even an anime tour, as we are regularly referenced in anime, directly or indirectly.
Fun times we live in, indeed.
Top image adapted via Yoshizaki Mine’s Twitter