Animals and animation have much more in common than just the Latin root "anima." All animals have unique-looking features, just like the characters of anime or any other kind of animation. Naturally, one starts to wonder what the animals would look like if they were transformed into characters from animation. A Korean artist named Nitro, who goes by the alias of byeongju.a on Instagram, satisfies this curiosity by merging the two together and showing interesting results.
Nitro recently did a series of illustrations that try to depict domestic and wild animals like big cats, dogs, birds, and others as original characters you'd expect to see in animation. It's not hard to imagine that the hardest part of it is to transform it into a new style while keeping the unique characteristics intact. Whether he succeeded or not, we leave it for you to judge, but in our eyes, he did a fantastic job.
If they were part of real anime series, where would they fit in? Or, perhaps, one would create a new anime series that has all of them in it? In any case, the characters are very enticing, and there's a good reason why it's so: the artist is a master of creating unique characters out of thin air. Don't believe it? Check out the artist's Instagram and see for yourselves.
There's an unexpected benefit to Nitro's work that we don't think he considered. His OCs (original characters) raise awareness about certain wildlife species that have become endangered. For example, black leopards are quickly losing their territory, and northern bald ibises, which are native to Syria, have vanished from the wild due to hunting and habitat degradation. Cheetahs, East African lions, Damascus goats, macaroni penguins, and crested black macaques, among other species found in this post, are also endangered, some of them even critically.
Northern Bald Ibis
Though Japanese-styled animation (anime) and classical Western animation have a lot in common, there are some key differences as well. For one, classical Western animation focuses more on character motion, while anime gives more attention to character and background design. The Western type of animation came into prominence a little bit earlier in the beginning of the 20th century with the cartoons of Walt Disney being the most notable. The Japanese-style animation was born around 1960 through the creative efforts of Osamu Tezuka. The most common way that people differentiate between these styles is by the way the eyes are drawn.
Anime is enjoyed throughout the world and isn't just a locally-known phenomenon like it once was. In the West, the greatest surge of popularity was in the late 1990s, when Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, Evangelion, Dragon Ball Z, Rurouni Kenshin, and other world-renowned series hit the TVs of Western audiences. Even though it was very popular, it still wasn't considered a mainstream thing, and was compartmentalized under "geek" culture. But as geek culture became a part of mainstream after The Big Bang Theory became popular, watching anime became a widely accepted pastime.
If you want to check out more similar posts on Bored Panda, we've got you covered. For example, Brenni Murasaki used well-known characters as inspiration to create anime-like versions out of them. On the opposite end, another artist used AI to create realistic portraits of anime characters. After checking them out, if you're overloaded with anime style, Russian artist reimagined popular celebrities as if they were a cartoon. Viva la animacion!