Marshmallow and Kuro
The cats in Sukitte Ii na yo. have no special powers, but they are an important part of the anime, nonetheless. Whether it be playing the part of Mei's only friend in the beginning or showing how committed and gentle Yamato can truly be, cats play a huge role in the story. Many of the defining moments of Mei and Yamato's budding romance happen while taking care of the abandoned mother cat and her kitten at the back of the school, and then later on with Mei's cat Marshmallow and Yamato's new kitten Kuro. They even manage to reflect the rockiness at the start of their relationship by hissing at each other when they first meet, but quickly settling into each other's arms.
From: Himouto! Umaru-chan
Umaru-chan is a high school girl who uses her cuteness to get what she wants from her older brother. Not only does she manage to get him to buy her the hamsters, she also coaxes him into looking after them for her. These furry anime pets are loads of fun to play with. Umaru even dreams of teaching them tricks like bringing her food or carrying her around like a princess. When in her "indoor mode", she expresses her devotion to these adorable anime pets by wearing her famous hamster hoodie.
Tokugawa is the mysterious pet that resides on the Miracle Train. Well, he claims not to be a pet, but he totally is. His inner voice is sarcastic and hilarious, and although he is not vastly important to the plot of the anime, he does help some of the "lost ladies" with their troubles, including exposing a fatal love for cuteness. He also has the honour of introducing each show.
From: Cowboy Bebop
Ein, probably short for Einstein due to his intelligence, is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who becomes a member of the Bebop crew. He is a "data dog" that was artificially enhanced while in the research facility he was stolen from. He possesses many talents, including hacking into computer systems, and he even seems to be able to communicate with Edward. But best of all is his absolute refusal to eat his bean sprouts! Even anime pets can be picky when it comes to vegetables.
Sorata blames his kind heart for his inability to ignore a stray, whether it be an abandoned cat or a clueless girl. Sorata has been exiled to the Sakurasou apartment complex because he couldn't keep his cats in the regular dorms of his school. There, he meets Mashiro, another being incapable of looking out for herself.
Sorata's cats, especially Hikari, reflect Mashiro in many ways. Not only does Hikari have snowy white fur, reflecting the pure blonde hair of Mashiro, but she also adores him unquestioningly. Out of all of Sorata's anime pets though, Mashiro seems to require the most attention, as she is prone to do unexpected things. At first, the cats seem to be jealous of the attention Mashiro receives, but the newest "pet" seems to grow on them with time. Who knew that bringing home a few lost kittens could change one's life forever?
A pet can not only reflect the personality of its owner, but also reveal it in amusing ways. In Durarara!!, Kasuka Heiwajima is introduced as a character along with his cat. The cat is called Dokusonmaru, which is short for Yuigadokusonmaru, meaning self-righteous. Kasuka introduces his cat's name as if it were a joke, but it is delivered with absolutely no facial expression, perfectly portraying Kasuka's personality. He doesn't allow his emotions to get the better of him, or even to show on his face. The contrast between Dokusonmaru's and Kasuka's expressions in this scene is just wonderful.
Less like a pet and more like an epic battle partner, Akamaru is a deeply beloved "ninken" (ninja hound). Over the course of the epic Naruto saga, we get to see him grow from a puppy that sits on Kiba's head to a fully-fledged warrior that can take care of himself. He somehow manages to be cute and completely kick ass at the same time. Anime pets that will protect you with their life? Now that's a companion everyone wishes for.
The cat called Sorata is used in a very interesting way in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi - it helps to trigger a memory. Ritsu Onodera has spent most of his adulthood so far trying to forget the ghosts of his youth, and for the most part, he has succeeded. But when Takano reappears in his life in a big way, he can both barely believe it, and is completely at a loss as he can barely remember any details of their past relationship. But the sight of Sorata helps to rekindle some memories, and even some feelings.
From: Kamigami no Asobi
Usamaro is a rabbit that appears to be owned by brothers Tsukito (Japanese God of the moon) and Takeru (God of the sea). Yui finds Usamaro soon after being transported to the garden, and he leads her to the brothers, some of the first gods she meets there. Aside from this meeting in the beginning, and the fact that he adds some major cuteness to the series, his role in the anime is not that obvious. Tsukito appears as emotionless, but the fact that he is introduced with his beloved familiar in his arms does add to the case that this is simply an elaborate façade. Takeru is prone to rages and he is depicted as being somewhat unpleasant, but he too loves the little rabbit. Cute anime pets can help warm up the hearts of the coldest anime characters.
Taroumaru is the puppy that is part of the School Living Club in Gakkougurashi! In the beginning, it seems he just adds cuteness to a dystopian future, but he turns out to be so much more. He adds urgency, friendship and fun. But most of all, he brings hope at a time when it is needed most.
From: Rio: Rainbow Gate!
In a vast casino resort resides an ace dealer named Rio, or as she is better known, the "Goddess of Victory". But even the luckiest among us still needs a faithful companion. And Rio has Chip, an intelligent and very well named ferret. His silent yet alert presence really adds a certain something to this otherwise over-the-top and slightly ridiculous anime.
Renaldo Moon, more commonly known as Muta, is the cat that appears in Mimi wo Sumaseba, and then has a much more obvious role in its unofficial squeal Neko no Ongaeshi (The Cat Returns). First seen riding the train all by himself, Shizuku impulsively follows him, and he leads her to a beautiful antiques shop where the story really begins. He is also an important signal, helping her piece together who that mystery guy really is, but this also leads to more confusion. That is the way Muta prefers it though, having a mysterious air all of his own, not really belonging to anyone, and not even having one name. He isn't the traditional cute and loving anime pet, but his role in this coming-of-age story is undeniably important.
Trying to outdo each other in an attempt to find a cute mascot for their manga, Aito and his assistants draw, make and sew in an attempt to gain the approval of mascot-loving Ashisu-san. But, by a twist of fate while running away in a huff, Aito finds a living, breathing Branya. A little abandoned kitty and the perfect embodiment of his drawings. So, now they have a mascot and a new pet for the gang. But Branya also has another purpose. Although generally harmless, Aito is definitely a massive pervert. Without his love for this cute sidekick and the other kitties he occasionally looks after, his pervertedness could be seen as unforgivable. But Branya completely redeems him. Especially in the scene below where Branya just wants to cuddle. Sweet!
Nagoya the rooster is more like a main character than a pet in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. He is introduced along with the other characters in the beginning, and he leads much of the plot. Several times he brings all of the friends together, and many of the important moments between Haru and Shizuku begin with Nagoya. He also has the affect of humanizing Haru - a boy who can't leave a chicken out in the rain can't be all that bad, even if he did spill blood on the first day of school... He is also the silent keeper of many a secret, which is one of the best things about any pet.
Itoshi no Muco is a sweet anime from the point of view of a fun-loving Shiba Inu. She may not be the brightest dog in the pack, but she loves her owner Komatsu-san with all her heart, and dog lovers everywhere will find her inner monologues completely hilarious. And these are far more than just "hey, a ball!". Muco can be surprisingly philosophical when you least expect it.
In an anime just oozing with kawaii, somehow they included a pet that adds even more cuteness. Introducing Tippy, the angora rabbit that loves to sit on heads and help out in the café/bar called the Rabbit House. He's so cute that Kokoa even uses a unique word ("floofy") to describe him . But Tippy also has many hidden secrets and surprising depth. There is definitely more to this anime pet than meets the eye.
Jiji is a black witch's cat and is nothing like other anime pets. Not only can he and Kiki communicate, he is also her best friend and sole companion on her journey. Much of the story revolves around him and his relationship with Kiki; when the plot thickens, Jiji is the decisive factor that shows Kiki something is desperately wrong. He is both cute and vital for the whole movie.
From: DRAMAtical Murder
Ren has a special place on this list as he is the only pet that isn't actually biological. He is an Allmate, a techno pet that can check emails, store data and even play Rhyme, a kind of virtual battlefield game. The protagonist, Aoba and Ren have a special relationship, shown in the way Aoba services Ren himself and refuses to get an upgrade even though Ren is now quite an old model. Ren is special in so many ways, but notably he has human form when playing Rhyme.
Chi is simply adorable. She is a little abandoned kitten, found and taken in by the Yamada family. There's plenty of cute fun to be had, as there are many (albeit short) episodes. There are even other pet friends to be made along the way. Her inner voice is immediately endearing, and it can even get philosophical at times.
In this much loved anime resides a much loved bird, Inko. Described as an important part of the family by Ryuuji, her appearance does put others off, notably Taiga. Every time Inko tries to say her own name, you find yourself subconsciously cheering her on: "You can do it Inko!". It is especially funny that she has such a simple name, meaning parakeet, but she manages to say far more complicated words a lot more easily. She is living proof that anime pets don't have to be traditionally cute to find a special place in each and every fan's heart.
The world of anime is filled with a variety of amazing animals: some cute, some majestic, and all loyal to either their master or their cause. If you enjoyed this article, why not come visit our "anime zoo" filled with all kinds of wonderful anime animals!