Anime isn’t real. That’s why, in anime, I find that there are so many joyful things.
Reality isn’t always fertile ground for the more pure comforts we find in anime. Today, the deranged worldview of a reality television star has been legitimized as a reflection of American values. For many, it can feel like there is nothing good. In anime, which is not reality, perfect things exist, like little floating, winged rabbits that mew. Thanks, anime.
Cute critter companions are a common feature of the “magical girl” genre where women overcome diabolical enemies to self-actualize and save the world from evil. There are very few magical girl anime where that does not happen and, relatedly, where I am a mess at work wondering whether Planned Parenthood will be defunded.
Below are five adorable anime pets to momentarily distract you from this national tragedy.
Kerberos from Cardcaptor Sakura
From the Greek “Kerberos,” this little flying lion cub (“Kero-chan”) helps Sakura realize her fate: sealing away the beasts that are suddenly released throughout her reality, a task wholly accomplishable in a shoujo anime series, but not in real life.
Chu-Chu from Revolutionary Girl Utena
Chu-Chu is Anthy’s animal companion in Revolutionary Girl Utena—her “friend,” not her “pet,” Anthy insists. He’s a tiny monkey-mouse who cares dearly for Anthy throughout the magical girl anime. The tie, earring and eyebrow combination is splendid and would inspire delight in me on any other day.
Luna from Sailor Moon
Luna is the talking guardian cat in Sailor Moon who helps magical girl Usagi fight evil. Girl power reigns supreme in Sailor Moon, and although evil rulers somehow keep taking control of Earth through strange methods of mind control, the Dark Kingdom is always overcome by love and miracles, in this anime, which is fictional. What a cute cat.
Guts from Kill la Kill
Guts is a pug. Sometimes, he can walk. At no point will he need to grapple with a world in which the dollar’s value plummets, potentially hurling America, and several other countries, into an economic depression. He just eats with gusto, eyes big and empty. Good boy.
Pu from Yu Yu Hakasho
This little duck rabbit possesses magical powers. I don’t have anything witty to say about him because I am so depressed, but his lopsided beak and stupid eyebrows make me feel just marginally better.