December 2017, the internet has been stormed by the Earth-chan memes. And not surprisingly, it isn’t too long for otakus and weabs alike to catch the drift of this gijinka. Some of them even became honorary tree huggers.
And it seems folks are not satisfied with Earth-chan, that they even made moe version of the almost the whole universe. Then 2018 comes, and now we got Chlorox-chan and Tide POD-chan brought to you by Kuma Artsu and greenpantsu. Remember weabs, you can’t eat detergent.
Last Fall of 2017, we also has Houseki no Kuni (Land of the Lustrous), which is surprisingly one of the best anime of the season. And its major premise is “jewels” that took human forms.
What the hell is a “Gijinka”?
Before we dive deeper into this dank trend, allow me to introduce to you what is a “gijinka”? Gijinka is the Japanese term for personification or anthropomorphism. If you still remember your grade school English, it is an attribution of human qualities to non-human entities.
In this article, we will also focus on moe versions of some real life personalities, that is obviously not a gijinka. But they are worth mentioning.
Hence, we can safely say that this trend itself is “not new”. In the past, people draw caricatures to represent a certain idea. Like how Uncle Sam stands as US and the blindfolded, sword wielding, scale bearing Lady Justice.
And we can say that this is as old as humanity itself. Just take a good look in ancient mythologies and their deities, and you will know why.
With all of that being said, let’s now hop straight to the whirlpool of anime gijinka and moe anthropomorphism.
Well, only cavemen don’t know what Kemono Friends is about. Though, the android game it was based upon was shut down even before its anime is aired. And having a not so impressive CG to be honest paired with the shows childish atmosphere, there’s no doubt, this is last year’s black horse.
With the shock value we can compare with PuellaMadokaMagica, this anime deserves a good amount of praise. And never dare to forget our comrade, Grape-kun, whose love to Hululu is eternal.
Though for some reasons it is not as popular as other anime gijinka, at least that’s the case on the West. But for me, I bet this one deserves more attention than it has today. The series I am talking about is no other than the manga Cells at Work!
As a high school teacher, I found this kinda of works educational and cool. And there’s no way teaching human anatomy can be this awesome.
Who told you that you can’t have a red blood cell as a waifu? Or a white blood cell as a husbando?Folks, that proves their argument is a heresy.
So, you thought moe anthropomorphism is a cancer and a disease to the society. Well, I think it is because they even made disease gijinka. For real? Yes, for real. :V Say hello to Ebola-chan and her friends. Sometimes, you want to take a deep breath and hate the internet.
4.Fast Food Chains and Companies
If you are hungry, for food, for memes, and for stuff feminists will hate you for, gijinka have everything ready on the table.Two of the most notable examples of these are Smug Wendy and Starbucks-chan.
5. Hot Springs
Anime and manga is already a trend for the millenials, and to some extent, also for a number of adults. And in Japan, it is a bit common for a trend to become a business idea. That’s what happened to the PPAP craze that it even has a PPAP-inspired fruit shake store there.
Surprisingly, and a bit not surprising, there is a project in Japan that advertises its renowned onsen (hot springs) and they use anime girls. You heard it right. And not just anime girls, it is an idol unit on top of that!
Each hot spring girl is a apprentice goddess of their respective hot springs. So we can safely say that they themselves are hot springs.
This amazing premise is brought to you by OnMusu (Onsen Musume, literally means onsen girls). And it aims to reach the younger generations and show them the allure of their owns onsen.
Way to go, Japan, for luring the younger generations experience and enjoy the greatness of your hotsprings.
Have you ever heard of someone who has a relationship with a washing machine? How about alarm clock? Well, humanity already failed us with eroges like Monogokoro, Monomusume and Like Life.
These games features a male lead that find himself on a really ecchi situation, and sometimes, even crossing the lines. Hey, you weab over there… Never ever dare to marry your refrigerator.
Gijinkas also invaded the cyberspace, that even sites like Wikipedia and OS have gijinkas.
One of the most prominent even this decade is the global terrorism ISIS brought. And they even use the cyberspace to spread their propaganda. But did you know that a gijinka helped foiling the advance of this terrorist organization?
Around 2015, Internet users created ISIS-chan, the green-haired, melon loving moe version of the jihadist group. This is further used by Anonymous to dilute the terrorists’ online propaganda. Because we know, anime fans will always flood the search engines for cute anime girls.
8. Countries and Politics
Throughout the centuries, cartoonists often represent great nations are represented sometimes as human beings to embody its ideals and might. And on the dawn of the new millennium, even these world super powers didn’t escape the might of anime. :V
For both diehard fans of yaoi and historical enthusiast who can stand the fandom itself, Hetalia is the most prominent of this kind of gijinka. This series is about the misadventures of the Axis Powers (Italy, Germany, and Japan) with the Allied Powers (America, Russia, England, France, and China) on a satire of WW2. And most of them are reimagined as pretty boys.
Somehow, and fortunately, Hetalia didn’t only focus on WW2 and implied BL, with the addition of some Hetalia version of modern and ancient nations like Sealand and Prussia. They also have some women on their roster like Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Belarus and Hungary.
In 2010, 2chan users created Hinomoto Oniko, the gijinka of the Chinese ethnic slur riben guizi, which literally means Japanese devils. This is deeply rooted on the Second Sino-Japanese War and the atrocities of the Japanese against the Chinese during that time.
This gijinka is the response of the Japanese netizens against the growing anti-Japanese sentiments amongst Chinese netizens.
Though, Arpeggio of the Blue Steel first employed the idea of girls who are actually ships, as oppose to Strike Witches which are girls who have plane equipment attached on their legs. It is not until the introduction of Upotte! and Kantai Collection when military hardwares are presented as moe girls.
Upotte! features several firearms who became grade school, middle school, and high school girls themselves. Meanwhile, Kantai Collection is straight up ships reimagined as girls, because in most navies, ships are referred as women.
Military moe is received by both moe enthusiasts and gunjiotakus very well. And just like what Earth-chan did making most of us as honorary environmentalists, these premises turned the majority of the fans into instant history and weaponry experts.
There’s no doubt the idea became too popular that eventually games based on this premise is released. Like Warship Girls and Azure Lane for ships, Panzer Waltz and Armor Blitz for tanks, and Girls Frontline for guns.
If you love Japanese history and some implied BL, Touken Ranbu is a good alternative which features sword wielding lads. These dudes proclaims that they are actually the ancient Japanese swords themselves.
History has a good number of dictators that are both hailed and despised during their times.Among these personalities are Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Ferdinand Marcos, etc. And since you see I included them on the list, you are right. Even these guys didn’t escape the moe invasion, thanks to Nyotai ka!! Sekai no Dokusaisha Retsuden (In Female Form?! Biographies of World Dictators).
So, there you go, comrades. I hope you enjoy this one and see you next time.
I am a casual anime enthusiast, and a contributor on a certain KanColle fan page. Thanks to the aforementioned franchise and a long time of playing the game, I became interested on stuff about WW2 and started watching and reading materials, including anime, related to it. Hence, I am now slowly becoming a gunji otaku. During my free time, sometimes I write short stories but I never managed to finish anyone of them. :V