Shanghai Zoo Names Baby Servals After Kemono Friends Catchphrase 'Tanoshii'

posted on by Kim Morrissy

The Shanghai Zoo posted an update on Chinese social media platform Weibo on January 4 stating that their baby servals, which were born five months ago, have been named "Tata," "Nono," and "Xixi" (pronounced "shishi"). Although the post makes no mention of Kemono Friends, both Chinese and Japanese anime fans have been pointing out that the three names, when put together, sound like "Tanoshii," the Japanese word for "fun" which has become a catchphrase for the Kemono Friends series.

The servals have been on display for three months, during which they have grown up rapidly. The zoo has noted that they are a big hit with tourists. The Weibo post expresses hope that the servals will grow up happily.

Kemono Friends tells the story of "Friends," zoo animals with human-like features. Serval is the most prominent Friend in the franchise and is a companion to the protagonist in both television anime series. The original anime aired in 2017, while Kemono Friends 2 premiered in January this year. The series has done multiple collaborations with various zoos in Japan. Perhaps zoos around the world will join in on the craze one day.

Source: Shanghai Zoo Weibo account and Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Greening and City Management official website (links in simplified Chinese). Image via Chi2ese News

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