When it comes to anime, pets and creatures play an essential role in many storylines. Whether they’re sidekicks saving the day or mascots providing comedic relief, your favorite Japanese shows wouldn’t be complete without these furry friends.
There are so many incredible animated pets that it’s hard to choose just one as the most noteworthy. However, we’ve narrowed it down to five of anime’s most iconic animal characters. We all know and love plenty of adorable sidekicks, but these stand out among the crowd.
Tony Tony Chopper—One Piece
If you’re a veteran anime fan, you’re definitely familiar with the long-running show One Piece. This famous anime features one of the most valuable animals in the genre: Tony Tony Chopper.
Don’t let this cute reindeer fool you; he’s actually a competent doctor that takes care of the Straw Hat Pirates. Chopper collectibles are among the best One Piece figures of all time and make perfect additions to anyone’s growing anime collection.
Fans of the Hidden Leaf Village will absolutely recognize Akamaru from the ultra-popular series Naturo. Viewers get to watch this ninja dog grow up with handler Kiba and see him defeat some seriously ferocious foes.
Akamaru is athletic, energetic, and fiercely loyal, making him the perfect sidekick for his ninja master. Coupled with his acute sense of smell and amazing fighting forms, Akamaru is one of the most iconic animal characters in anime.
Hawk—The Seven Deadly Sins
While The Seven Deadly Sins hit the scene only a few years ago, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular anime shows streaming on Netflix. This medieval story features an adorably-hilarious character named Hawk, a pig who has the ability to see a person’s power level.
As the Captain of Scrap Disposal, Hawk provides some much-needed comic relief between heavy fighting sequences and heartbreaking star-crossed lover scenes. While he isn’t particularly strong, his good nature and extreme loyalty make him an integral part of The Seven Deadly Sins.
Jiji—Kiki’s Delivery Service
It’s hard to find a ’90s baby who can’t identify Jiji, the beloved black cat from KiKi’s Delivery Service. Jiji acts as a familiar for the titular character, KiKi. What makes Jiji so iconic is his ability to communicate with his favorite delivery girl.
When KiKi loses her powers, she also loses the ability to speak to her furry friend. As Jiji provided many laughs and thoughtful advice, this turn of events is critical to the overall development of the film.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning anime’s most beloved electric rodent. Pikachu captured the hearts of millions when he joined up with Ash Ketchum in the cherished animated series Pokémon.
Known for his stubborn personality and love for his trainer, Pikachu is there for every step of Ash’s quest to “catch ’em all.” Without Pikachu’s support and devotion, Ash and his gang would have never been able to reach the milestones it takes to be a full-fledged trainer.