My favourite animal sidekick is Tony Tony Chopper from my number 1 favourite series ONE PIECE (ワンピース) by Oda Eiichiro (尾田 栄一郎).
I’ve written about Chopper before in a post titled “Kawaii Chopper”. He’s one of my favourite characters in OP. He was born as a blue-nosed reindeer, but ate the “Hito-Hito no Mi”(“hito” means “human” and “mi” is “fruit”; lit. “human-human fruit”). As a result, he acquires human qualities such as the ability to walk on two legs and the ability to speak and understand human language.
He’s the most adorable and the cutest character in the series. I like that he’s super intelligent (he’s a doctor, for goodness’ sake!) but at the same time, he’s also super gullible. I particularly adore his quirks where he tries to hide with his whole body sticking out, his Shimura Ken dances whenever he’s complimented, and his famous dialogue tag, “Sonna ureshiku ne zo, kono yarou!” (context: That doesn’t make me happy, you bastard!).
I also like that his character has depth with his painful history of being discriminated. As a result of eating the “Hito-hito no Mi”, he finds himself unable to belong with neither the animal nor the human world. That’s why it makes it more meaningful when Luffy finally convinces him of being one of his nakama. The arc where the Mugiwara Pirates meet Chopper for the first time is one of the most touching.
Once again, I want to praise seiyuu Otani Ikue (大谷育江) for doing such a fantastic job in bringing Chopper’s character to life. Her portrayal of his character multiplies his cuteness many times over. Tony Tony Chopper of ONE PIECE is my favourite animal sidekick. Who’s yours?
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