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  • ×××HOLiC:
    • Yuuko is often represented by a butterfly, which symbolizes change and how she changes her customers, including the main characters. It also symbolizes life and death, to reflect her undead nature and fate.
    • Watanuki is often represented by Foxes and/or birds. However, he selects the bird to be his signature, which is representative of his connection to Tsubasa, as well as his being Yuuko's successor (because birds can go farther than butterflies).
  • +Anima is a manga about children who obtain animal powers in a situation of intense danger, so naturally all of the +Anima we see have an Animal Motif fitting with the animal they derive their powers from, and it's even reflected somewhat in their personalities:
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    • Cooro has crows, manifesting as a pair of black wings sprouting from his back. Though he's not quite as smart as a crow, he's shown to be curious (sometimes to his own detriment) and insightful, fitting with his motif. Many people mistake him for an omen if bad luck or doom as well.
    • Husky has fish, manifesting as a merman-like tail and gills. He borrows the least noticeable traits from his animal, though he is shown to have a fondness for pretty or shiny gems, similar to how fish can be easily lured in by shiny things.
    • Senri has bears, manifesting as a furry claw on his right arm. Whereas Husky borrows the least from his animal, Senri borrows the most, being a mostly quiet and unassuming Gentle Giant who will absolutely rip you to pieces if you hurt people he cares about.
    • Nana has bats, manifesting as large ears and a pair of wings on her back. Nana is mostly friendly, but also has the easily panicked and/or jittery nature of a bat, as well as the cuteness of one.
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    • Rose has cats, manifesting as claws, fangs and slitlike pupils. She's shown to be laid-back and snarky, but like Senri, can be vicious if you hurt people she cares about.
    • Mr. Bison has...well, bison, manifesting as thick fur and horns on his head. He's shown to be a Gentle Giant, similar to Senri, but slightly more aggressive.
    • Kazana has hawks, manifesting as wings on his back and talons on his feet. He's shown to be proud and powerful, but also a little bit aggressive.
    • Sheriff Hopps from the parallel works manga has an alligator anima, manifesting as his head transforming into that of an alligator. He's shown to be capable of hiding his status as a +Anima much better than most of the characters we see, fitting with how alligators are masters of ambush and camouflage.
  • Ikki from Air Gear is often compared to a crow, both by other characters and through imagery.
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  • The assassins from Arachnid and Caterpilar have insect motifs. The plot often pauses to compare the techniques of the characters to the behaviour of insects. Killing Bites, written by the same author, has a similar premise with more common animal motifs.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Centipedes for Principal Asano and his son.
    • Visual metaphors depict Nagisa as a snake: a small, swift predator that hides in plain sight. More esoterically, Nagisa also has semi-hypnotic eyes- another trait commonly attributed to snakes.
    • Koro-sensei is routinely referred to as an "octopus" for looking a lot like one. Aside from his appearance, he is a skilled multitasker who's strange in both function and appearance.
    • Kataoka is a sea turtle — a strong, peaceful animal that protects smaller fish.
  • In a broader sense, in Attack on Titan, humans are domesticated livestock and the Titans are predators. The thematic goal of the protagonists is to become hunters and live free rather than be shut up in a pen.
    • Some motifs are made explicit in some scenes. Annie is muzzled like a wolf. Lord Balto, a selfish and gluttonous rich man, is seen as a pig.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • There's Greece with his many cats. He himself wishes to be a cat, and has a cat army. He wears cat ears in one episode (Japan put them on him), after wishing he were one of his feline companions.
    • There's Usarisu. After a drawing on the author's blog of Chibirisu (the little kid version of England) with bunny ears, the trend spread of drawing little England with the ears became quite popular among fans. He's not the only character to have been drawn with them, though, and The Netherlands is very commonly associated with rabbits owing to toting his pet one everywhere.
    • Lithuania can be compared to a dog. He's always being ordered around by one person or another, he has dog ears in a bonus comic giving the characters animals characteristics and, possibly coincidentally, his human name Toris is supposedly a common name for dogs in Lithuania.
  • In Berserk, Griffith is closely associated with the hawk; besides the name of the group of his followers, The Band Of The Hawks, his helmet is vaguely similar to that of a bird of prey, he often wears a cape (symbolising the wings), and is even called "The Hawk of Light". Eventually, once he becomes a member of the Godhand, his demonic form Femto resembles a black hawk with batlike Cape Wings.
    • His counter part, Guts, however, is more closely associated with wolves, most notably by his "inner beast" Guts is also known as "The Dark Hawk", to counter Griffith. But Guts is truly a hound as Casca sees him in her mind.
    • Casca herself is seen as chick hatching from a egg in Griffith's hand, other times she more dog-like with her eyes whiting out (like her lover Guts), though she is sees her herself as a doll in her mind.
    • There's also Guts' True Companions:
      • Isidro, monkey
      • Serpico, fox
      • Farnese, stoat
      • Schierke, owl
  • Bleach:
    • Soifon's theme is the Asian Giant Hornet. She has the aggression to match, too.
    • Gin's theme is predominantly the snake. However, some characters also compare him to a fox because of his tendency to play pranks on people. In the end, the manga does take the snake-plus-fox theme to its logical conclusion in chapter 414 where a colour picture of Gin depicts him as Inari (more famous for being fox themed, Inari has even older, but less well-known, snake associations).
    • Unohana is ray-themed. Her shikai form even takes the form of a giant ray of indeterminate species. Akin to the mixed mythology of the ray as both aggressive, dangerous poisoner and killer, and a more benign healer and antidote, Unohana has been portrayed as a benign healer but hints occur occasionally that there's a much more dangerous side to her. And there is, indeed; she was the first Kenpachi, and one of the most diabolical criminals to ever exist in the Soul Society.
    • Komamura is wolf-themed to such an extent that he's a humanoid wolf and has the stereotypical Undying Loyalty (to Yamamoto) as well. It's a Running Gag in-universe that characters mistake him for a dog instead of a wolf which works well as the fandom often mistakes him for a dog as well. He's also got the ability to communicate with dogs, owns a dog, and has a secret weakness for human shows about puppies.
    • Tousen is themed on the bell cricket to such an extent that when he finally gains resurreccion it takes an insect form reminiscent of the The Fly.
    • Mayuri has, amongst a few other themes, a strong peacock theme from his name, to his colourful attire, to his aptitude for poisons and antidotes.
    • Ukitake is carp-themed. This includes the concept of the carp representing boys who can overcome adversity to become stronger. He gained an incurable lung disease as a child. Despite that, he's still managed to not just reach the captain rank but is one of the longest-serving captains of all.
    • Rangiku is cat themed. She takes the seductress route with her cat themes being officially the sexiest woman in the entire Gotei 13 and is also an example of The Tease. Her zanpakutou behaves like volcanic ash, conviently tying in to the concept of a slashing cat.
    • Yumichika is peacock-themed to such an extent that, as well as having the vanity and obsession with beauty, he's also got the less well-known folklore traits of being extremely watchful (he tends to sense reiatsu when others don't or even as fast as captains), but he also has the ability to "bind" evil, as well as having rejuvenation abilities - powers also associated with the peacock which is why the peacock overlaps the phoenix in mythology.
    • Yoruichi can turn into a black cat.
    • Coyote Starrk is wolf-themed, specifically, lone-wolf themed. Appropriately, he has the unique power of being able to split his soul into companion beings, including a large pack of very dangerous wolves.
    • Harribel is shark-themed. Dignified and terrifying, she comes with obligatory water powers.
    • Ulquiorra is bat-themed to go with his darkness, void and despair themes. His resurreccion has led to fandom-wide Batman jokes.
    • Nnoitra Jiruga is Praying Mantis themed. Predatory, capable of being stealthy and underhanded or a whirlwind of brute force. Also, a lot of emphasis is made on the fact that he's not as strong as a certain female teammate and one of his resurreccion tricks is to produce multiple arms (four initially, with two extra hidden for ambush purposes to bring his total to a very six).
    • Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, who is jaguar-themed, specifically panther (black jaguar) in keeping with the theme of him being the dark counterpart of Ichigo (who is sun and eclipse themed), who (as the jaguar symbolises in mythology) is obsessed with kingship. His sword is named Pantera and his released appearance becomes decidedly more feline. When he was a hollow, he was a cat.
    • Zommari takes the prize as the weirdest. He's sea urchin-themed, and his resurreccion turns his lower body into one full of many eyes. He shows the author did the research as the sea urchin is associated in mythology with witchcraft just as Zommari's powers are.
    • Szayelaporro Grantz is a parasitic worm; strange, maybe even good-looking but incredibly vile and with a variety of powers that rely on drawing health from hurting/killing another organism. On a more fantastic level, he's also associated with the phoenix which is again appropriate for parasitic worms.
    • Nel is antelope and goat-antelope themed right down to the Extreme Omni-Goat joke. Even her resurreccion takes the form of an antelope-based centaur.
    • Ggio is cat-themed, specific sabre-tooth cat and tiger-themed.
    • Findor is crab-themed. In resurreccion his one arm even becomes a giant pincer. His powers are water-based.
    • Avirrama is eagle-themed, even down to having wings and feather-based attacks.
    • Nirgge is elephant-themed and his power lies with his physical strength.
    • Poww is essentially a monstrous whale that masquerades as humanoid. In resurreccion he becomes monstrously large (not that he wasn't already) and gains a throat like a baleen whale.
    • Harribel's three fraccions are all animal based (Mila-Rose is lion themed and has the Greek Amazon look to go with it, Sung-Sun is anaconda-themed and has snake-appropriate powers, Apacci is deer-themed. In resurreccion she is a deer-woman).
    • Tesla is warthog themed and practically turns into the warthog equivalent of a minotaur in resurreccion.
    • Loly is centipede-themed and her sword even has poison-based abilities.
    • Pesche is stag beetle themed, to an extent where it's made a joke of in the manga. He's mistaken for an ant and he gets very indignant.
  • The witches in Brynhildr in the Darkness in general seem to have a recurring association with cats. Neko Kuroha's name literally means "black cat", Shino sacrifices her life to save one, and Kazumi shows some stereotypically cat-like personality traits and mannerisms. There's even official artwork of the two main girls in cat costumes.
  • In Blue Exorcist, Konekomaru is one of the main characters to be this. Part of his name, Neko, means cat. He loves hot milk, he hates being cold, and he is one of the smallest and cutest characters in the series.
    • On the other side of the spectrum, Mamushi Hojo is incredibly snake-like. She is very sharp tongued, condescending, and slippery like one; her name means pit viper; she even has the slitted snake-pupils!
  • Chrono Crusade: Aion is often associated with birds, particularly an eagle that is his familiar. He often sends his eagle ahead of him to communicate with others or make his presence known. He also refers to Chrono as "my bird who can't fly", and goes as far as to describe a character falling into his trap as a "turkey flying into the oven basted and ready to cook."
  • Dance with Devils: The four boys of the student council that form the show's reverse harem, are themed as follows:
    • Rem, ram.
    • Urie, spiders.
    • Mage, snake.
    • Shiki, crow.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX opens with Hiro narrating about the jian bird, a creature that has only one wing and needs a partner to fly. He compares this to Franxx piloting, which cannot be done alone and is similarly important- a pilot with no partner is as useless as a bird that can't fly.
  • Deltora Quest: "Barda The Bear" is what Barda was called as guard during days of peace in Del, for being the toughest out of all the guards, though Barda doesn't appreciate that moniker when Jinx calls him by it.
    • Jasmine associated many animals but mainly with birds since her connection with her pet black bird Kree and distaste for walls and stone, preferring freedom of the air. Lief is tied with Dragons and their majesty as the Deltora royal family are connected to Dragons.
  • Descendants of Darkness: The creator has often drawn the two main characters with animal traits, both in the manga and in extra art. For Happy-go-lucky, often childish, always energetic and loyal Tsuzuki, it's a puppy. This visual is used enough in the manga and anime that fans often reference Tsuzuki as going into "Puppy-mode". For the quiet, loner, bookish, easily angered, defensive and Tsundere Hisoka, it's a cat. While this isn't used nearly as much as the Puppy-Tsuzuki visual, it's no less apt.
  • Detective Conan: The so called "Black Organization" has a raven motif and its members are well known to wear "raven-colored" outfits. The Boss of the Black Organization's email/text number uses the melody of Nanatsu no Ko ("Seven Children") which prominently has ravens in its lyrics. Renya Karasuma had a raven as his symbol.
  • Digimon Adventure: Most of the chosen children are associated with certain animals based off their crests and their Digimon partners.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Yamcha has a wolf motif, fitting his Wolf Fang Fist.
    • The Saiyans, such as Goku and Vegeta, and most of their respective families, have a monkey motif, given their monkey-like tails.
    • Master Roshi and his Turtle School of martial arts.
    • Roshi's rival, the Crane Hermit, has a crane motif.
  • Eyeshield 21 has Monta with an uncanny appearance to a monkey. Patrick "Panther" Spencer is known to be one of the fastest people in the world. Blood Knight berserker Gaou is comparable to a Tyrannosaurus with the way he "devours" anyone who stands in his way. Rui has the appearance of a chameleon.
    • Gaou's teammates Marco and Kisaragi are a raptor and a pteranodon respectively.
  • The various martial arts of the Nanto Seiken school in Fist of the North Star are named after birds.
    • Shin's Nanto Koshuken style is the "Long Eagle Fist"
    • Rei's Nanto Suichoken style is the "Waterfowl Fist"
    • Juda's Nanto Kokakuken style is the "Crimson Crane Fist"
    • Shuu's Nanto Hakuroken style is the "White Heron Fist"
    • Souther's Nanto Ho-oken style is the "Phoenix Fist"
    • Haz and Gil's Nanto Soyoken style is the "Twin Hawk Fist"
    • The final general of the Nanto style, Yuria, has no fighting skill, and represents peace, often being associated with doves.
    • The only exceptions to this theme are the Golan Colonel's Nanto Muonken style ("Silent Fist") and the knife jugglers Beji and Giji's Nanto Sozanken style ("Twin Kill Fist"), as well as most of the anime-only styles from filler episodes. However, most of the styles from the Gaiden spin-offs follow the avian theme.
  • Free!:
    • The Iwatobi swim team has their own animal motifs in their swimming styles. Haruka's is the dolphin: Nagisa compares to him to one, and he has a toy dolphin in his home bathroom. Makoto's is the orca: notable in Episode 6 when his feelings about swimming reflect the nature of orcas conquering the largest distances as a pod. Nagisa's is the penguin, and he even has them printed in his underwear. Rei's motif is the butterfly, as it is also his preferred swimming stroke, which is the only swimming stroke he knows.
    • The Samezuka team have their own animal motifs. Rin's is the shark, due to his competitive nature, and he even has pointy teeth. Nitori's is the duck. Sousuke's is the whale shark. Momotarou's is the sea otter.
  • Fruits Basket: The Sohma family are themed after the Eastern Zodiac, and most of them have personalities fitting the particular animal spirit they're cursed with. Some subvert or avert the trope though - Shigure uses his appearance of civility and uselessness to manipulate the other thirteen.
    • Yuki (rat) is a self-acknowledged coward, who prefers to hide behind his mask of politeness rather than risk being rejected by others. Kyo (cat) is defensive and easily angered, and feels as out-of-place in the family as a cat would in the eastern zodiac. Momiji (rabbit) is playful and cute, with a whimsical personality that hides great insight into the pain of others. Haru (bull) is patient and a little stubborn; he looks placid on the outside, but has a bad temper that emerges if he's pushed too far. Kagura (boar) is impulsive and violent, persistent to a fault. Shigure (dog) is perverted, but lighthearted and a good friend. (Well, except for his Manipulative Bastard tendencies, anyway.) Rin (horse) is proud and rebellious. Hatori (dragon/seahorse) is cryptic but highly knowledgeable, a guide to the rest of the Zodiac. Kureno (rooster/sparrow) is mild and unobtrusive- loyal to Akito and conflict-avoidant. Hiro (sheep) is stubborn like a ram. Ayame (snake) finds it difficult to establish personal relationships, and Yuki feels that Ayame betrayed him in their childhood.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist uses the "dog of the military" motif, which is what Ed is constantly referred to as. It's mostly used as a derogatory nickname given to state alchemists by people who believe alchemists should not be involved in state affairs. In the 2003 anime version, after defecting when his brother becomes the philosopher's stone, Ed voices to his commander, Mustang, that he is now a stray.
    • As her name suggests, Riza Hawkeye has a hawk motif, due to her stoic, dignified demeanor, sharp eyesight befitting a sniper and her loyalty to her commanding officer. This is further reflected in her hairstyle, which is tied up in a ponytail to resemble a bird's tail feathers and has bangs that are swept sideways, resembling a wing.
    • In both versions, the shapeshifting Homunculus Envy has a slight reptile motif. Both his true forms in the manga resemble lizards and he turns his arm into a snake while trying to kill Ling Yao at one point, while in the first anime he takes on the form of an enormous serpent and gets trapped in that form permanently when he crosses the gate into the real world. This fits both with his "sin" (the deadly sin of Envy is often associated with snakes and its patron demon is the sea monster known as Leviathan) and his duplicitous personality.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, during comedic moments, Sousuke's animal motif is a cute (albeit irritable looking) little dog. A more plot significant one for him, though, is a tiger (referring to the fact that he's the "son of Bdakshon's Tiger," being called "Tiger" by Gauron in the English dub, as well as his adopting a pet tiger that he loves). On the other hand, Gauron's animal motif can be seen as a dragon, derived from his name "Gauron" (meaning "nine dragons" in Chinese). Symbolism is rampant when one considers the antagonizing, spark-filled relationship between the tiger and dragon in Asian culture. In fact, the Tiger Versus Dragon trope page describes their relationship perfectly.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Some racing teams' logos have these. For example, Team Sugo has Pegasus as their logo, Aoi has the Griffin as their logo and as for the team Albatross DDT... well, you can probably guess what they have as their logo.
    • When Shinjyo uses his Peacock/Phoenix Wing boost, the fire in a shape of the fiery bird comes out of the booster's nozzles. And when Hayato uses his Super Asurada 01 boosters, an image of Pegasus appears while the car is being blasted in one episode of the TV series.
  • Get Backers: Ban is often associated with snakes. His eyes are slitty and look a lot like a snake's, and one of his trademark attacks is called "Snake Bite." Shido even calls him "Snake Bastard." Hey, even his proud, condescending attitude is rather reminiscent of a certain trope. Though physically, it's especially obvious in this page of the manga.
  • Gundam:
  • Haikyuu!!: All teams have some kind of motif, most of them animals:
    • Karasuno - crows.
    • Nekoma - cats.
    • Shiratorizawa - a white bird [eagle] (the literal translation of 'shiratori' rather than the idiomatic translation of swan).
    • Fukuroudani - owls.
    • Nohebi - snakes.
    • Itachiyama - weasels(? none of the players have appeared as of ch202).
  • Hajime no Ippo uses this trope quite a lot. Ippo is a gazelle, Sendo a tiger, Vorg a wolf, Date a lion, Woli a monkey, Kimura a dragonfish... Notably, Takamura, despite being the 2nd main character, does not have a clear motif. He could be a hawk (his name reflects it and he wears a hawk costume for world title fights), a bear (won against one and has worn his fur) or a rhinoceros beetle (wore such a costume).
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan: Hamster for Umaru. And not only when she's indoors—even when outside Umaru sometimes has rodent mannerisms (more specifically hamsters), such as the way she licks ice cream.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Bell is often compared to a White Bunny because he's an albino with a Lightning Bruiser style of combat.
  • In part one of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Phantom Blood, Jonathan Joestar is compared to a lion for his courage and nobility. His archnemesis Dio Brando calls himself a lion as well, and has the fangs and association with gold to back it up.
  • K
    • The way Shiro holds his pink parasol may have been designed to invoke peacock imagery, mostly notable because as a symbol, the peacock connotes royalty, refinement, spirituality and holiness, immortality and incorruptibility, and enlightenment and awakening. In western culture, the peacock also symbolizes the heavens and stars. It makes sense in the latter part of the series because Shiro is actually Adolf K. Weissmann, the first King and the Silver King.
    • Kuroh is nicknamed the "Black Dog" and is fiercely loyal to the former 7th King, Ichigen Miwa and later becomes just as loyal to Shiro. Shiro's other clansman is Neko, and, as her name implies...
    • Mikoto is the lion, being very apathetic, usually seen sleeping and very powerful and naturally charismatic. When fighting an enemy who attempted to invade his mind, Mikoto is represented by a lion made of fire that easily repels the enemy.
    • Misaki Yata, a.k.a. Yatagarasu (crow), and Saruhiko Fushimi (monkey), have the series' standard mythology-reference names that also reference animals. Their character designs, however, reflect each others' names' animals. Take that as you wish.
    • Rikio Kamamoto is a turtle.
    • Upon becoming the new Red King, Anna's motif is a phoenix, symbolizing the rebirth of HOMRA.
  • K-On! appears to have a thing for turtles and tortoises. For one, there are the statues on the school staircases, based on the fable of the tortoise and the hare. In the opening of the first season, the girls are seen hopping over stones in a river, some of which are turtle-shaped (both are from real locations, by the way). Ui owns a large turtle plushie. And then there's Ton-chan, a turtle living in an aquarium in the club room.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • An unusually accurate fortune-telling website compares Ishigami to a canary (in the coal mine). They protect others by perceiving danger, but their mere existence reminds people of death and disaster.
    • In later chapters, the moral crusader Miko is compared to a chihuahua- loud and fierce, yet small and ignorant.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn! takes this concept to the logical conclusion. It is easier to list the amount of characters who don't have an animal associated with them. That number is 0.
  • Kill la Kill: The Elite Four, corresponding with the respective characters in their surnames.
    • Ira Gamagoori: Toads (or frogs), which inflate themselves to look bigger and more intimidating.
    • Uzu Sanageyama: Monkeys, he is by far the most agile of the Elite Four, and may be based on Sun Wukong, the Monkey King.
    • Houka Inumuta: Dogs and, as the president of the Information Committee and a skilled hacker, he is very good at metaphorically "sniffing out" enemies an finding clues that otherwise might have been ignored.
    • Nonon Jakuzure: Snakes and she is indeed the most cruel, ill-tempered member of the Four.
    • Similarly, while this is subtle, Satsuki, their leader, seems to be associated with eagles, if her "Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars" is a clue, along with the fact that she is usually high up on some kind of perch and, in general, looks fierce and intimidating, along with having fake, but otherwise sharp, talons.
    • Another subtle one is Mako, who has something of a bunny motif, given her rabbit pajamas (the ones she lent to Ryuuko), the pen topper she used in episode seven, and her bouncy, hyperactive personality.
  • Kiri no Mori Hotel has cats as its motif. Several cats live in the hotel and are often the ones who lead guests to the hotel when they need it.
  • In Kodomo no Jikan (manga only) Kuro is occasionally drawn as a black cat (and in both anime and manga she often sports/sprouts cat ears) and Mimi is drawn as a white rabbit. Also, Aoki compares the cat he had been feeding to Rin. When it scratched him, she justified it by saying that it might have been abused.
  • In Kodomo no Omocha, whenever Hayama's feeling especially mischievous, he gains the ears and tail of a cheetah.
    • Sana's also referred to him as a "Lone Wolf" and "The Monkey King" (with appropriate Imagine Spots for both), and imagined him as an ill-tempered chick.
  • Komi Can't Communicate:
    • Three different characters share a cat motif:
      • Shouko Komi (the Komi of the title) is consistently tied to cats. She is depicted with cat ears when startled or excited, her friends buy her a cat plush and she even goes to a cat cafe at one point. It ties in with her appearing aloof and stoic, but really being curious and affectionate.
      • Akira Komi, her younger cousin, also sprouts cat ears when excited, tying into her close relationship with Komi, being the kitten to her cat.
      • Rei Natsukido is depicted with cat-like eyes, and acts aloof, isolated, and independent.
    • Himiko Agari has a dog motif. She refers to herself as Komi's dog, sprouts dog ears and a tail at times, and acts like an excitable, if nervous, puppy.
  • In Kotoura-san, Manabe's perversion is usually emphasized by having him act like and occasionally turn into a Wolf.
  • Lucky Star: The characters start wondering which animal motif suits them best. Joking unflappable otaku Konata gets a fox, cute and innocent Tsukasa a puppy, cool and mysterious Minami a hawk, soft-mannered and peaceful Miyuki a sheep (although Konata would quip that she's more suited to a cow due to her...ahem... bust size)... and resident Tsundere and Straight Man Kagami is to her endless shame given a bunny (due to her underlying emotionality and her tendency to hide it from the world, and, apparently, because her pigtails look like rabbit ears according to Konata).
  • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine: Fujiko is associated with both peacocks and butterflies. Those who work with/for Count Almeida have owls - especially the Count's castle.
  • Made In Abyss: All of the White Whistles have their titular whistle shaped in a motif about them; few are animals, but Ozen's stands out in particular. Ozen's whistle is shaped like an Ox head symbolizing her freakish strength and stubborn behavior. Even her appearance is ox like; her hair's styled like horns, her feet look like hooves, and her name's one letter away from Oxen.
  • Satsuki Yotsuba from Mahou Sensei Negima! is commonly drawn with a Koala behind her and is the only one drawn quite different clearly inspired by a Koala.
  • Maken-ki!: Inaho typically fashions her hair into a short pair of bobbles.. But, in later chapters, they're drawn as triangular ear-like wedges. Which, along with her perpetual cat smile, gives her the appearance of a squirrel girl.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha are odd cases of having two Animal Motifs each. First are ones which they "inherited" from their teachers (which are really too blatant in their cases to even count as motifs) and the second are ones unique to them. Naruto has toads and foxes (resemblance to a fox, a prankster but always keeps his promises), while Sasuke has snakes and hawks (what he names his team, an illusion he uses is represented with feathers pierces the person, he learned to summon a hawk, his hair).
    • Also, Itachi has a raven motif-thing going on, which is interesting if you consider that Sasuke's motif is the hawk...
    • The rest of the Konoha clans save for the Senju have their own, too: Hyuuga—birds, Inuzuka—dogs, Aburame—insects, Yamanaka—boars, Nara—deer, Akamichi—butterflies, Sarutobi—monkeys, Uzumaki—foxes.
    • The same can be applied to several Akatsuki members: Deidara- bird, Kisame-shark, Sasori- scorpion.
    • The Second Mizukage can summon a Giant Clam and styled his outfit and hair to resemble said shellfish.
    • Neji Hyuuga has a bird theme. He was trapped in the cage of destiny like a bird, but gets free of it thanks to Naruto. When Neji died, a flying bird was killed by Obito as well.
    • Hinata Hyuuga has been associated with lions (or lionesses) after her fight with Pain. Lions are seen as symbols of bravery and protection. Throughout the series, Hinata stood up for her beliefs, fearlessly faced her foes, and has displayed her willingness to protect her loved ones. Her Signature Move is even named "Gentle Step Twin Lion Fists."
    • Tsunade has slugs - she can even summon a giant one to ride.
  • One Piece
    • The original Seven Warlords of the Sea have an animal in their names and can often identify with the animal's characteristics:
      • Dracule Mihawk: the Hawk, having sharp, narrow eyes, similar to those of a hawk. It's the sorce of his title "Hawkeye".
      • Boa Hancock: the Snake, being beautiful and vain. She also resides on an island where serpents are the pet of choice.
      • Bartholomew Kuma: the Bear, appearing to be frightening and extremely large.
      • Donquixote Doflamingo: the Flamingo, wearing a pink, flamboyant clothes and walking like a flamingo.
      • Gecko Moria: the Gecko, his clothing resembling a gecko. Or alternatively, the Bat, given his general shadow theme, and that his name is very close to, or at least contains, the Japanese word for bat (koumori).
      • Crocodile: the Crocodile, keeping monstrous crocodiles as pets and having a scar that resembles a crocodile's smile
      • Jimbei: the Shark, being a whale shark fishman.
      • The newest Warlord, Blackbeard, is less obvious, though merchandise gave him an association with a hippopotamus. Large and deceptively goofy looking while truly unpredictable and one of, if not the most dangerous animals in the world.
      • The first new Warlord revealed post-timeskip, Trafalgar Law, according to Word of God, is a Spotted Seal, although merchandise-wise he's represented by a snow leopard. In fact, the most prominent members of his crew (barring Jean Bart) and some others (Ikkaku, Uni, and Clione -this one means a genus of Sea Slugs-) are themed after cold-climate animals; no bonus points for guessing which animals are Bepo, Shachi and Penguin supposed to represent.
      • Edward Weevil, the Warlord revealed between Dressrosa and Zou is the Weevil, and you can connect the dots on the motifs because he's like a pest to a island scale: he destroyed several cities and racked over 600 casualties over tantrums of not being acknowledged as Whitebeard's legitimate son.
    • This also applies to the Straw Hats themselves (Chopper goes without saying), as Oda said. They get alternate motives with the outfits in One Piece Unlimited Cruise. But more literally get animal counterparts in this colorspread.
      • Luffy is a monkey, happy-go-lucky and hyperactive and even acts likes monkey in some of his earlier battles. Lion in Unlimited Cruise, since he wants to be King of the Pirates and lions are associated with kings.
      • Zoro is a shark, terrifying and hard to approach, more recently he was pictured as a tiger (corresponding with a few of his attack names). Zoro is a Dragon in Unlimited Cruise .
      • Nami is a cat, sly and sneaky. Tropical fish in Unlimited Cruise because such fish are usually beautiful and Nami has a lot of sex appeal. Nami is also called a "swan" a lot by Sanji, in reference to her graceful beauty and more literally when Mr 2 uses her image.
      • Sanji is a duck, loud and loving, but more recently pictured as a Ram for his kicking power in Unlimited Cruise. Sanji also gets pictured with wolves and dogs a lot, attracting wolves in Upper Yard, fighting Jabra and he was also savaged by a dog when he was boy bringing food to his sick mother and later Luffy.
      • Usopp is a armadillo, frightened easily and defensive and he is more recently pictured as a chameleon. He's an owl in Unlimited Cruise as he's something of an inventor and owls are associated with knowledge.
      • Robin is a crane, tall and graceful, she more recently pictured as a falcon (for her piercing eyes) and a butterfly in Unlimited Cruise.
      • Franky is a bull, boisterous and short-tempered and an Rhinocerous in Unlimited Cruise and colorspread.
      • Brook is a horse (Skeleton Horse), affectionate and friendly. Swallow in Unlimited Cruise.
      • Chopper normally doesn't have one as he's already a reindeer, but everybody confuses him for Tanuki (raccoon) so he is pictured as one as a gag. Chopper was also a cat in an Omake and a dinosaur in Unlimited Cruise.
    • The same goes for the members of the CP9:
      • Spandam is a Panda.
      • Rob Lucci is a leopard.
      • Kaku is a giraffe.
      • Jabra is a wolf.
      • Blueno is a bull.
      • Kumadori is a lion, though the Straw Hats mistake him for an octopus because of his Prehensile Hair.
      • Fukuro is an owl.
      • Kalifa is a sheep.
      • Nero is a weasel.
    • And a few other characters, like Mr. 2 (a swan), the Marine captain Nezumi (a rat) and every Zoan Devil Fruit user (their respective animal).
    • The three Admirals are based of Momotarō legends, they are a pheasant, a dog and a monkey assisted the boy hero, Momotarō, on his adventures. Coincidentally, each personality fits the aliases (Aokiji, the pheasant, is somewhat lazy; Kizaru, the monkey, is quite absent-minded and irresponsible; and Akainu, the dog, is very loyal).
  • Osomatsu-san: Merchandise associates each brother with a specific animal.
    • Osomatsu: Red panda.
    • Karamatsu: Tiger.
    • Choromatsu: Sheep.
    • Ichimatsu: Cat.
    • Jyushimatsu: Dog.
    • Todomatsu: Rabbit.
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • The friendly, loyal, hyperactive Tamaki as a dog (he is also a dog lover).
    • Haruhi is teased by the others for resembling a "tanuki" (raccoon dog).
    • The twins are portrayed as sneaky and "devilish" as cats, which adds humor to their relationship with Tamaki.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane: Tetsu is frequently referred to as a "pup" since he is still just a child among a den of "wolves", the Shinsengumi.
  • The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: The girls have different animal motifs; Mashiro's motif is a cat, Nanami's is a tiger (which shows up a bit as her favourite stuffed toy), and Misaki's a bear (she seems to be a fan of a nameless bear mascot).
  • Pet Shop of Horrors: The animals are usually connected to both their owner's "fatal flaw" and a possible means of redemption. The man who deceived his new bride gets a highly possessive (and hungry) mermaid; the selfish drifter gets a sweet little kitten to soften his nature.
  • Princess Tutu: Being an anime about ballet and fairy tales that was heavily influenced by Swan Lake, there are several of these, along with references to Animal Stereotypes. In particular, Princess Tutu is heavily associated with swans (as is Mytho in his true, princely form), the girl that transforms into her is named Ahiru ("duck") and is really a duck disguised as a human, the villain is a Raven (see Creepy Crows), and Princess Kraehe ("crow" in German) is associated both with crows (obviously) and black swans. The opening intro goes as far as to show Ahiru in her duck form flying into the sky as she transforms into a beautiful swan—an "Ugly Duckling" reference that has not been lost on the fandom.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji is regularly likened to a puppy by other characters, particularly in the Rebuild of Evangelion films, the implication being that he is desperate for attention from his superiors and wants to be recognized by his "pack leader"—that is, his father. For example, in Rebuild new pilot Mari nicknames him "Puppy Boy" as a joke about his meekness. In the original series the comparisons often occurred through background TV and radio broadcasts that the characters listened to. One such broadcast talks about a dog who can supposedly solve math problems, when in reality all it does is say "Wan" ("Woof" in Japanese, which sounds like "One"). This is clearly a reference to how Shinji feels as though he is being praised for doing nothing special, and also that he pilots EVA Unit 01.
    • Rebuild Of Evangelion also gives Asuka a much more prominent animal theme—felines, possibly as a contrast to Shinji's "puppy" motif. She wears both a hat and a helmet with cat ears on them, and when she takes her Eva into "Beast Mode" it looks like a gigantic saber-toothed cat. Anno himself even specified that she have a "cat-like smile" in her concept art for the third movie. Interestingly, Mari also has her share of cat motifs (e.g. making meowing noises when she sings, and also wearing a cat-eared helmet). The fans have taken this to its obvious conclusion.
  • Harundo from RaButa is often compared to a pig due to his appearance. This is where Kurume's "Boss P" nickname comes from.
  • Rurouni Kenshin is full of animal motifs: Kenshin is the Dragon, Sano the Rooster, Saitou the Wolf, and Enishi the Tiger. It also makes an extended joke concerning women's face shapes: in Japan, women are considered to be Tanuki ("raccoon-dog", round and open features, implying naivete) or Kitsune ("fox", long and narrow, implying mischief). When Saitou meets Misao for the first time, he has an Imagine Spot: If Kaoru = Tanuki and Megumi = Kitsune, then Misao = Itachi (weasel). Misao was not pleased.
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi Tsukino with rabbits. Even her name means "rabbit", and her hair is meant to mirror the ears of one. This relates back to the astrological motif as well, from the Japanese myth of the rabbit on the moon. Chibi-Usa is designed to look even more like a rabbit, with her pinkish eyes and bunny ear-shaped Odango. Taken to ridiculous extremes with Kousagi, Usagi's second daughter in a non-canon short story titled "Parallel Moon"; everything she has is bunny-themed, even her transformation brooch and Odango protectors, not surprisingly since said story is a huge self-parody of the manga.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman:
    • G-1 is the Eagle, the leader.
    • G-2 is the Condor, loyal, but grumpy and off-putting.
    • G-3 is the Swan, pretty, but will kick your tail.
    • G-4 is the Swallow, very much the hyperactive kid.
    • G-5 is the Owl, tough and calm.
  • Shigurui: Kogan Iwamoto and after him Gennosuke Fujiki symbolise the Tiger while Seigen Irako symbolises the Dragon.
  • Slam Dunk uses this trope pretty frequently in combination with chibi. Centers that are big and ugly are nicknamed some variation of "gorilla" (Gori, Bald Gori, Ape King), while someone who's annoyingly energetic is called a monkey (Redheaded Monkey, Wild Monkey). Similarly, Shohoku is often portrayed as a team full of monkeys who follow a gorilla, with the exception of Rukawa who's called a fox.
  • In the original Someday's Dreamers, Yume uses a dolphin as her magic sign.
  • The witches from Soul Eater: not only do their motifs tie in with their outer appearances and powers, but a good deal of them have tie-in names as well:
    • Medusa, for snakes.
    • Arachne, for spiders.
    • Eruka, for frogs.
    • Mizune, for mice.
    • Angela, for chameleons.
    • Kim, for raccoon-dogs.
    • Shaula, for Scorpions
    • Lisa and Arisa (the witches-in-hiding who run Chupa Cabra's), have butterfly and firefly for their themes.
    • And if various Wild Mass Guessing theories are to be believed: Blair, for cats. She reveals she is a Bakeneko in the manga, after all.
    • While Free is male and not necessarily a witch, he does have a multitude of magical powers and has a wolf motif.
    • Another male non-witch character, Eibon/Noah, can be presumed to have a worm motif, since "worm" is in his chanting and since he used one to bite an enemy to pieces. The fact that he wields a book, specifies it as a (badass?) "bookworm".
  • In Spirited Away, all the characters from the spirit world are actually animal spirits, according to the Word of God. Lin is a weasel. Kamaji, with his beady Lennon Specs, multiple arms and fuzzy moustache resembles a tarantula. Several workers in the bath are fittingly frogs and slugs. Yubaba takes the form of a dark bird, perhaps a crow. Haku is a dragon.
  • Subaru has a black cat as an important animal motif, in terms of symbolic and emotional meaning. A black cat is what Kazuma and Subaru wanted as kids, but couldn't because their home didn't allow pets and it's a black cat that repeatedly leads Subaru to people or places associated with dancing. It disappears during the second half of the story, when Subaru leaves Japan for America.
    • The sequel returns with the same black cat motif. Subaru took in a stray black cat.
  • Black and White from Tekkonkinkreet are collectively referred to as "the cats", and White is often seen wearing hats or hoods that mimic animal looks.
  • Metamorphic insects show up throughout This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, foreshadowing Hikari's ultimate purpose.
  • Most of the superheros in Tiger & Bunny have an animal motif. Kotetsu is a tiger, Antonio an ox, Nathan a phoenix, Pao-Lin a dragon, and Barnaby has the honor of being frequently alluded to a rabbit. He is not amused by this.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Many Ghouls adopt animal motifs for their disguises or are given an animal-themed alias by CCG.
    • Ken Kaneki: Insects, in particular Creepy Centipedes.
    • Touka Kirishima (as well as her younger brother Ayato): Rabbits
    • Yoshimura/Yoshimura Eto: Owls
    • Renji Yomo: Ravens and Crows
    • Kaya Irimi: Dogs
    • Enji Koma: Great Apes
    • Hinami Fueguchi: Butterflies
    • Chie Hori: Rodents (hamsters, rats, and mice).
    • Nishiki Nishio/Orochi: Serpents
  • The main cast of Urara Meirocho were assigned with these, most comprehensively by Tokie in Episode 10:
    • Chiya: Dog
    • Kon: Fox (some of the cast would rather see her as Kitsune.
    • Ko'ume: Cat
    • Nono: Tanuki
    • Nina: Sheep
    • Saku: Deer
  • Vampire Knight: Kaname transforms parts of himself into bats and occasionally a wolf, Yuuki is often shown with a plushy rabbit in covers (her Zodiac animal and personality according to it) and portrayed with butterfly wings (gentleness, arguably re/birth), while Zero's loyal and self sacrificing personality very much reminds of his Zodiac, the Dog, along with having a white horse to compliment his debatable role as the Knight.
    • Sara frequently uses spiders as her spies, and is once even seen transforming her entire body into a big pile of the creatures. It's nothing new that spiders are usually associated with bad omens when used in such a manner.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Insector Haga has an Insect deck.
    • Dinosaur Ryuuzaki has a Dinosaur deck, with his ace cards being dragons.
    • Rebecca later moved from her old deck to a Dragon deck.
    • Seto Kaiba's signature card is the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, the spirit of which was his past incarnation's lover and occasionally sends him plot-relevant visions. He actually themes his clothes and a commissioned private jet around it.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, there's an animal motif on two points where Misawa and Judai clash. The artwork depicts a dragon coming from Judai, and a tiger coming from Misawa. This is a reference to tigers and dragons represented by Yin and Yang in Taoism. Dragon was Yang, and Yang went with rushing headlong into things on instinct, which is how Judai does everything. The tiger was Yin, going with thinking and planning, which Misawa does even with things like batting in baseball.
    • For extra giggle points, Misawa eventually falls in love with Taniya, a tiger woman, and Judai with Yubel, who was transformed into a dragon to protect him.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
    • The six Signers have dragons as their Signer monsters and ace cards, but none of them use a Dragon archetype.
      • Crow Hogan uses the Blackwing archetype, a deck of Winged Beast-type monsters, so he has a crow and raven theme.
    • There are seven Dark Signers and six of the Earthbound Immortals are animals (the seventh is a giant), but only three of the Dark Signers use archetypes fitting to their Earthbound Immortal. Rudger has Uru the spider, so his deck is a Spider deck. Misty has Ccarayhua the lizard, so her deck is a Reptilliane deck. And Demak has Cusillu the monkey, so his deck is a monkey deck.
      • Kiryu has the giant Ccapac Apu, Carly has the hummingbird Aslla Piscu, Bommer has the killer whale Chacu Challhua, and Goodwin has the condor Wiracocha Rasca, but they use an Infernity deck, a Fortune Lady deck, a Reactor deck and an Inca deck, respectively.

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