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By MENG WENJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-03 10:46
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Chiikawa the hamster, Hachiware the cat, and Usagi the rabbit are the protagonists of the animated series Chiikawa. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Realism in animation

Recently, Chiikawa, a tiny hamster, has risen to prominence as a beloved anime character among Chinese youth, amassing over 900 million views on Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu.

Chiikawa, also known as Something Small and Cute, is an animated series based on a manga by Japanese author Mamoru Nagano. The storyline revolves around three adorable protagonists: Chiikawa the hamster, Hachiware the cat, and Usagi the rabbit.

This anime offers a distinctive perspective, blending real-life challenges with charming, simple visuals. These characters strive to earn a living and confront monsters, emphasizing the idea that even in this delightfully animated world, success stems from hard work rather than magic.

Despite lacking the superhuman abilities often depicted in anime, the main characters maintain a hopeful attitude and always support one another, resonating deeply with young audiences.

"It's a story about a world full of harsh realities through the gentlest of imagery — how could it not capture our hearts?" one netizen commented.

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