image from the trailer of my deer friend nokotan, AKA shikanoko nokonoko koshitantan
(Wit Studio)

I’ve Found the Most Unhinged Anime of the Year

I was quietly dreading the end of the spring anime season. Mostly because that means the end of (the ostensible first season of) Dungeon Meshi, which has been my very dear, trustworthy companion throughout the entirety of 2024. I knew I needed to find something new.

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But now I know I shouldn’t have been looking for a cozy anime to replace Dungeon Meshi’s hole in my heart. I should’ve been looking for the opposite. I should’ve been looking for something off-the-wall absurd.

Enter My Deer Friend Nokotan, also known by its much more mind-bending Japanese title, Shikanoko Nokonoko Koshitantan. (I can tell you the first bit means “deer child,” and then my brain stops working.) Despite being produced by Studio WIT—the same studio behind half of Spy x Family and the upcoming One Piece reboot—My Deer Friend Nokotan wasn’t even on my radar.

Then, late Monday night, the second trailer dropped. And suddenly, My Deer Friend Nokotan was on everyone’s radar. The trailer opens with a question I have never thought about in my life but have not stopped thinking about since: “Why aren’t humans deer?”

Trust me, just … watch it.

I don’t think there’s a logical way to break down what we’ve all seen here. There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot where a typical anime-style high school girl appears to be givin’ it to a live-action deer from behind. This show will defy logic. This show looks like it will be incredible.

I mean, an antler is tossed up to a school ceiling, suddenly and very violently explodes, and, in the trailer, this explosion cues the greatest earworm theme song in recent memory. I am suddenly awaiting July 7 with bated breath. Plus, we also found out this weekend that’s the day Oshi no Ko’s second season will premiere, too. What an absolute mindf**k Sundays are about to become.

But really, that theme song. As if my heart wasn’t already won over, Shikanoko’s official X account posted an hour-long endurance video of just the song’s hook. They claim it’s to help us all remember the show’s long and difficult name. Oh, I remember now, all right. I remember because this hook has been running through my head non-stop, all day.

The press release describes the show as “a tale of a girl (once a delinquent) and another (a deer?), in [a] Girl Meets Deer adventure.” There’s a high school student council involved somewhere. Who cares, I’m there. I’m in line already. “Shikanokonokonokokoshitantan! Shikanokonokonokokoshitantan!


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.