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

‘My Deer Friend Nokotan’s Antics Have Already Taken Over Anime Fandom

It’s rare, but every once in a blue Moon, a trailer will come out that’s so unhinged, so absolutely wild, that it will raise a piece of media from obscurity to viral sensation. In the anime world, the latest instance of this was in May, when a new trailer was released for My Deer Friend Nokotan.

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“Why are humans not deer?” it pondered up front. And it only made less sense from there, in the best way imaginable. All of a sudden, My Deer Friend Nokotan was one of the most anticipated anime of the summer 2024 season.

The trailer spread around social media like wildfire. And for their part, the official Shikanoko Twitter/X account has handled the attention brilliantly. That same day, they posted a ten-hour challenge to listen to the hook of the show’s theme song—to help people remember the show’s absurdly long name, of course. While I have only made it through a couple minutes, “Shikanoko Nokonoko Koshitantan” (the Japanese title) has never been far from my consciousness since.

What’s more, the video shows a high school girl dancing among disco lights as a live-action-looking deer watches her blankly.

Welcome to My Deer Friend Nokotan.

Trailer (and social media antics)

My Deer Friend Nokotan comes to us from the good people at Wit Studio, who are well known for series like Spy x Family (working with CloverWorks) and the first three seasons of Attack on Titan. Despite Wit’s sizable reputation, My Deer Friend Nokotan raised its awareness in the crowded field of anime purely because of its advertising.

It all started with the second trailer released for the series, which you can watch above. After that, the social media team got to work. And by “work,” I mean someone’s clearly having the time of their life. The viral-ness of the theme song is just one aspect of their prowess.

They constructed a mascot uniform of the main character from the series and have been posing her in all kinds of situations. Dancing in front of a real deer? Check. Making a parody of some kind of weird inspirational corporate commercial? Check.

“With the mindset of ‘aim for the deer,’ we will create a new future,” the commercial promises. Bud, I’m pretty sure you already have.

Another social media antic the Shikanoko team has pulled: making the voice actors say the oh-so-long name of the show as fast as they possibly can. The results are impressive.

Who’s in this thing, anyway?

While My Deer Friend Nokotan hasn’t even premiered yet, it’s clear that the social media team isn’t the only part of the team giving it their all. Judging from the trailer, Wit Studio’s work looks to be in top form. The series is directed by Masahiko Oota, who began his animation career at MADHOUSE and has recently been directing series like Onipan! for Wit.

There’s some incredibly well-known, well-loved voice talent attached to the show, too. The main character, Noko Shikanoko, is voiced by Megumi Han, who we all know and love as Gon Freecss from Hunter x Hunter. Also attached is Saki Fujita, who provides the voice (and the voice sample) for legendary vocaloid singer Hatsune Miku. Han and Fujita also perform that theme song, which none of us will be able to forget ever again.

When can I finally become deer?

Now that you’re as hyped up as can be for My Deer Friend Nokotan, all that remains is the question of how and when you can watch it.

My Deer Friend Nokotan will premiere on Sunday, July 7, with new episodes every Sunday for the summer season. The show will air in Japan at 11:30PM, which means it should come on streaming in North America some time after 9:30AM ET/6:30AM Pacific. The series will be available to stream on both Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime.

But because it’s My Deer Friend Nokotan we’re talking about here, they’ve even invented a new holiday for us to celebrate: shika no hi, “Deer Day.” The Japanese word for deer, shika, can be broken down to shi (four) and ka (an abbreviation for Tuesday). So Deer Day is now the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Just another example of how My Deer Friend Nokotan is already altering our lives for the better.

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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.