Gijinka (擬人化) / Humanization

Gijinka (擬人化) / Humanization

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Updated Dec 12, 2014 at 12:00PM EST by Alex Mercer.

Added Dec 05, 2011 at 06:01PM EST by RandomMan.

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Gijinka (擬人化; Western term Humanization) is the Japanese meaning of “humanoid”, “personification”, or “anthropomorphic”[1]. Rather than referring to just any animal with human characteristics, a gijinka is most often a fan re-design of an animal-like character in a human or humanoid form. The characters often seem to wear a cosplay of the base character rather than having real animal features, which can also be found back in real life cosplay of those characters.

Gijinka vs. Anthropomorphism

Gijinka originated as a form of anthropomorphism. One personifies non-human things such as animals, inanimate objects, and phenomena by attaching human characteristics and traits. The term was first recorded in 1753.[2]

There is no real guideline where gijinka ends and anthropomorphism begins, but gijinka can be seen as a bridge between kemonomimi[3] and anthro characters or as an anthro style that is acceptable in both the Furry and the anime community.

However, in particular, when the key features of anthropomorphism is to make the character “moe”, phenomena is more specifically known as “moe anthropomorphism”.[5] (See Moe)


Probably one of the most popular fads for gijinka originates from Pokémon. The fad for Pokémon gijinka traces back to a Japanese website where one artist posted gijinka versions the original 150 Pokémon. Since then the artist has expanded to have the database include everything up to 4th generation Pokémon. The images likely gained a lot of popularity on 4chan’s /cgl/ and /vp/ boards, but were also fairly popular on cosplay sites. A lot of the current cosplays and fanart for Pokémon gijinka are based on the designs from these works. [4]

Since a lot of people had trouble navigating the Japanese website, most of the images were also re-uploaded onto various sites.


There is also the hacked version of Pokémon known as Moemon where all the in game sprites have been edited to make the Pokémon into “moe” characters. Several of the trainers have also been changed to anime characters such as Hatsune Miku.

External References

[1]Wikipedia – Anthropomorphic

[2]Merriam Webster Online – Anthropomorhism

[3]Wikifur – Kemonomimi

[4] – Pokemon Gijinka Database

[5]Wikipedia – Moe anthropomorphism

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