From Virtual Japan
Animal Yokocho (Animaru Yokochō) is a manga, or Japanese comic, that was created by Ryo Maekawa. It was first released in 1999 and is still being published in a magazine called Ribon. An anime was created about the manga and ran from 2005 until 2006 with a total of 51 episodes. Animal Yokocho is one of the few mangas that is a joint Korean and Japanese manga, aimed at young girls. Animal Yokocho won at the 51st Shogakukan Manga Awards for the best children’s manga.
Ami is a normal little girl who has a room that is not so normal. In her room there is a door that is mounted to the floor. When she opens the door, she discovers that the door is the pathway to a world known as AniYoko. AniYoko is a world in which stuffed animals live. They go through the door and enter intot he human world. Most of the stuffed animals are sweet, but some are a little annoying.
- Ami – Ami is the main character of Animal Yokocho. She is a five year old who discovers that there is a door in the floor of her new room that is connected to Aniyoko, a strange world that is inhabited by living stuffed animals. Ami is most often visited by three specific stuffed animals. She is an intelligent young girl who is easily flustered.
- Iyo–Iyo - Iyo-Iyo is a stuffed rabbit who visits Ami by going through the door in her floor. She has the ability to create energy between her ears, and can also store drinks and other strange objects inside her ears. She is very cheerful and is also very vain. She is easily insulted, and pretends to die whenever she is neglected, but comes back to life as soon as she is given an apology.
- Kenta – Kenta is a stuffed bear. He is often very rude and acts like he hates Iyo, In fact, the two are much closer than they appear at first. He wears a red muffler and is the one who often gives the punch line at the end of the jokes.
- Issa – Issa is a stuffed panda who is always trying to keep the peace between Kenta and Iyo. He is the calm one who feels things deeply.
- Yamanami – Yamanami is a horse who appears to be the leader of Aniyoko. He has been called Commander Yamanami and usually appears, makes a demand, and then leaves. Yamanami also operates a black market service in which he delivers goods, occasionally to Ami’s room.
- Ku-chan Ku-chan - Ku-chan Ku-chan is Ami’s first friend when she moves. She is able to see the stuffed animals and shares in some of Ami’s adventures. She is scared of Yananami due to an accident she had with a horse earlier on, and does not like to have anything to do with him.
- Ami’s Parents – Ami’s parents are often heard, but never seen. They do not seem to know about the door to AniYoko, but do seem to notice whenever one of the adventures that Ami and the trio have goes awry.