Welcome to another episode of Digging Up Positivity. April was a busy month, from Easter Bunnys filling up their cars with gas(?) to the fandom doing amazing things for charity, especially Mark Barks. There is plenty of fun news to wolf down, plus our special guest is Rick Griffin, the mastermind behind the very popular 10 times Ursa Major award winning webcomic Housepets. So without further Adler, I mean, Ado, lets be like a meerkat and dig in!
Voting is open for the 2021 Good Furry Award! Now in its third year, the award is our appreciation of the fans who show our fandom's community spirit. Last year's winner was Ash Coyote, and the 2019 prize went to the late Tony "Dogbomb" Barrett.
This year, over thirty furries have been nominated by their peers. Voting will continue through the end of May, and the winners (one first prize, and three honorable mentions) will be announced in June by Grubbs Grizzly on his "Ask Papabear" advice column website.
The winner will receive a handsome trophy, as well as $500. To cast your vote, go to https://www.askpapabear.com/2021-voting.html. If you're not familiar with some of the nominees, scroll down the page to find a description of who they are!
Nominations for the best work involving anthropomorphic animals in 2020 were taken this February, and the top five in each of fourteen categories were voted on during March.
This year's winners are…
Hayop Ka! ("You Animal!") is an adult 2D animated film from the Philippines, in which all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. Released in 2020, it was directed by Avid Liongoren, who co-wrote it along with Manny Angeles and Paulle Olivenza, and was produced by Rocketsheep Studio and Spring Films.
The story revolves around a cat named Nimfa (played by Angelica Panganiban), who works at a perfume counter in a department store in the city of Manila. She's been living with her boyfriend for over a year, a large, burly mongrel named Roger (played by Robin Padilla) who works as a janitor. She has doubts about their long-term prospects, so when she meets Inigo, a rich, tycoon husky (played by Sam Milby), a love triangle quickly develops. This is a very adult movie! All three want to have an active sexual life, with varying degrees of commitment.
The Cóyotl Awards are awarded annually by the Furry Writers' Guild to recognize excellence in anthropomorphic literature. This year there's a new award category! "Other Work", for things that exemplify the best in furry writing in a way that doesn't fit into the other categories.
This list of games is definitely not going to be comprehensive. The Roblox and VR scenes are largely a mystery to me, although I know there's been an ongoing concern about avatars being ripped in VRChat. I won't be covering furry mods for existing games. Some things have been left out because there are simply too many to choose from, like Fortnite skins and a lot of visual novels. Not to mention all the games with animal characters in the background, like I Am Dead and Shovel Knight.
So after some renewed delving into the topic, I've put together a selection of games with animal characters that have come out in the past couple of years, as well as possible upcoming releases. Leave a comment if you have any recommendations - or warnings!
Well, here's one for dronon's list.
Capcom's Monster Hunter franchise has been around since 2004, and the title is self-explanatory. There are monsters. The player hunts them. These monsters aren't particularly anthropomorphic, but feature nice creature design, which furs appreciate, if the popularity of franchises like Pokémon and How to Train Your Dragon are anything to judge by.
And in Monster Hunter Rise, released in March for the Nintendo Switch, there are anthropomorphic animals in the form of the player's companions and helpers on the hunt, Palicoes and Palamutes. The former are cats who perform a variety of roles; while the latter are dogs, not anthro in form but probably sentient - though they are, well, mute. Together, they fight monsters!
Do feline puns make you cat-atonic or drive you to hiss-teria? Then this game is not for you and you can move on. However if you can’t get enough of the purrfect punny feline punchlines, and like going on a dungeon crawling adventure with action RPG mechanics then carry on.
Cat Quest is a very streamlined and slick action RPG with a catty protagonist. Or at least their spirit companion is, as for the hero themselves they are traditionally silent. However, the other Non-Playable Cats (hereby refurred to as NPCs) are loaded with charm, purrsonality, and the aforementioned cat puns.
Keeping up with Flayrah's decades-long tradition of not reviewing (or even covering) animated shows until well after it's necessary, let's discuss Helluva Boss, a show about the misadventures of four demons from Hell who work as assassins.
I'd say most of Flayrah's audience is well aware of Helluva Boss. It would have won the 2020 Ursa Major Award for Best Dramatic Series, but then Beastars had to be translated into English, so never mind. Flayrah has a piece on Beastars currently planned for 2023. Furthermore, Helluva Boss is free on YouTube, and unlike My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, that's actually on purpose.
Granted there's only one character who is truly furry, and that's Loona the Hellhound. To be fair, she is really furry. On e621, "loona_(vivzmind)" results in over 2000 hits, so that's not too bad. To be less fair, she has the smallest role of the four main characters, to the point where her entire appearance in the second episode consists of her screaming obscenities offscreen. And in the episode that features her for any extended period of time, she's magically disguised as a human for the majority of it.
That being said, I'm still going to recommend furries at least try the series, because it features interesting non-human (if not exactly furry) character design. It has pretty good animation for a free YouTube series, and although it's got a dark, cynical sense of humor, it balances that with a strong moral center. That last one may come as a surprise, seeing as how the premise of the show is that the characters' job is to kill people.
The adventure genre can sometimes seem a bit prehistoric, but that works just fine when your adventure game is about dinosaurs.
Zniw Adventure, developed by an independent two-person Polish team, hits on all the right nostalgic marks as it tells the story of a yellow dino by the name of Zniw (pronounced Zniff), and her journey to get home in time for her mother’s birthday.
But will this game give the genre new life like a mosquito from Jurassic Park? Or will the game make you wish games like this would go extinct? It will more likely be the former if you're a fan of a good point and click.