Friends (フレンズ), sometimes called Animal Girls, are a hybrid between animal wildlife and humans. They serve as the focus of all Kemono Friends media, living inside Japari Park in harmony.
To read about specific Friends, check out its category listing.
A Friend is formed when the mysterious material known as Sandstar makes contact with organic bodies or the remains of them. The Sandstar then either mutates the animal into a Friend or builds it from what may be left. This includes extinct species, recreated by Sandstar from fossils.
Generally Friends are born after Sandstar Eruptions, but there have been cases of Friends appearing after specific encounters with Sandstar as well.
A Friend is given all physical attributes required to match a human. This includes human ears, eyes, vocal coords and the ability to move bipedal regardless of what the Friend might have been like as an animal. This makes it so that all Friends can communicate and be compatible with each other, regardless of what their lives were like as animals.
Friends still retain things such as horns, claws, tails and natural abilities they had as animals, making each Friend unique and different despite appearing similar to each other. Interestingly, any fur, scales or skin that's notably different from human skin that might have been on the animal is transformed into wearable pieces of clothing by the Sandstar.