Since last year was a veritable dumpster fire, many of us have turned to the comfort of nostalgia to see us through, which included looking back on the trends of yesteryear to keep ourselves afloat and motivated. From fashion and electronics to picking old hobbies back up, the years and decades past were ripe for the picking. But with the start of a new year comes new things to be excited about and new old trends to look back on. And the newest nostalgic trend to recently rise from the grave? Gloomy Bear.
Gloomy Bear was an alternative staple in the early 2000s, along with mascots like Happy Bunny, for their cute-with-an-edge aesthetic. Parents not letting you go full goth or emo or scene? Never fear! Throw a dash of color and a cute animal in, and they just might let it slide. Gloomy Bear was instantly recognizable, with bright pink fur, guileless Hello Kitty styled eyes, and a maw and claws dripping with bright red blood.
Originally created by artist Mori Chack, Gloomy Bear exploded in popularity across Japan and the West. And while Gloomy Bear’s overall popularity faded in the West faster than the fear of Y2K, it has remained steady in Japan for the last twenty years. Steady enough in fact, that the franchise is celebrating those twenty years with a new TV anime. Titled Gloomy the Naughty Grizzly, the anime will most likely cover the antics of Gloomy Bear and his well-meaning but very naive and extremely resilient owner Pitty. For those unfamiliar with their origins, the announcement trailer for the anime helpfully provides a bit of backstory.
The anime is scheduled to release in April 2021, with notable voice actors Koichi Yamadera (aka Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop) and Natsuki Hanae (Tanjiro from Demon Slayer) as our leads. While there’s no information on when or if the anime will make it to the West, it’s certainly exciting to think of the possible revival of Gloomy Bear’s popularity in the West.