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Last checked: September 21, 2016
+Anima (プラス アニマ, Purasu Anima) is an internationally-published ten-volume manga series by Natsumi Mukai. The story is about four kemonomimi characters — outcasts who are searching for others of their kind.
The plot revolves around four +Anima children: Cooro, Husky, Senri, and Nana. Brought together by their +Anima powers, they search for others like themselves and a place to belong. Along the way, they encounter villains and friends alike, as well as other +Anima.
In the +Anima fantasy world, Astaria (a primarily desert land with European influence), some humans have an unusual gift that grants them the ability to morph one or more of their body parts, such as limbs, into a form of an animal's body part. Some are capable of even more radical changes, such as growing wings or full-body transformation. The transformation processes are very fast, and occur at the user's will. When inactive, the morphed areas revert back to normal, leaving the person's clothing and body completely untouched. The only visual mark of this ability appears on the body of the person, in the form of a black birthmark ( tattoo-like marking that determines their +anima). Occasionally, the user bears some behavioral characteristics of their animal, but this is not very common. +Anima are not treated kindly by the "normal" humans. Therefore, when some are treated bad enough or have a taken over neglected feeling, their anima often takes over them.
All who have such an ability are collectively referred to as +Anima. The +Anima are capable of controlling their powers at will. Their abilities range widely — including, but not limited to, superhuman strength, agility, and reflexes, as well as heightened senses, and the growth of physical features such as fur, claws, wings etc. All of these originate from the characteristics of a +Anima's animal. Every +Anima bears the characteristics of only a single animal. Some who have been experimented contain two or more +Anima, each alone, or the two or more +Anima might fuse together to create a different or whole new +Anima. These experiments make the user's body a permanent animal trait such as a tail and claws pop out of the user when they are angry, embarrassed, or scared.
The origin of this phenomenon is rumored to come from the Kim-un-kur, a type of tribe(s). the criteria for one to become a +Anima is being slowly revealed. The main one of which are; 1) They are usually children below age 14 2) they are very close to death or in a desperate situation. The Kim-un-kur seem to break these criteria, as they seem to voluntarily equip their anima and do not seem to vanish under the criteria under special experiments.
There are different theories how an animal is chosen for a +Anima. It is also possible for +Anima to be implanted into someone or the person done experiments on. Lyra was originally a normal human, but had said she was implanted with her recently disappeared swallow anima by Fly Greena Aight, a royal researcher in Astaria. In other words, naturally given +Anima are like birthmarks - they are more permanent and bestowed to them naturally. An implanted anima is not like the real thing and can fade over time.
The +Anima's powers are not understood by the normal people, and the +Anima are subject to negative prejudice. Similar to the X-Men of Marvel Comics, they are feared as monsters, and even hated by some. Some are envious of such powers and seek to gain control over them. Thus, afraid of the negative reaction from others, most +Anima tend to hide their true powers whenever possible, although Cooro doesn't seem as ashamed of his powers as the others. He actually tends to love, cherish, and show off his +Anima powers.
The treatment of +Anima differs greatly in Astaria and Sailand, the two major countries in the +Anima world. In Astaria, +Anima are treated in various ways. More commonly they are treated with suspicion or dislike, not necessarily hate, although some in the army see them as enemies. However, later in the series Astaria does try to recruit +Anima to work in the army, as to make use of their abilities. On the other hand, in Sailand, +Anima are valuable slaves, for example; Crystala (Husky's aunt, the twin sister of the king of Sailand) buying Senri for 7000 gillas (1 gilla = 100 billers, 1 biller = 1 yen). They are looked down on and seen as less than humans. They work for their masters and are arrested by hunters and sold in slave markets if they have no master (which happened to Husky at one point). To identify them as slaves, they are forced to wear collar- like choker]s with their masters symbol.
Another reason +Anima can be considered outcasts and dangerous is the fact that their anima can get stronger over continuous use for daily life, even to the point where individuals eventually (most likely involuntarily) give up their human sanity and become more and more like the animal they were bestowed.
There is also indication that they it may be possible for them to lose their powers, such as the blacksmith's wife. This usually occurs when they reach adulthood, or when they do not need their anima any more.
It is later revealed that researcher Fry Greena Aight took Cooro to the research center years ago. Cooro later left with orders from Fry to find other +Anima and bring them to him, however it is suggested that Cooro deliberately forgot since he preferred traveling with the others. When visiting the orphanage where Cooro grew up, Nana and Husky find a tunnel underneath the church altar which leads them to where Blanca, a girl with an angel +Anima is stored in a tank. She is later revealed to be an artificial lifeform created years ago, found under the research centre. It is revealed that Fry has been removing +Animas and implanting them into Blanca. As Cooro promised to give Fly his +Anima when he was older, Fly implants it into himself, whilst Cooro goes to where his mother died where the others find him. Blanca is accidentally revealed to the King and his officials, she flies away, and Fly reveals his black wings and flies after Blanca. However his +Anima implant disappears, it is assumed he fell to his death, and the +Anima reverts back to Cooro. The children go to live with Harden the blacksmith.
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