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This Story About A Penguin Falling In Love With An Anime Cutout Is An Oscar-Worthy Love Story

The love story shaking the Humboldt penguin world.

Posted on May 22, 2017, at 10:46 a.m. ET

A Humboldt penguin at Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Japan, has caused a stir on social media by apparently being in love with an anime character cutout.

ๆฑๆญฆๅ‹•็‰ฉๅ…ฌๅœ’ๆไพ› / Via Twitter: @tobuzoo7

Grape's love became known when he began staring at the image of Hululu โ€” a character in Kemono Friends designed to look like a Humboldt penguin โ€” that had been placed inside the penguin section.

Twitter: @tobuzoo7

The figure was in the enclosure as part of a collaboration the zoo is currently doing with Kemono Friends.

However, zoo staff told BuzzFeed News that Grape's love life has not been a happy one. Grape came to Tobu Zoo 10 years ago, coupled with Midori, a female who still lives in the same penguin section.

But Midori left Grape โ€” who now is 20 years old โ€” for a younger penguin. Since being dumped, Grape has drifted further and further away from the group.

While it is difficult to totally ~verify~ Grape's feelings for Hululu, staff at the zoo said that Grape's nesting habits suggest he is definitely a fan.

Twitter: @sakaki68k

"Grape has definitely started going to that spot since we installed [the cutout]," the keepers said. "He might have mistaken it for staff, but it's certain that he goes there because he's attracted to something."

The penguin and the cutout's relationship was formalized this weekend, when Grape took a picture with Ikuko Chikuta, the voice actress for Hululu.

ใƒˆใƒผใ‚ฏใ‚ทใƒงใƒผๆฅใฆใใ ใ•ใฃใŸ็š†ใ•ใ‚“ใ€ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ—ใŸ๏ผ ใ‚„ใพใ ใŠใซใ„ใ•ใ‚“ใ€ใ‚ฐใƒฌใƒผใƒ—ใใ‚“ใ€ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ—ใŸ๐Ÿงโœจ #ๆฑๆญฆๅ‹•็‰ฉๅ…ฌๅœ’ #ใ‘ใ‚‚ใฎใƒ•ใƒฌใƒณใ‚บ

The love story has inspired people around the world. Some have created fan art of the unlikely couple, even imagining situations where they could be together IRL.

Truly the love story of the year.


ใƒ•ใƒซใƒซใจใšใฃใจไธ€็ท’ใซใ„ใŸใ„ใ‚ฐใƒฌใƒผใƒ—ใใ‚“ใใฎ๏ผ’ #ใ‘ใ‚‚ใฎใƒ•ใƒฌใƒณใ‚บ ใ€€#ๆฑๆญฆๅ‹•็‰ฉๅ…ฌ

This post was translated from Japanese.