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.
Grape's love became known when he began staring at the image of Hululu — a character in Kemono Friends designed to look like a Humboldt penguin — that had been placed inside the penguin section.
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 — who now is 20 years old — 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.
The penguin and the cutout's relationship was formalized this weekend, when Grape took a picture with Ikuko Chikuta, the voice actress for Hululu.
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.
This post was translated from Japanese.