Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-10 14:43 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier
New revelations about the relationship between C.J. and Flick have become a hot topic among Animal Crossing fans.
*The first half of this article is a summary of their relationship up to the new Ver2.0 update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The second half enters spoiler territory for the update and the new paid DLC.
The bug and fish loving pair
Flick is a young male chameleon who’s love for the beauty of bugs knows no bounds. He’s an artistic type who will not only pay for your insects, but also make models of them. C.J.is a cheery young male beaver that enjoys traveling from island to island taking selfies and catching fish. It’s also possible to give him a fish to get a model of it.
But C.J. doesn’t make the models himself. He leaves that to none other than Flick. When it comes to C.J. and Flick’s relationship, C.J. says their families have been friends for a long time and that they are currently roommates. From this, we can gather that C.J. recognizes Flick’s model-making skills and that they are on good terms.
There are various interpretations about the relationship between the two. One interesting difference is how they are perceived in Japan and internationally. In the Japanese version, when explaining about the model making process, C.J. says he asks his artist “friend” to make the models, referring to Flick as a friend. However, in the English version he uses “my partner.”
Partner is a word that can mean multiple things. It could be used to mean something like fellow worker or collaborator but is also commonly used to refer to a lover or spouse. For this reason, there are players that think they’re just friends and players that think they are in a romantic relationship. It’s a unique situation where multiple interpretations were born from the wording across different regions for the game.
However, the official guidebook outside of Japan refers to them as “business partners.” The word choice here doesn’t make them sound all that close and muddies the water even more as to how close they are and what their relationship is.
And it’s with this in mind that we jump into the new Ver2.0 free update and Happy Home Paradise DLC that launched this November to learn even more about their relationship.
[The following contains spoilers for the free Ver2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise DLC.]
The new content reminds us just how close they are
First, let’s talk about the paid Happy Home Paradise DLC. In the DLC, players can invite island residents to a resort to build them their ideal vacation home. It’s also possible to make these homes for specific characters by using amiibo. As for C.J. and Flick, they are available to be called via their cards in the Animal Crossing Series 5 Amiibo Cards set.
What’s interesting about calling them to the resort is that if you call one, the other will automatically come along and be designated as their roommate. Even if you only have one of their amiibo cards, the result will be the same. And how persistent they are about bringing the other one along shows just how close they are.
We also get a chance to learn more about C.J. and Flick at The Roost, which is a café in the museum where villagers go to get coffee and chat about what’s going on in their lives in more detail. And like the vacation home, it’s possible to call C.J. and Flick to the café with amiibo cards. And also like before, if you call one of them, the other tags along.
After a bug catching or fishing contest, they each stop by The Roost to wind down alone. But it also looks like they enjoy stopping by for a coffee together. There’s also a conversation where they talk about their schedules not aligning which means they can’t have coffee together at home very often, and another where we find out that Flick made C.J.’s fishing lure.
Bonds that cross generations
It’s also possible to call C.J. and Flick’s fathers to The Roost as well. C.J.’s father is Chip, a beaver that hosted the fishing contests in past titles. If you call Chip to the café, C.J. will come too, and players can listen to a private conversation between the father and son. It’s charming to see Chip happy that his son is doing well after moving out.
In this scene, C.J. mentions how he and Flick have a strong visual interest in fish and bugs unlike their parent’s generation who are more concerned about taste, which Flick doesn’t approve of. C.J. then ponders that even within a family, values can vary between individuals, which is rather mature from the normally lighthearted C.J.
Then there’s Flick’s father Nat. Nat is a character from past titles that hosted the bug catching contests. Like Chip, you can meet him for the first time in a long time by using his amiibo card. And like C.J. and Chip, if you call Nat, his son will… not be joining him, contrary to what you might expect. Instead, his old friend Chip comes along.
Nat is a mild-mannered character like Chip and is concerned about his son. However, it sounds like there’s some trouble between them. While the father and son both like bugs, there’s a divergence in the way they think about them. When considering what C.J. said earlier and Flick stating that bugs aren’t food, Nat and Flick seem to have differing opinions on whether bugs are to be eaten or not.
For this reason, Nat isn’t really able to communicate with his son and learns about how he’s doing through Chip. In other words, C.J. keeps his own father updated on how Flick is doing. C.J. acting as a sort of go-between for Nat and Flick adds yet another sad, but deeper layer to their relationship.
Thanks to the newly added content, we’re able to get an even better look at the relationship between C.J. and Flick. When you add the complicated relationship with their parents, it shows just how strong the bond is between them. With what we’ve learned through these updates, some news outlets (such as Kotaku and TheGamer) are reporting that it insinuates they’re a couple, but fans still seem divided on if they’re just friends or in a relationship.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons having characters whose backgrounds we can freely speculate about demonstrates the open-minded nature of the game. And beside C.J. and Flick, these updates also bring out the humanity (animal-anity?) of the other animals and make it fun to jump back in and interact with them again.