5

Dozens of fantasy and isekai stories have the one-horn-rabbit as a staple beginner's monster.

Horned rabbit in the Re:Monster manga

Some examples:

  1. Re:Monster (day 4)
  2. I Said Make My Abilities Average! (ch. 19)
  3. Kenshi o Mezashite Nyūgaku Shitanoni Mahō Tekisei 9999 Nandesukedo!? (web novel ch. 22)
  4. Nidoume no Jinsei wo Isekai de (ch. 23)
  5. Saikyou no Shokugyou wa Yuusha demo Kenja demo naku Kanteishi (Kari) rashii desu yo? (ch. 2)

What is the origin of this monster, and why is it so common?

6

It's possibly a reference to Bunicorn, an early-stage recurring enemy in Dragon Quest series.

bunicorn

Bunicorns are rabbits with a single horn, parodying the fabled unicorns. They have gray fur, and the horn is often a yellowish brown shade. [...].

As enemies typically encountered at the start of a game, Bunicorns are not particularly strong, though they typically outweigh the likes of Slimes [...].

The creature first appeared on Dragon Quest III in 1988 (Japanese NES release).

Considering that Dragon Quest is really popular in Japan, I think this is the most possible reason for using it as a beginner's monster, as an alternative to Slime.

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  • Yes, there are tons of DQ references in the novels. I think you are corrrect. – Mindwin Jun 2 '18 at 21:11
3

They're called Al-mi'raj. And they have been around for hundreds of years. Dragon Quest is only the first game to include them in.

Series could just be using them as a starting monster as a simple DQ reference... But it could also be because they're like one the most easiest fantasy animal to kill. The most they can do is scare off wild animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-mi%27raj#cite_note-:0-1

Wiki doesn't go into much detail about them. So here's another website just in case you're curious to know more.

https://abookofcreatures.com/2015/04/15/miraj/

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