Ai (あい) is the main protagonist in Dōbutsu no Mori. She appears to represent the player from the Animal Crossing series. When she moves to Animal Village, she is hired by Tom Nook. Tom Nook quickly puts her to work by asking her to run errands for him. During the course of running Tom Nook's errands, Ai befriends many villagers such as Whitney, Rosie, and Margie. She soon encounters and befriends a young boy named Yū. Ai seemed to be scared of Apollo.
Ai has ruby colored high pigtails and large mauve eyes with small black eyelashes. Ai initially wears the Blossom Dress with blue and white striped stockings and red shoes which have a heart-shaped design. Unlike the Player character from the series leading up to City Folk, both her and Yū don't have a perfect red triangle nose like the Player character would normally have, instead, they have a more natural kind of nose commonly seen in anime art styles such as this.
- In Japanese and Chinese, "ai" means "love".
- When Ai and Yu's names in Japanese are put together, it means "friendship" (友愛).
- Ai and Yu's names may also be a pun on "I" and "you".
- At the beginning of the movie, Ai's suitcase was carried by hand. Later, it was seen rolling on wheels.
- Ai's voice actress is Yui Horie, who is known for her various voice works in video games and anime, as well as being a popular singer in Japan.
- Ai lacks the triangular nose that the player character usually has.
- Yui Horie, Ai's voice actress also voiced Minori Kushieda from Toradora!, Kouko Kaga from Golden Time and Eri Sawachika from School Rumble.
- It's possible for players to recreate Ai in-games, most notably: City Folk, New Leaf, Happy Home Designer, and New Horizons.
- Ai states that she likes the rain when Kapp'n talks about the rain. This is the only one of Kappn's questions answered by her, but to have a character with her starting shirt in-game, the player must agree that rain is bad.