An islander is an inhabitant that lives in Animal Island, an island that was introduced in the updated port of the original Doubutsu no Mori, titled Animal Crossing. Despite the different name, Islanders are no different from the mainland villagers, with the exception of slightly different dialogue and behaviors. In Doubutsu no Mori e+, however, no islanders are present on the island by default, including the original Animal Crossing islanders, and can only be brought to the island through the use of their e-Reader cards.
There are 36 islanders in total, starting with the original 18 islanders in Animal Crossing. Doubutsu no Mori e+, an extended update to Animal Crossing, adds an additional eighteen islanders. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, only six islanders appear, now as normal villagers. Animal Crossing: City Folk sees a return of four more islanders absent in Animal Crossing: Wild World, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf sees a return of six more islanders, including an additional six in the game's Welcome amiibo update.
Islanders are no different than normal villagers, as both have the same personality types and general interaction. However, the lazy, cranky, and normal islanders exhibit a unique behavior from their mainland counterparts. For instance, cranky villagers behave in a similar manner to the smug personality introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and may have been the inspiration for that personality's creation. Normal islanders are also very down-to-earth and ancient-sounding, using phrases such as "heed my words" or that they "had a dream" of a certain event. However, they are also childish and airheaded, speaking of living in "a fairy tale" or describing their feelings in extreme detail. Lazy villagers behave the complete opposite of their mainland counterparts, stating a love for adventure and exploration, stubbornly stating that "they listen to no one", making them more similar to the cranky personality.
Unlike villagers, islanders' houses have either very little to no furniture, and thus will request specific furniture from the player to decorate them. If the player gives them the requested furniture, they will use that furniture to decorate their house, and will express their gratitude by giving the player a special gift only obtainable from them. All of the Doubutsu no Mori e+ islanders request the same furniture as the original Animal Crossing islanders, the only difference being the wallpaper and flooring (For instance, Madam Rosa in e+ requests the same items normally requested by Ankha in Animal Crossing, except for the ancient wallpaper and flooring, as Ankha would request). The female islanders also wear Red Aloha Shirts by default, while the male islanders wear Blue Aloha Shirts. Additionally, prior to e+, all female islanders (with the exception of Ankha) wear a hibiscus in their hair, a common tradition in pacific island culture, while Cranky islanders wear a straw hat. This does not change between islanders.
Game Boy Advance Connection
If a connection between the Nintendo GameCube and the Game Boy Advance is present, the player can interact with the islander on the Game Boy Advance via a small minigame. For this minigame, each islander has one favorite fruit and one fruit they are allergic to. If the player gives the islander a favorite fruit, they will drop Bells or NES games, which can be collected upon return to the island. However, if the allergic fruit is given to them, they will become angered and not give any more bells. This can also be done by repeatedly tapping on the islander, which will annoy them. Additionally, If a tool is dropped, the islander can use that tool to perform certain actions. For instance, if the player gives them a fishing rod, they will use it to catch fish, or they will chop down trees if given an axe. Nets can be used to catch the items that hover past the island. This feature is removed in Doubutsu no Mori e+, due to the player no longer requiring a linked Game Boy Advance to access the island.