What is Nekomimi? [Definition, Meaning]

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Japan is known for being very progressive, always thinking outside of the box when it comes to innovative ideas. They've changed the landscape with regards to technology, and even in terms of fashion where they create global trends that leave a mark whereever it goes. There's no arguing that Japan has a very quirky and random approach to many things, but we can all be sure that at some point these things somehow grow to be popular. One of these quirky things is the Nekomimi, which, when translated to English means cat ears or more commonly girls who have cat ears. Now cats have played a significant role in Japan since the earlier periods in the country, and are seen as very sacred creatures as they have a close connection with the spiritual world. This even goes back into Egyptian times when the cat was also a treasured animal because of its close relationship to god.

Now fast forward to today and you'll most likely encounter cats in a number of places in Tokyo, most notably in the cat cafes, since they've grown to become quite the trend here. Many young women enjoy the Nekomimi also because it's a very cute accessory that can be worn along with various wardrobes to create a very stylish look. Nekomimi can take on various forms however, with the more common cat ear accessories you can find at your local shopping mall, to our favorite characters transforming into full felines. In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at most Nekomimi in anime and how big of an impact they've made on the industry as well.

Adorable, fun loving creatures

Cats are very independent animals and don't really require much supervision when it comes to living, so a lot of people respect cats in that regard. Obedient, resilient, and swift, cats are very fun loving to be around since they always have a ton of energy to keep you entertained. Cat girls come in a variety of flavors where some are born with them, while others simply just throw on a pair for some adorable entertainment. They have a personality that closely resembles that of a real cat, which is sometimes accompanied by a tail although not seen as much. The whole purpose behind Nekomimi is that it's supposed to create a feeling of youth, a sense of gentleness, and in some ways, some romanticism. When times feel down you can just summon your favorite catgirl to brighten your day, as their presence alone can cheer up even the most miserable of people.

Asobi ni Iku yo! [Cat Planet Cuties]

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 11, 2010 - September 26, 2010

The anime name itself pretty much sums up the entire section of this article, as that's all cats want to do in their spare time. These playful animals have a passion for adventure and are always curious about their surroundings. In Asobi ni Iku yo! Kio just wants his life to have a little bit more zest, as his typical lifestyle continues to bore him and brings no sense of excitement whatsoever. That all changes immediately when he's greeted by a very attractive cat girl named Eris who is quickly enamored by him, and from there the two embark on a new adventure. Eris came to Earth to discover more about its inhabitants (this explains the curiosity side), and so she decides to bunk with Kio in order to find out more about his lifestyle. Unfortunately for Eris, the government is after her to uncover more information about her type of species, and so now Kio must try to protect her at all costs before it's too late.

This show is all about excitement, mystery, fun, and a sexy cat girl to bring it all together in one complete package. Eris exemplifies the Nekomimi very well as she behaves very much like a real cat would, even down to the mannerisms. You're left in awe as her speech is always in cat tongue, with the typical “Nyan” to emphasize some actions or words. One great example is when, instead of saying なんで? which in Japanese means why or how come, is now transformed into ニャんデ? Which takes on normal Japanese form but is now spoken in cat lingo. Japan listens to many different sounds that certain animals and things make, then turns that into a new language of its own which is incredibly funny and childish at the same time. Nonetheless, spending time with these lovely cat girls is always a treat and so we recommend checking out Asobi ni Iku yo! for all of your laughs.

Asobi ni Iku yo! [Cat Planet Cuties] PV

Show by Rock!!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 5, 2015 – June 21, 2015

If you weren't impressed by our first feline encounter, then you'll most likely be overwhelmed by our next one as Cyan from Show by Rock!! is so adorable that you'll cry. Show by Rock!! is all about music, passion, and Cyan as she tries to live her dream of becoming a famous musician. After spending hours playing her favorite rhythm game, she is then transported into a new world called Midi City where her life starts to take on new form. Everyone within the city are passionate about music, and all of this inspires Cyan as she too dreamed of all this happening at some point in her life. The music within the city is what controls everything, but therein lies the problem, as there is music within Midi City that isn't pure and creates corruption. There's an evil person plotting to plague Midi City and entomb it in darkness, and now Cyan must dig deep within to find her purpose in music, create a band of her own, and bring an end to the evil before it's too late.

Everyone has a passion and when you put all of your focus on it, you can change the world in a remarkable way. Cyan is so adorable that you can't take your eyes off of her, and you just want to root for her to succeed in her dreams. Every scene that she blushes with those cat ears, a little piece of your heart melts and you just want to hug her and never let go. Cyan works so hard throughout the show because of how music has become such an influence on her life, and you can see the excitement in her actions. When she finally gets a chance to create her band, her fun loving side starts to show a lot more, and so too her cat like behaviors. Whenever she smiles, you can see those cute little kitten teeth and the show even went as far as placing a bell under her ribbon just to further exemplify the cat girl persona. This is one show that you definitely do not want to miss out on, because it will take out your heart, and Cyan will use it as an instrument in manipulating your emotions.

Show by Rock!! PV

Swift and ferocious

While cats may generally seem very calm and resilient at times, there are those moments where you need to step out of their way, unless you want face full of claws. These are the times when they lash out either because you're bothering them, or because they have something to protect and you're threatening them. When cats transform into this swift and ferocious being, it's better to just go back to whatever it was that you were doing before you pissed them off. Cats are territorial when it comes to their personal space, so when they start to throw subtle hints at you, start paying close attention. In anime however, the whole landscape changes as now the cat girl is in charge, equipped with some tremendous super power that not only will scratch you, but leave a nice reminder behind to let you know not to mess with them again.

Akame ga Kill [Leone]

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 7, 2014 - December 15, 2014

We did warn you ahead of time that if you got on the wrong side of a cat, they would definitely demonstrate the after effects of such consequence. Akame ga Kill is all about high flying, explosive action that follows the intense life of Tatsumi, as he is recruited to the assassination squad known as Night Raid to take down the corrupt empire. He is teamed up with a variety of other skillful combatants, all of which have their own unique capabilities. In comes the very cute and sultry Leone, who at first looks nothing like cat girl at all, that is until you hurt one of her friends and it's pretty much lights out. There is no catnip in the world that will ever tame the beast that is Leone, as she will tear you limb from limb if you ever get in her way, and she'll be sure to leave a gaping hole in your stomach just for fun.

Akame ga Kill became a popular series back in 2014 because of the wide variety of characters that you could find interest in. Leone was very cool because she really had a great balance of charm and zest, along with her swift and deadly side that came out in the heat of battle. Not only was she a fantastic fighter, but she had a wicked body which provided a positive image for many females, as it proved that women can look sexy and still destroy you at the same time. We only wish that her cat girl form was permanent throughout the show because not only was it sexy, but it was actually quite fashionable with the cat paws and everything.

Akame ga Kill PV

Nekomimi can now be found just about anywhere, not just in your favorite anime, but you can find them wandering around in the video game realm as well. With some examples like Felicia from the Marvel vs Capcom, to Taokaka in the very popular Blazblue series, there's always a lot of cat girls to go around which always create some excitement. The massive popularity with cats will surely not die out soon, as we all know cats have nine lives and it's hard to put these wonderful creatures down. Their adorable looks along with their playful nature make them such a great addition to the household, since you'll never grow bored. If you feel like there are other cute and fun loving Nekomimi characters out there that are purr-fect in your eyes, then make sure to drop them in the comments section down below!

As always, for your sweet anime fill, keep it locked here at Honey's Anime.

Asobi-ni-Iku-yo-Cat-Planet-Cuties-dvd-20160821223527-300x369 What is Nekomimi? [Definition, Meaning]


Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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