Nekomimi - Characters with cat ears

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You know Nekomimi or Kemonomimi? These are ears of cats or other animals that are quite successful in anime. In this article we will delve into the origin behind the countless animal-eared characters in anime and Japan.

Nowadays it is common to find these items to sell, and any character can have a kitten ear. Nekomimi [猫耳] literally means ears [耳] of cats [猫], not much to talk about the meaning of the word.

The ears of cats are present in anime as accessories or as half-animal characters. Nekomimi is categorized as a MOE element and is often used by Maids in their cafes and in various cosplays.

What are Cat Girls?

A Catgirl is a character that has mainly human characteristics (hair, skin and body type), but she has some physical characteristics of a cat, usually ears, tail, eyes and sometimes claws or even a natural bikini.

What differentiates a cat from an anthropomorphic one is that she only looks superficially feline. Catgirl is female stereotyped, although there are Catboys. (They are usually found in Yaoi) or are depicted effeminate in animes.

Cat girls generally follow the stereotypes of feline animals associated with cats, specifically females. Cats generally tend to be sexualized and or follow Moe's traits to better attract audiences.

Most hot girls have biological characteristics, but characters who do not have these characteristics can have a hair band with cat ears, a fake cat tail, fluffy fangs, fake cat paws, claw-like nails.

In order to imitate a cat, they start hitting a moving object with their fingers folded inward to mimic the rounded appearance of a cat's paw. As a bonus, some lick their fake paw.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

How did the Cat Ears come about?

Cats are a passion of Japan, the most beloved animals in the world and the country. There are even cat shrines mirrored by Japan, in their culture cats are also instruments of luck.

The first example of the female-cat hybrid is Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of cats, of protection, joy, dance, music and love. In Japanese culture, some animals have a tendency to turn into humans or vice versa, such as the famous Kitsune.

In Japan, yokai cats they were mentioned in the Kamakura era in descriptions such as Fujiwara Sadaie's diary, "Meigetsuki". Cat characters appeared in Kagura and Kyogen. In the Edo period a cat is mentioned in Tokudo Nakago 53.

The first reports of cat ears in humans in modern Japanese literature were published in 1924 by Kenji MIyazawa as The Snow Ears Cat [Yukibango] in "The fourth of the month of Narcissus".

They say that the first girl with cat ears in Japanese manga was drawn in “Cotton no Kunisei”, serialized in 1978, but one theory is that the first nekomimi dos manga is an heiress to “Cavaleiro da Fita” by Osamu Tezuka in 1963.

There are examples of Irish legends like the fairy Kett Shee or films like "Cat in Boots", that cats speak human language. In addition, anthropomorphic cats have appeared in films such as "Galaxy Railroad Night".

Sometimes prostitutes in the Edo period were portrayed as a cat character, as a feline cat prostitute. In fact, what brought the popularity of cat ears in anime was the genre of games and hentai anime.

In 1976, a Japanese translation of the SF tale “Never Return Ku Mel's Ballad” (written by Code Weiner Smith) was published. This was the catalyst for the cat ear character to be recognized and popularized in Japan.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Kemonomimi - Animal Ears

Known in Japan as “kemonomimi”[獣耳] are the most dramatically anthropomorphized characters, who look virtually human, but have the additional characteristics of an animal's ears and tail.

A little bestial but not hairy, soft or scaly, and must still have human skin, a human face, a completely human nose and a human skull and trunk structure. Essentially, they look like you putting on fake rabbit ears.

Additional features such as claws, horns, animal eyes, fluffy fangs or special abilities such as that animal's instincts may also be present. In the universe, they exhibit the same mannerisms as humans, like wearing clothes.

They are generally considered to be a distinct species in their own right. Notably, the hair tends to cover the sides of the head where human ears would normally be located, thus avoiding some dilemmas.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Why Animal Ears?

In Fiction and Mythology, it's not surprising to see characters with non-standard ears. Having non-human ears is a common way of indicating that a character is not completely human, be it an alien, supernatural or modified being.

Pointed ears are by far the most common type, having been associated with everything from demons, elves, magical fairies and even Vulcans. In Japan, the ability to hear very well is called jigokumimi, which translates as “ears of hell”.

Animal ears, including cat ears, are easy to spread, because the animal's characteristics can be easily transmitted simply by drawing the ears. Enabling the creation of races, aliens and magical creatures.

Like time, even cat-related characters originally drawn without cat ears have come to have cat ears. This includes even historical characters like yokais of cats mentioned at the beginning of the article.

With the popularization of cat ears characters, more and more characters simply put cat ears on young women. Children also get various products like clothes and sweatshirts related to animal ears.

In addition to the ears, the term neko or catgirl has spread in such a way that it is common for characters to have cats' paws and tails. Rarely do anime characters have a more animal than human appearance, limiting themselves to just those details.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Nekomimi, Catgirls and Kemonomimi anime

We’ve previously written about animal animes and anthropomorphic monster girl anime, most of them have moe characters with cat ears or Kemonomimi. Check out my Nekomimi anime recommendation now:

Dog Days - Full of Kemonomimi

In the magical land of Flonyard, inhabitants with animal ears fight each other for resources in harmless war games. One region, Biscotti, fought bravely, but is on the verge of financial ruin when his princess, Millhiore, summons Shinku, a high school student. 

Millhiore and Shinku make a terrible discovery: those who are summoned cannot return home! Now, while Shinku continues to train and fight for Biscotti, he and the others must also try to find a way for the boy to return one day to his loving friends and family.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss is a mythological anime romance shoujo and comedy. Anime tells the story of Nanami, a girl who was evicted from her home because of her gambling father, who abandoned her and ran away with many debts. 

While wandering the streets, Nanami encounters a man who, learning about his history, offers his home to her to live in, which is actually an abandoned temple in which she becomes a deity of this place.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Monogatari Series

A confusing and very popular series that is divided into several different anime, we need to do even one guide to watch monogatari. Among the characters we have a girl half crab, cat, jellyfish, vampire and some other unusual.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Spice and Wolf - Ookami to Koushinryou

A young man finds in his wagon a goddess named Holo, who is over 600 years old. Holo appears to be a young human, except for having a pair of ears and a tail that are similar to those of a wolf. 

Presenting herself as the goddess of the harvests of Pasloe, she reveals that she was responsible for blessing the village with abundant wheat crops for many years, after making a promise to a villager there in the past. 

Villagers are increasingly losing their faith in Holo and developing their own farming methods, becoming independent. As a result, Holo finds himself isolated and falls into solitude, as he feels that the residents no longer need her.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

List of Anime by Nekomimi and Kemonomimi

Animal Girls Anime Name Date
The Rising of the Shield Hero2019
Kamisama Kiss2012
Spice and Wolf2008
InuYasha: The Final Act2009
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid2017
Poco's Udon World2016
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits2018
Utawarerumono2006
Otome Youkai Zakuro2010
InuYasha2000
The Helpful Fox Senko-san2019
Gugure! Kokkuri-san2014
Konohana Kitan2017
Time, Mimi ga Mieteru yo!2018
Seton Academy: Join the Pack!2020
Dog Days'2012
Omamori Himari2010
Uma Musume: Pretty Derby2018
Pototeyo2007
Our Home's Fox Deity2008
The Diary of a Crazed Family2008
Show By Rock !! #2016
Kemono Michi: Rise Up2019
Dog Days2011
Dragon Crisis!2011
Cat Planet Cuties2010
Hyper Police1997
Show By Rock !! Mashumairesh !!2020
NEKOPARA TV2020
Show By Rock !!2015
Loveless2005
Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-2009
Cuticle Detective Inaba2013
Kanokon2008
Uchitama ?! Have you seen my Tama?2020
Mysteria Friends2019
Nyanko Days2017
Tokyo Mew Mew2002
Etotama2015
Centaur's Life2017
Nekogami Yaoyorozu2011
Umayon2020
Sengoku Night Blood2017
Leviathan: The Last Defense2013
Magical Meow Meow Taruto2001
Waresho! Warera! Shoudoubutsu Aigo Iinkai2019
Hentatsu (2020)2020
Nyamen2014
Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Anime characters with cats ears

What are the most popular anime characters with cat ears? Most are women, but there are some male characters. below we will display a list of characters with nekomimi in order of popularity:

Neko's nameAnime Name
HoloSpace and Wolf
InuyashaInuYasha
TomoeKamisama Kiss
JibrilNo game No life
RaphtaliaThe Rising of the Shield Hero
Black RabbitProblem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?
Izuna HatsuneNo game No life
TsugumiGuilty Crown
Himari NoiharaOmamori Himari
Milliannafairy tail
NanachiMade in Abyss
Felix ArgyleRe: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Ritsuka AoyagiLoveless
Shizuka NekonomeRosario + Vampire
Alicia RueSword Art Online
HainekoBleach
CereaMonster Musume no Iru Nichijou
Ichigo MomomiyaTokyo Mew Mew
ErisCat Planet Cuties
KonTokyo Ravens
Shrine PriestessNo game No life
Kokkuri-SanGugure! Kokkuri-san
Rem GaleuHow NOT to Summon a Demon Lord
Nozomi KiriyaMayoi Neko Overrun!
Leonmitchelli Galette Des RoisDog Days
KogitsuneNatsume's Book of Friends
Millhiore Firianno BiscottiDog Days
SchrodingerHellsing Ultimate
ThereDragon Crisis!
Tabane ShinononoInfinite Stratos
Eclair MartinozziDog Days
Aisha ClanclanOutlaw Star
Nakuru NarumiMayo Chiki!
Anya FlomerIs It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
SenkoThe Helpful Fox Senko-san
Yukikaze PanettoneDog Days
Tsukimi RiteAbsolute Duo
EruruUtawarerumono
Dorm MistressMaria Holic
Kirara BernsteinGJ-bu
KaruraUtawarerumono
ZakuroOtome Youkai Zakuro
AruruUtawarerumono
Tobyfairy tail
Mimi PearlbatonRe: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Ricotta ElmarDog Days
Elbia HernaimanOutbreak Company
GinjiKakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits
Bete LogaIs It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Boris AirayAlice in the Country of Hearts: Wonderful Wonder World
Meroko YuiFull Moon wo Sagashite
ToukaUtawarerumono
KuuneCat Planet Cuties
Brioche D'ArquienCat Planet Cuties: Come Drop By
Noir VinocacaoDog Days
Michiru KagemoriBrand New Animal
ChaikaCat Planet Cuties
Shea HauliaArifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest
TamaDeath March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
SusukihotaruOtome Youkai Zakuro

Where to buy Nekomimi Cats ears?

If you want to buy accessories that look like cat ears like Headsets and hair bands, you can find these products on our Amazon Partner. I'll end the article with an extensive list of cat ears:

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