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.
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.
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.
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, Catgirls and Kemonomimi anime
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.
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.
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.
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.
List of Anime by Nekomimi and Kemonomimi
|Animal Girls Anime Name||Date|
|The Rising of the Shield Hero||2019|
|Spice and Wolf||2008|
|InuYasha: The Final Act||2009|
|Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid||2017|
|Poco's Udon World||2016|
|Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits||2018|
|Otome Youkai Zakuro||2010|
|The Helpful Fox Senko-san||2019|
|Time, Mimi ga Mieteru yo!||2018|
|Seton Academy: Join the Pack!||2020|
|Uma Musume: Pretty Derby||2018|
|Our Home's Fox Deity||2008|
|The Diary of a Crazed Family||2008|
|Show By Rock !! #||2016|
|Kemono Michi: Rise Up||2019|
|Cat Planet Cuties||2010|
|Show By Rock !! Mashumairesh !!||2020|
|Show By Rock !!||2015|
|Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-||2009|
|Cuticle Detective Inaba||2013|
|Uchitama ?! Have you seen my Tama?||2020|
|Tokyo Mew Mew||2002|
|Sengoku Night Blood||2017|
|Leviathan: The Last Defense||2013|
|Magical Meow Meow Taruto||2001|
|Waresho! Warera! Shoudoubutsu Aigo Iinkai||2019|
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 name||Anime Name|
|Holo||Space and Wolf|
|Jibril||No game No life|
|Raphtalia||The Rising of the Shield Hero|
|Black Rabbit||Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?|
|Izuna Hatsune||No game No life|
|Himari Noihara||Omamori Himari|
|Nanachi||Made in Abyss|
|Felix Argyle||Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-|
|Shizuka Nekonome||Rosario + Vampire|
|Alicia Rue||Sword Art Online|
|Cerea||Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou|
|Ichigo Momomiya||Tokyo Mew Mew|
|Eris||Cat Planet Cuties|
|Shrine Priestess||No game No life|
|Rem Galeu||How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord|
|Nozomi Kiriya||Mayoi Neko Overrun!|
|Leonmitchelli Galette Des Rois||Dog Days|
|Kogitsune||Natsume's Book of Friends|
|Millhiore Firianno Biscotti||Dog Days|
|Tabane Shinonono||Infinite Stratos|
|Eclair Martinozzi||Dog Days|
|Aisha Clanclan||Outlaw Star|
|Nakuru Narumi||Mayo Chiki!|
|Anya Flomer||Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?|
|Senko||The Helpful Fox Senko-san|
|Yukikaze Panettone||Dog Days|
|Tsukimi Rite||Absolute Duo|
|Dorm Mistress||Maria Holic|
|Zakuro||Otome Youkai Zakuro|
|Mimi Pearlbaton||Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-|
|Ricotta Elmar||Dog Days|
|Elbia Hernaiman||Outbreak Company|
|Ginji||Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits|
|Bete Loga||Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?|
|Boris Airay||Alice in the Country of Hearts: Wonderful Wonder World|
|Meroko Yui||Full Moon wo Sagashite|
|Kuune||Cat Planet Cuties|
|Brioche D'Arquien||Cat Planet Cuties: Come Drop By|
|Noir Vinocacao||Dog Days|
|Michiru Kagemori||Brand New Animal|
|Chaika||Cat Planet Cuties|
|Shea Haulia||Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest|
|Tama||Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody|
|Susukihotaru||Otome 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: