Nekomimi - Characters with cat ears

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You know Nekomimi or Kemonomimi? These are the ears of cats or other animals that are very successful in anime. In this article, we'll delve into the origins behind the numerous animal-eared characters in anime and Japan.

These days it is common to find these items for sale, and any character can have a kitty ear. Nekomimi [猫耳] literally means ears [耳] of cats [猫], there's not much to say about the meaning of the word.

Cat ears 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 mostly human features (hair, skin, and body type), but she has some cat-like physical features, usually ears, tail, eyes, and sometimes claws, or even a natural bikini.

What sets a cat apart from an anthropomorphic one is that she only looks superficially feline. Catgirl is stereotypically feminine, although there are Catboys. (Usually found in Yaoi) or are represented as effeminate in anime.

Catgirls often follow the stereotypes of feline animals associated with cats, specifically female ones. Cats generally tend to be sexualized and or follow Moe's traits to better appeal to audiences.

Most cat girls have biological traits, but characters who lack these traits may have a headband with cat ears, a fake cat tail, cute fangs, fake cat paws, claw-like nails.

In order to mimic a cat, they begin tapping a moving object with their fingers bent inward to mimic the rounded appearance of a cat's paw. As a bonus, some lick their false paws.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

How did Cat Ears come about?

Cats are a passion of Japan, the most beloved animals in the world and the country. There are even cat sanctuaries 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, protection, joy, dance, music and love. In Japanese culture some animals have a tendency to transform into humans or vice versa, such as the famous Kitsune.

In Japan, yokai cats 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 on humans in modern Japanese literature were published in 1924 by Kenji MIyazawa as The Snow Eared Cat [Yukibango] in "The Fourth of the Month of Narcissus".

The first cat-eared girl in Japanese manga is said to have been drawn in "Cotton no Kunisei", serialized in 1978, but one theory is that the first cat ears of the manga is an heiress of "Knight of the Ribbon" by Osamu Tezuka in 1963.

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

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

In 1976, a Japanese translation of the SF short story “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 feature the additional features of an animal's ears and tail.

A bit beastly but not furry, soft or scaly, and should still have human skin, a human face, a fully human nose, and a human skull and torso structure. Essentially, they look like you putting on a pair of fake bunny ears.

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

They are generally considered 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

The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Why Animal Ears?

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

Pointy 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 out because the animal's features can be easily conveyed by simply drawing the ears. Enabling the creation of races, aliens and magical creatures.

As time went by, even cat-related characters originally drawn without cat ears came to have cat ears. This even includes historical characters like yokai 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 receive various products such as clothing and hoodies related to animal ears.

In addition to ears, the term neko or catgirl has spread to such an extent that it is common for characters to have cat paws and tails. Rarely anime characters have a more animal than human appearance, being limited only in these details.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Anime by Nekomimi, Catgirls and Kemonomimi

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

Dog Days - Full of Kemonomimi

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

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

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Kamisama Kiss

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

While wandering the streets, Nanami meets a man who, upon learning of her story, offers her his house to live in, which is actually an abandoned temple in which she becomes the 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 make even one guide to watching monogatari. Among the characters we have a crab-like girl, cat, jellyfish, vampire and a few other not normal ones.

Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Spice and Wolf - Wolf and Sacred Wind

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 that she has a pair of ears and a tail that are similar to a wolf's.

Introducing herself as the goddess of crops Pasloe, she reveals that she was responsible for blessing the village with bountiful crops of wheat for many years, after having made a promise to a villager there in the past.

Villagers are increasingly losing their faith in Holo and developing their 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 Nekomimi and Kemonomimi Anime

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
Animal Girls Anime Name Date
O Surgimento do Herói do Escudo2019
Kamisama Kiss2012
Spice and Wolf2008
InuYasha: The Final Act2009
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid2017
Poco's Udon World2016
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits2018
Otome Youkai Zakuro2010
A Raposa Garoa Senko-san2019
Gugu! Kokkuri-san2014
Konohana Kitan2017
Time, Mimi ga Mieteru yo!2018
Seton Academy: Junte-se à Matilha!2020
Dog Days'2012
Omamori Himari2010
A Mare: Pretty Derby2018
Our Home's Fox Deity2008
O Diário de uma Família Enlouquecida2008
Show By Rock!!#2016
Kemono Michi: Rise Up2019
Dog Days2011
Dragon Crisis!2011
Cat Planet Cuties2010
Hyper Police1997
Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh!!2020
Show By Rock!!2015
Tayutama - Kiss on my Deity -2009
Cuticle Detective Inaba2013
Uchitama?! Já viu a minha Tama?2020
Mysteria Friends2019
Nyanko Days2017
Tokyo Mew Mew2002
A Centaur's Life2017
Nekogami Yaoyorozu2011
Sengoku Night Blood2017
Leviathan: The Last Defense2013
Magical Meow Meow Taruto2001
Waresho! Warera! Animal Love Committee2019
Hentatsu (2020)2020
Nekomimi - characters with cat ears

Anime characters with cat ears

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

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
Neko's nameAnime Name
HoloEspaço e Lobo
takeKamisama Kiss
JibrilNo Game No Life
RaphtaliaO Surgimento do Herói do Escudo
Black RabbitProblemas crianças estão vindo de outro mundo, não é?
Izuna HatsuneNo Game No Life
TsugumiGuilty Crown
Himari NoiharaOmamori Himari
miliannaFairy Tail
NanachiMade in Abyss
Felix ArgyleRe:ZERO - Starting Life in Another World
Ritsuka AoyagiLoveless
Shizuka NekonomeRosario + Vampire
Alicia RueSword Art Online
cereal"Highschool of the Dead"
Ichigo MomomiyaTokyo Mew Mew
ErisCat Planet Cuties
KonTokyo Ravens
Shrine PriestessNo Game No Life
Kokkuri-SanGugu! Kokkuri-san
Rem GaleuComo NÃO Invocar um Senhor Demônio
Nozomi KiriyaMayoi Neko Overrun!
Leonmitchelli Galette Des RoisDog Days
KogitsuneNatsume's Book of Friends
Millhiore Firianno BiscottiDog Days
SchrodingerHellsing Ultimate
AiDragon Crisis!
Tabane ShinononoInfinite Stratos
Eclair MartinozziDog Days
Aisha ClanlanOutlaw Star
Nakuru NarumiMayo Chiki!
Anya FlomerIs It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
SenkoA Raposa Garoa Senko-san
Yukikaze PanettoneDog Days
Tsukimi RiteAbsolute Duo
Dorm MistressMaria Holic
Kirara BernsteinGJ-bu
ZakuroOtome Youkai Zakuro
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 no País das Maravilhas: Wonderful Wonder World
Meroko YuiSearching for the Full Moon
KuuneCat Planet Cuties
Brioche D'ArquienCat Planet Cuties: Venha nos fazer uma visita
Noir VinocacaoDog Days
Michiru KagemoriBrand New Animal
ChaikaCat Planet Cuties
Shea HauliaArifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest
TamaMorte Marcha para a Rapsódia do Mundo Paralelo
SusukihotaruOtome Youkai Zakuro

Where to buy Nekomimi Cats Ears?

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

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