What does Nico Nico nii mean? Why did it go viral?

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You must have come across a viral meme video where an annoying little girl repeats the words “nico nico ni” over and over again. You've probably wondered what the hell is this?

In this article, we will try to understand the entire origin, meaning and history of the famous “Nico Nico Nii”. This full article will talk about absolutely everything about viral, anime, memes and others.

What is nico nico ni?

The word "Nico Nico Ni" is a catchphrase used in the anime "Love Live! School Idol Project" by the character Yazawa Niko [矢澤にこ]. In Japanese the word is spelled "Niko Niko Ni" [にこにこに] and tends to appear a lot on forums like 4chan, reddit and other popular sites in Japan and among otaku in the west.

The character Nico Yazawa from “Love Live” has an aggressive personality and she is quite self-confident. She sometimes needs to take on a brighter personality and moe to act like an idol so she often uses the phrase "Niko Niko Ni" to play cute.

What does "nico nico nii" mean? Why did it go viral?
Idol anime is very successful in Japan.

This phrase first appeared in the fifth episode of Love Live, where the character Niko tries to convey her impression of an Idol to the rest of the cast. The scene quickly became notable among fans due to its expression, shape, and moe demeanor. It wasn't just a phrase that went viral, the sign that the character makes with her hand, her heart and expressions are part of the viral.

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Niko niko ni going viral

After its first appearance, the term has already started to become popular on websites, generating thousands of gifs, videos and FanArt and being used by many people. Even the Korean singer Kim Heechul uses this expression in his shows. The popularity increased even more when they made a remix video that has already reached more than 10 million views: (the guy deleted the youtube account? What?)


Some began to say that the term “nico nico ni” is from satan due to its great popularity and the fact that the character Niko has an unsympathetic personality. This only spawned more memes, gifs and fan arts.

What is the meaning of Nico Nico Nii?

Some may imagine that this phrase has absolutely no meaning. Really the name of the character is Niko which would explain why she uses this expression. But in Japanese there is the expression niko niko [にこにこ] being the onomatopoeia of smiling, so basically it is saying that you are smiling in your heart.

What does nico nico ni mean? Why did it go viral?

The word "nii" could just be the particle ni [に] depending on the sentence she's using, or she could just be doing what other anime characters do like ending sentences by saying "nyan" to sound like cats.

To better understand the expression, let's see the whole sentence that Niko Yazawa says:

Anata no Heart ni Nico Nico-nii

  • You are smiling in your heart.
    • Anata - あなた - You
    • Heart - Heart
    • Niko Niko - Smile

Egao todokeru Yazawa Nico Nico

  • And I'll put a smile in your heart!
    • Todokeru - 届ける - deliver, send
    • Yazawa - She referred to herself in third person.
    • Egao - 笑顔 - Smile

Nico-nii te oboeteru Love Nico nii

  • Remember Nico! Nico loves you!
  • Remember - 覚えてる - Remembering, do not forget;
YouTube video

There is a video site similar to youtube called: Nico Nico Douga. This shows that the niko niko onomatopoeia is present in Japanese culture, which facilitated the vitalization of Nico Yazawa's speech.

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The Name Nico Yazawa

Some people write Nico Yazawa, but it's not entirely wrong to do so. There is no letter “C” in the Japanese language, so nico is spelled niko [にこ] in the native language of Japan. The first name (niko) is written in Hiragana, so it has no deep meaning, it probably refers to the smile onomatopoeia itself.

In the Japanese language the surname or family name is written first. Yazawa [矢澤] is written with [矢] which literally means arrow or dart, making full reference to his Idol skill that hits the hearts of fans.

Nico Yazawa is 1.54 tall, blood type A, her sizes are B74-W57-H79 and was born on the 22nd of July, in the anime she is 17 years old. She is voiced by Tokui Sora.

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The Legendary Nico Nico Knee

The wrestler Marcellus Black known as Otaku on Twitter yells and does the Nico Nico Knee gestures to finish off a sip on his opponents. You can see in the video below a scene of the influence caused by Nico Yazawa.

YouTube video

Did you have any idea what nico nico ni means? I hope this little article was enough to satisfy your curiosity, we hope to hear your opinion in the comments and also your shares. Thank you and see you next time!

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