"Nekomimi" redirects here. For the cat ear headband, see necomimi.
A catgirl "Wikipe-tan"
A catgirl is a female character with cat traits, such as cat ears, a cat tail, or other feline characteristics on an otherwise human body. Catgirls are found in various fiction genres and in particular Japanese anime and manga, where they are more commonly referred to as neko (猫, literally cat) or nekomimi (猫耳, literally cat ear(s)).
Catgirls typically display cat-like behaviors, exhibiting traits such as playfulness, mischievousness and deviousness. Sometimes this may include cat gestures or sounds in written or verbal communications. An oft-employed and, indeed, nigh-ubiquitous running gag is catgirls habitually engaging in the practice of ending their lines of speech with the phrase (にゃあ?) nyā, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat's meow.
In anime and manga regular humans will sometimes sprout cat ears or a tail in order to illustrate their excitable or playful personalities. This is similar to the phenomenon of becoming chibi. Additionally characters may be portrayed with a catlike mouth to emphasize particularly mischievous thoughts or comments by a character.
In 1924, Kenji Miyazawa (Japanese author of children's literature in the early Shōwa period of Japan) created Yukibango, a cat girl, in his first collection of children's stories Chūmon no Ōi Ryōriten (注文の多い料理店, The Restaurant of Many Orders).