Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cat Boy (Anime Character Type)

In manga and anime, a cat boy is a character that has cat-like features, such as feline body parts"cat ears," nekomimi 猫耳, "cat eyes," nekome 猫目, "cat mouth," nekoguchi 猫口, and a "cat tail," neko-shippo 猫しっぽ—and ending their sentences in nyaa にゃー, "meow."

Examples of anime cat boys.
Anime: Loveless (Episode 1)
Anime: Uchi Tama?! Uchi no Tama Shirimasen ka? うちタマ?!~うちのタマ知りませんか?~ (Episode 1)
Anime: Hellsing Ultimate (Episode 4)
Anime: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん (Episode 9)
Anime: Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san すのはら荘の管理人さん (Episode 3)

In Japanese

The most common way to say "cat boy" in Japanese would be nekomimi-danshi 猫耳男子, "cat-ears boy." In general, if a character has cat ears they probably have a cat tail, too, but that's not necessarily true.

You can combine either neko 猫, "cat," or nekomimi 猫耳, "cat-ears," with a noun that means "boy" to create a word that means "cat boy" or "cat-ears boy." Unfortunately, there are various words that mean "boy" in Japanese. For reference:

  • nekomimi-shounen
    Cat-ears boy.
    • shounen
      Underage person. (legal term.)
      Boy. (normal usage.)
  • nekomimi-otokonoko
    Cat-ears boy.
    • otokonoko
      Male child.
  • nekomimi-otokonoko
    Cat-ears "trap."
    • otokonoko
      Male girl. A girl that's actually a boy. A boy that looks like a girl. A trap.
    • Some people call these "femboys," some of which may be transgender, so do they count as a cat boy or as a cat girl? We may never have an answer.
  • nekomimi-seinen
    Cat-ears boy.
    • seinen
      A young adult man.
  • nekomimi-shota
    Cat-ears boy.
    • shota
      Boy anime character. (male counterpart of loli.)

Similarly: neko-danshi 猫男子, neko-otokonoko 猫男の子, neko-shounen 猫少年, neko-seinen 猫青年, neko-shota 猫ショタ, and so on.

The same thing also works if you switch "boy" for "man."

  • neko-otoko
    Cat man.
  • nekomimi-otoko
    Cat-ears man.


There are various types of cat boys that can be found in anime.


Some characters are born with as cat boys, with cat ears and tail attached to their bodies.

Aoyagi Ritsuka 青柳立夏, Soubi Agatsuma 我妻草灯, example of double ears: human ears plus "cat ears," nekomimi 猫耳.
Left: Aoyagi Ritsuka 青柳立夏
Right: Soubi Agatsuma 我妻草灯
Anime: Loveless (Episode 1)
  • In Loveless, only virgin characters have cat ears. That is, everyone is born with cat ears, and you lose your cat ears as you lose your virginity.
Schrödinger シュレディンガー, a nazi catboy.
Character: Schrödinger シュレディンガー
Anime: Hellsing Ultimate (OVA, Episode 4)
  • Context: a nazi catboy. Not to be confused with other uses of the swastika.


Some cat boy characters are supposed to be anthropormizations of actual cats. See also: gijinka 擬人化.

Okamoto Tama 岡本タマ, example of anthropormorphized cat boy.
Left: Okamoto Tama 岡本タマ
Right: (same character)
Anime: Uchi Tama?! Uchi no Tama Shirimasen ka? うちタマ?!~うちのタマ知りませんか?~ (Episode 1, OP)
  • In the Uchi Tama?! anime, all animal characters are drawn like animals when interacting with humans, and drawn like people when interacting with each other.


Some characters wear cat ears to cosplay as cat boys.

Hasuta ハス太, cosplaying as a cat boy, with "cat ears," nekomimi 猫耳 and tail.
Character: Hasuta ハス太
Anime: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん (Episode 9, Stitch)
Shiina Aki 椎名亜樹, example of a crossdressing cat boy.
Character: Shiina Aki 椎名亜樹
Anime: Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san すのはら荘の管理人さん (Episode 3)
  • josou
    "Female-clothes." Also a term for crossdressing.
Ayasaki Hayate 綾崎ハヤテ, example of crossdressing cat girl cosplay.
Character: Ayasaki Hayate 綾崎ハヤテ
Anime: Hayate no Gotoku! ハヤテのごとく! (Episode 8, Stitch)

Probably Not A Cat Girl

There's an alarming number of examples that test the definition of cat boy. Things would have been easier if we weren't dealing with binary, and we were using a term like cat-folk or cat-person, but honestly those sound lame.

It must be either a cat girl or a cat boy, and if it isn't a cat girl, then obviously it's a cat boy, right? Unfortunately, it isn't so simple.

There are some cat-characters who look androgynous and whose gender is never revealed, so you have no idea if it's boy or girl.

Opera オペラ, example of cat ears, pointed ears.
Character: Opera オペラ
Anime: Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 魔入りました!入間くん (Episode 10)
  • Context: a cat boy-or-girl with four ears, two of them being elf ears. Their gender was never revealed.
Neferpitou ネフェルピトー shoving needles into someone's brain to manipulate them.
Character: Neferpitou ネフェルピトー
Anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011) (Episode 84, Stitch)
  • Context: a grotesque scene involving a cat boy-or-girl whose gender was never revealed.

There are also cat-characters whose gender leads heated internet discussions that lead nowhere.

Ferris フェリス, example of cat boy.
Character: Ferris フェリス
Anime: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (Episode 12)
  • Context: a cat-femboy or a cat-girl.

And then there are cases that threaten all logic:

Konoe Subaru 近衛スバル, example of girl crossdressing as a cat boy.
Character: Konoe Subaru 近衛スバル
Anime: Mayo Chiki! まよチキ! (Episode 4)
  • Context: a girl crossdressing as a boy cosplaying as a cat boy or a girl cosplaying as a cat girl crossdressing as a boy?


See: Cat Girl for common things and terms related to cat boys.

It's worth noting that neko ネコ is a LGBT slang for "bottom" in a homosexual relationship.

Animal Words

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.