1 What does Neko mean?
This word is usually used in the anime world for expressing cuteness and cat-like actions. In Japanese, the word Neko itself means cat; thus, it can be used for cats and characters in anime with cat-like features. The catgirl in anime is said to be Neko.
2 Where was it first used?
This word has been used in Japan for ages now. The catgirl (Neko) character appeared the first time in a Japanese manga series Kenji Miyazawa’s in 1924.
3 When did it become even more popular?
In 1948, an anime came based on Neko named The King's Tail which was made by animator Mitsuyo Seo. This anime had a significant focus on nekomimi, which appeared like a cat and was equally cute and sexy.
4 Renowned among Americans
It was later after World War II when the Americans embraced it for the first time in the 80s. After the war, the American presence in the Japanese region increased a lot, which drew their attention towards anime and Neko. After that, they created some iconic characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
5 Japan’s history with Neko
Japanese has an immense fascination for cats starting from cat spirits, monsters like cats, and even Cat Gods. They really respect them as it holds a great value for them. There are many cultures worldwide who think that cats are other-worldly, be it Egyptians or Chinese.
6 More characters
After the catgirls' invention, it gained a lot of popularity, and various similar characters were made. In fact, in Japan, there were a lot of famous characters made, such as Loveless and Tokyo mew mew. Also, a lot of people say that Hello Kitty to is a Neko girl, but some argue that it is an actual cat. Keeping all the points in mind, the gist is that Neko girl has gained a lot of popularity worldwide.