A quick follow-up to the last post, is another peculiar anatomical anomaly that came to my attention a few years back, and I’ve yet to find a suitable outlet for. So here it is.
Catgirls. Anime catgirls. Everyone has an image of this classic anime cliche (more properly called called neko or nekomimi which just means ‘cat’ or ‘cat ears,’ respectively), so ubiquitous to the anime image, that you can never see a single piece of Japanese animation and know about it.
But stop and think about it for a second. What’s odd about it? What does, or doesn’t work?
Look at this.
Note the position of the ears on the second one, and where the ears would normally go on the first one. See the problem?
Human skulls don’t work that way.
In order to make the catgirl work, their skulls would have to be reshaped to allow the hearing structures to be in proper working position, never mind the musculature needed to have any semblance of control over said ears. No wonder so many of them have big gouts of hair pluming from their heads. If you saw the horrors that laid beneath, they would certainly seem far, far less kawaii [editors note: Kawaii means “cute”]. The brain would either be squished, or repositioned, or smaller, in order to acclimate the necessary structuring.
You can’t have a human skull with the attributes of a feline skull without some kinds of weird side-effects. Not to mention the evolutionary impact. Where would the split occur to have such drastically altered skull and ear formation, yet have it work parallel (or concurrently) with that of the modern Homo sapiens? Is this an example of convergent evolution within the respective animes, where two almost entirely identical humanoids developed, yet were still separate enough for the ears and skull reformations to become fixed traits? I have more questions than answers, I’m afraid.
You can’t be exposed to any degree of Japanese culture for any amount of time and not have some exposure to the curiosity known as the catgirl, and it’s something I cannot even begin to forget, ever since the original seed of discontent was sown in my head. What would their skulls look like…? To the best of my knowledge, this has never been discussed nor demonstrated in any average anime, though I’m not sure I have the strength of will, or the depth of constitution to survive researching such an endeavour.
So that’s some food for thought. The next time you boot up your favourite JRPG, anime, or manga with the aforementioned nekomimi, remember. Remember what lies beneath.
If you’re not going to be doing any of these things, then just view it from a scientific point of view. Catgirl skulls. Take that one to a coworker, relative, clergyman; it’s sure to start a good conversation. That one’s on the house. Enjoy.