Manga / Koi Neko

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Koi Neko is a Romantic Comedy‎ manga written by Mashima Etsuya and released in 2004, and tells the story of Shinta Takaoka, an Ordinary Middle School Student, and his girlfriend Nao Sakurazaki... who happens to be a Cat Girl… and the other girls vying for his affection, several of which are Cat Girls as well. Hilarity Ensues as Nao tries to seduce the chaste Shinta while fending off his other would-be-lovers. The manga is complete in Japan, with 11 volumes.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Shinta's mother shows no mercy if she catches him in a compromising position with Nao or hears one of Nanami-sensei's heavily embellished and exaggerated reports.
  • A-Cup Angst: Nao angsts over her small chest in comparison to Wakaba.
  • Alternate Self: Nao has a dream where she is in a world where Shinta doesn't exist, and meets a melancholy version of herself with short hair. AU Nao shows up in the final two arcs, having crossed the boundary between worlds as a Fragment of If to confess to Shinta. It turns out she is the ghost of Nao's deceased sister.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Nao had a twin sister who died when she was a kitten and is buried at Inaho's temple. While she doesn't angst about it early on due to not remembering much from that time, she's becomes melancholic about it in the last few chapters. It's strongly implied that AU Nao is either the sister's ghost or from a universe where the sister lived but the Nao we're familiar with didn't.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Nao and Miyabi frequently find themselves asking Shinta this.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Inaho starts to turn Shinta into a fox as punishment for breaking off her tail as a child, though Nao requests she make him a cat instead. Shinta is later transformed into a cat when Inaho grants Nao's wish.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason most of the cats fall in love with a human. Shinta looked after Nao and her sister when they were children, though neither remember this.
  • Badass: Mikadzuki, the leader of the cat gang. Especially in his human form. And Nao is always happy to prove Muscles Are Meaningless in a fight.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Nao subconsciously wishes Shinta was a cat, which Inaho temporarily grants not realizing who it belongs to or what it entails. Nao, not realizing what happened, is horrified to be reminded of her traumatic dream.
    • The short-haired Nao wished to wait for Shinta forever, and is first met in an alternate universe where Shinta has disappeared, leaving her waiting for him for all eternity.
  • Benevolent Genie: Inaho is a kitsune, but she can grant the wishes of others.
    • Hilarity and Character Development ensue when she decides to grant the wishes of the city's cats, which involves making Miyabi filthy stinking rich (and saddling her with Tora's babies, teaching her that money isn't everything), and turning Shinta into a cat.
    • A more serious example is revealed in Chapter 91, where she grants the wish of a pair of dying kittens to see the little boy who cared for them again.
  • Bifauxnen: Haru is assumed to be a boy due to her aggressive personality and the Ship Tease between her and Miiko, making the discovery of her true gender a surprise.
  • Big Eater: Miiko is constantly hungry.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Wakaba is a full-on teenage version of this. Nothing will stop her from getting her kitty fix. She even has a Kitty Radar that lets her detect nearby cats.
  • Call Back: When Inaho turns Shinta into a cat, everyone except Nao forgets about him and it's like he never existed as a human, causing Nao to have a flashback to the Shinta-less dream-world when she met AU Nao, who not-so-coincidentally makes a comeback in the arc.
  • Cat Girl: Nao, Miyabi, AU Nao, Miiko, and Haru are all cats who became able to transform into human form after falling in love with a human. Mikadzuki is a Cat Boy.
  • Chastity Couple: It took 19 chapters for Shinta and Nao to even kiss (and Shinta was asleep at the time too), much to Nao's consternation. There have been times when Shinta's composure snapped, though.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When he starts regaining his repressed memories, Mikadzuki runs away and takes over a gang of cats in another neighborhood. Nao and Miyabi go looking for him, and Mikadzuki's new gang picks a fight with them. When Mikadzuki, who has lost his memory of them, shows up, they mop the floor with him too.
  • Cute Bruiser: Nao and Miyabi may look like 14 year old girls, but they're a lot stronger than they look.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: When Mikadzuki confronts Inaho over the recent strange goings on, she tells him about Nao's backstory. A pair of newborn kittens were left in a box outside her shrine, and she waited for them to wish for food or warmth so she could use her divine powers to help them. When no wish came, Inaho found they were being looked after by a little boy. Just as she decided she was no longer needed, she felt the kittens wish to see the boy one last time, since they were dying. Before Inaho could grant that wish, she found that one kitten had died and the other had been taken in by someone, and her powers were sealed due to the little boy damaging one of the Inari statues at her shrine, leaving her only able to grant the dead kitten's wish and creating the long-haired Nao and short-haired Nao in the process. With her power restored, she was able to create a Schrodinger's cat situation where Shinta would be unwittingly forced to choose one of them, and the other would disappear from existence.
  • Dead All Along: Inaho's narration to Mikadzuki in Chapter 91 implies that the long-haired Nao - who wished to cuddle with Shinta forever - is the kitten who died and is buried behind the shrine, while the short-haired Nao - who wished to wait for Shinta forever - is the one that survived. To add to the confusion, Schrödinger's Cat is invoked.
  • Dirty Old Man: Of a comedic sort: Shinta's dad, Kazuya, is a lecher who keeps trying to Skinship Grope his own daughter and is disappointed his son hasn't gone further with Nao, mainly so he could eavesdrop on them. However, he dishes out a few pearls of wisdom from time to time and he's actually a famous author who wrote an extremely successful book based on his life, but refuses to write a sequel until he's done raising his family.
  • The Ditz: Nao comes across as this a lot of the time.
  • Foreshadowing: Mikadzuki's knowledge of the Cat's Song and the of the amnesia that ensues when a transforming cat forgets about the one they love, which foreshadows the revelation that he's a transforming cat himself.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Shinta took care of Nao when he was a child, although she was just a kitten at the time. Wakaba and Mikadzuki play this trope straighter, as he first took on human form when he was a kitten and she a child.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Both Shinta and Nao have forgotten her deceased sister.
  • Freakiness Shame: When Inaho starts to turn Shinta into a fox and he sprouts whiskers and pointy ears, Nao finds it very sexy and offers him a place in the cat world, prompting Inaho to offer to turn him into a cat instead.
  • The Gadfly: Nanami-sensei enjoys teasing Wakaba. She also likes putting Nao and Shinta into uncomfortable (for Shinta) positions, reminding them that they can't do anything romantic, and overreacting when Nao tries to anyway.
  • Head Pet: Once Wakaba takes him in, Mikadzuki can be found lying across the top of her head.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Nao's attempts to sing her Cat's Song can break glass. It's noted that she can sing, but trying to force her Cat's Song out without awakening it just isn't doing any favors.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: In their cat forms, Nao and her sister were indistinguishable from each other. [[spoiler:In their human forms, one has long hair in a Hime Cut and the other has short, messy hair.
  • Interspecies Romance: Nao is a cat who is a girl who fell in love with Shinta. And so is Miyabi, who fell in love with Shinta's grandfather 50 years ago. Mikadzuki, on the other hand, is in love with Wakaba.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Wakaba is a Shipper on Deck for Nao and Shinta despite having feelings for him herself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Miyabi may act like a jerk at times, but deep down she's a good person.
  • Kitsune: Inaho is a fox spirit in the service of Inari and possesses a number of supernatural powers. She is also connected to a kitsune statue outside the shrine, and any damage to it is reflected on her and reduces her powers.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Inaho grants Nao's wish to turn Shinta into a cat he loses all memory of her, but regains his memory and human form with help from AU Nao. More generally, transforming cats whose loved one dies or disappears will slowly forget about them and lose the ability to transform. Additionally, if they state they hate that person they are locked into cat form and lose all memory of the person they love.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The transforming cats can assume a human form with cat ears and a tail.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Nao and Miyabi are constantly trying to get Shinta to sleep with them. The tomcats who hang with Mikadzuki aren't picky about who they flirt with, though they especially want Nao and Miyabi.
  • Magic Music: The Cat's Song. Each transformed cat has a unique song in memory of the person they love, but can only awaken it through the heartbreak of forgetting about and regaining their memories of that person. Only AU Nao and Miiko have been shown singing theirs, but Miyabi admits she has awakened hers and it's strongly implied Mikadzuki has awakened his own as well.
  • Older Than They Look: Miyabi is at least 50 years old, but looks 14 in human years and the same age as Nao as a cat.
  • Panty Shot: Many, usually involving Nao and Miyabi.
  • Plot Allergy: Shinta's father is allergic to cats.
  • Power of Love: What gives a cat the ability to transform into a human. If they say "I hate you" from the bottom of their heart, they lose their memories of the person they fell in love with and the ability to transform into a human with it.
  • Promotion to Parent:
    • Nao spends a chapter looking after a pair of kittens Shinta's sister found, and it only increases her desire to have children with him.
    • When Inaho grants Tora's wish to be the father of Miyabi's kittens, she immediately divorces him but spends the rest of the arc doting on them and is heartbroken when they disappear when Inaho revokes her wishes.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Miyabi fell in love with Shinta's grandfather when he was 14, and still appears the same now as she did then. Conversely, Mikadzuki appears as an adult in human form despite having appeared to be the same age as Wakaba before. Nao tells Shinta that Inaho said their human form's appearance has something to do with their personality and emotions.
  • Roof Hopping: How the cats get around town.
  • Screw Yourself: Nao has a dream where she reunites with AU Nao, who kisses on the lips, rationalizing that it's OK since they're the same person and because Inaho said it doesn't count when two girls kiss. With the implication of AU Nau actually being the ghost of her sister, it also counts as Surprise Incest.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Nao has no compunctions about being naked in front of Shinta.
  • Shipper on Deck: Wakaba ships Nao and Shinta despite having feelings for him herself; Nanami-sensei ships Wakaba and Shinta.
  • Stern Teacher: Nanami-sensei is quick to jump to conclusions about the nature of Nao's and Shinta's relationship, and being lazy, enjoys hauling one or the other off to do work for her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Shinta looks similar to how his grandfather did when he was 14, which is why Miyabi initially falls for him.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Nao looks like a scrawny 14 year-old girl, but is can roof hop with the best of them, and even carry Shinta like while doing so.
  • The Tease: Miyabi flirts with Shinta mainly to get on Nao's nerves.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Tora and the other two tomcats who chase after every female cat they see, especially Nao.
    • Shinta's three male friends, led by Makoto Akidzuki, fill this role at school. There is also a trio of girls - Ryouko Aizawa, Hideko Kawamura, and Yumi Morishita - who are rooting for Nao.
  • Tsundere: Midazuki becomes this for Wakaba as he slowly regains his memories of her. Best exemplified in Chapter 27, when he finally admits to himself he cares about her and regains the ability to transform into a human.
  • Unwanted Harem: Shinta has Nao, Miyabi, and Wakaba all trying to be "mellow mellow" with him. Miiko also flirts with him while he's wearing a cat-ear headband, but otherwise doesn't express interest in him aside from as a source of food.
  • Verbal Tic: Nao has "Umu!" which she often uses as a substitute for "Yes."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Nao and Miyabi may bicker and fight over Shinta, but are good friends.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Nao and AU Nao are drawn as having midnight-blue hair and fur.
  • Youkai:
    • Inaho, a kitsune and Miko to Inari, shows up late in the manga.
    • Shinta theorizes the transformed cats are bakeneko based on Miyabi being far older than she looks.
  • Yandere: Wakaba is under the impression that Nao is one for Shinta, and to her credit Nao does make some menacing remarks.
  • Younger Than They Look: Nao is approximately 10 in human years (which translates to 56 in cat years), but her human form has the appearance of a 14-year old girl. Midazuki looks to be in his 20's in his human form, but is roughly the same age as Nao.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/KoiNeko