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“(」・ω・)」うー！(／・ω・)／にゃー！” (pron. Uhh Nya!) is a set of Shift-JIS art emoticons relating to the chant-along sequence from the opening theme song of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san (這いよれ！ニャル子さん), the 2012 Japanese anime based on the light novel series inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. After the show’s debut, the song and its chant became a sensation within the Japanese net, with it inspiring remixes and parodies on the video sharing site Nico Nico Douga.
The anime adaptation of Manta Aisora’s Haiyore! Nyaruko-san was produced by Xebec, where it follows Nyaruko, a Cthulhu-deity of chaos called Nyarlathotep who takes a form of a young girl in order to protect a high school boy named Mahiro Yasaka from creatures within H.P. Lovecraft tales. A promotional trailer for the show was uploaded to Niconico on March 23rd, 2012, where it featured its theme song “Taiyou Iwaku Moeyo Chaos” (太陽曰く燃えよカオス, The Sun Says “Burn, Chaos”), with it being sung by the show’s voice actress Kana Asumi, Miyu Matsuki and Yuka Otsubo.
Towards the show’s April 9th premiere, the theme began gaining traction among anime fans online, notably for the infectious chanting sequences during the beginning. Meanwhile, on the same day of the trailer’s upload, Twitter user Sr_KrK tweeted a simple set of Shift-JIS art emoticons, signifying someone bending and stretching one’s arms while saying “uhh” and “nya.”
(」・ω・)」うー！(／・ω・)／にゃー！(」・ω・)」うー！(／・ω・)／にゃー！— くらきしろ (@Sr_Krk) March 23, 2012
A modification of a another set of Shift-JIS art based on “Kyu! Kyu! Kyu! Nya~!”, the tweet was positively received with users, with it later becoming associated with the song. These emoticons would later gained extra momentum during the day of the anime’s premiere, after a five minute loop of the theme song was uploaded to Niconico.
The addictive video became an immediate hit among users, with it being viewed more than a million times during its first month, and helped spread the emoticons throughout the web. From there, other extended loopings and as well as MAD remixes and mash-ups of the song began being produced by users on the site. In addition, amateur illustrators also began creating hand-drawn animations by reproducing the Shift-JIS art in-tune of the chant. More than 1,500 videos relating to this catchphrase has been uploaded to Niconico during the show’s three-month airing, and many being reuploaded to YouTube.
Online news sites also began reporting on the sensation, with ITmedia reporting on the then-growing phenomena on April 20th, 2012. And praise soon followed later that year, with “(」・ω・)」うー！(／・ω・)／にゃー！” receiving the silver award in the Japanese internet vogue word contest in December 2012, and the song itself earning the award for “Best Theme Song” at the 17th Animation Kobe awards.
For more videos, check out the videos section in this entry.
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ITmedia – 発生源、特定！：「(」・ω・)」うー！(/・ω・)/にゃー！」はこうして生まれた 人気AAの謎が判明 / 04-20-2012 (Japanese)