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He is frequently posted saying “Itteyoshi”, which is a pun: when written “Itte Yoshi (行ってよし, itte yoshi?)” it means “you may go” or “please go away”, and this is the meaning most Japanese speakers would think of when they hear it, but when written with different kanji Itte Yoshi (逝ってよし, itte yoshi?) it means “you may die” or “please die”.
Giko’s face is “drawn” with handakuten for eyes, and the Cyrillic letter De for a mouth. A semicolon on one side is frequently added as a sweat drop.
Giko is characterized as being somewhat cynical and misanthropic.
(Source, wikipedia, see link)
According to Wikipedia, and other articles, Giko seems to have been created around 1999 in a place called Ayasii World, which is known to be one of the first Japanese underground internet bulletin board.
Then, the same year, it was introduced to newly created 2channel message board.
It got so popular there that Giko became one of 2channel’s favorite mascots.
The Japanese versions of Wikipedia have a clearer explanation of the Giko phenomenon. However, there are 2 presumptions about its date of birth:
The cat giko article suggests that it was created the 3rd of December 1998 because some log entries say so:
初出a picture of the cat character (as long as the logs show) 1998 December 3 the big day “cat pseudoarchaic” was established…
These logs can be found in .zip format at the following link:
On the other hand, the cat pseudoarchaic article, retracing most of Giko history with all the derivatives, tends to think it was created in July the 20th 1999:
Cat pseudoarchaic (Gikoneko gikoneko), the character net. あやしいわーるどIIで1999年 7月20日に誕生した。 Rerelease etc. I suspicious II in 1999 July 20 were born to the day.
That latter has many links redirecting to Ayasii World’s log search, but when we go there, we meet with an access denied message
In fact, this decrepancy in the dates is what separate 2 different thoughts about Giko’s creation: One that think the character was born with the first ASCII picture made of him (December 1998) and another thinking the true Giko character was born when its personality was established (July 1999).
Starting in 2000, mugs with Giko’s famous catchphrase “Itte Yoshi” were created:
- There have been a crazy trend in creating stories about that cat, as well as IRL themed items such as mugs:
There are countless examples of real life goodies made out of him.
Shii’s Song – Wind’s Nocturne
Online, with Shii , another Ayashii World’s character, some users created a romance involving the two cats, romance that has been translated into English and made into a flash animation called “Shii’s song/wind’s nocturne”:
Shii, sometime called Shii-chan, is often depicted as a female cat in a box, waiting endlessly for “her” love to come back. “She” is a female counterpart of Giko Neko with asterisks on “her” cheeks who, in the Nightmare city Catastrophe evolution analyzed below, got a more pinkish skin tone as one goes along.
The Shii’s Song video was one of the first to mix English and Japanese in it. As a matter of fact, it may have been one of the first instances to introduce the Japanese Shift-JIS characters to the Western web as early as 2002, as this Newground flash animation shows, marking the original animation as being from this Japanese website.
The original animation has then been suspended due to copyright claims, the original Wind’s Nocturne song coming from a game series called Lunar
Other flash animations and videos
Giko got his own websites, made by fans:
He has also an IRC-based website called Giko Bar where you can chat while having either Giko or Shii as avatars:
Based on that website, a translated webcomic has been issued:
Nightmare City and its followup Nightmare City Catastrophe were new flash animations featuring a great amount of 2channel iconic figures which where first issued for the annual Flash Bomb festival that took place in Tokyo respectively in December 2004 for the first animation and then September 2005 for its followup:
These animations were instantly featured everywhere and gave a new style, closer to Japanese manga/anime style, to the character:
Orange/Yellowish skin, longer ears and a more human-like body.
His skin has then been replaced by a light blue color in further fans animations and drawings: