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Nonowa is a fan-made mascot character for the Namco Bandai franchise, THE iDOLM@STER. Her official name is “ののワさん” (Nonowa-san).
This mascot character is very popular among Japanese iDOLM@STER fans. Nonowa appears not only in many of the MAD videos and fanworks for iDOLM@STER, but also in the official anime/manga series.
The main heroine of the series, Haruka Amami, is known for having a very peculiar face when she is thinking or thoughtful in the iDOLM@STER games.
An anonymous user in /ogame/ (live for online games) in 2channel first created her Shit-JIS Art by Japanese characters “no” (の) and “wa” (ワ) in November 5th, 2007. This was because her eyes looked like the Japanese character “no” ( の) while her mouth looked like the Japanese character “wa” ( ワ).
“I who haven’t created any AA (Ascii Art) before made the AA for Haruka.”
The term “Nonowa” was created by this Shit-JIS art, and at the time it was a nickname for Haruka.
However, as this simple "Nonowa "Shift-JIS art was modified by many users in various ways, gradually Nonowa gained a personality of her own. Over time, she morphed from an emote to represent Haruka and became established among iDOLM@STER fans as the super deformed character Nonowa-san.
The concept of the creature inspired many amateur creators. They introduced Nonowa into their works, and Nonowa was spread across the Japanese web. There are various kind of illustrations, hand-drawn animations and parody videos with the Miku Miku Dance model of Nonowa.
There are actually several mascots similar to Nonowa that are based off of the different iDOLM@STER characters, however Nonowa is by far the most represented. Other popular characters are 美希クリ (Mikikuri) , やよクリ (Yayokuri) , and リップーナ (Rippoona) who are based off of Miki, Yayoi, and Ritsuko respectively.
This fan-made mascot has received attention from creators of the franchise.
Nonowa made cameo appearance in almost all chapters of the comic series “THE iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars: Neue Green” which ran from 2009 to 2011.
Nonowa made an appearance in the 7th episode in the 2011 anime series as a doll that belonged to one of Yayoi’s siblings.
In July 2011, Nonowa was also used in NBGI’s official promoting campaign on NND.
Announcement on the Official website