What Does Nico Nico Nii Mean?

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"Nico Nico Nii" is a phrase that transcends its simple, cheerful sound, becoming an iconic expression within anime culture.

Popularized by a character in the anime "Love Live!", this catchy and endearing catchphrase embodies positivity and joy. Let's delve into the charming significance behind "Nico Nico Nii" and its cultural impact.

What Does Nico Nico Nii Mean?

Where is Niko Nii from?

‘Nico Nii’ has become famous because the girl that grooves and says this phrase is Yazawa Nico, a seventeen-year-old high school student from the anime Love Live! Precisely Love Live school idol project, a multimedia project developed by the ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine. 

The project is the first multimedia project of Love Live! Franchise. The music label has been composed by Lantis and animations have been designed by studio Sunrise. In Love Live!, the phrase Nico Nii is used as a slogan by Yazawa Niko. 

The term is comparatively a modern one and grew popular in forums like 4chan, Reddit and discord. 

According to the anime fandom, Yazawa Niko is a wardrobe designer in the series and a part of the idol group moe. Moe is described as a female anime character who is very innocent and vulnerable but in an idealized way. 

What Does Nico Nico Nii Mean

She is a member of the idol group muse, a group which was formed to draw people’s attention to their high school, which saw a steep depreciation in the number of students enrolling. 

Nico was born on July 22 and her sun sign is Cancer, a red-eyed high-schooler who ties double ponytails. She is voiced by Sora Tokui. 

During the first season’s fifth episode, Yazawa Niko tries to portray the impression of her idol to the rest of the people sitting in the room. She was not a part of the group at that time, but in the scenes, it is raining and the muse needs a place to practice. 

The muse becomes inquisitive about the club and ultimately finds out that the Idol Research Club constitutes of only one person- and surprisingly it is Yawaza Niko, who upon their request to join the club offers them a firm denial. 

Yawaza rejects the merger because of the argument that the muse does not have their personas. A member of the muse, Kosaka Honaka comes up with an idea that the groups should amalgamate where Yawaza Niko can teach them how to genuinely be idols. 

Yawaza loves the idea, and this is all followed by the catchphrase ‘Nico Nii’. This is not the only thing she says, but fans have considered the part to be some incomprehensible dialogue. To burst your bubble, it is not some nonsense that Yawaza Niko says.

Eventually, the muse broke up as a group because it was inevitable. The main aim of the high schoolers was to aid the school in enrolling students, and the group had to disrupt because everyone graduated.

The anime Love Live! came to an end in 2013 but it was not until 2016 that the creators and the voice actresses stopped making their music. However, Yazawa’s catchphrase got famous recently, and the youtube video of the scene has one of the highest viewerships for cut scenes in the entire show, surpassing ten million views. 

Also, the actual group of voice actresses have been claimed to come together and combine, as there was a recent song of the mu released in 2020 with the title,’ A song for you! you? You!’

Meaning of Nico Nii 

It makes sense if you thought that this was gibberish and Yawaza Niko’s catchphrase was meaningless and balderdashing just for the sake of it. Some would say that  Niko used the phrase because it had her name on it. 

And you are right to some extent, the phrase is just an onomatopoeia for smiling. So the phrase, in literary effect, means to smile at your heart. So one can say it is more like a pun(a witty one, of course!). ‘Smile at your heart’ makes sense too because she was training them to be an idol.

But Niko Nii is just an excerpt of the entire thing that Yazawa repeated. The entire sentence that Niko remarked is:




When we break this down word by word, it says

Anata = You

Heart = Heart

Niko Niko = Smile

Egao = Smile

Todokeru = Deliver

Yazawa = Niko points herself out in this sentence as the third person

Oboeteru = remember, don't forget!

All this translates to do not forget to put a smile in your heart. Smile! Remember Niko! Niko loves you!

On various interactive sites, users have come up with a response that Niko Ni is used to ‘Say, Cheese!’ in Japanese. So when you are getting a family photo clicked in Japan and someone shouts Nico Ni, they just want you to smile and say cheese.

The Influence of Niko Ni

Nico Ni is also a part of the sentence Nico Nico Douga. According to sources, Niconico is a Japanese ideophone for smiling and is influenced by Yazawa Niko. 

NicoNico is a video-sharing service created by Niwango which according to Alexa Internet has become the 34th most visited site in Japan. And Nico Nico is very commonly used in Japan as well. Hence, it shows how onomatopoeia is present in Japanese culture.

Nico Ni getting popular on the internet!

It does not take much time for any content on the internet to go viral, such has become the speed through the tech upgradation. 

Niko Niko Ni reached millions of people on social platforms within hours and everyone started commenting on how cute it was, although it had made no sense to them then. One of Nico’s most iconic moments, the scene deserves to go viral.

Weebs are no less enthusiastic in the Niko frenzy, as tons of fan arts, gifs, popular memes and trends came up after that. Astonishingly, even the south Korean singer Kim Heechul, who better goes by Heechul, uses the expression Nico Ni in his concerts. 

The phrase gathered more interesting comments when the American professional wrestler Marcellus Black, who goes by his Twitter handle ‘Great Black Otaku’ invented the move ‘Nico Nico Knee’ as a wrestling move against his opponents. This shows how big an influence Yazawa Nico has inadvertently created.


Other Related Memes To Nico Nico Nii

Apart from the episode where Yazawa Niko saying ‘Nico Nico Ni’ became a huge meme, Yazawa Nico has also been very popular in the memetic world due to her behavior and expressions. 

Yazawa’s personality is occasionally compared to a demon because her behavior is Satanic and even though her personality can be strange at times, The fans of Love Live! Can’t let go of Yazawa Niko as she has been the heart of the show. 

The origin of o this inside joke where memes are made about comparing Yazawa Niko and Satan is unknown but has drawn quite a good amount of attention. Recently, people on Tumblr, Reddit and Discord have developed a lot of discussion forums with gifs and fanart of Yazawa Niko.

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