Who is that cat-girl saying 'burenyaa,' and why is she everywhere on my feed?" If you've found yourself asking this question, you're not alone.
No matter where you venture, you're bound to cross paths with her - the infamous Neco-Arc. Specifically, her standard full-body sprite accompanied by that unmistakable "burenyaa" voiceline has taken the internet by storm. But who is she, and where does she originate from?
In this blog post I'll delve into the backstory of this meme, and trust me, there's a whole lot to unravel.
A Character Born from a 'Bad Ending'
Neco-Arc made her debut in the year 2000 within the TYPE-MOON eroge visual novel Tsukihime. She was featured as a student in the "Teach Me, Ciel-sensei!" segments alongside Ciel following a bad ending. Essentially, she's a playful, cat-girl parody of one of the game's main characters, Arcueid Brunestud.
Following her initial appearance in Tsukihime, Neco-Arc made recurring appearances in a ton of Type-Moon titles, including Melty Blood and, more notably, Carnival Phantasm, a comedic spin-off that includes TYPE-MOON characters from many different titles. In this show, Neco-Arc often steals the spotlight as one of the main characters.
It's worth noting that TYPE-MOON even announced two fake Neco-Arc movies as april fools jokes, solidifying her status as a mascot for the company and one of their most recognizable characters.
From youtube compilations to an internet sensation
Although compilations of Neco-Arc's appearances gained popularity on YouTube, it wasn't until 2021 that Neco-Arc memes exploded across the internet. Much of this newfound popularity can be attributed to the announcement of a Tsukihime remake, which was eventually released on August 26, 2021.
With this initial popularity came a few viral tiktoks, which evolved into a trend that has become popular to the point where most don’t even know who Neco-Arc really is.
Popular memes that feature Neco-Arc are often silly and cryptic, with lots of impact font text and red arrows.
The unmatched power of Neco-Arc
Neco-arc is one of the strongest characters in the nasu-versu (TYPE-MOON’s shared setting), second only behind berserker.
Her signature move, "I want to go to the Crocodile Garden" (ワニ園に行きたいわたし, Wani-en ni ikitai watashi?), involves a horizontal attack she does by turning into a rocket.
“I am the embodiment of darkness and light. Embrace your annihilation.”
The many faces of Neco-Arc
Depending on the context and series, Neco-Arc is sometimes regarded as a facet of Arcueid's persona and at other times as her own distinct entity.
It is implied that any character can have their own Neco-arc version. Other characters in the original Tsukihime were supposed to have their own Neco-Arc versions, including Akiha, Len, and Ciel, although these were never utilized.
Lastly, it's worth mentioning some other popular Neco-Arc variations, like the gray smoking Chaos Neco-Arc, Neco-Arc Bubbles, Mysterious Neco Z, and Neco-Arc Evolution. These iterations have further solidified Neco-Arc's presence in the world of Type-Moon and internet culture.