Nyan Cat is one of Internet’s most famous meme that was uploaded on April 2011 as a YouTube video. This video depicts an animation of a cartoon cat with the body of a Pop Tart flying through outer space with a rainbow shooting from behind. The background music of the video is a Japanese pop song called “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!" by Hatsune Miku and the animation was posted by Christopher Torres1.
I think Nyan Cat became popular for its catchy repetitive high pitched yet cartoon like song. With the combination of the smiling cute GIF cat that prances across the universe, it also lets the viewer think he/she is part of a game.
Another reason Nyan Cat went viral because the video just does not make sense to people. They question why the cat’s body is a Pop Tart and why there is a trail of rainbow while the cat is flying in outer space. In addition, after a while, the song becomes quite annoying and remains stuck in one’s head for sometime, hence, it is fun to show this video to people as a form of joke.
According to Google Insights, the video peaked its popularity/interest by the viewer on June 2011, one month after its upload onto the web. Then there was a dip on September 2011, but then interest was regained in October of 2011. Gradually after that, there was a slow decrease in interest over time but it safe to say that there is still a significant interest in the viral video2.
The Nyan Cat video was also placed ninth in Business Insider’s top ten viral videos in April of 20113. Today, the original YouTube video has received 103, 969, 957 views as of November 28, 20134. Along with the videos popularity there has been new remixes, cover versions, and parody videos. Extending off of Nyan Cat’s popularity other memes that have emerged from this is Nyan Cat games wherethere is an officially licensed game called “Nyan Cat Adventure” owned by 21st Street games5. Nyan Cat is now everywhere, whether it is painted on walls of a subway station, people making reaction videos to watching Nyan Cat.
Caption: Who left the Tubes again?
1. Thazar, B., 2011. POP Profile: The Guy Behind The Viral Phenomenon “Nyan Cat”. Available at: http://popgoestheweek.com/2011/04/pop-profile-the-brains-behind-the-viral-phenomenon-nyan-cat/
2. Google Insights: Nyan Cat. Available at: http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=nyan+cat#q=nyan%20cat&cmpt=q
3. Wei, W., 2011. Top viral videos of April: What’s A “Nyan Cat. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/top-viral-videos-of-april-2011-5
4. saraj00n, April 5 2011. Nyan Cat [original] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2-TGUlwu4
5."Nyan Cat Adventure (Xbox 360 – Indie Game) Review".thegamerplex.com.