Nyaa Hashimoto (橋本 にゃー or 橋本 ニャー), or Nyaa-chan is a character from Osomatsu-san.
Nyaa has more of a background presence for most of the show, as she is meant to be symbolic of Choromatsu's idol obsession and to reflect the prevalence of idol culture in modern Japan. She is depicted in a more modern moe anime style, like other newly-created female characters in the show, and her pink hair and cat motifs further make her stand out.
However, she also serves as a rival figure to Totoko in some instances, and a past connection between the two is furthered in the events of Osomatsu-san: The Movie.
Personality & Characteristics
Nyaa-chan has long pink hair with two green strands, and wears greenish-blue contacts. As part of her idol get-up, she is often seen with gray cat ears and a tail no matter what outfit she has on, with her cat paw gloves being an optional accessory that may or may not appear. However, her most common idol outfit is a brown jacket with a yellow-green ribbon, paired with a short blue skirt and green boots.
When shown as a 9th grader in the film, however, Nyaa's true face is revealed. Prior to ever becoming an idol, the younger Nyaa was shown to be a rather simple young girl with dark purple eyes and short, dark brown hair, with a pink cat hairclip as an accessory.
In one of the Tidbits Collection #3 skits, a space program scientist version of Nyaa shows what she would look like if she didn't dye her hair in her present-day life; it would be long and dark brown, but she would have pink-dyed strands in place of green. We can presume (as her eyes are closed in the shot she appears) that she would also not be wearing contacts and have her natural brown eyes.
Nyaa is an idol who centrally performs around the cat theme; when she sings, her fans call out different cat species to complete it, and she usually ends her sentences with "nyan".
While Nyaa is stereotypically seen as an innocent and sweet girl, she is revealed to be two-faced in episode 24, when she showed off her engaged boyfriend to Totoko and farted on her as a farewell. However, even with how catty Nyaa behaves, she has an easy advantage with her career and is shown to be more appreciative of her fans.
Nyaa is shown to have Dekapan as her manager in her first appearance, as an example of one of his many bit roles played. It is also hinted early on that she and Totoko know each other, as she is shown running out of the other idol's dressing room in horror at the stench of the rotten fish.
In episode 22‘s Mahjong skit, on the front page of the newspaper Karamatsu was holding, Nyaa was reported to be involved in a romantic scandal. Towards the end of the series she tells Totoko of her retirement plans and marriage, opting to graduate from being an idol. But like the other events that occur in episode 24, this too may have been undone or ignored for the sake of the grand finale. Instead, Nyaa is seen back with the rest of the cast, acting as a cheerleader with Totoko and later appearing (in a curtain call manner) with other side characters mourning Coachmatsu, before briefly being witnessed as part of the Matsunos' final baseball team and dying violently.
In season 2, she is still treated mainly as a rival to Totoko, but does show up at the funeral in "Osomatsu-san in Hell" to pay her respects to the sextuplets. Her IT fiance is only once seen in a crowd shot in "Osomatsu-san in the Summer" and is otherwise ignored. In the segments "Totoko and Nyaa", it's suggested that Nyaa is lonely by uploading images with hashtags expressing loneliness.
Season 3 reveals that Nyaa did indeed marry her IT lover, but since divorced him by this time and is now raising a child on her own. Totoko and Dobusu effectively become her friends in subsequent appearances, with the latter having worked as her babysitter. It is also shown that her backstory as a former admirer of Totoko from the movie is considered canon, as both pay reference to it. Later in the season, Nyaa develops a crush on Osomatsu Matsuno, but calls it off just before their date. She also explicitly rejects Choromatsu Matsuno during that episode, repulsed by him referring to her as "Nyaa-chan" when they aren't close.
In her youth, as shown by the revelations of the movie, Nyaa was an ordinary young girl who admired an older student named Totoko and saw her as a role model. She went to eventually deliver an appreciation letter to her idol at school, unaware that Totoko hated having all the expectations of being perfect.
After some undisclosed period of time, however, the tables turned and Nyaa became a successful idol while Totoko only started her attempt at a "fish idol" career to try to earn more appreciation and found it to be a failure. It was Nyaa's whole marriage announcement, amongst seeing other classmates having grown up, that also lead Totoko to the impulsive idea of trying to marry the oil magnate only for it to fail.
Season 2 is ambiguous on her personal status, instead focusing on her rivalry with Totoko, and the two often appear together.
In Season 3 she first appears in an AI VR program requested by Choromatsu, but she's soon revealed to be a single mother struggling ever since the divorce with her husband. She temporarily takes up an alternative career – female wrestling – in cooperation with Totoko, before both are seen as an idol duo once more; the AI Robots believe them to be successful and friendly, but do not see their chaotic fighting behind the screnes. Nyaa subsequently receives more screen-time, often with her baby as well as Totoko and Dobusu (who serves as her housekeeper and babysitter). Eventually a full episode is dedicated with her as the lead.
- In addition to Nyaa, episode 24 confirms the presence of another idol who is either still current or had been a former singer: Wan Sagamihara, who has blue hair and a dog theme. Sagamihara and Hashimoto are prevalent as two stations on the JR East-Yokohama line in the Kanagawa prefecture, both existing in the town of Sagamihara. These neighboring stations seem to have provided the inspiration for their naming scheme.
- Nanami Yamashita's casting as Nyaa seems to reflect that of her best-known role, the idol (named after herself) Nanami Hisami in the Tatsunoko anime Wake Up, Girls!. The anime's production committee also happens to include TV Tokyo and Avex Pictures, who are part of the committee for Osomatsu-san.
- While there would be fan speculation and theories as to why Osomatsu would randomly call her "Reika" and even attempts to try to connect it to an entertainer Reika Hashimoto, her surname seems to better reflect that of the composer for -san: Yukari Hashimoto, along with the punny theme naming seen above with her and Sagamihara.