Nikko Nikolai: Cutest shadow ever?

In recent years, we’ve seen cute and cool anime-style characters based on such unusual source material as snack foods, IT infrastructure, and even Buddhist altars. Really, at this point we’ve come to the point where just about anything is a candidate for anthropomorphization, as long as the artist is searching hard enough for it.

But then there are times when inspiration appears on its own, and in very unexpected places. For example, looking at this footage of an anti-government protest in Moscow, which took place last October. You might not find anything that screams kawaii, moe, or any other popular vocabulary from the visual language of anime character design. However, that’s just because the video was shot in the daytime. Had the camera crew come back at night, they could have spotted the creative spark that lead to the birth of a cute, twin-tailed anime waif. And no, it wasn’t a face in the crowd (like during an arson evacuation in Japan) that got pencils drawing, but a shadow on a wall.

At night, protesters gathered in a plaza with a statue of a man on horseback, and the angle at which the figure was illuminated threw a shadow onto the building behind, one which looked like a slightly bowlegged young girl with her hair done up in tails on either side of her head.

As can be seen in the tweet above, an illustration was then created showing the petite lass wearing Russia’s national colors, as well as one where she’s bundled up with a scarf and fur hat against the chilly nighttime temperatures. Along the way, she even acquired a proposed name: Nikko Nikolai, with Nikko having both the -ko suffix common to Japanese women’s names and sounding similar to niko niko, the Japanese word for “smiley,” giving her two extra points of otaku-oriented appeal.

Unfortunately, the exact location of the plaza hasn’t been determined. Hopefully one of Nikko’s fans will be able to pinpoint it, though, so that fellow admirers can go and visit her once the sun goes down and the lights are on.

Source: Kaigai no Bankoku Hannouki via Twitter/@LazyWorkz via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@LazyWorkz