Within the first 30 minutes of wandering around Makuhari Messe, the enormous event hall that hosts the Tokyo Game Show and many others, one thing became clear: there are a lot of models wearing fluffy fake ears this year.

Cat, pixie, rabbit, devil- you name it, they’re on a scantily-clad woman’s head. Anime and manga fans will no doubt shrug this off as perfectly normal for an event of this kind, but of all my Tokyo Game Show visits, this year is by far the most ear-filled… (lots more pics after the jump)

And the mimi  mayhem isn’t just limited to the booth companions! As seen on RocketNews24 this April, the fantastic / bizarre “communication tool” Nekomimi (lit. cat ears) is also available for visitors to try out at TGS. Placed on the head and with a built-in “brain-wave reader”, the pair of fluffy cat ears move and change their shape depending on the wearer’s mood. Excited; sad; curious- they’re all here!

That’s right; gone are the days of having to smile or frown- these ears allow those around you to read your mood without you having to utter a word.

Doubting that the ears could accurately convey a feeling of “I’m a 30-year-old man wearing a pair of cat ears…”, and despite her suggesting that I do it myself, I asked the booth attendant to pop a pair on for me. Here she is, modelling a pair of white Nekomimi and wearing an expression somewhere between “why are you making me do this?” and “is this enough now?”

Yup, Tokyo Game Show 2012 is absolutely ear crazy. But despite, animal ears being such a common theme, each booth somehow managed to throw their own sense of style into the proceedings and pull off a look of their very own.

Let’s take a little look at some of the best efforts on show. May I present:

- – – The RocketNews24 Tokyo Game Show 2012 Ear Extravaganza – – -

Sony starts us off subtly with jewel-encrusted metal ears. “Why are you a cat?” I asked, seeing no connection between cats and the games on show. “I’m a fox,” she responded simply. How right you are…

Next come a couple of bunny-ear-toting models from the D3 booth…

And then things get a little elfin…

And again… Surely these things get stuck in elevator doors?

And then this happened and we weren’t sure what to do…

Our cover model gives us a second pose

And then a blonde lady threatens to beat us with a mini bat

This young lady appears to have cracked an egg on her head

And then we come full circle, where a new Sony model shows us her ears (and>>>)

And her tail!

Those of you lucky enough to be attending the Tokyo Game Show this weekend, make sure you pack your ears. Or at least give your own ears a thoroghly good clean. Have fun!

Photos: RocketNews24