Sanrio and its vast array of cute characters such as Hello Kitty and My Melody have been seen on nearly every product imaginable – from contact lenses to passenger aircraft, they have made things just that much cuter. Hello Kitty was even able to explain forms of South African torture in her adorable dictionary.
But Sanrio may have bitten off more than they can chew with the Hearts Dental Clinic in Soka City, Saitama Prefecture. Is the sweetly disarming image of the hooded bunny My Melody enough to calm the considerable fears of children visiting the dentist?
Hearts Dental Clinic opened on 1 September with the front and interior all done up in My Melody imagery. Judging by the design plan shown above, other Sanrio characters may make cameos as well.
On Twitter, the reaction was largely positive with comments such as “I want to go!” and “I wonder what it’s like inside.” However, some pointed out the obvious pitfall in such an endeavor: “The number of children afraid of My Melody is sure to skyrocket.”
Older fans with an entrenched love for My Melody will probably benefit from her presence during a root canal or wisdom tooth procedure. On the other hand, it seems like a big gamble on Sanrio’s part that kids’ innate fear and hatred of the dentist won’t rub off on My Melody after they’ve been lured into the clinic by the rabbit’s innocent gaze as if saying, “Oh?! I thought this was a toy store too!”
Then again, if the My Melody themed clinic manages to make the dentist a pleasurable experience for children, this could be a major breakthrough in cute technology. It’s still very early though, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d go to investigate but I’m deathly afraid of the dentist and have the bloody gums to prove it.
▼ Hearts Dental Clinic already has a Hello Kitty office in Koto, Tokyo, but we already know she’s got the goods
[ Read in Japanese ]