Sanrio’s marketing comes full circle, then keeps on going.

This probably won’t come as a shock to anyone, but Sanrio is really, really good at marketing. Hello Kitty’s parent company more or less conjured out of thin air the perpetually profitable “character goods” section of Japan’s economy, where fans happily plunk down cash to buy merchandise featuring characters who were created with the sole purpose of selling merchandise.

Sanrio’s talents are such that the company can even score a hit with a character merchandise line starring characters who promote other character merchandise line, which is exactly what it’s done with the Sanrio Boys, or Sanrio Danshi, as they’re called in Japanese.

First introduced in late 2015, the Sanrio Boys aren’t an attempt to macho up Sanrio’s products. On the contrary, they’re a group of five high schoolers with physiques and fashion sense that would have them right at home in an anime targeting female fans of Japanese animation. Each member of the group has a particular Sanrio character he’s got a soft spot for.

▼ The Sanrio Boys’ official Twitter account is full of “selfies” by the boys posing with cool merch, which is either shameless advertising or a faithfully realistic recreation of many real-life social media accounts.

The Sanrio Boys’ steadily growing popularity led to a mobile game dating simulator last autumn, and now Sanrio has announced that there’s a full-fledged Sanrio Boys anime TV series on the way.

The company is withholding details until after the upcoming Sanrio Expo fan event. The producers have, at least, released the title, which is to be Sanrio Boys: Never Without My Favorite Friend.

▼ Whether said “favorite friend” is referring to the boys or their personal Sanrio spirit animals is unclear.

While no official premiere date has been given, a start date sometime in 2017 seems the most logical, since while the Sanrio Boys have amassed a sizeable following, they’re not quite a big enough pop cultural phenomenon to string fans along for a whole year after promising them an anime. Going into further speculation, storylines are likely to involve the boys’ hanging out in fashionable surroundings while gushing over various Sanrio products.

Oh, and also touching each other a lot, but that’s become sort of a given in anime with Sanrio Danshi’s target demographic.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@Sdan_sanrio