Now, we know that not all technology may be good, and there are plenty of stories out there, be they movies or novels, of technology run amok. But you have to admit there are times when you just have to love technology, like when it comes in a cute, pop form that allows you to carry around large amounts of data in style. Yes, readers,we present to you these adorable Mimobot and Sanrio collaborative flash drives from Mimoco — they’re currently generating a bit of a buzz on online here in Japan, and we dare anyone out there to say that the results of the collaboration aren’t über cute!
Jun 13, 2014
Okay, we have a question for you. How many of you personally know someone who’s fallen under the spell of Sanrio? We’re guessing, quite a lot. The sheer number of characters the company has come up with during its 54-year history is truly amazing, not to mention the immense appeal and popularity some of these characters enjoy across the world. Even if you’re not a passionate fan, if you have even a remote fondness for anything kawaii, then you’re bound to have a favorite Sanrio character, which is why Sanrio has a popularity poll for its characters each year, called the Sanrio Character Ranking.
Now, considering that most people probably think of Hello Kitty as the undisputed queen of Sanrio, you may expect the international feline celebrity to have an iron-clad hold on the top place in the rankings, but apparently, that hasn’t always been the case. This year in particular, the preliminary results from the first stage of the polls seem to be surprising Sanrio fans, specifically with regards to the votes Hello Kitty has managed, or not managed for that matter, to earn. Could it be that there’s something amiss with Hello Kitty’s reign over the kingdom of Sanrio?
We’ve introduced an anthropomorphized food character from Sanrio before on our site, but we now have another one that we’re keen to share with you, just because his personality (although we’re not quite sure if that word applies even when the subject isn’t a person, or even an animal) is so unconventional and unexpected. That’s right, if you thought all Sanrio characters were good and cheery, you may have to think again. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gudetama, the lazy egg who doesn’t seem to want to do anything at all!
- Casey Baseel
Apr 23, 2014
As cute as we thought they were, when we first heard about Hello Kitty contact lenses last summer, we weren’t entirely sure they’d catch on. Was there really a market for this kind of thing, particularly at the contacts’ price point of 5,800 yen (US$57) per set?
You should never underestimate Japan’s queen of licensed merchandise though, as Kitty-chan’s making a return trip to people’s irises, and this time, she’s even bringing a couple of her Sanrio pals with her. And it’s not just fashion that marches along, but technology and production techniques, too, as the new contacts cost less than half what the old ones did.
- Joan Coello
Apr 2, 2014
Last year, Japan’s most successful creator of cute characters, Sanrio, melted our hearts with the whimsical My Melody pop-up cafe. This spring, they’re working their cute-making magic once again to bring us a limited-time Kiki & Lala (Little Twin Stars) Cafe in the newly opened Shibuya Parco Part 1 mall in Toyko! Twin power for double the cuteness!
- Casey Baseel
Mar 6, 2014
In its never-ending quest for new, cute things, Japan sometimes latches onto things that the rest of the world might not apply the adjective to. It’s understandable when someone sees Hello Kitty or Totoro and squeals “Kawaii!, but by some twisted criteria, The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington and the rabbit Usavich, with his creepy drugged-looking eyes, are als considered “cute”.
So perhaps it’s not too surprising that you can now get a costume that turns you into the latest character from adorable mascot king Sanrio, despite that character being a filet of salmon.
Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death
Jan 17, 2014
Japan never fails to amaze when it comes to transforming the quotidian into cute. I mean, this is the country that turns cucumber-stealing, human-throttling swamp monsters into adorable toys for kids. The country’s latest go at cute-ification comes from Hello Kitty producing toy company Sanrio: Kirimi-chan, a walking, talking salmon fillet, who is set to debut next month with a line of kawaii craziness.
Buying a fukubukuro (lucky bag) is one of the most anticipated thrills during New Year’s in Japan. Although what’s in the bag is a mystery until you’ve paid for it, the goods in the bag are usually worth more than the price you pay for the fukubukuro, so most of the time it is indeed a “lucky” buy.
Depending on your luck, you might not get something you desperately want or need in the bag, but even that wouldn’t dampen your day as much as what this Japanese Twitter user found in her slightly “unlucky” My Melody fukubukuro.
Have you wondered just how old Hello Kitty is? We know her dimensions (five apples tall, with a weight of three apples), but we never really stop to think about how old this adorable little cat is. Surely she’s still in her early 20s, right? How else could someone have the energy to work so many different jobs??
Well, if you thought so, you’re wrong! Hello Kitty was born on this day 39 years ago.
That’s right, the cutest kitty in the world is almost 40!
Hello Kitty has always taken center stage when it comes to Sanrio characters. But now My Melody is getting her shot at an extremely popular limited-time only pop-up cafe in Tokyo. Even My Melody’s rival, Kuromi is making an appearance at this cute cafe, which features lattes, cakes, and light snacks with the faces of My Melody and friends.
Starting with Hello Kitty’s first appearance on a vinyl coin purse in 1974, Japan’s favorite cartoon cat has been popping up all over the place! Her trademark image graces a wide range of items, from apparel to accessories and a vast array of tools and trinkets, not to mention toys and sometimes food. Sometimes she appears as a fashion-forward feline, or a cutesy maid, maybe an accomplished office worker, or even an Eva pilot!
We now understand that she works so hard to pay off her company’s debt, but that still begs the question of why the cat-woman can’t build a career in a single line of work. If I jumped ship and found new jobs as fast and frequently as Hello Kitty, I could never gain the trust of any future employers, so what is it about Hello Kitty’s methods that rakes in the moolah?
Halloween has become one of the three largest Western-influenced events celebrated in Japan following Christmas and Valentines’ Day. Though the spooky festival’s cultural origins are not the reason why the celebrations are observed, the Japanese do enjoy getting decked in themed costumes, thus making it a major commercial celebration for many.
The widespread popularity of the festival has resulted in confectionary makers rolling out Halloween-themed goodies, restaurants preparing Halloween-inspired menus, fashion outlets retailing Halloween-related costumes and accessories, and of course, entertainment facilities going all out with Halloween events.
We’ve put together a concise guide to some of the Halloween festivities taking place this year, so if you’re planning a trip to Japan during this season, here’s what you can expect!
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Sep 13, 2013
Sanrio has come up with some pretty adorable characters over the years. From Batsu-Maru to their most famous little mascot, Hello Kitty, the kawaii just won’t stop. However, the company’s newest character, Kirimi-chan, is questionably cute and definitely bizarre. She is the lead character for Sanrio’s new line of food mascots, inspiring one netizen to easily create a real-life version.
Have you ever walked by, say, a fried chicken restaurant that had a chicken mascot and been slightly disturbed by the implications of a food-themed character? If you eat the chicken there, aren’t you essentially killing the mascot? And why on earth is he so happy about it?
Japan is full of stuff like this. Pigs selling tonkatsu, chickens shucking poultry, dumplings who dream of being eaten by grandma. And now, Sanrio – famous for giving birth to everybody’s favorite mouthless kitty – is jumping on the food character bandwagon with this odd mascot with an edible head made out of grilled fish.
Cast your vote in one of the cutest elections around! A total of 100 characters are in the running to be named crowd favourite in Sanrio’s annual popularity poll this year, each one primped and ready with the standard political sash and some imaginative campaign promises. We take a look at some of the elected delegates, from well-known favourites to brand new faces and some unique characters we never even knew existed. Will Hello Kitty come out on top? Or will she be knocked off her perch by a smiling high speed train, a group of android beetles, or a dog that resembles a custard dessert? Take a look and choose your favourite for 2013!
We’ve brought to you many stories previously about how Hello Kitty isn’t picky at all about her jobs. Collaborating with other popular characters, operating hotels and restaurants, changing herself into various foods (and even going nude!) — you name it, she’s probably done it. Yes, she’s the internationally loved cat of all trades. And you may love her even more once you find out just why she’s been working so hard. Read More
Last year, Sanrio unveiled Hello Kitty’s strawberry-eared superhero alter ego, Ichigoman (‘ichigo’ means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese).
According to official canon, Hello Kitty transforms into Ichigoman when she raises her strawberry smartphone into the air and, together with a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, shouts “power the kitty!” with the force of several million hertz.
As Ichigoman, Kitty uses her strawberry powers to fight monsters and other evils born from the hearts of the wicked. She’s also known to do quite a number on consumer’s wallets.
Now, after a year of going solo, Sanrio has finally given Ichigoman a partner to fight crime with: Darkgrapeman, a sidekick whose passion for justice is matched only by his fetish for latex.
In May, the inevitable finally happened when respective branding companies Groundworks and Sanrio teamed up to launch a line of crossover products to commemorate this fall’s release of the newest Evangelion movie, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.
Now, with the long-awaited film only a few weeks away, Japanese underwear maker 3RDWARE has joined the fray to outfit your First Child with adorable Eva x Hello Kitty boxer briefs.
- New video from Wagakki Band “Hanabi” is an original, awesome song【J-Tunes】1
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- What turned Tokyo Disneyland into the Loneliest Place on Earth last weekend?3
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight4
- Man in China steps into “royal rumble” to save the day, maybe goes a bit too far【Video】5
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture6
- Are you a solo dining expert? Rank yourself with this Korean “lone diner guide”!7
- Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them8
- Get your chills on the rails with Kyoto’s Ghost Train 【Video】9
- Ryokan etiquette: What not to do when staying at a traditional Japanese inn10
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight1
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture2
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- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’5
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- Middle-aged Chinese man’s “stomach pains” turn out to be his first period as a woman9
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- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Little kid causes a stink after parents tell him to poop in his seat during Delta Airlines flight7
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】9
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】10
- 16-year-old girl arrested for beheading classmate in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture
- Are you a solo dining expert? Rank yourself with this Korean “lone diner guide”!
- Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them
- Get your chills on the rails with Kyoto’s Ghost Train 【Video】
- Ryokan etiquette: What not to do when staying at a traditional Japanese inn
- Gintama’s protagonist as envisioned by fujoshi: blushing, bare-chested, and super voluptuous!
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Two people tragically die after Chinese woman drops her cell phone into a cesspool
- Whiskey shaved ice: A frozen treat for adults in Kyoto
- Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】
- Ghost story cats or a typo? Cute overload either way!
- Vietnamese man, angry at wife, hatches bizarre revenge scheme: Cut off his own penis