Sanrio

Those freaky Hello Kitty contact lenses are back, and this time she brought friends!

Those freaky Hello Kitty contact lenses are back, and this time she brought friends!

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.

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Sanrio’s Gudetama 1st anime short streamed

Sanrio’s Gudetama 1st anime short streamed

Sanrio began streaming the first animated short for its new character Gudetama on Monday. The anime aired with an accompanying game segment as part of the weekday family news program Asa Chan (Morning Chance), which debuted on TBS at 6:54 a.m.

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Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

Kiki & Lala Cafe in Tokyo now serving up star shaped burgers and more!【Photos】

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!

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Costume of Sanrio’s newest character lets you look like a fish without smelling like one

Costume of Sanrio’s newest character lets you look like a fish without smelling like one

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.

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Sanrio’s Evangelion line-up keeps getting cuter and cuter

Sanrio’s Evangelion line-up keeps getting cuter and cuter

Yes, you read that correctly. Sanrio has a line of Evangelion merchandise. Naturally, it’s all adorable.

Called “Eva Micro Macro,” the line was announced late last year, and already includes smartphone cases, with t-shirts to come in April 2014.

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Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

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.

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My Melody lucky bag turns out to be slightly unlucky

My Melody lucky bag turns out to be slightly unlucky

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.

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Happy Birthday, Hello Kitty!

Happy Birthday, Hello Kitty!

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!

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My Melody and friends featured at pop-up cafe in Tokyo

My Melody and friends featured at pop-up cafe in Tokyo

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.

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Why can’t Hello Kitty seem to keep a steady job?

Why can’t Hello Kitty seem to keep a steady job?

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?

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Trick or Treat! A concise guide to Halloween attractions in Japan

Trick or Treat! A concise guide to Halloween attractions in Japan

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!

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It’s alive! Someone made a real-life version of Sanrio’s bizarre fish head mascot

It’s alive! Someone made a real-life version of Sanrio’s bizarre fish head mascot

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.

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Hello Kitty creators bet you’ll eat up their new characters

Hello Kitty creators bet you’ll eat up their new characters

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.

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Vote for your favourite Sanrio character!

Vote for your favourite Sanrio character!

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!

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The Surprising Truth Revealed! Now We Know Why Hello Kitty Has Been Working So Hard

The Surprising Truth Revealed! Now We Know Why Hello Kitty Has Been Working So Hard

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

Hello Kitty’s Superhero Alter Ego Gets Latex Slave…er, Sidekick

Hello Kitty’s Superhero Alter Ego Gets Latex Slave…er, Sidekick

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.

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Adorable Evangelion x Hello Kitty Crossover Comes to Crotches Everywhere

Adorable Evangelion x Hello Kitty Crossover Comes to Crotches Everywhere

Longtime readers of our site, or anyone who follows Japanese pop culture at all, has probably noticed that two of the country’s most heavily exploited media franchises are Evangelion and Hello Kitty.

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.

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Hello Kitty Gets Naked with Giant Anthropomorphic Mushroom on Your Chest

Hello Kitty Gets Naked with Giant Anthropomorphic Mushroom on Your Chest

From baked goods to blue hedgehogs, there’s nothing international superstar Hello Kitty won’t do to make a quick buck.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, our beloved “Kitty of All Trades,” the face of untainted feline innocence herself, has gone full-frontal.

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The Cakes at Seoul’s Hello Kitty Cafe Are So Cute, You’ll Feel Bad Mutilating the Face of the World’s Most Beloved Cat

The Cakes at Seoul’s Hello Kitty Cafe Are So Cute, You’ll Feel Bad Mutilating the Face of the World’s Most Beloved Cat

Just about everyone knows Hello Kitty.  The Japanese born cat of Sanrio, with her simple expression and cute little bow, has reached the far corners of the world.  Hello Kitty, known as Kitty-chan in Japan, has made appearances on lunch boxes, debit cards, $5,000 necklaces, electric guitars, and even airplanes.

The expressionless white cat’s overwhelming popularity has spread throughout the world, prompting the creation of the Hello Kitty Cafe franchise in South Korea with locations in Seoul, Incheon, and Sinchon.  One of our reporters, enamored by the cuteness that Japan’s most famous cat exudes, decided to pay a visit to Hello Kitty Cafe’s Seoul location.

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