Fans’ love for Hello Kitty has taken her all over the word. Aside from her many enterprises in her native Japan, Sanrio’s most famous mascot has been at the center of ventures in the U.S., Taiwan, and China. You could even say the character’s popularity has reached astronomical proportions, just like Kitty-chan herself did when she made a trip into space as part of an awesome junior high school science experiment.
Hopes were high when Hello Kitty Park officially opened its doors on February 4 in Zhejiang Province, China. The largest Hello Kitty theme park in the world, Hello Kitty Park was backed by Kitty-chan’s creators Sanrio and The Hettema Group, a California-based theme park design company. Unfortunately for Kitty fans, however, the park has been widely blasted online during its initial opening period for its underwhelming attractions, small size, and rumours of fake Kitty goods.
Hello Kitty has been quite the busy cat celebrating her 40th birthday. Earlier this year, she was making rounds at theatres in Japan dressed as characters from Rurouni Kenshin, and now she has crossed the ocean to make an appearance at McDonald’s in Korea. This time, she’s cosplaying as some of her fellow Sanrio mates. Check out the cute kitty after the jump!
After 40 years of hard work, Japan’s precious Hello Kitty character (affectionately known as Kitty-chan in Japan), has brought Japanese “kawaii” to all corners of the globe. It hasn’t been all fun and games for her though; she has had to work really hard to keep her parent company, Sanrio, afloat.
But now, thanks to Kitty-chan’s popularity overseas and her success branching into other markets, Sanrio isn’t just floating, it’s positively surfing on waves of international profit.
The various Disney-operated theme parks scattered throughout the world have brought joy to children (and grown-ups!) for decades. Disney’s major character contribution is none other than Mickey Mouse, who has grown to become one of the most recognizable cultural icons on the world scene. But how about a famous cultural export from Japan? Why, that would be Hello Kitty, of course!
Sanrio’s darling may be celebrating her 40th birthday this month, but she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, her birthday celebration comes along with a recent announcement that a new “Hello Kitty Park” will open in China early next year! Along with plans for the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland, China sure seems to be on a roll these days making children’s dreams come true. More details about the park after the jump.
Between turning 40 and a host of confusion of what exactly she is, Hello Kitty has had quite a year. But we have news for the gijinka that’s going to make it a lot worse: Her boyfriend (catfriend? ginjinkafriend?) is out kabe-donning it up with any random stranger that walks by!
That’s right the once-lovable Daniel can now be found at Sanrio’s Puroland assuming the kabe-don position for anyone to waltz over and lock eyes with. This is the kind of betrayal that we doubt Hello Kitty will take in stride. And it’s not like she doesn’t know a crap ton of superpowered badasses!
Exactly 40 years ago today, on November 1, a very special mascot character was born. The cat with an adorable oversized head, named Hello Kitty, has since been an excellent ambassador for the Japanese “Kawaii” culture, and as we all know, has come to be loved around the world. And in honor of what can arguably be called Japan’s most famous export ever, we wanted to wish Hello Kitty a heartfelt Happy Birthday on this special day. Plus, we even have a delightful little video from Sanrio to share with you that takes you through 40 years of Hello Kitty’s history!
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Oct 25, 2014
Despite being nowhere near as famous as his feline counterpart abroad, Sanrio’s Pom Pom Purin has a very loyal fan base in his homeland, so much so that the pastel-yellow “pudding” dog managed to clinch fourth place in this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking, at one point leading the pack.
But while Hello Kitty, My Melody and Kiki & Lala have all been given their own themed cafes, poor old’ Pom Pom has had to wait on the sidelines like the patient pup he is. But by the looks of it, the first ever Pom Pom Purin Cafe was well worth the wait, with the Harajuku location boasting a super-kawaii menu with meals, desserts and drinks featuring everyone’s favorite Sanrio canine as well as adorable merchandise available only at the cafe.
Remember Gudetama, the apathetic anthropomorphized egg character from Sanrio with no desire whatsoever to do anything at all? Well, it seems the most unmotivated character we’ve ever seen from Sanrio has actually gotten down to business, if only for a limited time. That’s right, Gudetama now has his very own cafe at the Village Vanguard Diner at the Yokohama Lumine, and he appears in the menu as an edible ingredient, which we guess isn’t so improbable, since he is an egg, after all. And boy, does he look adorable as part of a dish — definitely good enough to eat!
Sep 17, 2014
Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.
What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.
Sep 9, 2014
However, Ms Kitty once had more cerebral pursuits in mind, having conquered the Rubik’s Cube by becoming one with it…literally. We take a look at the unique Hello Kitty puzzle – an awesomely cute mind-bender that offers a great sense of accomplishment to those who want to reconstruct the deconstructed cat.
Sep 7, 2014
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?
As technology continues to advance and influence the way we communicate, it’s important for rules of etiquette to evolve along with the devices we use to keep in touch with each other. For example, by now most of us know not to type our emails in all caps and to turn off our cell phones inside movie theaters.
So why is it that we’ve learned to mind our manners in those situations, yet continue to commit the social faux pas of not making our iPhones wear proper underwear? That seems to be the question Bandai asked, and now we have the answer in the form of Hello Kitty panties for smartphones.
By now you’ve probably read the earth-shattering, heart-rending news that Hello Kitty’s own copyright holder Sanrio recently alleged that the world’s most famous bow-sporting feline isn’t actually a cat. If, like me, you’re a huge fan of Japan’s unofficial mascot, you probably already started going through the five stages of grief, too.
I, however, never got past denial. Instead, I picked up the phone and called Sanrio’s PR department in Japan. My findings will bring your suffering heart some relief.
Aug 27, 2014
Revered as “The God of Manga,” the late Osamu Tezuka is simultaneously Japan’s most revered and prolific comic artist. More than 700 manga series sprang from the mind of the tireless Tezuka, but even with that busy schedule, he still found time to draw his version of Japan’s most famous cat, Hello Kitty, combining her with one of his most-used characters.
While she may not be quite so well-known abroad, My Melody, one of cute factory Sanrio’s many mascots, is kind of a big deal here in Japan. Over at the Sanrio Puroland theme park, throngs of kids and women old enough to know better flip out and squeal with delight at the very sight of the hood-wearing bunny, and Sanrio makes a small fortune each year from My Melody-themed merchandise.
But none of that really explains this video recently released by Sanrio Puroland, which plays an endless loop of My Melody aggressively tossing noodles in a sieve. In total silence.
We recently paid a visit to Sanrio Puroland, the Tokyo amusement park dedicated to the characters created by the company that gave the world Hello Kitty. After arriving, our first order of business was grabbing an adorable Kitty-chan burger and My Melody stack of pancakes.
But cute character-based food is only half of the recipe for a successful theme park in Japan. The other is live shows, so we grabbed a seat for the park’s Hello Kitty musical, where we snapped pictures and even recorded a couple videos.
For around four decades Sanrio has been pumping out character merchandise at an increasing rate. Headlined by Japanese kawaii icon Hello Kitty, they boast hundreds of characters, some of which thrive and others that just kind of hang around.
Indeed, the company has never faltered in their mission to continuously create cuteness for our amusement and expendable cash. However, to do so must require long hours at the drawing table penciling in adorable black pupils in just the right proportion to fit the squishiest round face you ever gosh darned seen.
In doing so they seemed to have forgotten what an actual human head looks like adrift in their ocean of chubby puppies and fruit-eared kitties. That has to be the only reason to explain this cardboard cutout posted on Twitter recently in which no person’s face could possibly fit properly.
Even though it doesn’t boast the kind of attendance numbers that Tokyo Disneyland gets, Hello Kitty actually has her own theme park in Japan. Located in Tokyo’s northwestern Tama New Town district, Sanrio Puroland is dedicated to the beloved feline and her Sanrio brethren.
Puroland has the rides and shows you’d expect from an amusement park that was created to help fans spend the day with their favorite fictional characters. This being Japan, though, you also need special munchies to draw people to a destination, which Puroland has with its lineup of cute, colorful Sanrio foods.
Jul 29, 2014
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!
- Japan’s newest idol group, KBG84, hails from Okinawa, has an average age of 841
- Prince William meets Domokun and has other fun adventures during his first visit to Japan2
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】3
- Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?4
- Resort in the Philippines decides to stop ripping off Gundam, rip off another robot instead5
- Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy6
- In Neo Tokyo this weekend? Check out the bizarre “Bartkira” project exhibition7
- Goku vs. Frieza! Dragon Ball Z’s heroes and villains star in epic dance-off/soda commercials8
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans9
- Watch out for slang: 10 outdated words to make you sound like a “hoddypeak” in Japanese10
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby1
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens2
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”3
- Fan film ‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ – two years in the making, but well worth the wait【Video】4
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】5
- Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability6
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage7
- Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!8
- Revenge bento show us it’s a dish best served cold (and boxed) with insults and hidden chilies9
- Online seller pulls cruel trick, sells pencil lead photographed alongside Nintendo 3DS XL10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】3
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens4
- English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it5
- Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】6
- Keanu Reeves tries to be a tourist in Akihabara, gets mobbed by fans instead7
- Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet8
- The number one thing that foreign men find “not so kawaii” about Japanese women9
- Someone finally built the massive, room-filling Dragon Ball Z diorama the world deserved10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing6
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings7
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】8
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones9
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】10
- Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy
- In Neo Tokyo this weekend? Check out the bizarre “Bartkira” project exhibition
- Goku vs. Frieza! Dragon Ball Z’s heroes and villains star in epic dance-off/soda commercials
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans
- Watch out for slang: 10 outdated words to make you sound like a “hoddypeak” in Japanese
- Clever kitchen tool adds paws-itively adorable cat paws to your meal
- We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy
- Hefty is the new sexy! Spanish artist does big things with Photoshop, upsizes celebrities
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】
- Everyone’s favorite blue-black-white-gold dress, now available in fanart!
- Godzilla appears in the Tokyo skyline atop new Shinjuku skyscraper! 【Photos】
- Staggering servings of salmon roe are waiting for you at these four Tokyo restaurants