Cultural Appropriation Protest against Sanrio Stopped on Revelation

Akab News 1 Apr 2017.

A Protest against Sanrio over Western Cultural Appropriation of Japanese culture, concerning Hello Kitty, stopped when Sanrio revealed Hello Kitty is British and not Japanese.

The protest began at 9:00am at Sanrio USA, El Segundo corporate offices. Latter that morning, a spokesperson from Sanrio agreed to meet with the protesters.  The protest went silent when the spokesperson   told about Hello Kitty’s background being that she was in London England.  “First Hello Kitty is not a cat and now this” said one protester who goes by the name Red. The leaders of the protest talked among themselves about this new revelation. Some wanted to continue but others felt the protest is not valid anymore.

The leaders were going to retreat for further dialog when a group of transgender protesters demanded they should continue the protest until their demands were heard. They demanded that Sanrio allows Hello Kitty to self identify  as a gender fluid non binary, noting  Hello Kitty doesn’t have any visible genitalia, therefore biological genitalia is not required to identify oneself as a women. At that statement, the transgender protesters got into a shouting match with the Feminist faction of the protest over the definition of gender. The Police had to intervene and separate both groups until the protesters decide to break up and disperse.

Aggretsuko is Not is a Boozer

Aggretsuko is one of Sanrio latest Furry characters.  She is a cute Red Panda, 25 years old, and a worker at a respected trading firm in Tokyo.   She has to deal with a lot of office politics, a condescending boss, and backstabbing and annoying coworkers.  When she reaches her limit, she lets off steam via death metal singing and karaoke. She is cute but definably not like Hello Kitty.   A Little misinformation if in the media that Aggretsuko is a boozer.   This misinformation came from a screen shot from episode five of Aggretsuko shorts shown on YouTube.   While no English sub existed, I could still get the gist.  In this episode Aggretsuko was at the bosses after work party know in Japanese culture as a Nomikai.  At the party, food and a communal bottle of beer are offered. Nomikai etiquette dictates no glass left empty and you do not fill your glass but you fill the glasses of others also, the lower rank worker serves the upper rank. In this case, the boss set off Aggretsuko by criticizing her for filling his glass with the beer label down. She fantasies insulting and defying the boss   by guzzling the beer in front of him.

I think it is interesting how Sanrio is marketing Aggretsuko in Japan and the US. Most Sanrio characters start out like Hello Kitty;  first   being marked to the little  Girls, then evolving the market to  include Women and now for Hello Kitty to Men.   In Aggretsuko case, she is marketed straight to adults.  I feel she has a lot of potential worldwide represent the feelings of many over worked individuals and dealing with work place politics.

I spoke to soon  in Episode  50 Aggretsuko get a little tipsy during  a Cherry Blossom outing.

Closing Sanrio Stores Did Sanrio Made a Mistake?

I replied to an older post about Sanrio in closing it stores has got me thinking.  What is not  widely reported  was Sanrio  was closing its company stores and pushing owner operators to  buy back stores and run them as independent Sanrio stores.   I know this true because I talked to the previous owner of the closed Washington Square store In Oregon. Sanrio wanted her to buy back the store , but at her age, she  decided to retire instead.

Now two years later, I think the way Sanrio approached pulling out of the retail market was the wrong decision. They should had  push spinning off the stores  than outright closing them and relying on big retailers.