News Time

Well it had been a while before I had some Hello Kitty news.

First, up, it is not just Tiger Woods that had a comeback in 2019; Hello Kitty takes the top spot in Sanrio 34th Annual Sanrio Character Rankings. She beats out Cinnamonroll, who was last year’s winner.

Every year Sanrio polls it fans using the top 100 Sanrio characters.  For the last few year s, Hello Kitty languished in the top 10, never making in the top three.  I wonder Hello Kitty’s win has to do with becoming a popular virtual Youtuber.  I dare say the Annual Sanrio Character Ranking is a barometer of Sanrio’s character Campaign, noting Yoshikitty taking third place last year coinciding with the band X Japan revival.

The second piece of news is Mattel obtaining license to manufacture toys games and others items base on Sanrio’s portfolio of characters. This will start in 2020, just in time for the Hello Kitty Movie and possible TV show.  This good thing; I hope this will bring a higher quality to Sanrio’s toy and game offerings.

Toys R Us Closing Another Sanrio Mistake?

It been reported the Toys R Us are shutting down all their stores, even though and investor as trying to buy up the stores.  The short answer what went wrong is  in a down trending  market, Toys R Us decided to go private and  over leveraged  its self with debt  used  in the  buyback  The problem with leveraged buy outs is they do not work. Toys R Us soon found itself unable to service it debt and eventually went bankrupt.

One may ask what does this have to do with Sanrio and Hello Kitty.  Toy R US has to do with Sanrio grand plan to rely big box stores, post closing all of their retail stores. The plan worked for a while, big box retail stores like Target, Best buy had carried Hello Kitty items, that is until the retails stores dropped Sanrio and gave the shelf space to the next big thing.  That left Toys R Us as the only reliable seller of Hello Kitty, even though   I felt it was a lower quality that what Sanrio stores carried.  Now with the sinking of Toys R Us where that leaves Sanrio in the United States? Perhaps Sanrio can admit they made a huge mistake.

Sanrio to Release Gender Neutral Hello Kitty

Akab News 1 Apr 2018.

Don’t call Hello Kitty a Girl. Sanrio announces release of Gender Fluid and Gender Neutral collaboration. The initial release will feature Hello Kitty.  “It is a known fact Hello Kitty does not have a mouth because they want people to “project their feelings onto the character” and “be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty. We are taking the next step in allow people to self identify Hello Kitty’s gender in a wide range of the gender spectrums.  We are appealing to today gender reality and sensitivity. “, quote a spokes person for Sanrio.

Most LGBT activist approve of Sanrio bold move while a few Gay and lesbian and feminist groups criticize   about pandering to “That group”.  Gender Neutral releases of other characters including Batz Maru, My Melody will follow.

SANRIO, best known for global icon Hello Kitty® and home to many more endearing characters including Chococat®, My Melody®, and Keroppi®, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. August 2010 marks the golden anniversary for the worldwide lifestyle brand that was founded on the “small gift, big smile®” philosophy – that a small gift can bring a big smile to people of all ages. Today, over 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are sold in over 70 countries around the world, please visit www.sanrio.com.

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.