The Strawberry King has vacated the throne; long live the new King.

For those have not heard the news,  Shintaro Tsuji, the owner, founder and driving force of Sanrio  has stepped down as CEO and handed  resigns to his grandson. Tomokuni Tsuji.

We have a lot to  thank  Mr. Tsuji for, but I feel the time for new blood has come, especially the missteps Sanrio took in closing down US retail business and over relied on big box stores like Target , Best Buy and Toys r Us to carry the load.  The  plan worked for a while until Target and Best Buy gave  Hello Kitty the boot and  replaced her with the next big thing. (out Hello Kitty: in Monster High.) In addition, the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys r Us in the US did not help and poor service for


NPR Story

Asahi Times Story

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.

Hello Kitty Festival say Goodbye

Vee and Sanrio should get a by eye over this.

While I had  fun at  Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival, there is a dark cloud as I read the Facebook  accounts.

“Hello! Due to operational reasons, Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival will make its last stop in Glendale, AZ. We apologize to all of our friends across North America and take every comment seriously. Please direct further inquiries to Thank you.”

I guess “operational  reasons”  mean they were losing money and decide to cut their losses. It sad that more fans in North America will not  see this wonderful event.  I also feel  Vee  and Sanrio going to get a Black eye how poorly  they are handling the cancelation.

In look back at  other  stops for the Hello Kitty’s Supercute  Friendship  Festival,  I see a pattern that  led to the shows  demise; the shows were  played  in arenas. It must be very expensive to rent   a coliseum or arena when Hello Kitty  doesn’t have the draw  like Ringling Brothers Circus, Disney on Ice and  Monster Truck Jam.   They would  have to sell out to keep the show in the black.

Even when Portland Oregon was announced as one of the stops , I had reservation in the back of my mind the tour would be successful. Portland and Seattle would make or break the Festival.  In Portland the show was struggling in Portland, as evidenced  by  the show  tick were being sold at a discount.

What Sanrio should  had scaled down the show. For example Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival space could have easily  fit part the exhibit hall  of  the nearby Oregon Convention center and possibly at a cheaper rate. They  could have scaled the show for  smaller areas were the fan base  is not as large. Or a similar interactive event like Hello Kitty Labs or Black Wonder event.


Next what fans can do. i.e. panels and  fan conventions

Hello Kitty Grows Up Another Play for the Male Market.

I always thought Hello Kitty was an age morphs; having the ability to change age at will. In some products she seems to be around six, she is listed as nine years old buy but other products like Moonberry she shows her adult side being around her twenties or so. I

am quite amused hearing that French clothing and accessories retailer Colette is introducing a line of Hello Kitty x Playboy items with the blessing of both Playboy and Sanrio.

I it seems to be odd and I wonder is this a play for Male fans but it does prove Hello Kitty is not just for Little Girls.

Story at Anime News Network.