Franchise: Hello Kitty
A long running Cash Cow Franchise mascot in Japan.This little cat has been marketed in America just as long as she has been in Japan. For many of us, this was our first taste of anime chibi art, and we didn't even know it yet. Unlike Western cartoon animal mascots (like Snoopy, Garfield, or Mickey Mouse), she started out as a marketing icon, with actual media (including quite a few cartoons and Video Games, including an MMORPG) all coming later.Contrary to popular belief, she does have a mouth, it's just like Dilbert's: very small and not drawn often. Usually. It's more commonly seen when she's animated,◊ just like Dilbert's.One of the most heavily merchandised things on the planet, creating all forms of insane craze in Singapore and Philippines when Hello Kitty dolls were attached to Happy Meals. Strangely enough, her biography states that she was born and raised in London. Yep. Uh-huh. Then again, the character was originally a British fashion label.In Japan, she has merchandising all over the place (usually pink), including Fairytale Wedding Dresses. Think this is a joke? See here and here.
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Works That She Has Appeared In
Anime and Manga
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, China is fond of Shinatty-chan, a Hello Kitty rip-off.
- Kitty also starred in various Sanrio OVAs in both the '80s and the '90s. More notable ones would be the Sanrio World of Animation OAVs (in which were compiled into a TV series in the US during the '90s. The Hello Kitty OVAs were released in Video and DVD in Japan. But as of 2012, they're all out of print. Good luck looking at the original episodes in Japanese online.
- Also, she appears in the eyecatches of Onegai My Melody.
- In 2011, she surfaced in a two-DVD set called Growing Up With Hello Kitty that aims to teach children about things such as good manners, playing nicely with friends and other pro-social lessons. It's actually both reasonably good and fairly well-reviewed, and employs tropes such as Good Angel, Bad Angel as part of its stories.
- Parodied in the "Swell" issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic series, which has "Vampy Kitty" dolls that are actually part of a demonic The Worm That Walks gestalt entity, with a huge misogynistic streak.
- In Lonely Werewolf Girl, Agrivex (a young fire demon) has a number of Hello Kitty clothes, and wears Hello Kitty pyjamas to go shopping in Camden Market. Her fashionista Aunt is suitably horrified by this.
- In Iron Man 3, Tony proudly wears a Hello Kitty wristwatch loaned to him from a young friend. Smooth as ever, he chats up women with his "limited edition" watch.
- In Breaking Bad, when Saul gives Jesse a Hello Kitty-designed phone in Season 5B.Jesse: Seriously, Hello Kitty?Saul: Seriously? It's free.
- Nekomura Iroha, AH-Software's new Vocaloid, was created in cooperation with Sanrio for its 50th anniversary. Iroha's costume is Hello Kitty-themed, and she is described as a Hello Kitty fangirl.
- Her own series of video games, including Hello Kitty Roller Rescue for the Gamecube, Hello Kitty Seasons for the Wii, and Hello Kitty Online, an MMORPG.
- She has her own Sega Dreamcast, which came in both blue and pink.
- Monchil: Mega Monster Cosplay Collection developed by Cave, complete with a variant of Kitty whose face is melting off
- There are a few kiddie ride designs featuring Hello Kitty that was released in Japan, and two designs released in Europe.
- Hello Cthulhu. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Hello Kitty meets HP Lovecraft. (Turns out, she's Too Tastes Like Diabetes For Yog Sothoth.)
- The King of Town in Homestar Runner dresses as Hello Kitty for Halloween 2008. "I dressed up as my favorite candy!""Uh, I'm pretty sure those were erasers."
- One of the ongoing problems with Jade in the Whateley Universe is her intense love for all things Hello Kitty. A bit much. since she's 14.
- Hello Kitty 40,000: In the grim future of Hello Kitty, there is only war◊
- Mentioned in the original Axis Powers Hetalia webcomic. 4000-year-old China takes a Hello Kitty head from Japan home, thinking it's cute, and shows it to his boss...who promptly declares she doesn't have a mouth and tries to draw one on it. China's reaction is hilarious. Later, a Hello Kitty ripoff in China would become "Shinatty-chan".
- Himaruya mentioned that he'd seen Hello Kitty ripoffs in China, and not only did they have visible mouths...the smiles were oddly nihilistic. "It's like Hello Kitty if she had murderous intent."
- The monster in the darkness of The Order of the Stick uses a Hello Kitty umbrella.
- The handbag given to Sniper to aid him on his quest in Romantically Apocalyptic bears a suspiciously similar design. It turns out not to be much use.
- Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater ran for 13 episodes back in '87. This show made the voice acting debut of the one and only Tara Strong.
- In the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft, Butters mentions "Hello Kitty Island Adventure" as his favorite computer game.
- In The Simpsons episode 'Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo', a Hello Kitty factory can be seen (and heard) from the family's room.
- In the MMORPG episode, Marge decorates Bart's dungeon with Hello Kitty merchandise via expansion pack, which causes him to kill Marge's character.
- Danny Phantom has a parody called Sayonara Pussycat.
Tropes Exhibited by Hello Kitty Herself
- Action Girl: Kitty is very fond of this, as contrast to Mimmy's Girly Girl.
- Art Evolution: Her design evolves within each generation. Her current design is done by Yuko Yamaguchi.
- Big WHAT: Hello Kitty reacts to this in "Going To The Bathroom", when finding out Fifi left.
- Crossover: A few plushies have Kitty dress up as famous fictional characters like Tony Tony Chopper (Likewise, there's a plushie of Chopper wearing a HK hat), Chun-Li, Akuma, Asuka Langley Soryu, Sonic the Hedgehog...
- Not to mention the (in)famous HK X Kiss merch line.
- Darker and Edgier: The OVAs that were released in the '90s had a lot of recognition over the character's development. Some of them goes to the line on Kitty and Mimmy barging into adult matters.
- Demoted to Extra: Mimmy gets very little merchandise, despite being almost identical to Kitty, which would allow companies to use the same molds with only a minor change. Even Ty, which has the Beanie Baby license and has made a rather unbelievable number of variations of Kitty herself, has yet to make Mimmy despite how easy it would be to just sew a bow on the other side.
- Fleeting Demographic: Young girls and teenage women. And sometimes.......otakus.
- Funny Animal
- Furry Denial: It has been stated by her creator that Kitty isn't an actual cat, but a little girl... Who looks like a cat.
- Genki Girl: Kitty Again.
- Girly Girl: Mimmy.
- Half-Identical Twins: Kitty and Mimmy were both twins, well rather identical to be exact. The only difference to tell them both is their ribbons.
- Implausible Deniability: Somehow, she is not a cat simply because she doesn't walk around on all fours.
- Kawaisa: Probably one of the more recognized and iconic versions of this concept.
- Lucky Charms Title
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: Much like any other Sanrio series.
- Never Say "Die": Surprisingly subverted in "The Sleeping Princess" from Hello Kitty and Friends, where Kitty herself warns the Big Bad that the princess will "die of sorrow."
- Potty Dance/Potty Emergency /(implied) Potty Failure: Kitty goes through all three in "Going to the Bathroom" from Growing Up with Hello Kitty. Her Potty Failure, is not onscreen, but you can tell because of in the next scene, her clothes are in the washer.
- Kitty: Ohhh, BUT I REALLY HAVE TO GO!!!!!Mimmy and Fifi:(gasp)Kitty:(cries) MOMMA!!!