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Franchise: Hello Kitty

If Snoopy were a cat, a girl, drawn by a Japanese artist, and actually not really like Snoopy at all, we'd have Hello Kitty. (Interestingly, in most of Japan, if you want Snoopy merchandise, you can find it at the Sanrio Gift Gates/Hello Kitty stores.)

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 most of her Western quasi-counterparts (like the aforementioned 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.


    open/close all folders 

    Works That She Has Appeared In 
Anime & 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.

Comic Books
  • 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.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • In Breaking Bad, when Saul gives Jesse a Hello Kitty-designed phone in Season 5B.
    Jesse: Seriously, Hello Kitty?

Vocaloid
  • 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.

Video Games

Web Original

Webcomics
  • 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.

Western Animation
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Danny Phantom has a parody called Sayonara Pussycat.

    Tropes Exhibited by Hello Kitty Herself 

Crusher JoeCreator/Anim EigoKimagure Orange Road
Wolf TeamCreator/Aeria GamesDream Of Mirror Online
Hell GirlMadmanEntertainment/Anime & MangaHellsing
GormitiToysInhumanoids
HamtaroThe Kiddie RideOjamajo Doremi
Glorious LeaderImageSource/OtherLEGO

alternative title(s): Hello Kitty
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