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Founded by Shintaro Tsuji in August 10, 1960, Sanrio is a Japanese company, well known for creating various merchandise such as fashion, toys, and entertainment. The company is also well known for creating the Hello Kitty franchise. Sanrio started creating these types of characters beginning in 1974. The company also owns two Sanrio theme parks (three in China) across Asia; with "Sanrio Puroland" (an indoor theme park and shopping center) located in Tokyo, Japan in Tama City, and "Harmonyland" (an outdoor theme park) located in Hiji, Japan being their most popular theme parks. It's also the current company which owns Mr. Men and Little Misses series. A few anime shows were created in the mid 2000's starring popular Sanrio characters such as Onegai My Melody starring My Melody, Sugarbunnies, and Jewelpet (co-created by Sega Toys) named after the franchise of the same name, which stars Ruby, Garnet, and Sapphie.

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Between the late 1970s and mid 1980s, Sanrio had its own animation studio called "Sanrio Animation" (sometimes known as "Sanrio Film"). The company's animation division was entirely dedicated to making animated films, animated shorts, animated shows, and works based on Japanese children's books, children's manga, and some original content. While Sanrio Animation was short-lived with a total of 10 animated films during it's run, their works were notable for focusing on darker topics, depressing subject matter, disturbing imagery, and explicitly avoided the use of their characters in order to be taken more seriously in the animation industry. Their 1978 film adaptation of Takashi Yanase's children's story Chirin no Suzu (Chirin's Bell) alongside their two feature film adaptations of Osamu Tezuka's Unico series note  are Sanrio Animation's most well-known works that's still watched and enjoyed in Japan and the West.

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The company also published children's books throughout the 1970s under "Sanrio Publishing", where Takashi Yanase would not only publish some of his children's picture books (such as Lonely Anpanman "Alice's Cherry"). But also written and illustrated poems for younger audiences (such as Sanrio Gift Book Takashi Yanase Happiness Poems and Sanrio Gift Book Takashi Yanase Love Poems) themed to some emotions of the humanmind.

Here's the company's English and Japanese website. The official website for Sanrio Puroland and Harmonyland. Including the official Youtube channel for Puroland and Harmonyland.

Sanrio's official English and Japanese Youtube Channels can be found here. Japanese Youtube channel "chuchupachu" is mostly dedicated to archiving Sanrio's previous music videos (Mainly for Puroland and Harmonyland) and animated content from the past.

On March 5th, 2019, Sanrio, along with Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and Flynn Pictures Company announced that they will be teaming up to develop an upcoming English language Hello Kitty film for a worldwide audience. The film will be produced by Beau Flynn and executive produced by Wendy Jacobson. The partnership also marks the only time Sanrio has granted film rights to Hello Kitty and other popular Sanrio characters to a major film studio. On March 3, 2021 it was announced that the film will be a live-action/CGI hybrid and will by directed by Jennifer Coyle and Leo Matsuda.


Works starring Sanrio characters:

  • Kitty and Mimmy's New Umbrella (Hello Kitty) (Stop Motion) (1981) note 
  • Dream Star Button Nose (Button Nose) (Anime) (1985-1986)
  • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Tuxedo Sam, and Chip) (Western Animation) (1987)
  • Sanrio Anime Festival (Film series) (Hello Kitty, My Melody, the Little Twin Stars, Keroppi, Taabou, Pokopon) (Screened at three theater road shows during the summers of 1989-1991, then later in 1996.)
  • After the success of the Anime Festival, Sanrio continued to make short films and specials with their characters, releasing them on VHS under the "Sanrio Video" label:
  • Hello Kitty to Issho (Hello Kitty) (Edutainment anime series) (1994-1998) note 
  • Hello Kitty's Paradise (Hello Kitty) (1999-2011) note 
  • Hello Kitty's Animation Theater (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Keroppi, Kuririn, Pom Pom Purin, Hangyodon, Dear Daniel, Pochacco, Pekkle, Monkichi) (OVA series) (2000-2001)
  • Hello Kitty Stump Village (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll, Pom Pom Purin) (Stop Motion) (2004) note 
  • Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll (Cinnamoroll and later the Cinnamoangels) (Manga) (Originally serialized from 2004 to 2008, released in English by Viz Media in 2012) note 
  • The Charmmy Kitty series, starring Charmmy Kitty (Hello Kitty's pet) and her friend Sugar, and later her sister Honeycute. They can be watched here: Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 (OVA series) (2005-2006)
  • Onegai My Melody (My Melody and Kuromi) (Anime/Manga) (2005-2009)
  • Hello Kitty: Ringo no Mori (consists of 3 seasons: Fantasy, Mystery, and Parallel Town.) (Hello Kitty) (Anime) (2006-2008)
  • Kero Kero Keroppi: Hasunoue Town Kiki Ippatsu (Keroppi) (Anime Miniseries) (Oct-Dec 2006) note 
  • Usahana: Yumemiru Ballerina (Usahana) (Anime Miniseries) (Oct-Dec 2006) note 
  • Sanrio Pokoapoko Series (OVA) (Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll, and Usahana) note  (2007-2008)
  • Sugarbunnies (Sugarbunnies; mainly Shirousa and Kurousa) (Had three seasons: Sugarbunnies, Sugarbunnies: Chocolat, and Sugarbunnies: Fleur) (Anime/Manga) (2007-2009)
  • Petit! Tenorikuma (Tenorikuma) (Manga) (June 2007-December 2008)
  • ''Cinnamon The Movie'' (Cinnamoroll) (Anime Movie) (December 22, 2007) note 
  • The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends (Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, My Melody, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi) (All-CGI Cartoon) (2008-2009)
  • Together Sugarbunnies (Sugarbunnies) (Manga) (2009)
  • Jewelpet (Ruby, Garnet, Sapphie, many others) (Anime/Manga) (2009-2015)
  • Jewelpet the Movie: Sweets Dance Princess (Short Film) (2012) note 
  • Onegai My Melody: Yu and Ai (Short Film) (2012) note 
  • Show by Rock!! (based off the mobile game of the same name) (Anime) (2015-ongoing)
  • Aggretsuko (One-minute Anime Shorts; later made into a Quarter Hour Short series on Netflix) (2016, 2018-Ongoing)
  • Rilu Rilu Fairilu (Anime) (2016-2017)
  • Hello Kitty & Friends - Let's Learn Together (Edutainment) (2017) (A series of animated shorts that aired on Hikari TV in Japan as Kiti to Issho ni Manabi, Kangaete Iku note . It was dubbed and released in English in November 2018.)
  • Sanrio Boys (based off the multimedia project of the same name) (features Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, and Little Twin Stars) (Character Blog/Manga/Visual Novel/Anime; 2018 release)
  • O Mundo da Hello Kitty (Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, Keroppi, Chococat, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars, My Melody) (Web Original) (2016-2019) (An animated web series co-produced with Brazilian studio Plot Kids. An English language version is available on Sanrio's Southeast Asian channel)
  • Mewkledreamy (Mew) (Anime/Manga) (April 2020-ongoing)
  • Hello Kitty and Friends: Supercute Adventures (Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru, My Melody, Kuromi, Pom Pom Purin, and Keroppi. Later joined by Cinnamoroll and Chococat in Season 2, and Pochacco in Season 4) (Web Animation) (October 2020-ongoing)
  • Hello Kitty and Friends Mini Tales 3D (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, Chococat, Pom Pom Purin and Cinnamoroll) (Web Animation/CGI) (December 2020-ongoing)
  • Jewelpet: Attack Travel (Short Film) (2022) note 

Other works Sanrio has animated under Sanrio Animation/Sanrio Film:

Sanrio's non-animated works:

  • Don't Cry, It's Only Thunder (1982): Sanrio's only live-action film and was co-produced with the United States (via "Sanrio Communications"). Due to being set during the Vietnam War, it's the furthest the company has got from it's signature cutesy and idealistic tone.

Sanrio and their works provide examples of:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Several of their characters' names qualify as this:
    • Taabo, whose name means "Boy" in Japanese
    • Several of My Melody's friends, such as Squirrel and Bear
    • A boy and a girl named "Boy & Girl"
    • The names of the Sugarbunnies - Kurousa & Shirousa (black bunny and white bunny)note , Momousa & Hanausa (pink bunny and flower bunny), etc
    • Pink no Corisu - a pink squirrel named "Pink Squirrel" in Japanese
  • Animated Adaptation:
    • Sanrio made two adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood by The Brothers Grimm, both starring My Melody. The first was the 1989 OVA My Melody no Akazukin, the second starring My Melody was part of the 1999 series Hello Kitty's Animation Theater starring other Sanrio characters. Onegai My Melody had a stage show where My Melody was cast as Little Red Riding Hood, while the western produced series Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater had Hello Kitty starring as the character.
    • Sanrio Animation note  mainly did film adaptations of Japanese literature (Ringing Bell), manga (the Unico films), and some original content. Their animation division avoided featuring Sanrio characters outside of cameo appearances such as A Journey Through Fairyland and The Fantastic Adventures of Unico.
    • While Sanrio Animation adapted Chirin no Suzu into a feature film in 1978, a year earlier, they adapted two stories of Takashi Yanase's pictures books into animated shorts (The Rose Flower and Joe and Little Jumbo).
  • Animated Actors: In some Sanrio adaptations of beloved fairy tales such as the works of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, Sanrio characters are seen playing the roles of the main characters. It's more notable in the 1989 animated films My Melody no Akazukin, Kiki to Lala no Aoi Tori, and Hello Kitty no Cinderella where the characters (such as The Little Twin Stars and My Melody) are seen onstage in the beginning of their story. In My Melody no Akazukin, The Big Bad Wolf who got filled with rocks is revealed to be wearing his own costume where his stomach is filled and remains fine. The western produced series, Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater, follows a similar approach where Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Tuxedo Sam are seen preparing for a stage show based on a popular fairy tale or movie parody.
  • Animated Music Video: In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sanrio created a series of animated music videos starring Pom Pom Purin, Kuririn the hamster (Coro Coro Kuririn), Badtz-Maru, and Hello Kitty. Two were created for Purin ("Boku, Purin" and "Pudding, Pudding?") and Kuririn (Flame Diet Chu! and "A lot of big love"). Hello Kitty starred in "Get Along Everyone!" (みんな nakayoku!) alongside Mimmy and Dear Daniel. And an animated music video starring Badtz-Maru's sister Tsunko/Tzunko called "Koitte! Patzn Musume♪" featuring Badtz-Maru, Hana-Maru, and Pandaba. Sanrio later started doing live-actions music videos featuring their characters shot at Puroland and Harmonyland. These music videos would be shown at both parks and uploaded on the company's Japanese Youtube channel, alongside the channels for Harmonyland and Puroland.
  • Alternate Character Reading: "Sanrio" comes from Sanri, the ACR of Yamanashi (prefecture). The company was named "Yamanashi Silk Center" at founding.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • Cinnamon The Movie has a different origin story for Cinnamoroll compared to the character's official description of how he meet the cafe owner and his friends.
    • The Jewelpet anime series has a different universe for each season.
  • Art Evolution: Some characters in the franchise have gone through drastic changes since their first appearance. For example, look at My Melody as she looked in 1976 to her present day look.
  • Artistic Licence – Biology: Cinnamoroll and his friends are frequently seen enjoying sugary baked goods and drinks with caffeine and dairy. A real life dog or puppy with their diet would likely suffer from digestive problems and obesity in the best case scenario and at worst possibly die because of it. Ditto with Purin and his love for pudding. However since Cinnamoroll was born from a cloud (with his own mother and father being a sentient sky and sun according to the Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll manga) he wouldn't have to worry about any of those issues.
  • Art Shift: Some characters look different depending on what they appear in or what theme they are in merchandise.
  • Audience Participation:
    • While Mell from Wish Me Mell was announced by Sanrio in December 2010, she didn't make her first physical appearance until January 25, 2011. Sanrio actually encourage real life participation from social media to encourage her to come out of her house.
    • "My Melody's My Melo Therapy" hosted on Japanese internet radio network TS One, is a radio show hosted by My Melody where should would answer real life questions and topics from lesseners. The radio show even has it's own Youtube channel which archives her answers.
  • Beary Friendly: Tiny Chum, Thomas, and Tippy from the Hello Kitty franchise, Labra, Rosa, Chocola, and Sakuran from Jewelpet, Muu from the Cheery Chums series, Kuma, Dreamtale Kubear, Hoshinowaguma, Marumofubiyori, Aro from Wish Me Mell, Pandaba, Pandaapple, Pandapitta, Pankuchi
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: My Melody, Marroncream, Kuromi, Ruby from Jewelpet, The Sugarbunnies, Usahana, Wish Me Mell, Bonbon Ribbon, and Chuchu, Koriente, and Asami Rosy from Show By Rock!!
  • Breakout Character: Some Sanrio Characters that were introduced as a friend or supporting character to a titular character would quickly catch the eye of the general public. As a result, the company would quickly take notice of this and would either create dedicated merchandise to a specific character, or create a spin-off series. Here are just a few examples.
    • My Melody was first introduced in 1975 as Sanrio's version of Little Red Riding Hood but didn't became it's own thing until a year later. She started becoming popular once the 80s rolled out and quickly become one of the company's most well-known characters alongside Hello Kitty.
    • My Melody's best friend Piano the Sheep started out as a supporting character of the series note  and the 2005 anime Onegai My Melody. Starting in 2014, Sanrio decided to give more focus to her and she was even given the nickname "My Sweet Piano", complete with her own set of merchandise. This resulted in Piano appearing more frequently and she was prominent during the company's celebration of My Melody's 40th Anniversary.
    • Chiffon and especially Mocha (Cinnamoroll's female friends) quickly became popular with Japanese fans as early as 2004. Around 2005, Sanrio decided to create a spin-off series called "Cinnamoangels" where Mocha is the leader of a girl group and joined by Azuki with a chibi art style. Starting in 2007, Sanrio promoted Mocha to becoming a major character in "Cinnamon the Movie" and the Sanrio Pokoapoko and frequently sharing the spotlight with Cinnamoroll in the titular character's universe, and out of universe where Mocha's seen hanging out with Hello Kitty and numerous Sanrio Characters.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater introduced a cat and dog duo named Grimley the bulldog and Catnip the cat alongside her mother Fangora. These two characters were only seen in the 1987 series and never reappeared in another Hello Kitty and Sanrio related project ever again.
    • Cinnamon the Movie introduces a new character named Chowder, a wizard who's angry at Cinnamoroll and wants to capture him and his friends. With the exception of Cinnamoroll, his friends (especially Mocha) don't trust him and constantly call him out. As the movie progress, he starts acting more friendlier with Cinnamoroll, Anna, and his friends. By the end of the film, Anna (the cafe owner) invited him for a party which makes him cry of happiness. Since the movie, Chowder has never reappeared in other Sanrio related works.
    • Hello Kitty: Ringo no Mori has Uncle Scotch, a wise owl who gives Kitty and Mimmy knowledge, Pululu, a fairy of the apple forest who helps them, and a pair of flying squirrels named Monga and Montine who try to steal the apple amulet and the magical pocket mirror that takes Kitty and Mimmy to the forest. These characters were created specifically for this series and have not shown up in any other Hello Kitty works from before or since.
    • The Sugarbunnies series has the Two Queens, who send the titular bunnies to the human world. They haven't appeared on any merch nor have they been seen since the series ended.
    • Hello Kitty: Let's Learn Together introduces the Berry family, which has three kids named Harry, Amy, and Eric who become friends with Kitty and Mimmy. They have not appeared in any later Hello Kitty works.
  • Cat Smile: Some characters have this as their default expression starting in the mid 90's, such as Cinnamoroll, Sugarbunnies, and Pom Pom Purin.
  • Character Blog: While Sanrio has created official Twitter blogs for their characters between 2011 and 2013, they created an official Youtube Channel for Hello Kitty. The channel comes with English subtitles since the language is Japanese. The channel is a vlogging channel starring Hello Kitty.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Chip the seal (created in 1977) was one of Sanrio's earliest characters and Hello Kitty's closest friend. He was very prominent in the 80's (especially in Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater where he's a main character). As time went on, Chip eventually vanished from future merchandise as newer characters were introduced. Nowadays, he's only seen on merchandise featuring Tuxedo Sam and rarely hangs out with other Sanrio Characters.
    • In fact, a lot of their more unpopular and obscure characters suffer some form of this, such as Pinki Lili. She was featured on the English Sanrio website between 2002 and 2006 but you'd be hard-pressed to find even just mentions of her nowadays. It doesn't help that she's a US-exclusive character; no other Sanrio site, Japanese or international, has acknowledged her existence, and no merch of her has been sold outside of the USA.
    • Another example is Spottie Dottie, who was prominent during the 90s but was discontinued in 2010 due to being a flop in sales.
    • Button Nose was another character from the 70s and 80s who starred in Sanrio's first TV anime, Dream Star Button Nose, but has been largely forgotten nowadays and her show has since fallen into obscurity.
  • Crossover: Sanrio and Street Fighter teamed up a few years ago and Care Bears did a crossover with The Little Twin Stars in 2013. Apparently there was also a crossover between My Melody and Little Suzy's Zoo some time in the past. Sanrio has also collaborated with Sega for a brand of plushies featuring Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtzu-Maru, Keroppi and Chococat dressed as the main Sonic characters in honor of the franchise's 25th Anniversary. They've also collaborated with Nintendo where villagers based on Sanrio characters can move into your Animal Crossing New Leaf village.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Some of the fan translations for the TBS episodes featuring Restuko the Red Panda. Had some of the lyrics to her Death Metal songs contain a lot of swearing.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Retsuko
  • Cute Kitten: Hello Kitty, Mew from Mewkledreamy, and Garnet from Jewelpet are great examples. Cyan from Show by Rock!!, as well as two other characters have cat forms.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The aforementioned Sanrio Animation films.
    • Compared to other works featuring Cinnamoroll such as Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll and the Sanrio Pokoapoko series, Cinnamon: The Movie is surprisingly tense and doesn't shy away from showing the cast of puppies in peril. For example, there's a scene where they get chased and eaten by a monster tree in a spooky forest.
    • Among the Jewelpet series, Jewelpet Twinkle has parental issues as a recurring theme. It also touches on death - the main villain is someone whose fate is to die young because of her powers. Lady Jewelpet is considered the most violent and the darkest of the franchise - there's plenty of angst among the characters, and they suffer from injuries that are less cartoony and more realistic, such as getting stabbed with a sword.
    • Aggretsuko can be considered the most cynical of Sanrio's works, as it deals with the many challenges in being an adult and working in an office environment, including harassment, sexism, social media etc. And that's not even getting into season 3, which is darkest point in the series and definitely the farthest removed from their typical Hello Kitty fare.
    • Not even Puroland and Harmonyland are immune to this. Sanrio has made multiple Halloween events starring a Monster Clown very reminiscent of Pennywise. Speaking of which, there was a screening of the movie It: Chapter Two during Halloween 2019. Also in Halloween 2019, Pom Pom Purin was infected by a poisonous mushroom that caused him to become half-zombified and involved guests helping him find a cure at Puroland while avoiding zombies roaming across place. Even Pom Pom Purin's official Twitter page showed Purin's slow transformation into a zombie, with his friends asking the viewers for help. Thankfully, Purin was cured and returned to normal after Puroland's Halloween Event.
  • Dating Sim: A non video game example with "♡恋人目線♡〇〇とデートしてみませんか?♡" (loosely translates to "♡ Looking at your lover ♡ Why don't you date 〇〇? ♡"), which is an ongoing series of Youtube videos that was uploaded to Puroland's official Youtube channel beginning Feburary 8th, 2021. Each video (sometime separated into two parts) involves the viewer spending a day in Puroland by dating a popular Sanrio character (such as shopping, eating at "Resturant Yakata" (a resturant owned by Hello Kitty), and riding the "Sanrio Character Boat Ride") such as Dear Daniel, My Melody, Kuromi, Wish Me Mell, and Hello Kitty herself.
  • Death Metal: Restuko would always sing Death Metal music in Japanese to take out her frustration and anger.
  • Deranged Animation: The 2007 film Cinnamon The Movie has very strange and surreal animation once Cinnamoroll and his friends get separated from the cafe owner from Cafe Cinnamon in a land themed to candy.
  • Demoted to Extra: Played with. Keroppi used to be one of the more popular characters but now he barely gets any merchandise (or rather he does but it's barely advertised, especially outside of seasonal or special events) and once had a spot in "Other Characters" on the Sanrio website. The same would also occur with Pekkle and Pocchaco. Chip the seal (Hello Kitty's seal friend) was also prominent during the 70's and 80's (most notably in Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater) but vanished as newer characters were created. Nowadays, he's only seen in various merchandise featuring Tuxedo Sam.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • In the company's native country, some live shows and attractions at Sanrio Puroland and Harmonyland would feature some english text and dialogue from some of the characters.
    • This even extends to some Japanese songs and music videos that uses some english lyrics such as "Lucky Happy Everday", Sanrio's music group "Hapidanbui" using "Lucky" and "Happy" for one of their songs, and Kuromi solo song "Greedy Greedy" featuring a couple english lyrics.
  • Gratuitous French: Some of their characters canonically speak French and like to pepper their speech with French words, mainly Flat the mouse from Onegai My Melody, Rei from Mewkledreamy, Marroncream (as heard in Sanrio's rare alarm clock album "Hello Kitty Good Morning! Everyone" from 1991), and Wish Me Mell. Notably, Sanrio made a couple of stop-motion shorts for the Sugarbunnies franchise that were narrated entirely in French with Japanese and French subtitles. The later Sugarbunnies anime series also takes place in France.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Sanrio used to make and animate films such as Ringing Bell, The Fantastic Adventures Of Unico, Unico In The Island Of Magic, and Be Invoked back in the 1970's and early 80's. It's jarring to think that Sanrio, which is known for their cute characters, also made movies that were sometimes a little too dark for their current image; especially since the latter has an apocalyptic ending in which all of humanity is wiped out. The exception is Little Jumbo and The Rose Flower and Joe since both stick closer to Sanrio's lighthearted tone. However the latter does enter Tear Jerker territory with a mix of bittersweetness.
  • Fantasy Sequence: In The Rose Flower and Joe, the titular character imagines himself dancing with the pink rose complete with fancy clothing and hat. The sequence is stylized after Yanase's own illustration style, which is also seen on the Japanese cover for the short. note 
  • Free-Range Children / Free-Range Pets: Many of their characters are stated to be children and/or pets but they are frequently seen roaming around, going shopping, running stores and restaurants, visiting each others' houses etc. without supervision, and that's if their parents or owners are present at all.
  • Good Parents: The company has a great track record for the amount of loveable and kindhearted parents to a titular Sanrio Character. While there's too many to list, here are a few notable examples:
    • Hello Kitty's parents (Mary "Mama" White and George "Papa" White) are very sweet parents. Mama White has a sunny manner, but can get sad is she is worried about or husband and two daughters.
    • While My Melody's parents (Mama and Papa) are unnamed, they act similar to Mama White and Papa White. My Melody's mother enjoys crafting and baking sweets. In Onegai My Melody, My Melody would frequently remember some of her mother's quotes and advice from back home.
    • Pom Pom Purin's mother loves making freshly made pudding ("purin") that her son enjoys eating. His father is very handy, loves making bad jokes, and wathes over Purin's family.
    • An interesting example would have to be Badtz-Maru's parents. While Badtz-Maru mother is kind and sweet, she can get easily upset and angry when ever Badtz-Maru causes trouble and gets into serious mischief. Badtz-Maru's father is a different story, he mostly plays pinball and is a boss of an unknown gang (which is kept secret).
  • Goth: Sanrio got started with this trend in the mid 2000's with characters such as Kuromi, Lloromannic, and Badtz-Maru being an older example.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Since 2005 anime (except OVAs and movies) starring a Sanrio character (such as My Melody, Jewelpets, Sugarbunnies, and recently Mew) would mostly focus on new human characters. note  Examples include:
  • Granny Classic:
    • Margaret "Grandma" White (Hello Kitty's grandmother) is a sweet-natured and relaxing grandparents to Hello Kitty and her sister Mimmy. She's best-known for making very delicious pudding and enjoys doing embroidery in her rocking chair.
    • My Melody's Grandmother is also very sweet with her granddaughter and her friends. She is even responsible for making My Melody's signature pink hood that was given to her moments after she was born (which is depicted in the Puroland attraction "My Melody Drive" and some merchandise).
  • Iconic Out Fit:
    • Hello Kitty's red bow, red or blue overalls, and red or yellow shirt.
    • My Melody's red or pink hood, which was even given a new look for her 40th Anniversary in 2015 with a large bow and her ears now drooping.
  • Image Song:
    • In the late 90s and early 2000s, Sanrio had a Japanese exclusive album called Sanrio TV Original Songbook: Ureshi SONG!! (サンリオTVオリジナルソングブック うれしSONG!!~みらいへの宝物) which featured original songs sung by various Sanrio characters (such as Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru and his sister Tsunko/Tzunko, Purin, and Kuririn). Some of these songs would be made into animated music videos. A similar album called Kitty's Paradise PLUS Songbook: Sanrio Character to Odorou! Dance Song (キティズパラダイスPLUS ソングブック サンリオキャラクターとおどろう!ダンスソング) also did a similar approach and was sold at Sanrio Puroland.
    • Sanrio's Onegai My Melody anime has music albums sung by either My Melody, or Kuromi and Baku. My Melody and Kuromi sing the first credits song, while My Melody sings a Christmas song from a Christmas album for the anime.
    • A day before Halloween (which is Kuromi's birthday), Sanrio and content studio CHOCOLATE Inc. launched a special project focused on Kuromi called "KUROMIfy the World" on October 30th, 2021. The project was made in hopes to invite people to join Kuromi in creating "a world where everyone can aim to be the best they can ever be." To launch the project, Sanrio released a song and music video starring Kuromi called "Greedy Greedy" alongside an official Youtube channel for her.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: MaiMai the dog from the Wish Me Mell series is based on Japanese pop star Mai Kuraki, who collaborated with Sanrio on releasing the series's image song "Stay the Same".
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Between 2008 and 2009, Blue from Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues made a surprise appearance at Sanrio Puroland. She starred in a live stage show alongside Hello Kitty called "Blue's Clues Show".
  • Long Runner: Celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2020.
  • Level Ate: Most of the 2007 Cinnamoroll movie takes place in a world themed to candy and sweets that eventually becomes very dangerous for the characters.
  • Living Toys: The Sugarbunnies and Mewkledreamy are living stuffed animals. In the Sugarbunnies anime, they at first have to pose like actual stuffed animals before they reveal that they are living. Some humans get startled at first until they get to know them.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Since 1973, the company has created over 400 characters! note  While other websites usually focus on characters that are very successful. This page from Sanrio's Japanese website contains a complete history of their characters sorted by decade. Sanrio's Japanese Youtube channel even released an official music video in 2017 starring Mell from Wish Me Mell called "Mel's Sanrio Cute Memory Song" singing about almost every Sanrio Character up to that period. The song itself is 5:27 minutes of Mell singing about almost every single Sanrio Character.
  • Mouse World: The universe for both Tenorikuma and Coro Coro Kuririn take place in this setting.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In the 1989 OVA My Melody No Akazukin, The Big Bad Wolf is revealed to be a nice guy outside of playing his role. The same wolf later reappeared in a short My Melody OVA called "My Melody's "Beware of Mr. Wolf" where he's named "Mr. Wolf".
  • Medium Blending: The "Greedy Greedy" music video features Kuromi (2D animated) wandering through the streets and cityscape of Shibuya City next to real life residents of the city.
  • Never Bareheaded: My Melody and Kuromi are never seen without their hoods off. Even in their anime, there are scenes where they're taking baths with their hoods on.
  • Nice Mice:
    • Flat the mouse is one of My Melody's best friends and has a secret crush on her.
    • Hello Kitty is friends with Jody and Judy, one boy and one girl mouse.
    • From the Sugarbunnies franchise, we have Cocoa and Vanilla, two sibling mice who make chocolate. They became friends with Shirousa and Kurousa.
    • There's also Cherinacherine, another pair of twin mice.
  • No Mouth: A notable characteristic of their classic mascots (like Hello Kitty) as well as the Myumons of Show by Rock!!. When the mascots were adapted to anime however, they were given mouths. Characters from more modern franchises like Jewelpet had mouths from the get-go.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The other characters from Pankunchi, Gudetama, and Kirimi-chan have very unique appearances compared to the majority of Sanrio characters.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Their characters have birthdays but never actually age. This is especially apparent with their human characters like the Little Twin Stars and Tiny Poem, who were created in the 1970s and have stayed kids for decades. Hello Kitty herself has been a third grader since the 70s.
  • Older Than They Look: You are forgiven if you thought the RuRuRuGaken girls were little kids based on how they're usually depicted and the fact that most of Sanrio's human characters are stated to be children. They are actually supposed to be high-schoolers and were based off of doodles of Sanrio's adult staff members. There does exist merch where they're drawn like typical 80s/early 90s anime teens instead of the normal chibi art style.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: Pandaba from Bad Badtz-Maru, the Chocopandas, Rald from Jewelpet, Pandapple, Pankunchi.
    • One of the Sugarbunnies is named Pandausa because of his black and white fur.
  • Precious Puppy: Chibimaru, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, Sapphie and Peridot from Jewelpet.
    • The main protagonist of the 1977 animated short The Rose Flower and Joe, is a sweet-natured brown puppy, who falls in love with a rose, and must protect it from a crow.
    • The 1989 anime My Melody no Akazukin has The Woodsman/The Huntsman given a pet dog who is seen licking My Melody out of affection. The Woodsman/Huntsman' dog even shares a similar cap as his owner. Both characters later reappeared in an animated short called "My Melody's "Beware of Mr. Wolf!" which is an even short adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood but with educational elements in the mix.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Retsuko has many of these, as she tries to maintain patience with the world and her co-workers who annoy her senseless.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Every character created by Sanrio will look like this.
  • Santa Claus:
    • The 1998 Hello Kitty OVA Hello Kitty no Minna no Tanoshii Natsuyasumi (known as Hello Kitty's Everyone's Fun Summer) involves Kitty, Mimmy, Tuxedo Sam, Chip, and Pokopon receiving a letter from a mysterious old man inviting the group to a summer vacation at his southern island home. When Hello Kitty and friends arrive at the island, it's revealed to be Santa Claus. Santa explains to the group that he annually spends a summer vacation at the southern islands before the next Christmas season arrives. However, Santa tells the group to keep this a secret from other children and adults.
    • He appears in a Christmas Episode of Onegai My Melody where he helps My Melody and Kuromi grant Koto's wish and brings her mother back to life for one night. He becomes a recurring character in later christmas episodes and summoned in one episode not set during the holiday season.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: In 2013, Sanrio held a contest to come up with a new character, with Kirimi-chan taking first place and Gudetama taking second. However, Gudetama became much more popular.
  • Shared Universe: Since the company has over 400 characters, a tone of universes focused on a separate Sanrio character (such as My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Wish Me Mell, Hello Kitty, etc) would all share the same universe as their own.:
    • The "Sanrio Character Boat Ride" (located in Puroland and Harmonyland) involves Cinnamoroll inviting guests to attends Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel's Wedding as they travel through various universes of Sanrio Characters who all recieved Hello Kitty's Wedding Invitation.
    • A majority of works by "Sanrio Digital" (such as the defunct MMORPG game "Hello Kitty Online, the CGI series "The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends", and "Hello Kitty Seasons") also take place in an unnamed town inhabited by popular and sometimes obscure Sanrio characters.
    • The 2020 Youtube english-languaged webseries Hello Kitty's Supercute Adventures takes place in an unnamed setting where various Sanrio characters are seen hanging out together.
    • Some of the Keroppi OVAs (such as ''Keroppi & Friends) from the early 1990s would feature a couple Sanrio characters (Such as Hello Kitty and her sister Mimmy, the Goropikadon trio, and Pokopon) making a guest apperance or a non-speaking cameo role.
    • This also extends to Sanrio's official Twitter accounts, where a different Sanrio character (such as My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Pom Pom Purin, and Wish Me Mell) would occasionally be featured in a titular Sanrio character's twitter post.
  • Short-Runner: While Sanrio's own animation studio lasted from 1977 till 1985 with a total of 10 animated films, it was praised by animation fans (especially in Japan) for tackling some surprisingly mature and deep subject matter while aimed at children. Some of their films note  had very memorable scores and had animation work that was very high quality compared to other animation studios during that period. The Unico movies are still praised by hardcore fans of Osamu Tezuka, while their film adaptation of Chirin no Suzu has remained a pop culture staple in Japan with some plays and stage performances taking cues from the 1978 movie.
  • Shrinking Violet: A rare male example is Melo aka "Little Forest Fellow", My Melody's cousin, who was introduced in 2015. He is very timid, extremely sensetive, and sometimes anxious, which can be seen in this video from Sanrio's Japanese Youtube channel.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Sanrio Animation's animated works throughout the late seventies and early eighties had a very melancholy tone and atmosphere, with a bit of cynicism in the mix compared to their merchandise divison. Their works dealt with some surprisingly mature topics and situations while aimed at children and family audiences. The most notable is the 1978 film adaptation of Chirin no Suzu since it's cautionary tale about revenge and the main protagonist coping with the death of his mother and the tragic fate of the character. The exception is their adaptation of The Rose Flower and Joe and Little Jumbo which are both based on Yanase's children's books of the same name which carries a very lighthearted and idealistic tone that Sanrio is best-known for. note 
    • Unlike other Sanrio character franchises such as Hello Kitty and My Melody, who both focus on the positive side of life and love cheering people up, Aggretsuko focuses more on the cynical side of life, since most of the characters are rude or irritating to the titular protagonist. However the series is not too cynical since it does have its own cute moments as a reminder that this is still a Sanrio creation.
  • Spin-Off: Some characters from another Sanrio character franchise would get this treatment.
    • Cinnamoroll's friends Mocha and Chiffon would later get their series called "Cinnamoangels" in 2005 (Cinnamon Angels in the Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll manga).
    • Another Cinnamoroll spin-off is a gothic themed series called "Lloromannic". It focuses on Berry and Cherry, two demons who love playing tricks around each other and causing trouble.
    • Kuromi for My Melody.
    • The Sugarbunnies later got a separate series called "Sugarminuet" focusing on two female ballet bunnies named Balletusa and Primausa.
  • Stop Motion: Used for earlier videos promoting the Sugarbunnies, a more notable example of this is the 2004 series "Hello Kitty Stump Village" which uses claymation. Another example of Sanrio using claymation is a series of web shorts made in 2006 starring the Tenorikuma.
  • Soulful Plant Story: Their 1977 animated short adaptation of The Rose Flower and Joe is focused a homeless dog named "Joe", who develops a romantic relationship with a rose flower. Joe has to protect the rose flower from a cold-hearted crow and other harmful situations. By the end of the short, Joe and the rose flower die together and reunite in the afterlife. The short is based on a children's story by Takashi Yanase who directed the short.
  • Sugar Bowl: Many characters franchises have their own set of peaceful and relaxing worlds, these include Mariland (My Melody), Jewel Land (Jewelpets), and Bunnyville, Bunnyland (Sugarbunnies). The exception is the Aggretsuko universe since the setting is more realistic and based on modern day Japan.
  • Super-Deformed: Chibimaru and the Cinnamoroll spin-off "Cinnamoangels" starring Chiffon, Mocha, and Azuki.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Piano the sheep is known for only communicating by bleating like an actual sheep as seen in the 2005 anime Onegai My Melody. While she was able to talk normally in Hello Kitty Online and Hello Kitty Seasons (both by Sanrio Digital), the web series Hello Kitty And Friends: Supercute Adventures is the first time she's heard talking normally as seen in the episode "Cinnamoroll's Dance Craze".
  • Surprise Party: The 1989 OVA Hello Kitty and Mimmy's Happy Birthday invovles Sanrio characters planning a suprise birthday party for Hello Kitty and Mimmy.
  • Sweet Sheep:
    • Chirin from Ringing Bell is a notable subversion of this trope - he starts out like this, but he becomes less and less sweet and more menacing throughout the film.
    • My Melody's friend Piano is very kindhearted and gentle with her friends, and she's very close with My Melody and Flat.
    • Flora from Jewelpet is also a very gentle sheep...as long as you don't make her angry.
    • Moa from Show By Rock!! is very energetic and the most bubbly member of the Plasmagica group. She also works at a bedding store where she cuts her own wool.
    • The Tiny Poem series contains an extremely cute sheep alongside chicks, a rabbit, and a puppy.
    • One of Hello Kitty's friends and classmates is a little sheep named Fifi.
  • The Cameo: Some animated works starring a titular Sanrio character. Other Sanrio characters would make brief cameo apperances. These even extends to their own animated films not focusing on their characters.
    • Keroppi - The Christmas Eve Gift part of the Keroppi and Friends series features Pokopon and his girlfirend Hana-chan/Ohana-chan, Tuxedo Sam, Chip, Hello Kitty, and Mimmy make cameo apperances waving at Santa and his reindeer (including Kuppi).
    • Hello Kitty alongside Kiki and Lala make cameo apperances in The Fantastic Adventures of Unico where they are seen in the background of Katy's musical number.
    • Hello Kitty, My Melody, and The Little Twin Stars show up during the climax of A Journey Through Fairyland.
  • The Big Race: The 1990 OVA Sam and Chip's Great Messy Race is set during a massive race against numerous Sanrio characters on a team of two or one (such as Hello Kitty/Mimmy, Kiki/Lala, and Keroppi) with Dachonosuke as the main announcer starring Tuxedo Sam and Chip.
  • The Movie: So far the only Sanrio character franchises that starred in a feature film are Jewelpet is the 2012 movie Jewelpet The Movie: Sweet Dance Princess with a short starring My Melody and Kuromi, note  and Cinnamoroll for the 2007 movie Cinnamon The Movie. Both never gained an international release outside of Japan.
  • Tanuki: Pokopon from "Pokopon Diary's" is a male raccoon dog along alongside his girlfriend Hana-chan/Ohana-chan. Like traditional Japanese mythology, Pokopon frequently drums his belly when very excited or happy.
  • The Unintelligible: In Onegai My Melody, Piano only talks by bleating or baaing, but her friend Flat and My Melody can translate what she's saying. In the MMORPG game Hello Kitty Online and the Wii game Hello Kitty Seasons, she is able to talk normally. Supercute Adventures is also the first time Piano is heard talking normally.
  • Vague Age: Due to the cute and friendly design and appearances of the majority of their characters, it's difficult to know the exact ages for any of their characters besides some of their family members. This is mainly the case with Sanrio characters that are stated to be young children but are seen acting like young adults and doing grown up things such as driving or shopping. The Cinnamoroll universe, for example, shows the main puppy cast drinking coffee and driving cars. Aggretsuko is one of the few creations by Sanrio where the entire cast are canonly young and grown adults.
  • Villain Song: The 1989 film My Melody no Akazukin. The Big Bad Wolf has his own villain song, which he is heard singing before he encounters Little Red Riding Hood, who is played by My Melody.
  • Virtual Celebrity:
    • On October 8th, 2020 Sanrio and Sega Toys teamed up to create new Sanrio characters called "The Beatcats". A 5-piece Virtual Idol Unit starring adorable cats that perform J-Pop created by The Beatcats group.
    • A non-virtual band example is "Hapidanbui", an real life music group starring 6 Sanrio characters (Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, Pochacco, Tuxedo Sam, Hangyodon, and Pekkle) that was launced in early 2020. Hapidanbui would mainly upload music videos and the members antics on Sanrio's Japanese and Taiwanese Youtube channels.
  • Voice Grunting: In Hello Kitty Stump Village, Hello Kitty and her friends communicate by making noises such as gasping, laughing, or crying. While Hello Kitty and the characters don't talk, a narrator explains what's going on. The 2020 webseries Hello Kitty and Friends Mini Tales 3D also has no dialogue with the characters only communicating by giggling, grunting, or gasping.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Cinnamoroll is frequently depicted wearing feminine dresses and bows which he appears to enjoy.
    • "Chunenheroine Ojisan's" are a trio of old and middle age men who wear dresses and wands. They are also experts at tea (mainly green tea). They are possibly inspired by okama (Japanese slang for homosexual or transvestite).

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