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Creator / Sanrio

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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 in the 1970's. The company also owns two Sanrio theme parks (three in China) across Asia; Sanrio Puroland located in Tokyo, Japan, and Harmony Land. It's also the current company which owns Mr. Men and Little Miss 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 named after the franchise of the same name, which stars Ruby, Garnet, and Sapphie.

The most familiar Sanrio character in the Western World would probably be Hello Kitty.


Here's the company's English and Japanese website. Along with a website dedicated to blogs and games called Sanrio Town.

The official website for Sanrio Puroland and Harmony Land. Including the official Youtube channel for Puroland and Harmony Land.

Sanrio's official English and Japanese Youtube Channels.

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.


Animated works starring Sanrio characters:

  • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Tuxedo Sam) (Western Animation)
  • My Melody no Akazukin (My Melody) (Anime)
  • Kiki to Lala no Ohimesama ni Naritai (Little Twin Stars) (Anime)
  • Kiki to Lala no Aoi Tori (Little Twin Stars) (Anime)
  • Hello Kitty's Animation Theater (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Keroppi, Kuririn, Pom Pom Purin, Hangyodon, Dear Daniel, Pochacco, Pekkle, Monkichi) (OVA)
  • Hello Kitty Paradise (Hello Kitty) (OVA)
  • Onegai My Melody (My Melody) (Anime/Manga)
  • Usahana: Yumemiru Ballerina (Usahana) (Anime)
  • Jewelpet (Ruby, Garnet, Sapphie, many others) (Anime/Manga)
  • Jewelpet the Movie: Sweet Princess Dance (Short Film) note 
  • Sugarbunnies (Sugarbunnies; mainly Shirousa and Kurousa) (Anime/Manga)
  • Cinnamon The Movie (Cinnamoroll) (Anime) note 
  • Fluffy, Fluffy, Cinnamoroll (Cinnamoroll and later The Cinnamoangels) (Manga)
  • Hello Kitty Stump Village (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll, Pom Pom Purin) (Stop Motion)
  • Petit! Tenorikuma (Tenorikuma) (Manga)
  • Hello Kitty From Apple Forest To Parallel Town (Hello Kitty) (Anime)
  • Show by Rock!! (based off the mobile game of the same name) (Anime)
  • The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends (Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, My Melody, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi) (All-CGI Cartoon)
  • Aggressive Retsuko (1 minute Anime Shorts; later made into a Quarter Hour Short series on Netflix)
  • Rilu Rilu Fairilu (Anime)
  • 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)
  • Mewkledreamy (Mew) (Anime/Manga) note 

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

Sanrio and their works provide examples of:

  • 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 in A Journey Through Fairyland.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Art Shift: Some characters look different depending on what they appear in or what theme they are in.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: My Melody, Kuromi, Ruby from Jewelpet, The Sugarbunnies, Usahana, Wish Me Mell, Bonbon Ribbon, and Chuchu, Koriente, and Asami Rosy from Show By Rock!!.
  • Breakout Character: My Melody's best friend Piano The Sheep started out as a supporting character of the series 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 franchises 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: Judging by the English translation of some episodes featuring Restuko the Red Panda. Some lyrics to her Death Metal songs contain a lot of swearing.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Retsuko
  • Cute Kitten: Hello Kitty and Garnet from Jewelpet are great examples. Cyan from Show by Rock!!, as well as two other characters have cat forms.
  • 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. Kerropi 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 Pekle and Pocchaco.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Sanrio used to make and animate films such as Ringing Bell 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.
  • 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.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Retsuko from "Aggretsuko/Aggressive Retsuko" would take out her rage and anger by singing Death Metal.
  • 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: 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.
  • Long Runner: Celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
  • 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.
  • Mouse World: The universe for both Tenorikuma and Coro Coro Kuririn take place in this setting.
  • Never Bareheaded: My Melody is never seen without her hood off. Even the 2005 anime had a scene where she is seen putting on her hood but we only see her arms.
  • Nice Mice: Flat the mouse is one of My Melody's best friends and has a secret crush on her.
  • 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.
  • Our Demons Are Different: While Berry and Cherry are demons, they act more like imps.
  • Precious Puppy: Chibimaru, Cinnamoroll, Sapphie from Jewelpet.
  • 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.
  • Salaryman: The Aggressive Restuko franchise is mainly set in this life style for the character.
  • 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.
  • Shrinking Violet: A rare male example is Little Forest Fellow, My Melody's cousin, who was introduced in 2015. He is very timid and sometimes anxious, which can be seen in this video from Sanrio's Japanese Youtube channel.
  • 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.
  • Something Completely Different: Sanrio's latest character franchises such as Show by Rock!! and "Aggressive Retsuko" appear to be more aimed at older viewers.
  • Stop Motion: Used for earlier videos promoting the Sugarbunnies, a more notable example of this use in Sanrio would be their "Hello Kitty Stump Village" series made in 2007.
  • Super-Deformed: Chibimaru and the Cinnamoroll spin-off "Cinnamoangels" starring Chiffon, Mocha, and Azuki.
  • Sweet Sheep: My Melody's friend Piano is very kindhearted and gentle with her friends, but she's very close with My Melody and Flat.
  • The Movie: So far the only Sanrio character franchises that starred in a feature film are Jewelpet in the 2012 movie Jewelpet The Movie: Sweet Dance Princess with a short starring My Melody and Kuromi, and Cinnamoroll for the 2007 movie Cinnamon The Movie. Both never gained a western release.
  • The Unintelligible: In Onegai My Melody, Piano only talks by bleating or baaing with My Melody, 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.
  • Vague Age: Due to the cute and friendly design and appearances of the majority of their characters, it's pretty difficult to know the 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. While the exact age for the characters in Jewelpet is unknown, Aggressive Retsuko is one of the few creations by Sanrio where the entire cast are 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.
  • Voice Grunting: In Hello Kitty Stump Village, Hello Kitty and her friends communicate by making noises such as gasping, laughing, or crying.


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