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Various Sanrio characters, from left to right, top to bottom: Badtz-Maru, My Melody, Cinnamoroll, Charmmy Kitty, Hello Kitty, U*SA*HA*NA, Shinkansen, Keroppi, Pochacco, Little Twin Stars, Purin, CoroCoroKuririn, Minna no Tabo

This is a list of characters from Sanrio, a Japanese company specialized in creating cute characters. They sell and license various products branded with these characters. Their most successful and best known character is Hello Kitty.

Characters

Badtz-Maru

Badtz-Maru is a male penguin with spiky hair. His birthday is April 1 (April Fool's Day). He is one of the few Sanrio characters that is marketed to both males and females. In Japanese "badtz" (batsu) is a term for "X", the cross signifying a wrong answer. "Maru" means circle or "O", and signifies a correct answer. Thus, his name figuratively means "wrong-correct," and is frequently represented by "XO". Badtz-Maru has many different facial expressions and poses, but a common expression is of pulling one eye down and sticking out his tongue, a gesture equivalent to blowing a raspberry.[1]

Badtz-Maru has gone through many product lines since his release at Sanrio in 1993. While he has many fewer releases than Hello Kitty, he has been a staple character found in almost all stores worldwide. He has been portrayed as an astronaut, motorcyclist, DJ, camouflage monster, basketball player, boxer, and others. His products range from typical stationery supplies (e.g. pens, notebooks, erasers, pencil cases, etc.) to more novel items (e.g. CD players, guitars, license plate frames, etc.).

Badtz-Maru was the official mascot for the 2006 FIBA World Championship of basketball, which was held in Japan.[2]

Charmmy Kitty

Charmmy Kitty is Hello Kitty's pet cat. She resembles Hello Kitty but has more cat-like features. Her name comes from the word "Charm" as she wears the key to Hello Kitty's jewellery box around her neck.

Charmmy Kitty is a female white Persian cat that Papa gave to Hello Kitty as a gift. She wears a lace-trimmed bow on her left ear, and a necklace which holds the key to Hello Kitty’s jewelry box. Born on October 31, Charmmy Kitty is well-mannered, quiet, and listens to whatever Hello Kitty says. Like many cats, Charmmy Kitty loves objects that are bright and sparkly. Charmmy Kitty's charm point is her lace-trimmed pink bow, that was a present from Kitty.[3]

Chi Chai Monchan

Chi Chai Monchan is a fun-loving, little boy pink monkey with a whirly-curly purple tail, who likes to balance bananas on his head. Chi Chai Monchan lives on a small, tropical island in the South Seas where he spends his days climbing trees and eating bananas.

Chibimaru

Chibimaru is a brown puppy, who is one of the many characters created by Sanrio. He was first released on February 2, 2003. He is very curious and does tricks for a hobby. He spends time inside his owner's bag and goes to many places. He is one of three triplets; his siblings are Chidi-Maru & Chifi-Maru.

Chococat

Chococat is drawn as a black cat with huge black eyes, four whiskers, and like his counterpart Hello Kitty, no mouth. His name comes from his chocolate-coloured nose.[4][5] Chococat was first released in 1996 and his birthday is on May 10.

When Sanrio releases new Chococat lines (the background colors and designs), Chococat's collar and fur color, and his accessories and friends are often altered. Chococat was originally pictured with a blue collar, but he has since been depicted wearing different colored collars, scarves and even a lei. Sanrio has also produced new Chococat products that portray him in a greyish-brown color. In the Momoberry version, he is pink with a top hat, bow tie and cane. Line names are often heavily relied upon, in internet sales descriptions.

Cinnamoangels

The Cinnamoangels are a trio of trendy bunnies formed by Mocha (Whose birthday is on February 20), Chiffon (Whose birthday is on January 14) and Azuki (Whose birthday is on September 25). The founder of the group Mocha, has big dreams of becoming a TV idol, as both Azuki and Chiffon support her in her dreams to come true. The three were released by Sanrio in 2005[6] and has several Music Videos featuring the trio.

Cinnamoroll

Cinnamoroll, born on March 6, 2002 on a cloud far up in the sky, is a white puppy with long ears that enable him to fly, blue eyes, and a plump and curly tail that resembles a cinnamon roll.[7] He starred in his own anime movie which was released in Winter 2007. Cinnamoroll's real name is Cinnamon. One day, the owner of Cafe Cinnamon, a little cafe, looked up to see a white puppy floating out of the sky like a fluffy cloud. “I wonder if he came because he smelled my cinnamon rolls.” She thought. He had a curly tail just like a cinnamon roll, so she called him Cinnamon.

Cinnamoroll lives in Cafe Cinnamon with his friends Milk, Cappucino, Espresso, Mocha and Chiffon.

Deery Lou

Deery Lou The Cheerful Fawn is a character created by Sanrio in 2002. He is a brown (sometimes pink) fawn. His birthday is January 8, and he lives in the Rainbow Forest. He spends his time playing in the sun, chasing butterflies with his friends Bluebird, Red mushroom and small mushroom. He also has friends named Queeny Lou, a beautiful swan, and Beary Lou, a friendly bear.

Hello Kitty

Main article: Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti?) is the best-known of Sanrio's fictional characters . Hello Kitty is a very simply drawn character with a trademark red bow who was created in 1974 by Sanrio. Registered in 1976, Hello Kitty is now a globally known trademark. Hello Kitty has been marketed in the United States from the beginning and has held the position of U.S. children's ambassador for UNICEF since 1983. The brand rose to greater prominence during the late 1990s when several celebrities such as Mariah Carey adopted Hello Kitty as a fashion statement. New products featuring the character can be found in virtually any American department store and Hello Kitty was once featured in an advertising campaign of the retail chain Target. The character got its first Massively Multiplayer Online Game produced by Sanrio Digital and Typhoon Games entitled Hello Kitty Online which was released worldwide, including the United States, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

A cheerful and happy girl with a heart of gold, Hello Kitty can bake delicious cookies, but she loves Mama’s apple pie even more. Her best friend is her twin sister Mimmy. Hello Kitty was born on November 1st in the suburbs of London, United Kingdom. Her real name is Kitty White and her blood type is A.

Jewelpet

The Jewelpets (ジュエルペット Juerupetto?) are a group of animal characters created in 2008 as a joint-venture between Sanrio and Sega Toys.[8] There are 34 characters in the franchise and each of the animals are named after famous Birthstones, Minerals and Jewels. They each have a different kind of sparkling jewel for their eyes, used for casting special magic called "Jewel Flash". According to fiction, They belong to magicians and live in a mystical place called Jewel Land, attending a school to learn more about magic and each of them are paired with their own human partners. The main Jewelpets in the series are Ruby the white Japanese Hare (whose birthday is on July 29), Sapphy the blue and yellow Cavalier King Charles spaniel (whose birthday is on September 1), Garnet the pink Persian Cat (whose birthday is on January 8) and Labra the pink and white Polar Bear (whose birthday is on December 27).

In 2008, Sega Toys collaborated with Sanrio to release a line of plush toys featuring the characters from the series which contains a special password to access the Web-Gurumi website. This is somewhat similar to the toy franchise Webkinz, as it also shares some similarities to the secret codes to access the Webkinz World website, causing some controversies between the two companies. Later on April 4, 2009, its first anime series was produced by Studio Comet and started to air on both TV Osaka and TV Tokyo, replacing Onegai My Melody Kirara★ in its timeslot. The anime focuses on the heroine Rinko Kōgyoku and her Jewelpet partner Ruby. A sequel to the series aired on April 3, 2010 on TV Tokyo under the title Jewelpet Tinkle☆ (ジュエルペット てぃんくる☆?). The sequel focuses on the new protagonist named Akari Sakura and her Jewelpet partners Ruby and Rabura.

Two Manga spinoffs were created and both were serialized by Shogakukan. The first one was illustrated by Mako Morie, serialized in Shogakukan's Pucchigumi magazine and the second one was illustrated by Sayuri Tatsuyama, author and illustrator of the Happy Happy Clover manga series. The second one was serialized in Shogakukan's shōjo magazine Ciao.

Four games for Nintendo DS and the Arcade were also made. The first is titled Jewelpet: Cute Magic Fantasy (ジュエルペット かわいい魔法のファンタジー Juerupetto: Kawaii Mahō no Fantasy?), released on April 30, 2009 by MTO. The game utilizes the Nintendo DS console in a vertical layout and uses the DS Stylus to navigate through the game. Wi-Fi Connection is also available to the game, allowing online gameplay with other players. The game gained a sequel titled Jewelpet: DS Magic Kirapi Kariin (ジュエルペット 魔法のDSキラピカリーン Juerupetto: Mahō no DS Kirapi Kariin?), released on December 17, 2009. Unlike the first game, the sequel was based on the Anime itself, but having the same gameplay while adding the microphone feature. In 2010, Sega released an arcade game named Jewelpet: The Glittering Magical Jewel Box (ジュエルペット キラキラ魔法の宝石箱 Juerupetto: Kirakira Mahō no Hōseki-bako?), which utilizes special Jewelpet cards and has a same gameplay as Collumns.[9] The third Jewelpet DS game was then announced in the title of Jewelpet: Let's play Together in the Room of Magic! (ジュエルペット 魔法のお部屋でいっしょにあそぼう! Juerupetto: Mahō no Heya de Isshoni Asobō!?), which was released on August 5, 2010. Unlike the past two games, the third game is based on the Jewelpet Tinkle anime and it has a different gameplay style. A few improvements were made in the gameplay such as improved interactions with your Jewelpet and newer magic sessions.

A Trading Card Game spinoff was then announced by Bushiroad, the creators of the Weiß Schwarz and Alice X Cross Trading Card Games. Both the starter set and booster packs were released on July 30, 2009.[10]

Keroppi

Keroppi Hasunoue (はすの上 けろっぴ Hasunoue Keroppi?) is a frog character with large eyes and a V-shaped mouth. Keroppi loves adventure, and his bubbly personality makes him popular around Donut Pond. He has a brother called Koroppi and a sister called Pikki. Most often he is seen with his little snail friend Den Den, always tagging along a little behind. Keroppi is a fantastic swimmer and singer (but not at the same time.) Keroppi has appeared in two video games: Kero Kero Keroppi no Bouken Nikki and Kero Kero Keroppi no Daibouken. Keroppi was created in 1987 and his birthday is on on July 10. His hometown is Donut Pond.

Kuromi

Kuromi (クロミ Kuromi?) is the rival of My Melody from the anime Onegai My Melody. She is a white rabbit or imp-like creature, wearing a black jester's hat with a pink skull on the front and a black "devil" tail in the place of a normal rabbit's tail. Kuromi's appearance also looks similar to that of classic cartoon characters from the 1920s and 1930s. Goods featuring Kuromi first appeared in Japan in 2005. She has three image songs all sung by her seiyū, Junko Takeuchi. Kuromi sometimes wears fuchsia pink skull cherries on her right ear.

Kuromi's birthday is on October 31 (Halloween). Although Kuromi has a rowdy free spirit, she is actually quite girly on the inside and has a soft spot for cute and handsome guys. Kuromi enjoys keeping a diary and reading romance novels. Her favorite color is black and her favorite food is pickled onions.

Landry

Landry is a fictional little boy raccoon who was first released in 1999. His birthday is on December 8. He loves to wash anything he can get his hands on. His best friend is a rubber duck named "Pea". Landry's hobbies include dancing and running on top of his tub, sliding, taking Pea for walks, and listening to music. (Mozart is his favorite). Landry loves to eat donuts, sausages, nuts and ice-cream, but chocolate is his very favorite.

Little Twin Stars

Little Twin Stars are a pair of characters. The younger brother is called Kiki, and the older sister is called Lala. Kiki has blue hair, while Lala has pink hair (sometimes, Kiki's hair is brown, while Lala's hair is blonde). They were introduced in 1975 and enjoyed popularity in the early 1980s. Their birthday is on December 24.

The characters make cameo appearances in 2004 on the front cover of Tommy February6's second album Tommy Airline and in her video for the song "MaGic in youR Eyes", and in one of the Sanrio Unico movies.

Monkichi

Monkichi (Oyama no Monkichi) is a monkey who lives in a little mountain in the Japanese countryside. He was released by Sanrio in 1991 and his birthday is on January 13. Monkichi's full name means "Monkey of the Mountain" in Japanese. Monkichi enjoys entertaining and telling jokes, and dreams of being a professional poet or comedian.[11] Monkichi has an optimistic personality and gets a little carried away sometimes, but can be quite particular too. Monkichi's special talent is that he can eat ten bananas in one minute. Monkichi's first charm point is his bright red bottom, proof that he is 100% Japanese monkey! Monkichi's second charm point is his bulging eyes, especially when he’s surprised.

My Melody

My Melody is a girl rabbit who always wears a red or pink hood that also covers her ears. Her birthday is on January 18. Like Hello Kitty, My Melody is rather popular in Asia and can be found on children's toys and merchandise. My Melody was first released in 1975 and the first related merchandise was released at the end of that year. At first she was mostly marketed toward young girls, but like Hello Kitty her popularity has increased within women of all ages, especially in Asia. According to The New York Times, this character is "moderately successful" in terms popularity but shows no signs of reaching the global popularity of Hello Kitty.[12]

When first released she was the Little Red Riding Hood character in a version of the classic fairy tale featuring all animal characters. The name My Melody first appeared in 1976 and soon the connection to Little Red Riding Hood all but disappeared, with the exception of a series of Little Red Riding Hood-style goods which were re-released in 2000. During 1976, her cute animal friends, such as Flat the mouse, Piano the sheep, Risu the squirrel, and her brother Rhythm, started appearing. The original My Melody goods featured a red hood but as of 1977, merchandise featuring a pink hood was released, which would be the norm for My Melody goods for several years to come.

My Melody's popularity waned toward the late 1980s, and the only goods produced were candy. In 1996, in a Strawberry News (a magazine published by Sanrio) reader survey, My Melody came out amongst some of Sanrio's most popular characters and as a result, standard merchandise started re-appearing as of February 1997 featuring the original red hood. Goods with the pink hood were re-released in 1999 and as of 2000 there were goods released with multiple color hoods.

My Melody has been turned into a Pullip doll, like two other Sanrio characters, Hello Kitty and Cinnamoroll. The doll includes a Flat toy.

On April 3, 2005, an anime series based on My Melody and her friends and produced by Studio Comet started to air on TV Osaka and TV Tokyo television stations, called Onegai My Melody (おねがいマイメロディ). This anime also spawned a video game for the Nintendo DS titled Onegai My Melody: Yume no Kuni no Daibouken (おねがいマイメロディ~夢の国の大冒険~). The game relies heavily on a feature of the Nintendo DS console which requires the player to blow air into the microphone of the unit. The player guides My Melody through timed levels by jumping and using her umbrella to float around and avoid enemies. The game also features unlockable content as well, such as music, images, and mini-games. Currently, Sanrio has got no plans to release this series in North America.

My Melody also appears in the Sanrio Digital and Dream Cortex series, The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends. She, however, is mouthless there, and her rival doesn't make an appearance.

In 2007, A second game was released for the Nintendo DS titled My Melody Angel Book ~Denshitechou & Enjoy Game~ (マイメロディエンジェルブック~電子手帳&エンジョイゲーム~). The game's primary function is as a day planner designed for young girls to keep track of appointments, class schedules, and mini diary entries.

On March 26, 2008, a Japanese music compilation album titled "I LOVE 30 - MY MELODY" from Tearbridge Records was released with My Melody wearing the original red hood drawn in various artwork styles by Groovisions.

Pandapple

Pandapple is a cute black and white panda who has a red apple top, stem and a small green leaf as a hat. He wears a shirt which is mostly striped or plain Pandapple is usually seen with a caterpillar sometimes a bee. His birthday is on June 2. According to The New York Times, this character, along with the character Spottie Dottie, are "recent flops" for the Sanrio corporation in terms popularity.[12]

Pannapitta

Pannapitta was born on October 7, 2003 in Pannaland. His real name is Pantan and is only 3 months old. Pantan is full of energy. Pantan hates being still, and is constantly running around the place. Pantan lives for adventure at full speed. When his energy finally runs out he falls asleep on the spot.

Pantan is an only child and his best friend is Fanfan (not a panda) who was born 3 days apart from Pantan. Pantan's hobbies include running, eating, and sleeping. Pantan enjoys climbing through small spaces and his favorite food is caramel ice cream. Pantan's future dream is to be a panda hero.

Patapatapeppy

Patapata Peppy is an owl-based character created by Sanrio in 1991 but is currently discontinued with unknown reasons. It is notable for being one of the few Sanrio characters that was displayed with a sketchy look. His birthday is August 26, born in Moonrise Forest deep in the heart of the North Woods. It is often seen carrying a cherry in its mouth or nut as they are his favourite foods. This character gained mild popularity and was one of the few Sanrio characters that did not have its own anime or cartoon series as it was a product-exclusive character. It was created by Matsubayashi Atsushi, who no longer works in Sanrio and has his own animation company[13][14].

Pekkle

Pekkle (Ahiru no Pekkle) is a fictional duck. He is a small white duck with a blue t-shirt with the letter P on it. Pekkle is a good-natured, kind little guy, as well as being a great singer and dancer. Recently he’s been taking tap-dancing lessons. Pekkle's birthday is on July 27 and he was first released in 1989.

Picke Bicke

Picke Bicke is a fictional mouse, who was released by Sanrio in 1994. He is a small, round brown mouse with a cream-colored tummy and muzzle, a long red ribboned tail, and large blue ears. Picke Bicke is as playful as he is curious. He makes new friends all the time, including butterflies and frogs, and describes himself as "100% Mouse". Picke Bicke's hobbies include mimicry and trying to "fly" with his large, wing-like ears, though he never rises more than a few inches.

Pippo

Pippo (Kobutanopippo) is drawn as a pig with small black eyes and a pink snout, but no visible mouth. He is usually wearing a green shirt with the letter P on the front. Pippo is always thinking of games and other new ways to have fun with his friends. He loves surprises and is always making discoveries and new inventions! Pippo was born on December 16, 1993, on an unusually warm winter's day.[15]

Pochacco

Pochacco is drawn as a white dog with black floppy ears, but no visible mouth. He is often dressed in athletic attire, as he has a sporty and playful personality. He is a vegetarian, as he loves carrots, but his favorite food is banana-flavoured ice cream. Pochacco is a curious and clumsy little guy who sometimes sticks his nose in where it isn’t wanted. Like most dogs, Pochacco loves going for walks.

Pochacco's name means ‘pocha pocha’ (chubby). Pochacco was born on February 29, 1989 (a leap year) in Fuwafuwa Town. Pochacco can’t walk straight. Even when he tries, he keeps tottering from side to side. He can walk on two legs, but he trips up and falls over every now and then. Pochacco loves spring. In fact, one of his favorite flowers is a pink flower called ‘rengeso’. Pochacco's dream is to fill his tummy with banana ice cream (so he likes summer too). Although Pochacco has a lot of animal friends, recently he has been hanging out with Choppy the mouse, his best friend.

Purin

Purin is a golden retriever dog character first introduced in 1996. Purin (or Pudding Dog) was born on a sunny day on April 16. He is a good natured golden retriever dog, who lives in his own basket at his owner's house. His trademark is his brown beret that is always on top of his head. Purin's interest is collecting shoes, which includes his owner's father's leather shoes, his owner's mother's sandals, etc., and he likes to hide them.

Purin loves drinking milk and eating soft food and pudding that his mother makes. He also spends a lot of time sleeping or hanging out with his friends. Purin's best friends include a hamster called Muffin, a mouse named Scone, and a bird who loves to steal Purin's beret.

He was twice voted Most Popular Sanrio Character in the Strawberry News Magazine, a magazine published by Sanrio.[citation needed]

Spottie Dottie

Spottie Dottie was born March 21, 1990. She is a Dalmatian and is a fashion expert from New York City. She can be usually spotted wearing a trademark pink bow and frilly pink dress with roses. According to The New York Times, this character, along with the character Pandapple, are "recent flops" for the Sanrio corporation in terms popularity.[12]

Sugarbunnies

The Sugarbunnies (シュガーバニーズ Shugābanīzu?) are a character duo released by Sanrio in 2004.[16] The duo are composed of twin bunnies called Shirousa and Kurousa (Both born on May 26th, 2004), who specialize on making sweets and pastries. After the success of the franchise, Sanrio created more bunny twins who each specialize on their own jobs. They all live in the magical world of Bunniesfield.

In 2007, Toei Animation created an anime series based on the franchise which aired on TV Tokyo and Kids Station on April 3, 2007 and ended later that year with 27 episodes. After the anime's success, the series gained two sequels in 2008 (Sugarbunnies: Chocolat!) and in 2009 (Sugarbunnies: Fleur), each having 27 episodes.

Tenorikuma

Tenorikuma (てのりくま?) (Japanese for "bears that fit in your palm") are a group of raccoons that run a coffee shop called Tenorikuma.[17] There are 5 specific characters in all. The main "manager" is Latte, who is distinguished from the others by a red heart on his left ear. There are a few other main characters. Chai (yellow scarf), Frappe (green scarf), Maple (pink scarf, the only female and Latte's love interest), Mister Steam (steam clouds from hot coffee), Muddler (spoon) and Macchiato (blue scarf).

Tuxedo Sam

Tuxedo Sam is a cute penguin character from the Sanrio company, one of the "friends" of Hello Kitty. Sam is a plump blue and white penguin who wears a red bow-tie and a round white sailor cap with a red ribbon. A clumsy little fellow who loves to eat, Tuxedo Sam has great fashion sense, as he owns a collection of 365 bowties. He’s very good at speaking English too. Tuxedo Sam was born on May 12, 1978 in Antarctica. According to The New York Times, this character is "moderately successful" in terms popularity but shows no signs of reaching the global popularity of Hello Kitty.[12]

Usahana

Usahana (ウサハナ?) (also stylized as U*SA*HA*NA) is a girl rabbit who loves summer. She was released by Sanrio in 2001. Her birthday is on August 7 and her real name is Hanachan. Her eye-catching attributes are her different colored ears, one pink and one blue, and the flower she wears on her head. In the anime Usahana: Dream Ballerina (ウサハナ 夢見るバレリーナ Usahana Yumemiru Ballerina?), Usahana sometimes wears a butterfly-shaped hair clip and dreams of becoming a ballerina.[18]

References

  1. [1]
  2. FIBA media release, 13 Dec 2005
  3. "Charmmy Kitty". Sanrio. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  4. Sanrio - Chococat
  5. Official Online Home of Hello Kitty & Friends
  6. "Cinnamoangels". Sanrio. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  7. "Cinnamoroll". Sanrio. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  8. "Jewelpet". Sanrio. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  9. http://jewelpet.sega.jp/
  10. (Japanese) Bushiroad's Jewelpet TCG Site
  11. Sanriotown blog archive. URL accessed October 27, 2008.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Tabuchi, Hiroko (May 14, 2010). "In Search of Adorable, as Hello Kitty Gets Closer to Goodbye". NYTimes.com. 
  13. (Japanese) atsushi-m company
  14. (Japanese) syoutai
  15. http://www.sanrio.co.jp/english/characters/detail/pippo/index.html
  16. "Sugarbunnies". Sanrio. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  17. tenorikuma.com
  18. "Usahana". Sanrio. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 

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