In our story detailing how anime are some of the biggest franchises in the world, one property that we didn't mention as much as the others is Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty is the number two highest money making franchise in the world, pulling in an astonishing $80 Billion USD worldwide. It's no surprise then that this franchise would be leading the pack in a popularity poll created by its originators at the Sanrio Character Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix asks fans to vote for their favorite Sanrio mascot, using a number of different methods to collect votes. Participants can vote online of course, but can also place their votes at participating Sanrio stores as well as even on the popular app, TikTok. Around 7 million votes have been cast so far with Hello Kitty at the front of the race with the most ballots. The competition itself will end on May 27th of this year so if you want to show your support for our favorite ghostly white cat mascot, or vote for a different member of the Sanrio family, now's the time to do so.
Hello Kitty was originally created in 1974 and is a third grader living right outside of London. The character has been on more merchandise than is possible to list in this article, but started when the original designer, Yuko Shimizu, had placed her on a coin purse for sale by Sanrio. Following this, the character's popularity skyrocketed with over 50,000 products baring her likeness today!
If you haven't heard of Sanrio before, they aren't just responsible for Hello Kitty as they also have a veritable cornucopia of mascots at their disposal. Cinnamonroll is a Sanrio mascot for example and is a dog that spends a bit too much time reading online comments. Another dog mascot is Pom Pom Purin who bares a striking resemble to pudding. While Sanrio currently has over 450 (!) characters, only 80 are participating in this popularity poll proper. The final results of the poll will be announced on June 4th of this year.
The new Hello Kitty anime series is currently scheduled for a release in 2021, and each episode will run about 11 minutes or so. Titled The World of Hello Kitty, the series will run for 52 episodes and is officially described as such:
“The World of Hello Kitty will feature the famous titular character along with her friends from the Sanrio universe as they try to live in harmony in their not-so-quiet neighbourhood. Kitty's friends are all very different and they each have their little quirks, so their tight-knit community is often put to the test. But at the end of the day, Kitty always brings them back together, because she accepts her friends for who they are.”