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.
(Interestingly, in most of Japan, if you want Snoopy merchandise, you can find it at the Sanrio Gift Gates/Hello Kitty stores.)
One of the most heavily merchandized things on the planet, creating all forms of insane craze in Singapore 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...
Anime and Manga
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, China is fond of Shinatty-chan, a Hello Kitty rip-off.
- 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.
- Her own series of video games, including Hello Kitty Roller Rescue for the Gamecube, Hello Kitty Seasons for the Wii, and Hello Kitty Online, an MMORPG.
- She has her own Sega Dreamcast, which came in both blue and pink.
- Monchil: Mega Monster Cosplay Collection developed by CAVE, complete with a variant of Kitty whose face is melting off
- There are a few kiddie ride designs featuring Hello Kitty that was released in Japan, and two designs released in Europe.
- Hello Cthulhu. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Hello Kitty meets H.P. Lovecraft. (Turns out, she's Too Tastes Like Diabetes For Yog Sothoth.)
- The King of Town in Homestar Runner dresses as Hello Kitty for Halloween 2008. "I dressed up as my favorite candy!"
"Uh, I'm pretty sure those were erasers."
- One of the ongoing problems with Jade in the Whateley Universe is her intense love for all things Hello Kitty. A bit much. since she's 14.
- Hello Kitty 40,000: In the grim future of Hello Kitty, there is only war
- The monster in the darkness of Order of the Stick uses a Hello Kitty umbrella.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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