Windowshoppist - Pressing Our Noses Against The Internets

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sanrio's Sinister Side. Also, Some Hello Kitty.

Sometimes, you need whimsy to get you through the day. Fortunately, Sanrio products are scientifically proven to contain at least 98.9999% whimsy. The other 1% is generally pink dye. What you may not know, though, is for all their kawaii-ness, Sanrio characters also have mysterious agendas, unspoken rivalries, and terrifying powers. Except for Hello Kitty. She's just cute. So we'll start with her.

First, you think, this seems a bit serious for a Hello Kitty product. But this is part of its charm. It is cute, as it were, on the DL. Literally.

See? Surprise cute! $69 at Sanrio.

Now let's talk about Chococat. Chococat is HK's brown nemesis. Or friend. Possibly frenemy? It's not clear. Like Hello Kitty, Chococat has no mouth. Also like HK, Chococat has mad cool products. What you are looking at above is a spiral notebook. You are unimpressed? Prepare yourself.

Bam!'s okay. You didn't know the Paralyzing Cuteness that awaited you within. I'll wait patiently while you gather together the shreds of your mind. By the way, this notebook is $5.75 at Sanrio.

This item represents the other cat of the Sanrio family. Charmmy Kitty is, according to the Sanrio website, "a white persian cat that Papa gave to Hello Kitty as a gift." Papa (sugar daddy? actual daddy? cat or human?) gave a cat to a cat. It's all a little meta. Charmmy Kitty likes lace, bedazzling, and apparently, the letter M. This is the "Charmmy Kitty School Pack: Cosmetics". It is $12.50. It contains absolutely no cosmetics and nothing of a remotely cosmetic nature. This whole "cat for a cat" thing and this puzzlingly titled product hint that Sanrio is toying with us, or perhaps that Sanrio is questioning the very nature of reality.

My Melody is a rabbit wearing a hot pink rabbit-head-shaped hat. Or at least this is what Sanrio would like you to believe. Knowing what we know about Charmmy Kitty, I think we have to assume that My Melody may actually be some kind of double agent, perhaps from a different species altogether. Has anyone ever seen under the hat? I rest my case. This mug, which features My Melody's cast of friends (or victims), is a reasonable $17.

This is Kuromi. She is "My Melody's friendly rival." For some reason, Sanrio provides us with the information that she is "hooked on romantic short-stories" and that her "favorite food is shallots." Please note she has a devil tail. I also think she may be the only Sanrio character with visible teeth. I don't like any of her products, but props to Sanrio for being willing to explore the dark underbelly of cuteness. That harlequin collar is genuinely creepy.

I hope we've all learned something today. Namely, that you should buy the whole Sanrio product line, but also that you should beware. We're not sure of what, so our advice here at Windowshoppist is just to beware in general. Maybe of choking hazards? Or just of shallot-eating rabbit impersonators with diamond-shaped ears.

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