Since the popularization of Virtual YouTubers (or VTubers) in Japan, there’s been several anime characters and mascots flocking to online platforms to interact with adoring fans. The phenomenon’s gotten so big that Japan recently saw the opening of its first virtual snack bar, which sees anime characters running an online food establishment while chatting up its patrons. Right now, some of the biggest VTuber stars include virtual anime-women Kizuna Ai and Tsukino Mito, but last year saw one of Japan’s most recognizable characters, Hello Kitty, build up a modest following of her own.
Lately, Hello Kitty has been answering questions from fans who reply to her vlogs and videos. Her latest post, according to Japanese fan publication Sora News 24, sees her answering a doozy of a query: “Is it wrong for a guy to like Hello Kitty?”
“I’ll say this as many times as it needs to be said,” she begins.
“It’s not wrong!!!”
She expands on her answer by getting weirdly meta on the topic, basically saying her parent company of Sanrio hasn’t done much to defend or address the Sanrio fanboys. “Honestly, this is because I haven’t been strong enough to shake off my pubic image as ‘a character that’s just for girls,’” she continues. “I’m sorry for making anyone feel bad.”
She ends her answer with an optimistic glimmer of hope. “I hope that we’re slowly progressing towards people no longer criticizing or being criticized by others for what they like, and that doesn’t just go for liking me.”
Watch the whole video below.
It’s true that Japan has a love for all things adorable and kawaii, but boys and men are still among the minority demographic for Sanrio’s fandom, despite the Sanrio universe’s popularity. There’s also the Sanrio Boys franchise that, on paper, sounds like it’s targeting young men who want in on the Sanrio fandom, but is actually a dating simulator/anime that places sexy anime men in the Sanrio universe.
Basically, no matter who you are, there’s nothing wrong with being excited about the upcoming Hello Kitty movie.