Hello Kitty not a cat, has never been: Sanrio

By Harumi Ozawa

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I am not an animal! I am a human being!

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And Mickey Mouse isn't a mouse either.

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There's a lot of personified characters that are still referred to as animals: Brian from Family Guy and Garfield, to name a few. These characters walk on 2 legs and even Brian talks, but they are definitely animals. It's not common knowledge that personified characters lose their animal identity as well. If Sanrio didn't want people to think that Hello Kitty was a cat, maybe they shouldn't have made her look like a cat it every way possible.

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A rose by any other name is still a rose. - Gertrude Stein

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And Miffy isn't a rabbit.

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What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet


Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Gertrude Stein

Hello Kitty is not a cat

6 ( +8 / -2 )

When are directors and creators going to learn that you leave that up to the consumer if you want a work or product to continue unlimited success? I guarantee that Sanrio saying flat out there is no possibility that Hello Kitty is a cat will turn some people off and disappoint. Leave a bit of mystery to it and let people think what they want -- romaticise it a bit. I don't really care one wit about Kitty-chan, but I'll never look at it and think 'human'. I'll see a strange cat, and that's the way it will stay.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Double think and 1984

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Don't tell me Shin-chan is not a Crayon....

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One hell of a birth defect.

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Am I reading The Onion???

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@ borscht - Touche ! :-) ....................Agreed !!!! .............Euphamisms may mask, but do not change reality !!!

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Have they gone insane? Hello Kitty is quite obviously based on the lucky cat figure found everywhere in Japan and China. Heck, I have one dangling from the end of my prayer beads. Evidently they simply want to kill Hello Kitty's popularity. What a stupid move on Sanrio's part. Simply the most blatant idiocy I've seen in many years. It actually makes me angry, and I do not get angry easily. I'm not even a Hello Kitty fan, though I will admit to having a small plastic figure of her. But, then, I also have a much larger plastic figure of Godzilla, so that probably says nothing about me lol.

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You have GOT to be kidding me, is nothing sacred?!

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and sales of hello kitty plunge the world move sanrio.

but i love the back story behind HK...a girl living in london with a pet cat named charmy.

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If "she" is a human (or a cat for that matter), where is her mouth?

"But she's got whiskers!"

I've seen some (large) women with whiskers.

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Okay, Sanrio CLEARLY is trying to seize control of whatever Kitty-related dialogue is going on out there, and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that this has everything to do with Dick Bruna's firm belief (and I agree 100%) that Kitty-chan is a -- well, let's just call it what it is -- a flagrant ripoff of Bruna's Miffy design motif. The two sides are in the midst of a simmering truce, particulalry after Bruna sued Sanrio in 2010 for their new character, "Cathy," a rabbit, for Pete's sake, that could have been Miffy's twin sister.

I have no doubt this, ahem, "firm" stance Sanrio has taken is an effort to shore up their company's legal footing in the event Bruna does come out and say, "Screw it. I'm suing the pants off of you theives."

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Gah! All those pencil cases and pyjamas made of the flesh of this human celebrity. Starting a "Leave Kitty Alone!" campaign. She has human rights.

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According to Wikipedia: Due to its popularity in Chinese communities (including Chinatowns in the United States)[5] the maneki-neko is frequently mistaken for being Chinese in origin rather than Japanese, and is incorrectly referred to as a "Chinese lucky cat" [5] or jīnmāo ("golden cat").

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And Winnie the Pooh ain't a bear?

Well I have known of some women named Kitty but I would never have guessed Hello Kitty is one of them.

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Blasphemy ;)

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sanrio are clearly delusional!

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So, Hello Kitty "Watashi wa ningen desu?" Can't say I say that coming. Then again, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. I've seen Hello Kitty on a lot of unusual products, including a Lamborghini Murcielago, and an IMI Desert Eagle. Because nothing says "I'm going to bust a .50 calibre cap in your ass" like a Neko- I mean, like a person with feline features.

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Kotaku already debunked this by contacting Sanrio.

Hello Kitty is a personification, but she is a cat, too.

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Most hilarious thing I've ever heard. Don't name a character "Kitty" if it's not supposed to be a cat. How about Hello moon faced whisker girl! I don't think this is very important, but who came up with the idea that a kitty ain't a baby cat?

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That article puts Sanrio's position in a much clearer light. Thanks, Haiku_Dan.

Still think Sanrio's pushing the envelope of plausibility with the *"We never said se was human. We said she's a girl" explanation though. Sorry to burst their bubbles, but a "girl" by most definitions (except, I suppose, attempts to make Japanese socio-cultural linguistic habits fit imprecise English)* implies human by default.

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So, if its not a cat, why call it "Kitty"?

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She's a cougar?

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A woman without a mouth can't moan about bog seats.

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Okay, you can go back to sleep now:

The Sanrio PR representative said, "We never said she was a human," and also explained the concept of anthropomorphization, "Hello Kitty is a 擬人化 (gijinka), a personification or anthropomorphization. Basically just like Micky Mouse...No one would mistake the Disney character for a human–but at the same time he’s not quite a mouse. Just like Hello Kitty isn’t a human, she’s not quite a cat either."

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McCarthy to Kitty: "Are you now, or have you ever been, a CAT?"

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And all along I was thinking of the paradox of Schrodinger's Hello Kitty...

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Apparently, Sanrio's comments were quite different. "Earlier today, numerous websites reported that Hello Kitty is not a cat. That's not only an oversimplification, it's also not quite true. Hello Kitty is a feline—just an anthropomorphic one, Sanrio told Kotaku.....When Kotaku called Sanrio's Tokyo headquarters today and asked whether or not Hello Kitty was indeed a cat, a spokesperson explained, "Hello Kitty was done in the motif of a cat. It's going too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is a personification of a cat."

So, as everyone thought, Kitty is like all other cartoon animal that behaves like a human.

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It's a human with a cat face?

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Does this have anything to do with I am a Cat?

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If Hello Kitty is not a cute little cat then I won't feel as bad when I kick the next person dressed up as it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hello Kitty is not a cat.

That depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

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...what?? How can it not be a cat? Is it a human in the body of a cat? O_O

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So hello kitty is actually a little girl with whiskers,no mouth and ears on top of her head??? yeah alright.

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Well, at least I can still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin.

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That depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

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Whether it's a cat or a human, what I find sad is that it is associated with a large company rather than a creator...

Miffy... Dick Bruna

Winnie the Pooh... A. A. Milne

Mickey Mouse... Walt Disney

Snoopy... Charles M Schulz

Kitty-chan... Sanrio... cynical, cloying, repellent cuteness...

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. I know of one super Hello Kitty fan that will be devastated by this.

Not sure if I want to be in the same country when she finds out, let alone the same town.


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As far as Mickey Mouse not being considered a mouse, that is incorrect. I grew up during the Mickey Mouse craze with the original Mickey Mouse watches and the Disney show on television with Annette Funicello, and my friends and I and the whole neighborhood considered him to be a mouse! So no matter what anyone says, "Hello Kitty" is obviously a cat!

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Mickey Mouse is a goddamn RAT.

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**Here's completed story about Hell Kitty.

Her real name is Kitty White, he explained, and she was born in southern England on November 1, 1974. She is a Scorpio and blood type A.

She has a twin sister, Minny White, and lives in an unnamed suburb of London with father George and mother Mary.

One day, Japanese woman visit to London. She saw woman was dumping cat in Rubbish Bin. She saves the cat from Rubbish Bin and later she brought cat to the Japan. The kitten was female and she adopted as daughter and named her Kitty.

Cat and dog owners never think their pets are animal and they believe they are one of them. We asked and replied boy or girl for our cat and dog when other owners about their sex.

Hello Kitty is cat or girl it doesn't matter. It depends on fan who loves her as Kitten or girl. Kitten will be more adorable than girl.**

0 ( +0 / -0 )

felguardAug. 29, 2014 - 12:03PM JST

She's a cougar?

Cuz she's 40, right? I get it. Good one.

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I'm presently designing a cat character, but it looks like a person, and is called 'Goodbye human'.

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Well at least we know Felix is a cat and the Professor still wants his magic bag of tricks.

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I didn't know anybody actually considered her to be a real cat. I thought everyone considered her to be personified from the beginning. Also, why did it take the creator 40 years to realize that people thought she was a cat in the first?!

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I was a bit sceptical, so I asked Kitty what she was. She replied very firmly, "Wagahai wa neko de aru."

I think that clears this confusion up. Stop spreading lies, Sanrio!

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i would like to know a few things first me & my kid's love hello kitty and we have lots of her stuff from dvd's to toys and in some of the films it looks like she is a cat plus it implys she is a cat in a few of the books and cartoons.

In furry tale theater ( 1980 ) she puts on a play of the wizard of oz parody with her animal friends when she looking for her home town of cat fish . she has a magic collar on what she got from landing a house on a evil cat ( wicked witch ) plus they referred to her as a little kitten as well. I can name a lot of cartoons that do this

second why are all her family cat like and all her friends animals ? plus her enemy is a cat and a dog ??

So why all of a sudden is hello kitty changed to a human girl called kitty white from London. Can some body please tell me because as far as i knew ever since 1976 it implied she was a cat

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" But, then, I also have a much larger plastic figure of Godzilla, so that probably says nothing about me lol. "

Just wait til they tell you that Godzilla is not an,,, err,,. godzilla.

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Well, no one actually knows what sex Gojira is. Never been established, though most do call it 'the Big guy'. But Hello Kitty? She's a pretty well established cat. Quite rich, too, I imagine.

I always simply assumed she was an anthropomorphized version of Maneki Neko. And yes, I do know it's not Chinese, thank you. But it is as popular in China as it is in Japan, where it is ubiquitous. Hello Kitty was somebody with a blindingly good idea who created an icon. Sanrio can bulls**t all they want, but some individual created Hello kitty, and she now belongs to the fans of the world, more so than she does to Sanrio. You can do a lot of things, but you don't mess with the love of the fans. I'm not surprised they're now backpedaling like crazy.

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Way to go Sanrio! first saying Kitty is not a cat and then she's not human, wanna keep people confused? To me Hello Kitty is a cat (i love cats) she will always be, she's magical and cute, but still, a cat, same way that Doraemon is a Cat to me too...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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