Date: 2014 August 28 17:36
Posted by Joe
Every so often in the news you hear something that takes you by surprise. This week The LA Times found out that Hello Kitty is not a cat.
While researching Sanrio's super star character for a museum retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum in LA Christine R. Yano an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii (and currently a visiting professor at Harvard, as well as a Hello Kitty expert) discovered that Hello Kitty is not a cat.
'When Yano was preparing her written texts for the exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, she says she described Hello Kitty as a cat. "I was corrected - very firmly," she says. "That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."'
RocketNews24 decided to call Sanrio in Japan to find out the truth. They discovered that Hello Kitty is a gijinka "a personification or anthropomorphization". Sanrio added "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."
The Otaku News team spent a whole day debating this (and which was productive), we concluded it's a similar situation with Disney. Pluto is a pet dog, but Goofy would be an personification or anthropomorphization. This is also covered in the classic movie Stand By Me. Our conversation then tailed off into why Donald Duck doesn't wear trousers or any other form of pants...