Sanrio, the world-famous cuteness-producing company, announced on June 4 the result of 2019 Sanrio Character Prize, its annual popularity contest for the various characters now on its 34th year.
Sanrio Co., Ltd, which has been in business for more than 60 years, said this year’s contest was slightly different as it was the first prize of Reiwa, the new imperial era in Japan.
“Looking forward to the new era, we want people to see new aspects of kawaii in our characters,” the company said.
Hello Kitty won the 2019 cuteness contest with 1,647,073 votes. Despite the character’s popularity, first place has actually eluded it for six year years — the last time Hello Kitty won was in 2013. In second place was Cinnamoroll, and the Pompompurin came in third.
The 2019 contest was particularly historic, drawing a record-high number of votes — 13,831,089 people voted for their favorite character, beating the nearly 5 million people who voted in 2018 by a large margin.
Hello Kitty, who is approaching her 45th anniversary, snatched the title of most popular Sanrio character for the 15th time. In celebration, Sanrio announced that Hello Kitty will tour around Japan from the second half of June until the first half of July, to thank fans for their support. She will stop at Sanrio shops around the country, so make sure to check the company’s home page for more information.
Hello Kitty officially commented on her victory, saying “ARIGATO! ARIGATO! ARIGATO! I am so happy that I have become the cutest character, and on top of that, the first of the Reiwa Era.”
But the runners-up were not sore losers, as Cinnamoroll also thanked the fans: “Thank you for your support! I am so happy that together with friends we aimed at the same goal, and worked hard towards the very end, it was so much fun!”
Author: JAPAN Forward