Sanrio, the Japanese toy company most famous for creating kawaii icon Hello Kitty has taken a decidedly 2017 turn with its newer “fringe” characters. These of-the-moment additions complement their cartoon cuteness with — what else? — despair. There’s Aggretsuko, an all-too-familiar red panda, an “office associate in the accounting department of a highly respected trading worker,” who’s a pushover at the office, but releases her pent-up rage toward her co-workers with after-work drinking and hard-core heavy-metal karaoke sessions. (Sound like someone you might know?) She’s matched by Gudetama, a lazy egg yolk who experiences recurring existential crises before he, inevitably, gets eaten. (This is exactly how we felt after all the doomed-Earth talk.) Hello Kitty guided us through the fun-loving ’90s, while her sick-of-it-all descendants are here for the angst of the late 2010s.
The New Guard
A very heavy-metal Hot Topic (!) shirt for the low-key-aggressive Aggretsuko in you.
And here she is again raging against the machine on a key chain (which is pricey because it’s imported from Japan).
Kirimi-chan, introduced in 2013 and a fan favorite at the time, is a fish fillet eager for you to grill and eat it. Another expensive, and rare-in-America, import.
You can be an overeager fish fillet, too.
How adorable is Kirimi-chan’s tiny body here?
Kirimi-chan’s eagerness was soon eclipsed in popularity by Gudetama, the lazy egg yolk. Here, he’ll help you prepare for going back to school.
Have you ever had an egg yolk cool you off? This desk fan has a whole new kind of personality.
A pot with attitude to serve rice.
Top off every meal with a lazy egg. This lunch box has partitions to keep all your dishes separate.
Cuddle up with some bacon.
Relieve stress by squishing around the yolk.
Best for a lazy Sunday around the house.
Some meta hair clips of Hello Kitty dressed in costumes of other characters.
Keroppi, first introduced in 1988, is a classic friend of Hello Kitty. His thing is that he loves playing games, especially boomerang and baseball.
Here’s Keroppi with his siblings.
Badtz-Maru is a mischievous penguin.
Let him help you tell the time, with an eye roll, of course.
This film prints out with images of the Little Twin Stars, who are stars that look like people.
Become My Melody with this floppy hat. Her favorite food is almond pound cake.
I would buy these overpriced, imported-from-Japan socks and wear them every day because of the joy this strawberry-headed King Strawberry brings me every time I look at him.
Monkichi loves puns, and he also has an amazing round face with rosy cheeks.
Almost the opposite of Aggretsuko, Kuromi has the hard-core looks of a tomboy, but her favorite things are actually writing in her diary and reading romance novels.
Display your dark side, but keep it cute.
Hummingmint is all about singing.
She’s also full of curiosity, so take her on the road with this backpack.
This face is too good. Hangyodon kind of looks like a fish, but he’s actually a comedian.
Pochacco is a pup who likes sports, so wear this one out playing soccer.
Tuxedosam is a personable penguin who owns a bow tie for every day of the year. Can’t you tell?
One of our colleagues had this exact Hello Kitty lunch box growing up in the ’80s. She was first introduced in 1974. Both Hello Kitty and this lunch box are still cute.
This color-changing night-light that almost looks like a hologram is a rare, new Hello Kitty find.
This ice-cube tray actually has excellent reviews on Amazon.
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