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Hello Kitty Fan Culture

June 12, 2010

Hello Kitty Fan Culture

Japanese popular culture (e.g. cosplay, anime/manga…) has become a fundamental part of global culture in recent years. Japanese well-known animated cartoon characters like Hello Kitty, Doraemon and Pikachu are as popular as those of Walt Disney’s or Warner Brothers’ characters around the world.

I also love Japanese cartoon characters very much and it is really interesting to see that females from five to the seventy-something (e.g. my grandma), and even men are possessing Hello Kitty’s products. Although Hello Kitty is not my most favorite one, its popularity makes me so curious to explore its fan culture.

Hello Kitty was created in 1974 by Sanrio, a stationery and souvenir company in Japan. Debuting as a nameless character on a petite purse, it was an instant success and the purse was sold like hot cakes. In 1975, Sanrio gave it the name, Hello Kitty (or Kitti-chan in Japanese, meaning Little Kitty), and an identity as a London cat. Hello Kitty soon became the most popular Sanrio character, making its appearance in almost all kinds of merchandise in the world. Examples range from stationery, stickers, dolls, watches, clothes, bags, glasses, handkerchiefs, deodorant, photo stickers, rubber band, tea sets, cosmetics, lingerie, talismans, cakes, posters, puzzles, mobile phones, a Polaroid camera, a Sanyo rice cooker, toaster, portable CD player, computer, a Daihatsu mini car, Yamaha scooter to even airlines. Some Japanese bank account books and credit cards also carry the Hello Kitty logo.

Hello Kitty also appears in many other kinds of media which include:
1. Magazines (such as Kitty Goods Collection) and the Strawberry News Magazine (on the right), the official magazine of Sanrio.

2. Internet such as the hello kitty official website (http://www.sanrio.com/), Hello Kitty cartoons on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAUTHAQb5Iw&feature=related, facebook (http://www.facebook.com/hkopage), twitter (http://twitter.com/hkogame), blogs, etc. They all allow fans to keep in touch with each by leaving comments and posting/sharing Hello Kitty stuff.

3. Television such as animations and television dramas.

4. It also appears in other forms of popular culture such as video games, online games (http://www.hellokittyonline.com/), comics, J-pop (Japanese popular music), movies, music videos , fashions shows, and songs (see below)

Next I am going to talk about the Hello Kitty fans. Hello Kitty fans come from all over the world. If they want to have a social interaction with other fans from other places, much of their communications and interaction are usually through the internet, which they can also use for the purpose of getting detailed information relevant to Hello Kitty. This may also take many forms from casual conversation, e-mails, chat rooms, newsgroup (http://www.mytrendymall.com/kitty/newsgroup/index.html), and electronic mailing lists to regular face-to-face meetings such as fan club gathering and organized gatherings.

I am going to show you some examples of what Hello Kitty fans will do to express their interest in Hello Kitty:

1. Writing comics or stories based on Hello Kitty (http://www.hellokittyjunkie.com/2009/08/08/hello-kitty-in-comics-la-cucaracha/)

2. Making Hello Kitty fan vids

3. Creating fan art such as Hello Kitty Homer Simpson and Hello Kitty Origami

Hello Kitty Origami
With the help of Internet, fans can now post whatever they want onto the internet and share with world. Just like the link below, a fan posted a video onto youtube and shared with everyone about how to make a Hello Kitty Origami!

This fan invents a paper-made toy model with the face of Hello Kitty

4. Creating fan club forums
http://www.hellokittyfan.com/forums/
http://www.hellokittyuniverse.com/
http://hko.forums.aeriagames.com/index.php?f=87
These forums act as a platform for members to exchange Hello Kitty information, sharing fan art, fan videos, and fan fiction, organizing discussion among members, and announcing fan club gatherings and meetings.

5. Dubbing Hello Kitty clips in their native language and post it online

6. Hello Kitty Nails

7. Hello Kitty Graffiti

8. Hello Kitty Cosplay and Party Style
http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/fashion/hello-kitty-street-style/index.php?page=2

9. Hello Kitty Tattoo
Male fans are also obsessed with Hello Kitty!

10. Hello Kitty Dogs and Cats
Dogs and cats being dressed up as Hello Kitty by their owners.

11. Hello Kitty Superman
This is obviously a photoshop picture, but I do admire the creativity of the person who made this!

12. Hello Kitty Cell Phone

13. Hello Kitty World of Warcraft Interface
World of Warcraft (WoW) is an online game where people going around killing anything and everything, and Hello Kitty fans are playing the game with a personalized Hello Kitty interface.

14. Hello Kitty Fanatic Changes Middle Name to “Hello Kitty”

15. Hello Kitty Contact lens

16. Hello Kitty fans gather at a netbar to play Hello Kitty online games

In conclusion, technology really plays a very important role in the relationship between Hello Kitty and its fans. Nowadays with the advent of Internet and advanced technology, fans can easily get and share information about their fandom. Going online is no more difficult for everyone especially for the younger generations. As in the case of the Hello Kitty fans, they try to put Hello Kitty into their lives through the different media, such as blogs, youtube, forums, facebook, etc. Internet makes our lives easier as it enables fans from all over the world to connect with one another. For instance, when a fan posts a video onto the internet, others can leave their comments, just like youtube. This not only allows the fans to share opinions and exchange any news they get about Hello Kitty, but also provides them a platform for communication.

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Photo Cutout

May 27, 2010

I have recently discovered another technique in Photoshop – “Photo Cutout”. It is about making something jump into or out of the frame. I mainly make use of layer mask, blending options and extract to come up with the final product. Below is something I made following the tutorial link.
http://photoshoptutorials.ws/photoshop-tutorials/photo-manipulation/photo-cutout.html

Stay-Creative-Eggs

May 14, 2010

http://abduzeedo.com/stay-creative-eggs/

The above like I found is really cool.
I really appreciate the creativity of the person who draws the funny faces on the eggs. The eggs look like they have emotions! I think I will also try to draw on the eggs during my free time as this is really interesting.

You guys can also click on the link and look at other funny egg faces;)

TDM New Program – “Casino Mega”

April 20, 2010

“Casino Mega”
Type: Situation comedy
Duration: 30 minutes per night
Shooting with 3 cameras

“Casino Mega” is a situation comedy which will last for around 30 minutes, and will be shown on TDM at 8pm every day.

This situation comedy will basically be shot in a casino as casino is one of the trademarks of Macau. It will basically talk about the newest issues happened in Macau everyday, no matter political, social, financial or economical. For example, Macau Government recently announced to give Macau people MOP$6000 again, and we will try to include this topic in our situation comedy through the daily lives of a group of people working in the casino.

The reason why fewer and fewer Macau people tend to watch TDM and turn to HK channels is because they don’t find TDM’s programs interesting at all, and we noticed that most people watch TDM only when it is News time because TDM reports local news more than other channels.

Therefore, our group think the reason why fewer and fewer Macau people tend to watch TDM is that TDM doesn’t have any programs that are related to their dialy lives except news broadcast. If there is a situation comedy that talks about the daily issues happened in Macau, I think it may sound more attractive to the Macau people, and they are more likely to watch TDM more.

GaGa In Wonderland

March 19, 2010

This is a movie trailer that tries to revise “Alice In Wonderland” to one in which the main character is Lady Gaga! The story goes this way…..the Wonderland is now being threatened by a pop-music-hating Queen Of Hearts, Lady Gaga returns to her homeland to kick some evil ass… but mainly dance, sing, and weird it up.
It is really great and funny, and I definitely would like to watch it if it is in the cinema!

LOGORAMA

March 13, 2010


The movie above is the Best Animated Short Film that won the 82nd Oscar Academy Award 2010.
It is composed of the logos of different companies. In the movie, Michelin is a policeman, and McDonald’s is a bad person.

Learn Japanese Podcast

March 9, 2010

http://learnjapanesepod.com/04-counting-in-japanese/

I am interested in Japanese very much, that’s why I would like to share this podcast with all of you. This audio is a podcast that goes through the basics of counting in Japanese. It is very interesting and fun because the podcast is not just talking in Japanese, but also in English, it really helps listeners to learn Japanese in a more relaxed way. The website in which I found this podcast contains many other videos and plenty of articles that are related to learning Japanese, such as “asking basic questions in Japanese”, “ordering in a Japanese restaurant”, etc.

Let’s learn “counting in Japanese” together…