Sanrio characters number in the hundreds. Over 200, last time we counted. Trust us on that figure, ’cause we aren’t counting them again…
Back in 2015, 5 new characters rocked up at once – in the form of the Sanrio Boys. And kawaii lovers everywhere went nuts for these kids.
The idea behind Sanrio Boys was to give existing characters more promo on social media. So Sanrio can push several characters at once, each boy’s got a different fave. We say ‘fave’… more like ‘obsession’. These guys are some of the biggest fans and collectors we know.
For anyone who hasn’t met the boys yet, they are (and love):
- Kota Hasegawa (Pompompurin)
- Yuu Mizuno (My Melody)
- Shunsuke Yoshino (Hello Kitty)
- Ryo Nishimiya (Little Twin Stars)
- Seiichiro Minamoto (Cinnamoroll)
- Subaru Amagaya (Badtz-Maru)
- Naoki Sugami (Keroppi)
Yeah, that makes 7 not 5. The boys’ve been successful enough that Sanrio thought up more. And we expect them to keep going – remember those 200-ish other characters that need promoting? Who knows, maybe by 2020 there’ll be enough Sanrio Boys for an Olympics team.
Ikemen – okay, ikeboys
No surprise that all of these guys are cute. Straight off the pages of a BL novel. (There’s been a dating sim already, chill.) Seems like Sanrio deliberately gave each Sanrio boy a ‘type’. Yuu wears a lot of pink, Ryo’s the young-looking blonde one, Shunsuke’s the tsundere, Subaru plays the bad boy, etc etc.
Their backstories are fleshed out: height and weight, blood type, birthday and star sign, family members, and school clubs. Everyone’s a high school student – except for Sugami-sensei. Yep, the Keroppi fan’s a biology teacher, so there’s your ‘older man/authority figure’ type. He looks after the rest of the gang “like an older brother”. We don’t need to look for that fanfiction to know it exists.
To help you ship it, Sanrio’s made a chart of their friendships and how they see each other. Kota thinks Subaru’s like a stray cat. Yuu and Shunsuke have a friendly rivalry going on. Sugami-sensei looks on Kota as a ‘cute student’. We wanna read more of these!
The chart reveals another boy, too, but only the name and not the face. A French exchange student, with a very not-Japanese name: Théo. He talks to Ryo (who lived in London and knows English) a lot. With his reveal, the ‘mysterious foreigner’ type’s finally covered! Yay!
Like, then unlike so you can like them again
So this project was dreamed up for social. Zero surprise: the official Sanrio Boys Twitter is really fun. The boys take it in turns to tweet. With their names at the end, ’cause Sanrio didn’t give them their own accounts. They have conversations with each other. On 1 account. That’s not confusing at all.
It’s easy to get way too caught up in checking for updates. They take selfies with merch. They wear character onesies. They go to the special character cafes and events. And they have more awesome lives than we do. Is it weird getting FOMO reading about kids who don’t exist?
You can also follow the group on Instagram. The official account has this in its bio:
“Hi! I’m Théo. I visited Japan and met a new group of friends named SANRIO BOYS! Each one has a favorite Sanrio character.”
We see what you did there, Sanrio. A sneaky way to use English and French on social media to get more fans. No idea how European (??) Théo learned American spelling at school, but we can’t fault the grammar.
From 2D to… even more 2D
Soon enough, the boys jumped from our phone screens into manga pages. That was never the plan, but we don’t see anyone complaining. They got not 1 but 2 manga stories (‘romance’ and ‘slice of life’), running in different magazines at the same time.
And, of course, any decent manga becomes an anime show in the end. ‘Sanrio Boys: Never Without My Favorite Friend’ started in January 2018. It follows the ‘everyday life’ manga arc. A teaser screenshot from the latest episode goes up on Twitter every week. And it’s always the best frame.
There’s only been 1 anime series with 12 episodes… so far. If the boys stay this popular, Sanrio’d be crazy to leave it there. We hope it doesn’t jump the shark. (Sanrio’s character list includes at least 2 sharks, by the way.)
Create the perfect Sanrio character shrine
Oops, so much for selling other characters’ merch. Sanrio Boys have their own merch now. You can get as obsessed about collecting character goods as they are.
Let’s start with the usuals: can badges, acrylic stands, keyrings, clear files, plushies, and mini plush mascots. We’d be kinda offended if Sanrio didn’t make a cute keyholder for every boy. DVDs, Blu-rays and Birthday Memorial CDs are a given as well.
From Japan, straight into your heart
Fall in love with the Sanrio Boys! We’re here to help you crush on your faves. You can order a huge range of Sanrio character goods via DEJAPAN for global delivery.