You know, Japan never ceases to amaze me. They are the epicenter of electronic innovation (it seems), and I respect that.
But this...well, this announcement warranted the creation of a new award from Rancho Sudiegirl. Ladies & Germs, I give you...
Reason: Gee...the article says it so well. Click on the title of this post to read the whole thing. The gist of it is:
The cute cuddly white cat from Japan's Sanrio Co., usually seen on toys and jewelry for girls and young women, will soon don T-shirts, bags, watches and other products targeting young men, company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday.Yep...today's man about town is being targeted by every middle schooler's favorite Japanese spokes-animal, Hello Kitty. Has GQ heard about this yet?
To quote the article further...
On the right is a pic of what this "rugged, cool stuff" is supposed to look like. The gent in the picture (whom I'm sure has one of everything in this special collection) is not identified by the referenced article.
The feline for-men products will go on sale in Japan next month, and will be sold soon in the U.S. and other Asian nations, according to Sanrio.
The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged, cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.
However, he looks...really...er...happy with these items.
Almost TOO happy.
Double plus bonus: Two statements from the aforementioned Mr. Tohmatsu read as follows:
1) "We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion," he said.
2) "Young men these days grew up with character goods," said Tohmatsu. "That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty."
You know, when I was in junior high school, I had my share of Hello Kitty/Sanrio stuff. I had some stationery, pens, pencils, stickers, blank books, etc. I don't know if I had any wearables. I know my nieces do. I've even seen the cutesy-poo Hello Kitty electric guitar. It ain't my taste, but if it floats some young girl's boat, who am I to stand in the way of commerce?
But that small still voice inside me is screaming "RUN! RUN, BOYS! Don't do this to yourselves!"
Maybe Japanese teenage boys/young men are different from American boys/men. Somehow, the logo doesn't look any more "rugged" with the cutesy face removed from it than it does with the face intact. It looks the same to me. Then again, I'm not a young man (last I checked, anyway).
And from what I understand, many guys that are into Japanese culture to a degree are anime/manga fans. I don't think I'd find ONE fan of these genres wearing a "manly" Hello Kitty shirt, even to be ironic. If you've seen some of the female anime characters (heavy on the hooters, and skirts as short as anything Lindsay Lohan would wear in real life), most male anime fans are fairly sure that if they wore a "rugged" Hello Kitty shirt, they'd be laughed out of most any ComiCon they attend.
If you slap a scar or two on Hello Kitty, maybe have Hello Kitty smokin' a cig or a blunt...then you'd have something. Hell, even if you have Beavis and Butthead or the "South Park" boys setting Hello Kitty on fire, you'd probably be in the ballpark. But the way it is now...nope. Nope, nope, nope.
Bottom line: If you plan to buy a young man YOU know this "rugged" Hello Kitty crap without the improvements noted above, be prepared to have one of the following happen to your sorry a$$:
- Your tires WILL BE SLASHED
- If this young man is your child, he will (more than likely) never come out of his room again unless you give him permission to burn the offending clothing.
- You will spend LOTS OF MONEY on therapy for this kid (if the kid is yours)
- You will NOT receive a thank-you note. More than likely, the letter will contain the phrases "Get Bent", "Dickweed" or a word stating you've had relations with your female parent.