Yoshikitty — the popular Sanrio character based on X JAPAN’s leader, YOSHIKI — got off to one of her strongest starts ever in Sanrio’s annual Character Ranking Contest. In the initial results released after voting began May 10th, Yoshikitty ranked 4th on the very first day, while the original Hello Kitty ranked 3rd.
YOSHIKI aims to have the character rank first this year, with the help of powerful backup from fans across the globe who can vote daily to support the spiky-haired, headbanging rock star of Sanrio’s lineup.
Yoshikitty, created by the collaboration between YOSHIKI and Hello Kitty, is the first Sanrio character based upon a real-life figure. (Yoshikitty’s origin is detailed by Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi in the special features of the We Are X Blu-ray release.) YOSHIKI also created the Hello Kitty Theme Song, titled “Hello, Hello”, which was dedicated to the late Sanrio VP Kunihiko Tsuji.
The “Sanrio Character Ranking Contest”, held for the 33rd time this year, is a month-long voting event featuring the top 100 Sanrio characters selected out of more than 450. Every year, Sanrio fans wage a fierce battle in order to achieve victory for their favorite. Yoshikitty placed 12th in 2015, when she was featured in the contest for the first time, and 7th in both 2016 and 2017. She has succeeded in ranking in the top 10 for 2 consecutive years alongside very popular characters such as Pom Pom Purin, My Melody, and the original Hello Kitty. Yoshikitty’s popularity has been increasing yearly, and she continues to establish herself more and more as a prominent Sanrio character.
YOSHIKI voted for his own character on his phone during the episode of YOSHIKI CHANNEL which was broadcast live on May 10th, titled “The Yoshikitty Special”. He also sent an encouraging message live from L.A. to Yoshikitty, who made an appearance in the studio as a guest, and urged her to aim for 1st place. In addition to this, three public promises were made during the broadcast, which are to be carried out if Yoshikitty succeeds in placing first:
1. "Yoshikitty will play the drums on "YOSHIKI CHANNEL'"
2. "X JAPAN will release their new album"*
3. "Yoshikitty will collaborate with Nyango Star" (the mascot who previously wowwed Yoshiki with his drum cover of X JAPAN’s "Kurenai")
YOSHIKI added that X JAPAN’s album will be released regardless of whether Yoshikitty places first or not. Fans from all countries can vote for Yoshikitty once a day from all their devices (PC, smartphone, tablet) through Monday, June 11th, and the results will be announced on Sunday, July 1st.
Yoshikitty seemed pumped about the news of X JAPAN’s album release, as this will be the band’s first album release in 22 years and one that has been long-awaited by fans worldwide. Likewise, YOSHIKI was visibly happy to hear the heartwarming news regarding “Yoshikitty” during a hectic time when he is very busy putting the finishing touches on the band’s new album.