This topic of mine had me questioning just how much simulacra this popular series has. You see, I had an "Art, Man, and History" class about post-modern art. Well, it is no surprise that video games are a product of post-modernism (start from either 1950s or 1960s).
But what I still remember from that lesson is how Hello Kitty from Sanrio is an adaptable character when it comes to cultural representation. From one research article that I read for the Hello Kitty Con, written by Carolina A. Miranda, I honestly see Hello Kitty's market popularity being vaguely similar to the market popularity of Pokémon too (just done in a different way).
A quote from the article about her popularity is worldwide:
Another thing that I notice between the two franchises is how their characters can be multi-cultural. Let's look at the two marketing samples per franchise through pictures inside and/or outside of Japan:"Hello Kitty works and is successful partly because of the blankness of her design," Yano says. "People see the possibility of a range of expressions. You can give her a guitar, you can put her on stage, you can portray her as is. That blankness gives her an appeal to so many types of people." That also makes her more than just another fabrication of Japan's culture of cute, known as kawaii.
"She doesn't have this insipid cuteness," explain Yano, who is also serving as curator for the Japanese American National Museum's retrospective. "It's something clever and creative which contributes to a certain cool factor. For example, take Precious Moments [giftware]. That's cute. But there's nothing cool about Precious Moments. Hello Kitty has the potential to be so many other things."
Pokémon Worlds 2015
Pokémon Worlds 2011
Even if Pikachu is proudly Japan made, it does not stop him from being associated with other cultures and places like Boston and Hawaii. Heck, Pokémon 2011 Worlds' Pikachu (or is it 2012) was a tribute art to Tony Hawk (the one man who promoted the Skateboard Industry in the 1980s)
Bento Kitty Box
The iconic Sanrio character is no slouch when it comes to adapting various cultural variations of the post-modern era of art.
So now, my question for the community is this:
"How huge and influential is Pokémon's multi-cultural influence and cultural variation around the world? Is it as big as Hello Kitty's multiple cultural influence both in social culture and marketing?"