Anyone remember the Sanrio Boys? They were a group of high school-age characters who loved cute things and learned to love themselves for it! But after making a huge splash a few years back, we haven’t heard much from them since. Who were they? Where’d they go? And will we ever see them again?
The Sanrio Boys (JPN: Sanrio danshi, サンリオ男子) are a fictional group of characters created to promote popular Sanrio mascots. They’re adorable, and have accounts on social media that capture their day-to-day life! Each boy was connected to a specific Sanrio character, and they took the world by storm ever since November 2015.
The main demographic for the Sanrio Boys is the shojo market. Plenty of young women swooned over their Instagram, and loved their manga and dating sims as well! Because they were so popular, it wasn’t too long before their anime adaptation made its debut. It aired from January 6th to March 24, 2018.
Though the 12-episode anime was popular worldwide, it received mixed reviews in the West. Critics loved the first half’s message of how it’s acceptable for boys to love cute things. However, the second half was panned for its decline in story quality and blatant advertising.
Nevertheless, the Sanrio Boys franchise has gone on to spawn a stage play, character drama CDs, and even a complimentary group of characters based in Kansai. But for now, let’s take a quick look at the original five characters who stole everyone’s hearts across the internet.
Kouta Hasegawa is the main protagonist of Sanrio Boys. When he was a child, his grandmother gave him a plushie of the character. Pompompurin, or “Purin” for short, is an adorable golden retriever with a chocolate beret on his head. Because Kouta loved the plushie so much, he became a fan ever since.
However, in the anime, Kouta was teased relentlessly by other kids for his fondness of the Purin plushie because it was “girly”. As a result, he resented his grandmother and distanced himself from her.
Unfortunately, when his grandmother eventually passed away, Kouta felt very guilty because he never got a chance to apologize to her. Afterwards, he hid his Pompompurin away, keeping whatever little fondness he had for him locked away.
As he went into high school, Kouta became even more of an introvert, despite coming off as very friendly to most of his classmates. Fortunately for him, his eventual friendship with Yuu and Shunsuke helped Kouta accept himself for who he is!
Yuu Mizuno is one of Kouta’s classmates. He is an openly warm and confident young man who is a huge fan of My Melody. My Melody, also known as “Mero-chan”, is a white rabbit with a pink hood and a daisy flower behind her right ear.
His love for My Melody is directly related to his relationship with his sister Yuuri. When they were children, Yuuri gave him a My Melody Cookbook for his birthday. From then on, he too became a fan of the adorable pink rabbit. Not only did he keep the cookbook all the way to high school, but he also incorporates My Melody in most aspects of his clothing and accessories.
Though Yuu’s personality and adorable appearance made him popular at school with the girls, it put a huge strain on his relationship with his sister Yuuri. Even though he handles the household chores to make up for their absentee parents, Yuuri still wanted a “cool” older brother. Instead, she got a flamboyant guy who likes “My Melody” too much for her taste.
Despite this, Yuu continues to care for his sister, and hopes to fully mend his relationship with her. In the meantime, Yuu focuses on nurturing his friendships at school, and affirming other male classmates’ who love Sanrio mascots!
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Shunsuke Yoshino is Yuu’s best friend. He is a strong, and serious young man who is a star member of the school’s soccer team. His favorite Sanrio mascot is the legendary “Hello Kitty”, typically known as “Kitty-chan”. She is a little girl with a yellow nose, no mouth, and a red bow on her left ear.
His adoration for Hello Kitty is directly related to an old crush he had when he was younger. Many years ago, Shunsuke received a Hello Kitty omamori (good luck charm) from one of his female classmates. On the day before a big soccer game, he promised the girl that he would win. When his team did win, Shunsuke went to look for the girl to thank her. Unfortunately, she had moved away, never to be seen again.
Because of this, Shunsuke has a more reverent love for Hello Kitty. Not only does he still have the omamori, he even goes so far as to call her his “Goddess of Victory”. To take this even further, Shunsuke calls her “Kitty-san”, which is much more honorable than “-chan”.
While Shunsuke is more stoic than the rest of the crew, he cares for them very deeply. He is especially loyal to Yuu, even if their different personalities clash often. Though Shunsuke’s a generally serious and blunt person, he has a rare and adorable smile!
Seiichirou Minamoto is the Sanrio Boys’ senior, or senpai. He is mature, kind and captain of the school’s archery team. His favorite Sanrio mascot is Cinnamoroll. Cinnamoroll is a fluffy white dog with big floppy ears and a swirly tail.
He loves Cinnamoroll because he’s fluffy and soothing. On his very first trip to Sanrio Puroland as a child, Seiichiro met Cinnamoroll and adored him instantly. Now that he’s older, he settles for a simple hand hold. Yet even as a refined young man, Seiichirou still views Cinnamoroll as a source of relaxation.
His desire to remain relaxed and keep things in order stems from his perfectionism. Everything, from his clothing to his demeanor, is very neat and smooth. Because he’s a gentle and reliable person, he’s able to win over many people, including Ryou Nishimura, the quiet bookworm.
As the Sanrio Boys’ senpai, Seiichirou is a very resilient and gentle person. He often breaks up fights between the other guys to make sure they all remain friends. Thanks to him, it’s not just their love for cute Sanrio characters that make their bonds strong, but their love for each other as well!
Ryou Nishimiya is also friends with Shunsuke, Yuu and Kouta. He is a shy, beautiful bookworm who comes from a wealthy family. His favorite Sanrio mascots are the Little Twin Stars, Kiki and Lala. They are twin siblings who were born from a star and sent to Earth to learn about the world.
While no particular life event seems to influence Ryou’s love for the Little Twin Stars, he still has his struggles. He’s often frustrated by how much his family gushes over how cute he is, because it makes him feel less manly. As such, when he first encounters the other Sanrio Boys, he is annoyed with their fandom.
The only person he eventually makes a connection with is Seiichiro. Their relationship is particularly strong because he is the only one that Ryou trusts. Through him, Ryou slowly opens up to the other boys and becomes a little less shy.
Eventually, Ryou spends more time with the other Sanrio Boys, even going to Puroland with them near the end of the series. He also learns to embrace his softer self along the way!
Ever since their anime in 2018, there hasn’t been much to do about the Sanrio Boys. Most online searches these days garner fan pages and secondhand merchandise. There have been other divisions of the franchise located in Kansai and even all the way in Kyushu! But as far as a second season of the anime or other works with the original five, Sanrio has remained pretty quiet on the matter.
Until then, we’ll just have to await their return, or hope another beloved group of Sanrio-loving characters will take their place.
Which Sanrio Boy was your favorite? Would you like to see any more work featuring them? Have you heard of any rumors of a comeback? Let us know in the comments below!
Writer living in Tokyo who likes stories, music and video games. <3
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