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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogWho is My Melody? A Guide to One of Sanrio’s Cutest

Who is My Melody? A Guide to One of Sanrio’s Cutest

By Terrell
January 15, 2022

My Melody (Mai Merodi マイメロディ) is probably one of the most popular Japanese kawaii (cute) characters – right up there with her fellow Sanrio character Hello Kitty. You’ve probably seen the iconic white fur, red or pink hood, and long bunny ears on plenty of Japanese goods. But who is My Melody? 

We’ll tell you exactly who she is, as well as how she got and stayed so popular? Let’s get started!

Who is My Melody?

A Bandai float featuring the Sanrio character, My Melody, in the middle of many colorful, bright decorations as she waves to the crowd.
It’s hard to believe that this adorable, youthful character is almost 50 years old, right? Image via Shutterstock

Simply speaking, My Melody is a white rabbit girl from Mariland (in London) with a red or pink hood that covers her ears. But why the hood? Well, the answer is simple. Her initial release was in 1975 (a year after Hello Kitty) and portrayed the iconic fairytale character Little Red Riding Hood. 

Actually her grandmother made her (originally) red hood, and although they eventually stopped the fairytale connection, she keeps it as a keepsake.

With how deep the Sanrio universe is, of course My Melody has hobbies, friendships, a rival, and a nickname. She loves to do crafts and bake cookies with her mother, and her favorite food is almond pound cake. She is best friends with a cute little mouse named Flat, as well as the iconic Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty and My Melody are only one year apart in age and both from London, so they get along beautifully.

On the flip side, this little bunny was given a rival of sorts in 2005 named Kuromi. Kuromi debuted in the My Melody anime, Onegai My Melody (literally Please, My Melody). Kuromi was so cute and popular that she became an official part of the Sanrio crew, becoming the other half of an iconic frenemy duo. In fact, Kuromi often calls My Melody by her nickname – My Mel (or Mai Mero in Japanese).

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The History of My Melody

My Melody has a history as interesting as the history of Hello Kitty. As we mentioned, her debut was part of a unique Sanrio version of Little Red Riding Hood in 1975. That same year, her first bit of merch was released and sold very well. Thanks to her kawaii aesthetic, young girls really took to the little hooded rabbit, and she only became more popular with different ages and boys with the explosion of kawaii culture.

However, in the late 1980s, she started to lose popularity, and Sanrio started to make less and less My Melody goods. You could really only find the iconic character on smaller Japanese stationery items or candy. The world went with limited kawaii rabbit goods for about ten years until 1996, when the Sanrio magazine Strawberry News did a survey.

A drawstring pouch featuring the face of Sanrio character, My Melody, on a white background.
It’s hard to believe that this character lost popularity. Just look at that face! Image via Shutterstock

With the survey results, they found out that people still loved My Melody! In fact, she was one of the most popular Sanrio characters in the survey. So, lucky for us, Sanrio listened and started releasing more goods, like bags, clothing, socks, umbrellas, and more. 

How This Cute Character Has Stayed Relevant

My Melody didn’t just stay on top with cute merch; she made a name for herself as a Japanese anime and video game hero too. Like we said before, 2005 saw the release of Onegai My Melody. This anime had four whole seasons with 52 episodes each, an anime film, and a light novel. 

The anime series follows My Mel as she goes to the human world to save it from her rival Kuromi’s antics. To be fair, Kuromi doesn’t know that her antics will release darkness on the human and Mariland worlds. And My Melody didn’t just do it once; she saved both worlds four times over with her trusty weapon the Melody Takt. 

What helped My Melody to stand out was the fact that this series didn’t really rely on other Sanrio characters. Don’t get me wrong – Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty make cameo appearances in the show. However, My Melody is the main character, and the show didn’t rely on other characters.

Two phones with Hello Kitty and My Melody phone handles and a cord with Hello Kitty cord marker.
Of course My Mel can stand alone, but we love to see her with her fellow Sanrio veteran, Hello Kitty. Image via Shutterstock

The anime even spawned a few video games for the Nintendo DS that again saw her as the star against her adorable rival Kuromi. Each game included super cute environments and even more characters to flesh out the Sanrio extended universe. It also showed that this particular character could stand alone and still be successful, with or without her other Sanrio friends.

With her super cuteness, kind personality, and ability to stand alone, it’s no wonder that My Melody is so popular in Japan and around the world. Hopefully, this nearly 50-year-old character will be around for many more years. 

Are you a My Melody fan? Are there any other Sanrio characters you love? Let us know in the comments below!

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