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Hello Kitty money coming to Asakusa for some reason

4:00 AM on 01.02.2010 // Karen Mead

I don't know about you, but when I think about an appropriate character to emblazon our money with in these times, Hello Kitty is not the first to come to mind. I think the fix is in; I think everyone at Sanrio knew that Badtz-Maru, with his consistently befuddled and slightly irritated expression, was the go-to guy for worldwide recession fiscal mascot hijinks. I think Kitty may have gotten her face on the new coins, due to be issued in Asakusa shortly, by means that she can't discuss with Keropi and Chococat. I think she knew how to say Hello to the right people, if you know what I mean. Badzt-Maru got screwed.

Now, it could be that I'm just pissed because Badzt-Maru is my favorite Sanrio character, and it's about twelve times harder to find merch for him than any of those other dimwitted wanna-be Care Bears, and I think that everything Sanrio does should involve him, just for my own personal gratification. You have to admit though, he would look much cooler on your money.

Even if my precious little owl dude (or whatever he is...I've honestly never been quite sure) made the coin, it wouldn't be like I could buy anything with him at the local CVS; the special currency can only be used at participating shops in Asakusa. It's hardly more than a marketing gimmick, but with an estimated 500 participating shops, if you happen to be in the area you can get some use out of it, and make your shopping excursions that much cuter.

You can go here to learn more about these incongruously cheerful coins- yes it's in Japanese, but it's not Badtz-Maru so I don't see why you would even care, frankly. You can also not look at the coins, and be like me, and put your non-Hello Kitty money in your official Badtz-Maru coin purse and hope for a better future. A future where Sanrio characters are allowed to be pissed.

 

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Karen Mead, Contributor
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Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more   |   staff directory



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