Sanrio Character Ranking Guide

Sanrio Character Ranking Guide

Sanrio Character Ranking Guide

It’s that time of the year again with kawaii fans buzzing over the annual Sanrio Character Ranking! Most people might know the most popular Sanrio cuties like Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, Pochacco, and Kuromi. But did you know that the Japanese kawaii company actually has more than 450 characters in its roster? Sanrio just has so many different cuties to fall in love with (you can read all about them in our Complete List of Sanrio Characters).  


Though each and every single one of these cuties has a special place in the kawaii-sphere, Sanrio loves taking the time to know who everyone loves the most. That’s why they have a special event called the Sanrio Character Ranking! Grab a pencil and some paper, because we’re going to have a special lesson on Sanrio’s biggest poll. 



Also known as the Sanrio Character Awards, the Sanrio Character Ranking is a yearly poll which aims to see which Sanrio characters fans love the most. It’s a popular voting event for kawaii enthusiasts! After choosing 90 characters from its 450+ character lineup (check our List of Sanrio Characters if you'd like to know more) , Sanrio asks fans to support their favorites by sending in their votes. Everyone around the world can participate! 



The Sanrio Character Ranking has been going on for decades. The very first Sanrio Character Awards began in 1986. Unlike the modern version of the Sanrio contest which takes place online, the old poll was circulated through Sanrio’s monthly newspaper, the Ichigo Shimbun or Strawberry News (which you can read about in our comprehensive blog about Sanrio). 


Once fans were done choosing their faves, the winning Sanrio cutie would appear on the cover of the Ichigo Shimbun. It was an honor for fans to see their favorite character appearing on the cover of the Strawberry News! The Sanrio Character Awards became such a huge hit that eventually it became an annual event.  


The very first winner of the ranking was Zashikibuta who made his big debut in 1984. Though he’s not as famous now, fans loved this piggy. Laid-back and curious, Zashikubuta was a cute pig character who loved spending his days making sweets, growing vegetables with his mouse friend Tabby, and of course, eating! 



Sanrio has opened the polls for the Sanrio Character Awards from April 11 to May 26 every year since 1986. Fans can vote for free on a special website that Sanrio puts up for the event. They can also vote whenever they make purchases at Sanrio stores in Japan and around the world! It’s much better when fans visit Sanrio shops because votes from store purchases hold more power than the ones made online. 


When online voting became available in 2012, devoted Sanrio fans were worried that store votes would feel less meaningful. That’s why in 2019, Sanrio decided to update the value of the votes for the ranking depending on where they were made. Votes from buying Sanrio’s newspaper, the Ichigo Shimbun are valued twice more than regular online votes. Meanwhile, votes from purchasing merchandise like plushies, pouches, and more are valued thrice more than regular votes. 



Some devoted Sanrio fans wonder whether they can vote for their faves multiple times. Everyone wants their cutie to take the crown! Unfortunately, voting has its limits. You can only vote once per day when you vote online, which isn’t really enough if you’re hellbent on having your fave make it to the top 10. 


If you’d like to make a bigger dent in the results of the Sanrio Character Ranking, then it's better to head down to an official Sanrio shop. When you make purchases at Sanrio stores, you get the chance to have multiple votes depending on how much you spend buying cute Sanrio items. 



While we’re used to hearing the regulars like Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, and Pochacco dominating the Sanrio polls, the winners of the 80s were actually lesser-known characters. In 1987, the top spot went to Marron Cream, a French rabbit girl known for her handicrafts and sweets. Farm animal-loving boy Minna no Tabo was also the first character to claim the Sanrio crown twice in a row. If you'd like to read more about the history of the kawaii-sphere's biggest company, you can check out our blog on Sanrio



For the longest time since Sanrio began, people believed kawaii characters were only for children. It wasn’t until 1996 that Hello Kitty began gaining traction among high school girls. Soon, everyone started seeing kawaii characters as “not just for children” but something “good for adults to have.” 


Hello Kitty became super successful inside and outside Japan with major celebrities showing their love for Kitty White. She became a kawaii icon and in the late 90s to late 2000s, Hello Kitty dominated the Sanrio Character Ranking. Kitty-chan had 12 consecutive wins from 1998 to 2009 - the only super star among all the Sanrio characters to wear the crown for more than a decade! You can read more about Hello Kitty's reign over the kawaii-sphere in our comprehensive blog about Hello Kitty



Well, it’s party time of course! Sanrio often announces the winner of the ranking during a special live show at the yearly Sanrio Fes. The event held in the Puroland themepark in Japan is made to celebrate all things Sanrio! Not only do fans get a special live show with the mascots of beloved Sanrio characters, but they also get special limited-edition goods as well as character food and drinks during Sanrio Fes. 


After the big announcement, Sanrio also holds a special “thank you for your support” character greeting at Puroland. It usually lasts for two to three weeks. That way, more fans visiting the Sanrio theme park can interact with their favorite characters after successfully voting for them during the Sanrio Character Ranking. 



Did you know that Sanrio also has a different set of results based on different countries around the globe? That’s right. Besides releasing the overall character ranking, Sanrio also lets fans get the chance to know who’s the most popular character in different places around the world. 


In the USA, the top three most loved characters in the Sanrio Character Ranking 2024 were Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, and Chococat. In Germany, the top three spots went to Cinnamoroll, Gudetama, and Kuromi. In Thailand, the top 1 character was Minna no Tabo, followed by Yoshikitty, and then Cinnamoroll. As you can see, different countries have different favorites! Everybody has their own preference.



Well, besides bragging rights and a trophy, characters who do well in the Sanrio Character Awards get a lot of great deals in Japan! They get collaboration cafes from different brands in Japan like Chez Madu, Egg & Spuma, Achi Base, and more. Not only that, but they also get tons of events from Sanrio as well as new merchandise for fans to add to their collection. 



Well, the answer depends on the year! Sure, Hello Kitty might be the poster girl of Sanrio, but the company’s top character changes from year to year. Sometimes Sanrio’s most loved cutie is Cinnamoroll. Sometimes it's Pompompurin. Sometimes it’s Pochacco. Everyone has the chance to win at the Sanrio Character Awards, that's why fans have to do their best to vote for their favorite!  



Since we’re talking about the ranking of Sanrio characters, some fans have been wondering who might be the oldest character from the Sanrio roster. You might be guessing it to be Hello Kitty, but actually it isn't!  Sanrio’s very first kawaii character is a laid-back bear with croquettes for like cheeks named Corochan! 


This cute bear was born in 1973, the very same year that the kawaii company Sanrio changed its name from the Yamanashi company to the one that everyone knows and loves today. It might be decades since Corochan’s debut, but this teddy still does okay in Sanrio’s Character Ranking. In 2021 it actually placed somewhere around the 70th! 



Now that would be Hello Kitty! The poster girl of Sanrio, Kitty-chan has been dominating the kawaii-sphere with her image of sweet, child-like innocence. Born on November 1, in the suburbs of London, Hello Kitty is known for being energetic, bright, and friendly. This endearing girl cat dreams of becoming a pianist or a poet.  


Though Sanrio has a ton of other charming characters to fall in love with, Hello Kitty has had multiple eras where she shone the brightest. Her first boom was in 1977, the second was in 1975, and in the 90s she rocketed to complete kawaii stardom!  Not only does she have a ton of cute merchandise, but Kitty White also appears in anime shows, movies, comics, games, and apps. All this info and more can be found in our complete blog about Hello Kitty!



Oh, now that’s a pretty subjective question. Everyone has a different definition of cute. Some people might say that My Melody is the cutest Sanrio character ever. Others might lean more towards Pompompurin. There are even fans who think that Hangyodon is the best when it comes to cuteness. It can be pretty hard to decide when Sanrio has more than 450 cute characters to adore. You can take a gander at our Complete List of Sanrio Characters to check them out for yourself! 



It might be hard to quantify the love one has for kawaii Sanrio characters, but there are definitely some fans who take their dedication to kawaii culture to the next level. One of those is Asako Kanda, a Sanrio superfan who held the Guinness World Record for having the Earth’s largest Hello Kitty collection. In August 2011, she had amassed a whopping 4,519 Hello Kitty items from plushies to frying pans to even a Kitty White toilet seat. 


That record was shattered by retired Japanese police officer Masao Gunji in November 2016. The resident of Yotsukaido, Chiba Japan managed to amass 5,169 Hello Kitty goodies! Masao even made a large pink house to store his collection. It took Gunji and his wife 25 years to complete everything. The first Kitty White item he got was from a sight-seeing spot, and since then he continued gathering more. 


According to Gunji, Hello Kitty made life easier, easing away the stress from his work as an officer. “The reason I like Hello Kitty is because of her expression; for some reason when I’m sad, she looks a bit sad as well, and when I am happy, she looks happy,” the former police officer explained in an interview. “Hello Kitty has always cheered me up when I was unhappy.”



The results are in for the 2024 edition of the Sanrio Character Awards! Can you guess who the winner is? Let’s have a drum roll please… the top Sanrio character of 2024 with more than 5 million votes is none other than the fluffy puppy, Cinnamoroll! This win marks as Cinnamoroll’s 5th consecutive year as the most loved character from Sanrio.


After Cinnamoroll, the second place in the 2024 Sanrio Character Rankings goes to another Sanrio pup, Pochacco! This retro cutie has been gaining a lot of traction over the years. During the 2024 polls, Pochacco managed to receive 4.5 million votes from around the globe. That’s a big jump from the 3.2 million votes he got in 2023 which nabbed him the 4th place. 


Meanwhile, in third place is the cheeky but charming bunny, Kuromi. This rebellious cutie raked in 4.1 million votes from fans with the promise to Kuromify the world! It’s interesting to note that Kuromi also got third place the year before during Sanrio’s 2023 Character Awards.



Seeing how Cinnamoroll’s been dominating the Sanrio Character Awards for years, we understand why everyone would wonder how this cute little Sanrio pup’s become so popular. What does Cinnamoroll have that everyone else doesn't? Is it his cute droopy ears? Is it his cinnamon roll-like tail? Or is it the fact that Cinnamoroll looks as soft as a cloud? 


One of the reasons why Cinnamoroll’s been taking center stage is because of his presence in Japan. This Sanrio puppy’s been nabbing collaborations left and right! From cafe collabs to team-ups with sports teams and jewelry stores, Cinnamoroll is everywhere. Everyone loves working with this cloud-like puppy because he doesn’t just like cool things, he loves all things cute too! Everyone loves a dog that isn’t afraid to show its soft and sensitive side. 


Besides his many different collaborations, Cinnamoroll also has a ton of media coverage. He’s a kawaii star in every sense of the word! Not only does Cinnamoroll appear in movies, he’s got his own animated series on YouTube, music videos, and he even has his own cooking show! If you’d like to get to know more about this adorable, hardworking puppy, you can read about him in our blog about Cinnamoroll



Ever since her debut in 2005, Kuromi has always been considered one of Sanrio’s standout characters. An impish bunny that serves as the rival of My Melody, Kuromi took the punk, goth, and other alternative scenes by storm when she appeared in the series Onegai My Melody.  Everyone loved her aesthetic and her edgy personality! 


Why is Kuromi getting even more fans years after her debut? Well, in October 2021, Sanrio launched the “Kuromify the World Project.” Not only did the project plan to fill the world with everything Kuromi, but it also resulted in an original debut song, called Greedy, Greedy.


A year and three months later after making the song, Sanrio even released a Kuromi-centric spinoff anime called Kuromi’s Pretty Journey. Kuromi’s fans “Kuromies” were pretty pleased with it! If you’d like to learn more about the show and everything else related to Kuromi-chan, you can check out our blog on Kuromi



Debuting in 1989, Pochacco is considered one of Sanrio’s older characters. So why is getting more and more popular these days? Well, some say there’s been a resurgence of retro characters over at Sanrio. Gen-Z kawaii fanatics have been falling in love with the oldies like Pochacco. 


It also helps that Pochacco’s especially cute with his floppy ears and active lifestyle! Sporty kawaii fans love that Pochacco the “Hobby Hopper” tries on all kinds of athletic activities like skateboarding, biking, playing soccer, and trying out baseball. The sporty pup has been back in style ever since 2010, making his way in the top 20 characters of Sanrio.  You can read all about him in our comprehensive article about Pochacco



Pompompurin might not have made it to the top three in the Sanrio Character Ranking in 2024, but he did manage to wiggle into the fourth spot! Ever since his debut in 1996, this cute and cuddly doggo has been popular among Sanrio fans. He’s always been in the top 10 or top 20 of Sanrio’s yearly character awards! Purin’s been so popular that he nabbed the first spot thrice - the first time in 1997, the second in 2015, and the third in 2016. 


What makes so Pompompurin so irresistible? Well, it’s hard to say no to a cute and chubby puppy. Purin is as soft as pudding and his laid-back personality is just darn right loveable! Kawaii enthusiasts love Pompompurin’s cute antics - from his habit of stealing shoes to his tendency to show off his little butthole. 


It’s also helpful that Pompompurin has a lot of collabs with food. Oftentimes, Sanrio characters get to team up with a lot of big brands. Pompompurin manages to nab a lot of nice food deals because of his name which has “purin,” the Japanese name for pudding. If you’d like to learn even more about this charming puppy, you can head over to our comprehensive Pompompurin blog



Like everyone else in Sanrio’s roster, Gudetama’s ranking depends on the year. In 2024, Gudetama took the 16th spot in the Sanrio Character Awards. With a name that translates to “lazy egg” in English, Gudetama charms people with its relatable lethargy. It’s a forever-exhausted Sanrio egg drop who knows that life can get hard. 


Ever since its debut in 2013, this non-binary egg’s always nabbed a top spot in Sanrio’s yearly ranking. From 2014 to 2019, Gudetama ranked in the top 10 of the Sanrio Character Awards. From 2020 onwards it’s been in the top 20. You can read more about this lazy egg and what makes it one of the most relatable Sanrio characters in our blog about Gudetama



Out of all the 90 characters that were chosen for the Sanrio Character Ranking 2024, the one that ranked at the very bottom is Littlelovin. There’s very little to know about this Sanrio character besides the fact that he has brown fur, droopy black ears, and loves ogura toast. That’s probably why he’s usually the very last in Sanrio’s yearly character awards.


Of course, Sanrio still has a lot of underrated characters that aren’t well known. There’s Masyumaro, a fluffy cat as soft as a marshmallow. There’s the weird group of teeth called the Hagurumanstyle. Sanrio even has a group of old male characters who love dressing up as magical girls named the Chunenheroine Ojisan’s. Our blog, the Complete List of Sanrio Characters, tackles all the different Sanrio characters, from the most popular ones to the ones that no one really talks about. 



Did you know that Sanrio also holds other fun character contests outside of the yearly Sanrio Character Ranking? From time to time Sanrio holds “general elections” based on special themes asking fans to vote for newly-made characters that its designers had just made. 


This includes the 2013 Food Character General Election from Sanrio which asked fans to vote for food characters. Three new characters made their debut! Kirimi-chan won first place, Gudetama won second place, and the third place went to the puppy made of mochi, Kashiwankomochi. 


Two years after that, Sanrio held the Salaryman General Election hoping to debut fun new characters based on the theme of “occupation.” A lot of interesting new characters were able to make their debut thanks to the results of the poll. That includes the strange group of teeth named the Haguruman Style, the Middle-aged Heroine Ojisan’s, and Aggressive Retsuko (otherwise known as Aggretsuko). 


The most recent character design contest that Sanrio held was the Next Kawaii Project. Running from June 10, 2022, to February 6, 2023, the goal of the Next kawaii Project was to find the character that would define the next generation of kawaii culture. The winner of the contest? The cute little ghost Hanamuruobake (you can read all about him in our comprehensive Hanamuruobake blog). 


Whew, now that’s a wrap on today’s lesson on the yearly Sanrio Character Awards. This yearly poll from Sanrio is one of the biggest events of the kawaii universe. Today we learned about the beginnings of the Sanrio Character Rankings and its impact on the kawaii community.  It’s really fun that fans get to pick out their faves and watch them reap the rewards during big Sanrio events like Sanrio Fes! 


Have you ever tried joining the Sanrio Character Awards? Who’s your favorite Sanrio character? Is it someone as popular as Cinnamoroll? Or is it an obscure character like Yoshikitty or Minna no Tabo? Will you vote for them during the next Sanrio Character Ranking? Don’t be shy and let us know who deserves to be crowned as the winner of the next Character Awards. If you'd like to check out new merch on your Sanrio faves, you can also check out our Kuromi Collection, Pochacco Collection, Pompompurin Collection, and more on Blippo! 

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