1. Kitty and Mimmy White
Who: Kitty (red bow) is the main character of the Hello Kitty franchise, and Mimmy (yellow bow) is her identical twin sister.
Are They Cats?: Kitty and Mimmy are ‘gijinka’, according to Sanrio. Essentially, they’re anthropomorphic cats, as opposed to animals. Think Goofy, but much, much cuter.
2. Dear Daniel
Who: Daniel is Kitty’s childhood friend and love interest, which makes him the Ken doll of the Hello Kitty franchise.
Is He a Cat?: Daniel is probably also an anthropomorphic cat. It’d be pretty strange if he wasn’t, after all of the hullabaloo about Kitty.
3. Charmmy Kitty
Who: Charmmy is a relatively recently created Persian cat who was given to Kitty as a pet.
Is She a Cat?: Charmmy is a regular, non-anthropomorphic cat. See: Furry Confusion
4. Ichigoman, Dark Grapeman, and Honey Momo
Who: Ichigoman is Kitty’s superhero alter-ego, and Dark Grapeman and Honey Momo are her(?) sidekicks.
Are They Cats?: All three characters are anthropomorphic. They’re also superheroes. I don’t know if that changes anything fundamental about them or not.
Who: Chococat is the unofficial male counterpart to Kitty. He’s a spunky little boy cat with whiskers that pick up signals as if they were antennae.
Is He a Cat?: Chococat is likely also a ‘gijinka’, like Kitty and Mimmy. Frankly, I’m more concerned about the whiskers thing. That’s bizarre.
6. Nemmuko Nyago
Who: Nyago is a precious little tabby cat whose favorite pastime is napping, which makes him the most relatable of the cat mascots.
Is He a Cat?: Not much is known about Nyago, but it’s safe to assume he’s an actual cat. The fact that he’s in a near constant state of sleep is pretty telling.
Who: Mashumaro is a small, fuzzy kitten who lives in Paris with his fashion-designer owner.
Is He a Cat?: Mashumaro seems to be an actual cat, though he does have some human-like traits and aspirations. He’s evidently someone’s pet though, so lets go with actual cat.
Who: Mellotune is a sensitive and lonely Persian cat that enjoys stargazing and listening to violin tunes.
Is She a Cat?: Mellotune is probably a regular cat, though she seems to have a lot of complex emotional issues for a cat.
9. Nyokki and Penne
Who: Nyokki and Penne are a pair of adventurous cats who were formerly owned by an Italian chef.
Are They Cats?: Nyokki and Penne are described with human-like character traits (laid-back, smart, etc.), but are most likely actual cats. Plus, it sounds like they ran away from home, which is a total cat thing to do.
10. Nya Ni Nyu Ne Nyon
Who: Nya Ni Nyu Ne Nyon are a group of mischevous baby cats who are named after the Japanese vowel sounds.
Are They Cats?: Based off of their human like qualities and similar appearance to Kitty, I’d say they’re most likely ‘gijinka’. They’re like Rugrats. But, y’know, cats.
11. Minny le Mew
Who: Minny le Mew is a crybaby cat who always manages to get her tail caught in the door.
Is She a Cat?: Minny’s resemblance to a kewpie doll, clothes, and upright posture indicates that she’s probably meant to be a little girl, like Kitty.
Who: Winkipinki is a charming little girl cat who enjoys playing the violin, looking at flowers, and dressing up.
Is She a Cat?: Winkipinki is likely an anthropomorphic cat. She wears clothes and plays string instruments. Hey, maybe she can adopt Mellotune as a pet!
Who: Mike, Tiger, and Kuro are three cat brothers who enjoy various hobbies like baking, and purring.
Are They Cats?: The brothers are probably ‘gijinka’, since they stand upright and operate dangerous cooking equipment. Besides, one’s name is Mike. Who names their pet cat Mike? (If your cat is named Mike, I apologize).
Who: Frooliemew is a palm-sized cat who enjoys dressing up and make-up as much as her Parisian fashion model owner.
Is She a Cat?: Frooliemew, like Mashumaro, is owned by a human, which probably puts her in regular cat territory. Whether it’s safe to put make-up on your cats is an issue for another post.
Who: Garnet is the main cat mascot for the popular Jewelpet franchise.
Is She a Cat?: Garnet and her fellow cat-like creatures are Jewelpets. What does it mean to be a Jewelpet? Is the physiology of a Jewelpet similar to normal animals? Do they just coincidentally look like normal animals? These are the issues that keep me awake at night.