TOKYO—Sanrio Company, Ltd., the Japan-based creators of "Hello Kitty," unveiled the latest addition to their cartoon universe Monday, a divorced dolphin named Batsu-Ichi.
"We are hoping that Batsu-Ichi's adventures put smiles on people's faces, especially those of young children," Sanrio spokesman Shinji Nakata said. "We believe he will be the latest successful Sanrio merchandising vehicle, in spite of his broken marriage."
Shortly after Sanrio's announcement, Batsu-Ichi's "biography" and his accompanying image were posted on Sanrio's web site.
"Batsu-Ichi frolics in his briny home of Water-Loo with all his associates and, on every other weekend, his two children, Porpy and Finn," the biography read. "Batsu-Ichi's favorite meal is tacos, and he likes to play tennis. His five-year marriage to Sharu-chi, also a dolphin, ended last year. Batsu-Ichi lives in a charming efficiency apartment on the outskirts of Water-Loo where he has a talking microwave named Yummy. His job is raking the ocean waves flat so the sun can shine through. He loves his job but may have to take another one to make his monthly child-support payments. Batsu-Ichi is an outgoing and highly eligible little dolphin, but he has yet to work up the courage to ask out his cute coworker, Misako The Cuttlefish. Always a game little fellow, Batsu-Ichi's motto is 'Take It One Day At A Time!'"
As with other Sanrio characters, Batsu-Ichi will be featured on a variety of products, such as stationery, notebooks, dishware, stickers, patches, wristwatches, pens, pencils, pencil cases, calendars, jewelry, keychains, posters, baseball caps, mugs, makeup kits, novelty pillows, inflatable chairs, miniature candy dispensers, and divorce forms.