Ritsumeikan University students promote new interactive Sanrio character

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Sanrio Co. and Ritsumeikan University’s College of Image Arts and Sciences have joined forces to promote Wish Me Mell, Sanrio’s first Internet-based user interactive character.

The student project, led by Akinori Nakamura, an associate professor at the school, is a joint academic-business project running from June 17 to Oct. 16 this year that combines a unique promotional method and a new educational approach.

The project came from ideas pitched by the students during a class on social networking taught by Nakamura.

A little girl bunny and new addition to Hello Kitty’s circle of friends, Wish Me Mell was introduced in December 2010. Her world is a country on the other side of a rainbow. Mell and her friends aim to make people happy.

The character is aimed at young women age 15 to their 20s looking to connect with others.

The student project is titled: “Wish Me Mell: Ouen no Tabi” (Wish Me Mell: Journey of encouragement).

During the project period, Mell toys will “visit” Sanrio shops across the country. Participants in the project who sign up on the official blog must take a Mell toy out and accomplish a self-appointed task within four days. They need to submit a report online and an encouraging message.

For example, a participant would pick up Mell at a shop. She would then write a letter and give it to her love interest–with the emotional help of Mell–taking photographs of the activities involving Mell and submitting them to the blog.

Visit (http://ameblo.jp/wish-me-mell/) and (http://ameblo.jp/traveling-mell/).

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