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Is Hello Kitty’s Newest Pal Wish Me Mell a Hikikomori Recluse?

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On December 27th, Sanrio presented the newest member to Hello Kitty’s circle of friends, a mysterious character called Wish Me Mell. Wish Me Mell’s face has yet to actually be revealed, instead debuting with a kawaii-heavy website (it's in Japanese) that shows her egg-shaped house, with a message explaining that she “Just won’t come out." Sanrio’s official release describes her as being “withdrawn," and implores her fans to send her as many messages and Tweets as possible to encourage her to show her face.

Wish Me Mell’s malady is starkly reminiscent of the hikikomori social phobia that plagues Japan, in which people isolate themselves to their rooms, often living their lives through the internet and leading to alarmingly high suicide rates. Here’s hoping it’s just a phase and that Mell gets well soon. — Misha Janette
· Wish Me Mell [Official Site]