What’s better than friends wishing you a happy birthday? Having One Piece’s Luffy or Ash from Pokémon personally doing it instead!

Anime and manga play a big part in Japanese culture, and whether it be Detective Conan or Pretty Cure, these heroes and heroines have made their way into the hearts of children across the country. For some, such influence has even changed their adulthood completely.

Advertising company Exnet’s unique service allows children (or adults) to commemorate special days in their lives with a customized letter from their favorite character, making their birthdays or Christmases all the more special. Iconic characters include those from Pretty Cure, Detective Conan, One Piece, Pokémon, Kamen Rider, and many more.

Kamen Rider Build, the newest addition to the “Character Letter” lineup.

For the Pokémon-themed letter, Ash Ketchum addresses you by name, writing about his exciting adventures in the Kingdom of Aurora. His ever faithful buddy Pikachu offers some “Pika, pika” commentary, while Rotom chirps in to say that Ash has recently captured a Rowlet, Rockruff and a scruffy Litten.

In a One Piece-themed Christmas letter, Luffy exclaims enthusiastically that he’s heard rumors of a fun winter event where people eat lots of delicious food. Since Luffy isn’t from our world and has little knowledge about our holidays, he begs you to tell him what Christmas is. Impatience gets the better of him, and he sets off on an adrenaline-filled adventure with his friends to find this elusive “Christmas” thing.

The vivid illustrations and casual penpal-like conversation feels as if you received the letter from the famous characters themselves, making it a fantastic souvenir to mark an occasion. And even though each letter costs a hefty 1,500 yen (US$13.70), it comes with a variety of stickers and a large photo card, all sealed in a colorful themed envelope.

Over 300,000 orders of Character Letters have been received in its eight years of service, and the company is looking to add more characters to its roster.

Young children will probably get the most enjoyment out of it, as the magic of believing will fade away rather quickly when they grow up. But hey, they can then turn to handwritten love letters in crank machines, right?

Source: Character Letter via @ Press
Images: @ Press