The preliminary rankings have been called, but it’s still anyone’s game. Who will be crowned the cutest critter in the Hello Kitty crop?

Each year brings with it one of the mightiest challenges in human history. Every year, the best of the best fight tooth and nail to secure their spot on one of the most vaunted ranking lists in the history of capitalism.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual Sanrio popularity poll. Every year, Sanrio’s ample gallery of adorable mascots lines up on a webpage for the common public to peruse and then vote for their favorite. While Hello Kitty serves as the company’s primary mascot and moneymaker, it’s not guaranteed that she’ll secure the top spot: though she ranked first in 2019, it was her first win in six years, and she was quickly dethroned last year when fluffy white dog Cinnamoroll took first place.

Voting is still underway to determine 2021’s champion mascot, but Sanrio released a preliminary shortlist of the current contenders for the top ten places.

The current holder of tenth place is Bad Batz-Maru, a little black penguin with attitude. He came in 14th place last year.

In ninth place, we have classic mascot Tuxedo Sam, a blue penguin created in 1979. He came in tenth last year—could penguins be coming back into style?

Meanwhile, the queen of the company is keeping spot number eight nice and warm. It’s Hello Kitty herself! She placed a respectable fifth place last time around.

In at number seven, we have a surprise contender: the tiny flour dough fairy Cogimyun. She’s been rising in popularity since her creation in 2015, and expressed a desire to rank in the top ten when the results are announced for real. She placed 13th last year.

Pastel-patterned twins Kiki and Lala, also known as the Little Twin Stars, share the sixth spot…for now. They came in ninth place last year and still have a fervent fanbase after all these years.

Fifth place currently belongs to pretty pink bunny My Melody who debuted in 1975, the same year as Little Twin Stars. She’s allegedly Hello Kitty’s best friend and her saccharine strawberry aesthetic is still a big hit with fans: she came in fourth last year.

Speaking of My Melody, her naughty alter-ego Kuromi is sitting pretty at fourth place. She’s much newer than My Melody herself, with a creation date of 2005, and she came in seventh place last year.

Third, we have puppy mascot Pochacco. Pochacco was created in 1989 and had something of a slump in popularity, but he’s back in full force as the kids who grew up with him seek him out once more. Last year he came in third, so maybe he might end up doing even better this year?

Caramel flan puppy Pom Pom Purin is the current holder of the second-place title, and also came in second last year. Purin has won character popularity polls in the past, but has graciously stated that he doesn’t mind losing this year—so long as he wins five years from now, which would mark 30 years since his 1996 debut.

So the current top dog as denoted by these preliminary results is, of course, none other than the cloudy fluffy mass known as Cinnamoroll. He won last year, so can he secure a two-year streak? Only time will tell!

So there you have it. Our current lineup consists of some truly adorable mascots, but who will triumph to take the top ten spots in the end?

You’re welcome to encourage your favorites by voting through yourself on the smartphone-enabled voting website here. You can vote for any of your Sanrio favorites, even the ones not listed here, so don’t panic if you’re desperate to vote for Aggretsuko or Gudetama. Voting lasts until June 8, with another interim result planned to be published on May 13.

In the meantime, why not check out some of the results for other fun polls Sanrio has run over the years?

Related: Sanrio Character Poll Voting Page
Source, images: PR Times

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