Sanrio’s lesser-known fishy familiar makes a long-awaited return to the top of the rankings.

Sanrio’s annual Character Ranking is no joke. The hotly contested poll looks at Sanrio’s full line up of 450 characters and asks fans around the world to choose their favourite, with the most popular 80 characters announced at the end of a fierce voting bout. There were more votes cast for the 2022 Character Ranking poll than the population of Australia — 26,467,259 votes, to be precise. This year, the 37th instalment of the annual poll saw the number of votes increase from last year by a phenomenal 124 percent, making it the most voted Sanrio Character Popularity Poll in the poll’s history.

The top ten is as follows:

10. Tuxedo Sam (903,566 votes)
9. Cogimyun (931,628 votes)
8. Hangyodon (996,854 votes)
7. Little Twin Stars (1,020,516 votes)
6. Hello Kitty (1,471,242 votes)
5. My Melody (1,700,858 votes)
4. Pochacco (1,947,297 votes)
3. Kuromi (1,954,948 votes)
2. Pompompurin (2,351,265 votes)
1. Cinnamoroll (2,896,171 votes)

Sanrio’s top dog Cinnamoroll took the number one spot for the third year in a row, with a whopping 2,896,171 votes. Cinnamoroll gave a statement on his big win, commenting “Thank you for ranking me in first place in my 20th anniversary year! I’m so excited to keep on making wonderful memories together with you all!”

While nine out of the ten characters that made the top were exactly the same as last year, there were still a few upsets in the rankings. For a start, My Melody’s rival Kuromi placed third, knocking last year’s third place entrant Pochacco into fourth place. This in turn breaks a two year streak of the top three entrants all being dog-related characters.

▼ Kuromi took third place in the rankings this year, up from fifth place last year

But arguably the biggest surprise was the inclusion of fish-like character Hangyodon, who hasn’t made an appearance in the top ten for thirty-four years. Considering the character was created way back in 1985, this is a pretty impressive achievement.

▼ Hangyodon got a real boost in popularity this year

Sanrio fans were overjoyed at the news, making such comments as “You deserved it!“, “I’m crying with happiness” and “Thank you for giving me all the feels!

Hangyodon himself made a statement on Twitter, saying “8th place…! I haven’t ranked this high in 34 years! What should I do?! I’m so happy! Thank you so much, everyone!” 10th place winner Tuxedo Sam also sent Hangyodon a congratulatory message, commenting “Hangyodon… I’m happy for you!

As well as the overall rankings, the Sanrio website also lists the characters ranked the highest in a number of countries outside Japan. Here are all the countries where Cinnamoroll didn’t take the top spot, and who that nation’s favourite was instead —

● Hong Kong (Minna no Tabo)
● Taiwan (Pompompurin)
● South Korea (Kuromi)
● United Kingdom (Pompompurin)
● Germany – (yoshikitty)
● Spain – (yoshikitty)
● Thailand – (Kuromi)

For anyone wondering, egg-yolk character Gudetama placed 16th and Kirimi-chan, the… sliced salmon character (yes that’s a thing) placed 19th.

Source, images: Sanrio 2022 Character Ranking
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