This is my own translation of an article published on November 16 in the online newspaper, Kyokö Shinbun. I felt my readers would be interested. –Matt
“I want to quit this job…” Kitty-chan Hints at Retirement
Kitty White (37 years old), the cat mascot character known affectionately as “Kitty-chan,” is turning heads with a personal blog entry in which she declares, “I want to quit this job.” This sudden confession on the part of a big-name character loved not only domestically but by celebrities overseas has sparked speculation about what she will do next.
In a November 15 entry on Ms. Kitty’s official blog (“Kitty-chan’s ‘I Want to Kill Miffy‘ Declaration”) titled “I can’t take it take it anymore,” she expresses a desire to retire. Over the past ten years, Ms. Kitty, at the behest of her talent agency, has actively pursued a wide range of collaborations involving video games, sweets, and regional tourist souvenirs, to name just a few. Recently she has been deepening her ties with the hugely popular idol group, AKB48, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that she is always on the cutting edge of popular trends.
But this aggressive approach has also given rise to blunt criticism: “She’s just riding other people’s coattails because her own popularity has faded,” “She’s shameless,” and “What is she, MORI Mitsuko?” [a reference to the aging celebrity who has lent her ubiquitous face to countless promotions].
This recent hint at retirement is seen by some as a frank admission that such criticism has taken its toll on Ms. Kitty. According to Ms. Kitty’s own blog post, the catalyst was recent discussion about the possibility of publishing a book of nude photographs. This proved too much for Ms. Kitty, whose distrust of her agents has, she says, reached its peak.
Ms. Kitty laid bare her feelings: “Up until now, no matter what kind of costume they have put me in, I have kept my mouth shut. (Well, not that I have a mouth, but still.) But this last proposal was just a huge shock to me.” The psychological damage is clear: Ms. Kitty’s weight has dropped from “three apples” to just “two apples.”
Apart from this suggestion of retirement on her blog, she has made no concrete statements, and it is assumed she will decide her future course of action in consultation with her agents. One of her hardcore fans, known as “Kittiers,” said of the recent controversy, “I would LOVE to see Kitty-chan nude,” revealing the cruel fan psychology that sees idols as mere objects.