Hayashibara announces ‘graduation’ on character’s birthday
Voice actress Megumi Hayashibara announced on her blog on Wednesday that she is stepping down as the voice of Sanrio‘s mascot character Hello Kitty. Hayashibara has voiced the character since 1990. (November 1 is the day Sanrio celebrates as the character’s birthday, and Sanrio is marking the character’s 50th anniversary next year.)
Hayashibara has voiced the character through numerous anime films, original video anime (OVA) projects, and television anime series centering on the character, including 16 separate anime works, as well as cameo appearances of the character in other projects.
Hayashibara is one of the industry’s most prolifice voice actresses, especially during the 90s and early 2000s. She has also performed theme songs for many of the anime she has starred in, one of the first voice actors to do so. She has starred in and performed theme songs for such anime as 3×3 Eyes, Ranma ½ , Slayers, Saber Marionette R, Sorcerer Hunters, Love Hina, and Shaman King. Yen Press has released her memoir The Characters Taught Me Everything in English.