Japanese mangaka Ritsuko Kawai is the creator of 'Hamtaro', a manga and anime franchise about a little hamster and its friends. 'Hamtaro' has gained great popularity and has been made into a cartoon series and a line of merchandising. Ritsuko Kawai has had a say in the message that Hamtaro should keep promoting, which is non-violence, teamwork, cooperation and sharing. Kawai originated 'Hamtaro' in storybooks for children in 1997 and the first anime adaptation appeared in 2000. Kawai has additionally created girls' manga (shojo) for Ciao magazine, in genres varying from horror to comedy and science-fiction.