You could call Line's latest character a family friend. To be specific, she's Brown's little sister, Choco.
Admittedly, she doesn't look all that different from Brown, right down to her poker face. But she's a little shorter and perhaps, a shade lighter. Line didn't go into detail on her personality, but from the short introduction video we've seen, she's a bit like a Kardashian: fashion-savvy, sassy, and loves to show all of it off on social media. We can't wait to see her on sticker sets to verify our first impressions.
The four original Line characters - Cony, Brown, James, and Moon - have grown bigger than the app they were meant to merely inhabit.
The Line app was birthed from disaster - the 2011 Japanese earthquake to be specific. At that time, the Line Japan team realised the world needed a messaging app that people can connect to each other when a disaster or something very urgent issue happens. Lo and behold, Line went live after three incredibly short months. However, something was missing - a differentiating factor. The design team at that time then suggested big emoji, or stickers, to set themselves apart from other messaging apps. Bet you didn't know that.
And there’s still more to learn, which we'll tell you all about while taking you on a virtual tour of the Line Friends Store & Cafe in Garosu-gil, South Korea. Read on.
They began as emoji
And subsequently started developing personalities of their own, much like how you’d fear machines someday will.
However, they didn’t manage this on their own. Their personalities are based on how Line users use their stickers, shaping their distinct personalities through which stickers most get used (which also reflects which traits sit well with the crowd).
And thus, Brown has come to be known for his poker face; you can hardly tell what he thinks. On the other hand, you have the bubbly and expressive Cony who's not afraid of saying whatever she thinks. You know what they say, opposites attract. The foundation of the characters might have been laid, but Line will still be building on them based on the needs of the users.
They’re named after real people
When it all began, the characters didn’t have names because they were just emojis. However, when they started getting popular, people began to ask for merchandise, names, and backstories, so Line needed to name them. And this how they did it - simply.
Cony is actually the nickname ID of their CEO because at that time, they just needed a cute and simple name. What fewer people know is that that's actually his dog’s name. James was named after the Creative Director of Line, just because he’s a foreigner with blonde hair and so they needed an English name. That's the end of the real life namesakes. On the other end of the spectrum is Moon who was thus named because his face looks like the moon, and Brown who's named for his colour. They're not the most creative, but they work as you can tell by now.
They’re basically immortal
They’re ageless, but they have birthdays. How? The creators discuss to determine which seasons are good matches with the individual characters and then the dates are decided upon. Even though the development of the stickers are very much based on Line user needs, not one of the main nine Line friends will be removed even if they’re not very popular.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re the only one who thinks Leonard is cute. He's not going away. In fact, the Line family will keep growing. We hear that there’s already a character in development, although this is as far as we go on spilling... You'll see when the time comes.