Badtz-Maru (バッドばつ丸, Baddo Batsu Maru), a male penguin with spiky hair, is one of the many characters produced by the Japanese company Sanrio and created by Hisato Inoue in 1993. Unlike the more popular Hello Kitty, he has an attitude and is one of the few characters that is marketed to all genders. He was born on April 1st in Oahu, Hawaii.
Badtz-Maru has many different facial expressions and poses, but he is classically recognized for pulling one eye down and sticking out his tongue.
While he seems perpetually stuck in the first grade, he has dreams of becoming "the boss, of everything" when he grows up. "A bit selfish, he tends to make fun of things by thinking silly. This mischievous little penguin loves to fight for the wrong side. His hobby is collecting pictures of bad guys played by movie stars." He enjoys expensive sushi in Ginza.
Family and Friends
He lives in Gorgeoustown with his mother, pinball-playing father and younger siblings; the Badtz Twins and Tzunko.
In addition to Hana-Maru and Pandaba, Badtz also is close with Kahme (a small blue turtle), Iruka (a white dolphin), Sameo (a blue shark), Goro (a small white bird), Anko (a black fish), and Kobun (blue henchman of his father).
In Japanese "badtz" (batsu) is a term for "X", the cross signifying a wrong answer. "Maru" means circle or "O", and signifies a correct answer. So, his name is like "wrong-correct," and is frequently represented by "XO". Indeed, with his friends Pandaba and Hana-Maru, Badtz runs the mischievous XO clan.
Badtz-Maru has gone through many product lines since his release at Sanrio. While he has many fewer releases than Hello Kitty, he has been a staple character found in almost all stores worldwide. He has been portrayed as an astronaut, motorcyclist, DJ, camouflage monster, basketball player, boxer, and others. His products range from typical stationery supplies (eg. pens, notebooks, erasers, pencil cases ...) to more novel items (eg. cd players, guitars, license plate frames ...).
- ばつ丸音頭 (Badtz-Maru Ondo) - Appears on サンリオTVオリジナルソングブックLET'Sシング! along with a Karaoke Version.
- Initially the lyrics for this song were written by Hisato Inoue himself, and the music was composed by Ko Katayama
- 忍者ばつ丸のかくれてポン! (Ninja Badtz-Maru Hide and Pon!) - Appears on サンリオTVオリジナルソングブック::うれしSONG!!～みらいへの宝物 along with a Karaoke version.
- わるわるワルツ and がってんばつ丸の回転寿司 - Appears on キティズパラダイスＰＬＵＳ ソングブック サンリオキャラクターとおどろう！ダンスソング
- 目覚ましCD けろけろけろっぴの朝だよみんな!
- Badtz-Maru has some resemblance with Bart Simpson, a character from American cartoon The Simpsons, which both characters has the same birth date: April 1st (April Fool's Day).
- Badtz-Maru was the official Mascot for the 2006 FIBA World Championship of basketball, which was held in Japan. Special merchandise based on this event was released as well.
- When Badtz-Maru was officially introduced in the Strawberry News June 1993 Issue, he was noted to be Sanrio's first "not nice" character.
- Likewise, the short Sanrio film Sam to Chip no wa Hachamecha Dai Race was released in both the same year and month as Badtz-Maru's debut, however he does not appear in the film at any point.
- Badtz-Maru was a frequent guest in the Strawberry News' Chitty Chatty Strawberry column, where he and his friends (and sometimes family members!) often appeared in comics and talked about a variety of topics such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.
- Badtz-Maru also frequently appeared in a subsection of Chitty Chatty Strawberry titled (A Little...) Hocus Pocus, where a set of instructions similar to spells and charms are given to readers to try out in hopes of achieving something such as making up with a friend after a fight, curing stomach aches, and getting your crush to notice you.
- For a time in the Strawberry News magazine, readers could send in rumors they want investigated by Badtz-Maru and his friends, where they would be confirmed or debunked.
- Within a few years of his debut in June 1993, Badtz-Maru frequently landed in the top 5 of the official Sanrio Character Popularity poll; landing 3rd place in 1994 and eventually taking 1st place in 1996.
- This makes him thus far the only character of Hisato Inoue's to ever place 1st with Hangyodon achieving the top 3 in comparison.
- Badtz-Maru cameos with Hello Kitty and Keroppi in the first few minutes of the film Ready Player One.
- Although Badtz-Maru was created by Hisato Inoue, at some point in the 2000s, his designer became Kaoru Harada presumably after Hisato left Sanrio in 1995 to become a Freelancer.
- Badtz-Maru Family and Friends on Sanrio.co.jp
- Badtz-Maru Timeline on Sanrio.com
- Badtz-Maru Products on Sanrio.com
- Badtz-Maru Profile on Sanrio.co.jp
- Badtz-Maru Ranking on SanrioCharacterRanking.com via Archive.org (2016)
- April 2016 Calendar on Sanrio.com
- April 2017 Calendar on Sanrio.com
- Badtz-Maru.com (Fan Site)
- XO Photos (Fan Site)
- Badtz-Maru's Japanese Wikipedia Page