Badtz-Maru, is one of the many characters produced by Japanese corporation Sanrio. Unlike the more popular Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru has an attitude and is one of the few characters that is marketed to both males and females.
- Name: Badtz-Maru
- Japanese Name: バッドばつ丸 (bad batsu maru)
- Birthday: April 1, 1993 (April Fools Day)
- Place of birth: Oahu, Hawaii
- Species: Penguin
- Pet: Alligator named Pochi
- Friends: Pandaba, a female Giant Panda who always is seen in a short frilly skirt, and Hana Maru, a male white seal.
- Family: Papa (blue penguin), Mama (pink penguin), Bad Twins (black younger siblings), and Bad Tsunko (pink younger sister who often wears a nurse uniform).
- School: Gorgeous Academy, enrolled in the 1st grade
- Residence: Gorgeoustown, lives with mother and pinball-playing father
- Description: "Has dreams of greatness when he grows up, but for now he rolls his eyes at his humorous life in Gorgeoustown."
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 many different facial expressions and poses, but he is classically recognized for pulling one eye down and sticking out his tongue.
While Badtz-Maru seems perpetually stuck in the first grade, he has dreams of becoming "the boss, of everything" when he grows up. "A bit selfish, Badtz-Maru tends to make fun of things he thinks are silly. This mischievous little penguin loves to fight for the wrong side. His hobby is collecting pictures of movie stars who play bad guys."
Badtz-Maru has two best friends, who are often found accompanying him. Pandaba is a female Panda born on August 8. She was born in Iwayama (lit. Rocky Mountain), China. Pandaba likes to listen to rap music. She has a skill of eating Shumai, a Chinese steamed meat dumpling, in speed-eating contests. (One time she ate 100!) Hana Maru was born one day before Pandaba on August 7. He is a white seal born in Kokuritsu Hospital located in London. He can do ball acrobatics and likes gardening. In Japanese, he is called Good Hana Maru, in contrast to Bad Badtz-Maru. A 'hanamaru' is a swirly and elaborate circle-mark, signifying not just a correct answer but a very good one. It is used as a star would be in Western culture.
In addition to Hana Maru and Pandaba, Badtz also is close with Hanatare Kame (a small blue turtle), Soga Iruka (a white dolphin), Ogawa Same Otto (a blue shark), Nogaki Goroo (a small white bird), Mochizuki Anko (a black fish), and Kobun (blue henchman of his father).
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 ...).
Badtz-Maru was the official Mascot for the 2006 FIBA World Championship of basketball, which was held in Japan.