Loveable character lives on
The unforgettable characters are often the ones that we can identify with.
Chibi Maruko-chan, the main character from the Japanese anime series of the same name, is one of them. Maruko-chan is a primary school girl who often makes mistakes and puts herself in difficult situations. Yet, for those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s, Chibi Maruko-chan helped them to feel better about themselves as a kid.
But as these young people grew up, Maruko-chan, did not. Last month, however, Momoko Sakura, the creator of the popular cartoon series, passed away at the age of 53.
"I feel so sad about her [death], which came too early," wrote Soichi Aida, editor-in-chief of Ribbon magazine, which first published Chibi Maruko-chan in 1986. "But the bright smiles of Maruko-chan and her friends will keep shining in the minds of readers."
Unlike many popular characters, Maruko-chan isn't pretty, nor does she have any kind of special ability. In fact, she's lazy and hates to do chores. But this is what makes her so popular among so many people, young and old. "Maruko is not perfect and owns all the qualities of a 9-year-old girl – she's naughty, funny, and occasionally depressed. She is afraid of exams and leaves her homework until the last day of the holiday," reported Chinese website Huxiu.com.
和许多人气角色不同的是，小丸子并不漂亮，也没有什么特殊能力。事实上，她很爱偷懒，也不喜欢做家务。但这也正是老老少少这么多人都喜欢她的原因。“小丸子并不完美，她有着一个 9 岁小女孩所有的特质 —— 有些调皮，有点逗比，偶尔还有些废柴。害怕考试，假期最后一天才写作业，”虎嗅网报道称。
Later, as Maruko-chan gradually learns the ways of the world, she comes across a lot of problems, but her intelligence helps her out. The carefree girl is known for her funny yet wise sayings, such as, "Leave happiness to the last in a bittersweet life," and "Self-reliance is the secret to consistent happiness."
Maruko-chan's facial expressions are also what stay in viewers' minds. Whenever she feels awkward, lines suddenly appear on her face, or sometimes an unexpected gust of wind will blow above her head. These expressions show her real feelings when she's in an uncomfortable environment, which most young people can relate to.
Though Maruko-chan has always been a grade-three student, her idea of being true to herself teaches us a lot. Her creator may be gone, but Maruko-chan's spirit and attitude will live on for many more years.