Time to Meet Hanamaruobake!

Time to Meet Hanamaruobake!

Time to Meet Hanamaruobake!

Get ready to be charmed by the newest Sanrio cutie—Hanamaruobake! This mythical character is designed to bring encouragement by giving a hanamaru mark which means “job well done” for your hard work! Perfect for teens and kids, Hanamaruobake is all about fun! This Sanrio newbie is sure to become a kawaii favorite along with Cinnamoroll, Hello Kitty, and more. Let’s dive in and get to know this enchanting new friend!

  • Japanese name: はなまるおばけ (Hanamaruobake)
  • Nickname: Marumaru (まるまる)
  • Birthday: August 7
  • Zodiac sign: Leo
  • Species: Mythical creature
  • Personality: Shy
  • Special skill: Hide and seek
  • Hobby: Taking a nap
  • Dream: To become a successful hanamaru or “job well done” mark
  • Fun Fact: Hanamaruobake may be a ghost, but it doesn’t like scary movies!



Who is Hanamaruobake

Hanamaruobake, also known as Marumaru, is a cute and mysterious character from Sanrio. It’s a shy mythical creature who appears out of nowhere to give you a “hanamaru,” a round mark with flower petals given in Japanese schools when a student does well in exams. Marumaru also has this special hanamaru mark on its buttocks. This is Hanamaruobake’s charm point!




This cutie is a white ghost with fluffy ears, swirly cheeks, and sometimes a cherry on its head. It carries a big red pencil which it uses to give hard-working people a hanamaru mark. Everyone has their own Hanamaruobake, which appears without warning to praise their hard work. 



What's even more enchanting is that the true identity of a Hanamaruobake might be someone you love or a precious memory from long ago, now sparkling like a star in the night sky. So, next time you feel a little ghostly pat on the back, it could be Hanamaruobake sending some magical encouragement your way!



How do you say Hanamaruobake

Pronouncing this cute ghost's name is part of the fun. Say "Hah-nah-mah-roo-oh-bah-keh." It rolls off the tongue in a catchy, melodious way that's as fun to say as Hanamaruobake is to meet! But what does this name mean? “Hanamaru” is the Japanese term for the circle mark with flower petals around it, and “obake” means ghost. Simply put, Hanamaruobake is a hanamaru ghost!



Where is Hanamaruobake from

Hanamaruobake comes from Japan and was created by Sanrio through a character design contest called Next Kawaii Project. Contests like these are pretty popular in Sanrio, and other characters came from said design competitions. If you want to know who those are, head over to our blog, The Ultimate List of Sanrio Characters!


Japan-based artist Misato designed Hanamaruobake from the concept of “something lurking around us” and “healing.” It was also made to bring comfort to people who work hard but sometimes don’t feel rewarded. On March 1, 2023, Hanamaruobake won first place and debuted as a new Sanrio character.



Where does Hanamaruobake live?

This cute ghost has no home! Don’t worry though, it doesn’t mean Hanamaruobake is a poor, homeless ghost. It’s just always traveling in search of old memories, so it doesn’t have a particular place to call home. It doesn’t even have a birthplace! But if you want to visit Marumaru, you can find it in Sanrio Puroland in Japan!



What animal is Hanamaruobake

Now, you might be wondering what magical creature Hanamaruobake is. On Sanrio’s official website, it’s classified as a “mystery type” character. But Marumaru is actually a ghost! Not the spooky type, though. This one is all about fun and cheer. With Hanamaruobake’s friendly smile and sparkling eyes, it’s here to haunt you with happiness and not chills.



Hanamaruobake favorites

Hanamaruobake has lots of favorite things! This Sanrio ghost loves its red pencil and enjoys eating sweets. Its top favorite food is ice cream, followed by candy, and then cream. It doesn’t like spicy foods at all. 


Hanamaruobake red pencil

When it comes to movies, Hanamaruobake loves hero movies but really doesn’t like horror movies. Its favorite school subjects are Kokugo (Japanese language) and Taiku (physical education). Last but not least, its favorite color is red, like its treasured pencil.



Hanamaruobake Sanrio

Kawaii fans like you will love Hanamaruobake for so many fun reasons! Aside from its cute looks and the hanamaru mark on its butt, this little ghost is full of personality and joy. It’s perfect for anyone who loves a mix of supernatural and cuteness!



Hanamaruobake Sanrio ranking

Hanamaruobake is becoming super popular, so it’s no surprise that it has already gained thousands of followers on its official TikTok channels. It even started to get one of the top 20 spots in the Sanrio Character Awards. Learn more about this ranking contest and the most popular Sanrio cutie in our comprehensive blog about Sanrio!



Yes, there is a Hanamaruobake anime! On April 26th of 2023, a short anime called "Hanamaruobake: Kimi Ni Hanamaru Agetai No” or Hanamaru Ghost: I Want to Give You Hanamaru! started showing on Hanamaruobake’s official X and YouTube channels. It's a fun and cute show where Marumaru gives you hanamaru for your hard work!



Hanamaruobake summer event food truck

After Marumaru’s debut, a Hanamaruobake Summer Event & Campaign was held in different locations all over the country. During this time, Hanamaruobake appeared in press conferences and held mini-shows in malls and airports. There were even food trucks with a special Hanamaruobake menu. The Sanrio team truly made an effort to promote this new character before the Hanamaruobake merchandise was released!



Hanamaruobake Don Quijote

To celebrate the release of new Hanamaruobake goods, a special one-day event was held at Don Quijote stores in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Fukuoka! On this day, Hanamaruobake became the store manager and walked around the store, watching everyone shop with a big smile.


Hanamaruobake store manager

The stores had special decorations on the display shelves to mark the release of the Hanamaruobake merchandise. In some stores, there was even a video broadcast of Hanamaruobake! It was a fun and exciting day, with lots of people coming to see Marumaru shopping for the new goodies!



November 23 is Labor Day in Japan, and Hanamaruobake celebrated it with a project called Give Hanamaruobake’s Work to You! In this project, Marumaru, sneaks behind the scenes at different companies and places to give "Hanamaru" thanks to the hard-working employees. This event happened from November 20th to December 11th of 2023, with videos of the fun event posted on Sanrio’s official YouTube channel.



Hanamaruobake anniversary

For Hanamaruobake's first-anniversary celebration in 2024, a special event was held at Sanrio Puroland in Japan! There were lots of fun activities, including a photo spot display, collaborative sweets sales, and the greeting attraction "Charaguri Residence." The Hanamaru ghosts appeared at the photo spots, and those who participated in the meet-and-greet even got a Marumaru sticker!


Hanamaruobake parfait

Visitors could also buy the special Hanamaruobake Anniversary Almond Parfait at the character food court on the first floor. The parfait could be ordered at either the curry booth or the ramen booth. It was a joyful and magical day to celebrate Hanamaruobake's first anniversary!



Hanamaruobake kitchen

Besides special events, fans also got to enjoy Marumaru in a limited-time cafe! The cafe was called Hanamaruobake Kitchen, and it featured yummy-looking food and drinks decorated with Hanamaruobake! This special cafe was set up with BOX Cafe at Matsumotokiyoshi Ikebukuro in Tokyo.


Hanamaruobake kitchen

This cafe was inspired by the Next Kawaii Project After Party cafe which also featured Hanamaruobake along with other characters from the kawaii character contest. People who visited the cafe even got a special A5 clear file as a gift! There were also exclusive souvenirs for those who ordered certain menu items. The Hanamaruobake Kitchen was all about making everyone feel special and happy!



Hanamaruobake 7-Eleven

Marumaru’s popularity is starting to boom, so the cute ghost is getting collaboration projects! One is with 7-Eleven Japan, where special Hanamaruobake cakes were sold. Each cake even came with different Hanamaruobake stickers!


Hanamaruobake LINE

Hanamaruobake is also spreading cute vibes on social media. On TikTok, there was an official filter effect called Hanamaruobake’s Give Your Favorite a Hanamaru! that let users give a hanamaru to their favorite things and people. On the LINE app, you could send stickers featuring Hanamaruobake. It’s a great way to share some Marumaru joy to your online friends!



Hanamaruobake gachapon

For another exciting collaboration, Hanamaruobake worked with Bandai! First, there was the gachapon capsule toy collection featuring Hanamaruobake. The project was called Hanamaruobake ~Marumaru to Issho~ and it was a dream come true for Marumaru fans. There are different types of Hanamaruobake figures that are perfect for adding a kawaii touch to any room.


Next, Marumaru sneaked into the Bandai headquarters! The cute ghost visited the hardworking Bandai employees and gave them encouragement for their job well done! It also checked out the mini Bandai museum to see the popular Japanese toy maker’s history.



Hanamaruobake wallpaper

Imagine having a cute Hanamaruobake wallpaper on your phone or computer screen, making you smile every time you look at it. Hanamaruobake’s cuteness will surely make your day. Why not share the kawaii vibes with your friends? You can get Hanamaruobake goodies like plushies, stationery, and accessories!



Hanamaruobake merch

There’s not a lot of Hanamaruobake merch right now, but since this ghost is starting to get popular, you can keep an eye out for more of Hanamaruobake goodies at Kiddyland or Sanrio Store. You can also visit online shops that sell kawaii Japanese goods, like Blippo! This shop has a lot of cute Sanrio products that will bring joy and cuteness into your life!


Hanamaruobake picture

So, are you ready to let Hanamaruobake haunt your heart? Do you think this ghostly Sanrio newbie has what it takes to be a kawaii sensation? Join the fun and let us know why you’d let Hanamaruobake be your newest, cutest, companion in the magical world of Sanrio!


  • so cute

    Kamogelo on

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