|Oh dear... That's not very good.|
Maromi (マロミ) is a popular mascot created by Tsukiko Sagi. A pink dog with big black eyes and droopy ears, Maromi is extremely cute in appearance, although the design can also be rather (intentionally) creepy partially due to the large, staring eyes and from Maromi sharing a shape similar to that of a mushroom cloud. Although at first glance nothing more than a simple series of toys and merchandise, Maromi soon proves to be something much, much more.
Initially the Maromi plushie which Tsukiko carries just comes to life and converses with her, more often than not to advise her to not listen to what's going on and generally being overprotective. In this guise Maromi functions both as a familiar and as an unhealthy self-defense mechanism.
As the series progresses Maromi's popularity begins to increase at an alarming rate. Although at first seemingly harmless, the "Maromi Mania" meme is soon shown to be a dangerous fad in as much as it has seemingly brainwashed nearly every resident of Tokyo into furiously grasping for Maromi merchandise. Near the end of the series, all of the Maromi merchandise mysteriously disappears all at once, sinking the public even deeper into delusion, in fact a folie à plusieurs, desperately seeking all things Maromi in a search for "comfort." The reasons behind this, as well the reason behind Maromi's reified existence, is the actual pivot of Paranoia Agent.
To Maromi's credit, it does come to the actual, licit defense of Tsukiko and Ikari at the very climax of the series in a scene replete with symbolism.