The title character, Maruko, is a girl raised in a relatively poor family of six. She is lazy, disorganized and usually late for school, in strong contrast with her neat, calm, and tidy older sister (a sixth-grader) who must share her room with her. Maruko, like many kids, tries to avoid homework and chores, and she takes advantage of her doting grandfather and squabbles with her sister. Nevertheless, she is a well-meaning child who tries to do good. She is similar to Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes in that she often uses adult-like language to express her childlike feelings. She has many food dislikes, including natto and tomatoes. She loves reading manga and is a good artist, and her stated goal is to become a manga artist when she grows up. In one episode, she admired and aspired to be like Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, and Marie Curie.