Fridge Brilliance: Tsukiko designed Maromi after herself. Pink body, brown-black hair/ears, big, vacant black eyes.
Might overlap with Fridge Horror, but look carefully at Maromi's head. Why is it so big and misshapen? It's supposed to look like a mushroom cloud.
Or perhaps it looks flattened because of what happened to the original Maromi.
Harumi Chono has a split personality, and is named after a butterfly, much like the rest of the cast. Only Harumi has a surname, which begins with Cho, in the same structure of everyone else's surname. The word for butterfly is "Chocho". Cho is only half of it, much like Harumi is only half of the person!
On that note, Harumi is beautiful on the inside, but not as pretty as Maria, who is ugly on the inside. This raises the question of which is the caterpillar and which is the butterfly!
Is Harumi beautiful on the inside? Maria is calling her a fake and it is sort of implied that she is pretty deeply repressed, she hides all of this from her fiancÚ (who it's never clear she loves) and is more often the instigator with Maria whom it seems would be content to let Harumi live her "fake" life provided she also allows Maria to live what she thinks constitutes a genuine one.
Then consider that everyone likes caterpillars, despite them being uglier than butterflies, so this troper would guess that Harumi's the caterpillar and Maria's the butterfly.
Maria's a prostitute, so the "others" could be seen as flowers is he is the butterfly.
So that makes Maromi the giant can of bugspray looming overhead until the last second?
A lot of people find the bright, cheery opening theme to contrast with the often dark and disturbing show. This is a case of Leaning on the Fourth Wall, as it's fun and happy, like a million other animes out there, and because of that, it's familiar and comforting. Consider how that compares to what the show's use of Maromi says about Hello Kitty and such, or even how it compares to the images played during the show's intro. The ending theme drives this point home even further because it intentionally sounds like a happy, childish song that's been broken and distorted.
Fridge Brilliance: Throughout the series, Tsukiko is under severe pressure from her superiors to make another cultural phenomenon like Maromi. She did: Lil' Slugger
Fridge Horror: It seems to strike Maniwa near the end that everything is just going to repeat itself, and that Shounen Bat will never truly go away.
As it is implied in the end that Lil Slugger is an imaginary manifestation by those who are stressed, that would mean most attacks are actually self-inflicted or inflicted by others in stress. In episode 9, the bullied wife in the end sees her husband beaten by Lil Slugger. Given that it's implied that she's the one in high stress, it's likely she beat her own husband to death just to make a story so she could fit in
Fridge Horror: What did Zebra, Fuyubachi and Kamome appear as after their deaths? The girls taking a picture at the end of the episode was horrified, and even Lil' Slugger was terrified by them and ran away.
Since it's likely that they were crushed/maimed during the demolition of the building they were going to kill themselves in, maybe their bodies/spirits were horribly mutilated? Kind of like the one guy who jumped in front of the train.
Maybe they looked normally. I would be terrified too if I saw someone who wasn't there in my picture.
More Fridge Horror from that episode - one of the three people who enters an online suicide pact is a little girl. One who freaks out and demands the other two not abandon her, and genuinely wants to die. What happened to her to make her think that way?
Fridge Brilliance: "Happy Family Planning" is seen on a condom machine. Trying to start a family while using birth control is as futile as trying to kill yourself when you're already dead.