Netflix: Rilakkuma and Kaoru

May 08, 2019



Hey lovelies!

A couple weeks back, I found out that Rilakkuma got a series on Netflix. 跌破眼镜

Like whattt? I never saw this collaboration coming. Cuteness overload!

Some background story here. I have loved Rila since I was a teenager. I have all sorts of Rilakkuma items - wallet, cups, files, plushies, cushions, notebooks, stickers, planners, various stationery, even a onesie. Heck, I even had Rilakkuma macarons (made by Sumopocky!) for my 21st birthday party. You name it. Haha.

I love Rilakkuma the most out of all the Sanrio characters. To be really honest, I find Gudetama kind of overrated. He's a lazy egg, but can he be cuter than Rilakkuma? (Rhetorical question, don't answer.)

I love the classics like Hello Kitty and My Melody too. Monkichi, Keroppi, Cinnamoroll,  and Kuromi also hold special places in my heart. But back to the Netflix show.

What's it about: Office Lady Kaoru lives her stressful OT life in Japan with two kawaii bears and a tiny bird that is obsessed with cleaning. What adventures will they have? And more importantly, what snack will they eat today?


Duration: 13 Episodes, about 10-12 minutes each.


The episodes are shot stop motion style. A needle felted Rilakkuma?! Cute miniature everything? SIGN ME UP!


I learned a lot about Rila in the episodes, especially his VOICE. Before this show, he was really just a cute 2D character to me.

He speaks in his bear language, "OO-OOO-OO", and sounds like a sea lion, really. The deep voice makes him feel rather uncle sometimes LOL.

How is he not relatable?! I want a dango too please!
In the show Rilakkuma behaves like a lazy old man. (OJISAN!) He is lazy, greedy, and pretty useless compared to his buddies. His Japanese name means relax bear, by the way.

Always napping. Once he napped so much, mushrooms grew on his butt.

A closer look at the felt texture. Don't you wanna touch him too?
Rilakkuma's suits hanging out to dry! What he looks like under his suit is a mystery.

And all packed neatly in the closet.

Rilakkuma doesn't really do much in the show. He relaxes, he reacts, he eats and he naps. He is rather passive as compared to the other characters.

So let's talk a little about Kaoru, his human friend instead.

SPOILERS EVERYWHERE



In episode 12, The First Day, we discover how Rila and friends end up in Kaoru's home. The little bird, Kiiroitori, was already a pet in Kaoru's house. The episode mostly centres on Kaoru whining about wanting a warm body to hug, and wait for her to come home. She contemplates getting a cat, but her savage colleague just tells her to find a boyfriend instead. Ouch. Lol.


To her surprise she finds Rila when she gets home, and shortly after, Korilakkuma too. They begin to live life together.

Kaoru was probably meant to be a relatable character. She is single, exercises to slim down,  but seems to be on a different timeline and frequency from everybody else. In other words, she's kinda spacey and unpopular. 

In the show, she thinks she is 'worthless', 'left on the shelf' and often has pessimistic thoughts when all her friends are successful in their careers or have married, while she's stuck in a crappy job with crappy pay. The anxiety is real for Kaoru.

Honestly she gets on my nerves a little, but I guess if being annoying is 'real', then so be it. I'd rather she has some personality than be a complete Pollyanna.

The most ridiculous episode was 7.Slim Down. Kaoru nurses a super crush on this delivery guy who she thinks has a nice smile. So she keeps ordering stuff online so he can deliver to her daily. Huachi max. I don't even want to root for this relationship to even start.

Soon her house fills up and there's also a huge credit card debt. Omg lol I hope if you're reading this, Kaoru feels like someone you know and is not YOU! Also, da hell but she is like stick thin in the show. T_T

'DWAZON' lol. The house FULL of exercise equipment. Rila is annoyed.

Said hottie. He used to deliver to her office, but now he delivers to her neighbourhood.


Kaoru seemed to be more likable at the start. She was quite a protective person. She was worried about Rila when he got 'kidnapped'.

I found this super funny.

However, she grew increasingly tactless as the show went on. Seems like she got tired of the bears mooching on her.

In 6. Fortune-Telling, she spends all her money (AGAIN) on some scam fengshui things like bracelets, statues etc that supposedly help to improve her luck. THEN she kicks the animals out in a paggro way. The trio spends the night outside :'( omg my bbs.

Kaoru's fengshui phase
In 10. Hawaii, Kaoru dreams of going to Hawaii. So the trio plan a surprise performance for her when she gets home from work.

It was such a cute performance!
And what does Kaoru do? 

She claps half-heartedly, and says that she didn't mean that when she said she wanted to go to Hawaii. She wanted to go with someone special. The trio volunteers to go with her, only to be shot down rudely.

"I want to go with someone like a boyfriend, or a husband. Anyway, you guys can't travel on a plane right? Would you go in a cage or sit on the plane with me?"

Then she flippantly takes out her phone and says, "Okay, let me take a video of your performance. One more time please."

AND THE TRIO FREAKING ACCEDES TO HER REQUEST. Wahlao. She takes them so for granted.

WHO requests for a retake of a performance so rudely?!?!?!? Unappreciative woman. I was so mad.

But of course, later the trio bites back. This Netflix show is quite savage really. The video Kaoru took on her phone gained traction online and the animals get invited to Hawaii, flown first class, to perform again. They bring a manager, Tokio, a little boy who is their neighbour. 

Kaoru complains, "How about me?"

The epic reply, "You should go with your boyfriend."

Yeah, deal with it, Kaoru!


HAHAHA NO FKS GIVEN. That's karma for you, Kaoru!

Korilakkuma

Korilakkuma is this gentle, cute little sibling character. There is no gender attributed to him/her, and s/he has appeared in both male and female dress. If Rilakkuma is a lazy old uncle, Korilakkuma is the tiny cute sister. S/he is the most naive but agreeable one in the trio.

Korilakkuma, being cute at every moment.


Kiiroitori 
Despite being the smallest in size, Kiiroitori acts most like the big, responsible brother, He cleans the house fastidiously and is the most sensible. He collects coins and hoards them. All he needs is a pair of nerd specs to complete his look. 

I have never really cared much for Kiiroitori until this show. He was a literal side chick. He's such a MVP.

Kiiroitori going to work because Kaoru burnt all her money trying to get the delivery man's attention.

Aesthetics

The aesthetics in the show were beautiful and cute!

Sakura scene

If you watch anime, the matsuri is always a must-go, and the fireworks watching is always significant. 

I loved the Japan scapes. The little streams and gentle slopes.

There was also some experimentation going on. Sometimes they seem related to drugs. Lol.

Sometimes the episodes get kind of strange. This is from the alien episode, called 11. Sleepless Night.

The frog ate some mushrooms and went crazy. 3. Rainy Season

A look behind the scenes! 

I can only imagine all the work that went in to creating the show.

“We aimed to get 10 seconds of footage a day from each team."

Read more here on The Japan Times.


The devil is in the details. This box of Hawaiian Chocolates looks so similar to the chocolates my family loves! (Hawaiian Host)

Even a damn fan gets so much detail. LOOK AT THE RUST. Freaking respect.

Ending thoughts
Some of the episodes were rather boring to me, such as 9. Snowman. I speed-watched that. Nothing really happens.

I can only imagine how boring some episodes will be for a non-fan, but the episodes are pretty short so it's super non-committal. Obviously the show is meant to be relaxing so there's not much action in it. I was just surprised at how paggro things became sometimes.

There's also a little message in most of the episodes like, 'Take it easy', 'Let it go', and 'It's ok not to choose'. But they don't get very preachy about it so it's fine.

What I would have loved to see
You know after Toy Story ends, there are bloopers scenes where Woody talks nonsense and the whole toy cast laughs? I would love to see Rilakkuma bloopers! That would be pretty funny.

Should you watch it?
Well... if you're here reading this post, there must be some interest in watching cute bears light up your day.

But!
If you're the kind that enjoy watching videos of Miniature Cooking , watch it!
If you have ever contemplated getting a DIY dollhouse making kit, watch it.
If you have peered in wonder into Sylvanian Families displays in toy shops, and enjoyed looking at tiny everything, WATCH IT!

It's really chill.

Conclusion 
I loved how Rilakkuma, Kiirotori, and Korilakkuma were brought to life in this series.
I quite disliked Kaoru, but I guess not every character has to be lovable in a show.

Thus, I would rate this a strong 7/10! Mostly for Rilakkuma and respect for the stop motion work, but less for the plot and terrible main character.

The show is somehow also under restricted content. LOL? It's PG, maybe for the times they keep talking about boyfriends, marriage and stuff.


Thank you Netflix for commissioning a show that I didn't know I wanted to watch!

Did you enjoy Rilakkuma and Kaoru? Leave a comment below, let's discuss :)

Love and enjoy!
Skye

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2 comments

  1. i LOVED THE SHOW! i also like that the mais character is a woman, not just a cute non sense japan girl... Korilakkuma is my favorite, but the bird really take my heart. i laft a lot in his scenes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Clarice! YES I LOVE IT TOO! Sometimes I rewatch it just for fun. You're right, I think that making Kaoru the main character as a office lady is more interesting than the usual cute, Japanese teenager! Haha, I used to only love Rilakkuma but after watching the show, I love them all so much :) I laughed a lot too XD Thanks for leaving a comment, I love meeting fans of Rilakkuma!!!

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