After a long wait (we announced it to you at the end of October 2017), Rilakkuma TV series is available on Netflix since April 19th! The lazy bear created by Aki Kondo and San-x’s leading character is the protagonist, together with his inseparable friends, of Rilakkuma and Kaoru, a series of 13 episodes that answers some burning questions: how big is Rilakkuma? how is his voice? is he really a bear dressed like a bear? We binge-watched it last weekend! Find out if we liked it!
Perhaps not everyone knows that Rilakkuma illustrated books, published since 2004, also include in the list of characters the mysterious Kaoru, a 25-year-old employee whose true appearance is never revealed. We only know that the bear and his friends live in her apartment. After 15 years, Kaoru finally has a face and a voice and she is the “human” protagonist of the Netflix series, which follows the adventures of the bizarre quartet of friends over the course of a whole year, an episode for each month (plus an extra episode showing us the first encounter between the characters).
Despite having such funny and lovely roommates, Kaoru does not lead a worry-free life. In the first episode, we see her struggling with a job that gives her no satisfaction and friends who “abandon” her to dedicate time to family, boyfriend or career. It’s almost spontaneous to compare her to another frustrated office lady who was recently on Netflix: the red panda Retsuko. Kaoru, however, does not give in to anger (and death metal) as her counterpart, but rather lets herself be taken by discouragement, insecurity and fear of not being worthy: we also know these feelings, don’t we?
Fortunately, Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori are waiting for her at home after a long day of work: the first is the usual lazy one who would like nothing more than to sleep, the second is an adventurous and curious little teddy bear, while the chick would not disfigure in an episode of Obsessive-compulsive cleaners. Thanks to the three of them, Kaoru manages to forget her problems for a while and realize that even a rainy day can reserve joys and surprises. At the end of each episode, a small sentence (camouflaged in the last shot) summarizes the “lesson” that the characters have learned.
All made in stop motion by Dwarf studio, Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a series to be enjoyed like a cup of hot tea. The delicate and slightly vintage atmospheres make it even more delicious and the attention to details and animations will leave you speechless. Kaoru and her friends live a simple life, but their small and ordinary adventures will warm your heart. In Rilakkuma and Kaoru there is also a pinch of Italy: Kaoru’s character design is the work of Italian artist Francesca Natale. Will there be a second season of the adventures of Rilakkuma and Kaoru? We don’t know yet, but we keep our fingers crossed!