Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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Rilakkuma and Kaoru
Rilakkuma and Kaoru.png
Japaneseリラックマとカオルさん
GenreAnimation
Created byAki Kondo
Written byNaoko Ogigami
Directed byMasahito Kobayashi
StarringMikako Tabe
Ending theme"Sampo" by Quruli
Composer(s)Shigeru Kishida
Country of originJapan
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Hiroshi Chida
  • Kaata Sakamoto
  • Masao Chida
  • Taro Goto
Producer(s)
  • Hiroki Ito
  • Noriko Matsumoto
  • Yuriko Okada
Running time12 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
External links
Website
Production website

Rilakkuma and Kaoru (リラックマとカオルさん, Rirakkuma to Kaoru-san) is a 2019 stop-motion animation series created by Dwarf Studio in cooperation with San-X that premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2019.

Characters[edit]

Rilakkuma (リラックマ, Rirakkuma)
A soft, toy-like brown bear whose interests are mostly limited to sleeping and eating. He appeared in front of Kaoru's apartment one day and started living with her afterwards.
Korilakkuma (コリラックマ, Korirakkuma)
A small, toy-like white bear and Rilakkuma's close friend. She also appeared at Kaoru's front door one day and began living with her too.
Kiiroitori (キイロイトリ)
Kaoru's pet yellow chick. Rather than sleeping and eating like Rilakkuma, Kiioritori has a hard-working nature and loves cleaning.
Kaoru (カオルさん, Kaoru-san)
Voiced by: Mikako Tabe[1] (Japanese); Lana Condor (English)
An office lady in her thirties who lives with Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori.
Hayate (ハヤテくん, Hayate-kun)
Voiced by: Takayuki Yamada[1] (Japanese); Chris Hackney (English)
A delivery man who is Tokio's cousin and Kaoru's love interest.
Tokio (トキオ)
Voiced by: Souki Matsumoto[1] (Japanese); Veronica Taylor (English)
A lonely boy who lives in Kaoru's apartment complex.
Sayu (サユ)
Voiced by: Mai Kanazawa[1] (Japanese); Melissa Fahn (English)
One of Kaoru's colleagues.

Production[edit]

An initial pitch was made by Tokyo representatives at Netflix in 2016.[2] A stop-motion animated series for the San-X character Rilakkuma was announced in 2017 and was originally slated for a 2018 release.[3]

Director Masahito Kobayashi drew inspiration from Wes Anderson's films, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs.[2] Kaoru, who had appeared as a silhouette in the original Rilakkuma comic series, was given a physical presence and her experiences were drawn from the female staff members.[2] The fictional city that the show takes place in, Ogigaya, is a mash-up of the Ogikubo and Asagaya neighborhoods in Tokyo.[2] 10 separate stages were set up, with the staff filming about 10 seconds of footage per day simultaneously.[2]

In 2018, Netflix announced the show would be released on April 19, 2019 and star Mikako Tabe as Kaoru.[4] Original characters created for the series, Tokio, Hayate, and Sayu, were introduced on March 27, 2019.[1] Aside from playing Hayate, Takayuki Yamada also played an assortment of minor roles in the series, including the shaved ice stand man in episode 4, the man in the Yuriko horror movie, Kaoru's landlord, Kaoru's boss, the fisherman in episode 8, the photographer in episode 10, and the alien in episode 11.[5]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Director Writer Original air date
1"Cherry Blossom"
Transcription: "Hanami" (Japanese: 花見)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In April, Kaoru prepares for a hanami with her circle of friends from college, only to find out that none of them can attend. Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori take her out for a viewing at night.
2"Kidnapped"
Transcription: "Koinobori" (Japanese: こいのぼり)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In May, Kaoru is harassed by anonymous messages and Rilakkuma is kidnapped. Kaoru discovers the culprit is Tokio, a lonely boy living in her apartment complex. Kaoru forgives him and invites him to help set up the koinobori.
3"Rainy Season"
Transcription: "Tsuyu" (Japanese: 梅雨)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In June, Kaoru overhears her co-workers mentioning she is too serious for a group date. Heavy rain causes mushrooms to grow in her house, and she considers eating them to change her personality.
4"Fireworks"
Transcription: "Natsu Matsuri" (Japanese: 夏祭り)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In July, Kaoru attends the summer festival, but realizes she is unable to pick a preference. Rilakkuma shows her she is allowed to pick both choices.
5"Ghost Girl"
Transcription: "Obon" (Japanese: お盆)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In August, the typhoon season approaches and a ghost girl visits Kaoru's apartment. Kaoru offers her advice to move on.
6"Fortune-Telling"
Transcription: "Uranai" (Japanese: 占い)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In September, Kaoru becomes concerned about her fortune and begins buying items she believes will improve her luck, which causes tension between herself and her animal friends. After discovering the fortune teller is a scammer, Kaoru apologizes and realizes she is lucky after all.
7"Slim Down"
Transcription: "Daietto" (Japanese: ダイエット)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In October, Kaoru and Rilakkuma gain weight, causing Kaoru to buy exercise equipment. After discovering that Hayate delivers her packages, she begins buying more equipment to see him, causing her bills to skyrocket. In the end, Kaoru and Rilakkuma lose weight from eating frugally.
8"Getting a Job"
Transcription: "Arubaito" (Japanese: アルバイト)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In November, Kaoru becomes concerned about money as her winter bonus is cut by 10% and she is notified that the apartment complex will be demolished next year. Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori get jobs to help, but Rilakkuma is fired from all of them. Kaoru apologizes for making them worry and doesn't accept their money, saying that the landlord will compensate them.
9"Snowman"
Transcription: "Yukidaruma" (Japanese: 雪だるま)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In December, Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori make snowmen. Rilakkuma gets sick and has a dream where he plays with them at night.
10"Hawaii"
Transcription: "Hawai" (Japanese: ハワイ)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In January, Rilakkuma and friends recreate a luau for Kaoru, but Kaoru tells them she'd rather go to Hawaii with her future partner. Their performance goes viral on the Internet and they are invited to perform in Hawaii, but they decide to take Tokio with them instead of Kaoru.
11"Sleepless Night"
Transcription: "Hoshizora" (Japanese: 星空)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In February, Korilakkuma attempts to contact aliens and meets one in a dream-like sequence.
12"The First Day"
Transcription: "Deai" (Japanese: 出会い)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In March, Kaoru reflects on the first time Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma first appeared in her apartment a year ago.
13"Moving Out"
Transcription: "Hikkoshi" (Japanese: 引っ越し)
Masahito KobayashiNaoko OgigamiApril 19, 2019 (2019-04-19)
In April, Kaoru, Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori clean up and move out of their apartment, reflecting on the past year they spent together.

Reception[edit]

Petrana Radulovic from Polygon called the show endearing and complimented the juxtaposition of the "whimsy" with Kaoru's struggles with her adult life.[6] James Whitbrook from io9 described the show as "a love letter to the need to escape", noting its message that sometimes, even small acts of escape from everyday life were necessary.[7] Anime News Network praised the animation and concept, but mentioned that there was little exploration and resolution towards Kaoru's troubles.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "『リラックマとカオルさん』だけじゃない! 個性豊かなキャラクター初解禁". Oricon (in Japanese). 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  2. ^ a b c d e St. Michel, Patrick (2019-04-18). "Bear essentials: Rilakkuma's adorable stop-motion debut". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  3. ^ "「リラックマ」初のこま撮りアニメ、脚本は『かもめ食堂』の荻上直子氏が担当". Oricon (in Japanese). 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  4. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (2018-11-26). "Rilakkuma and Kaoru Stop-Motion Anime Unveils Cast, Trailer, April 19 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  5. ^ "山田孝之、『リラックマとカオルさん』で一人何役?". Oricon (in Japanese). 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  6. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (2019-04-19). "Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a delightful, magical slice of life". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
  7. ^ Whitbrook, James. "I Really, Really Needed Rilakkuma and Kaoru This Month". io9. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  8. ^ Pfeiffer, Andy; Jones, Steve (2019-04-25). "This Week in Anime: Is Rilakkuma and Kaoru Worth Watching?". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-04-29.

External links[edit]