Meet Rilakkuma

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Who’s Rilakkuma?

Rilakkuma is a fictional character produced by the Japanese company San-X and created by Aki Kondo. His name stands for “lazy bear, who wants to relax and does not want to move”.

when did rilakkuma come out?

Rilakkuma was launched in 2003 and first seen in a four-panel comic series titled Rilakkuma Seikatsu. He mysteriously appears in the female office worker Kaoru's apartment one day and apparently decides to take up residence there.

Does he have any friends?

Rilakkuma lives with Kaoru (the 25-year-old office lady), Kolirakkuma (a small white bear), and Kiiroitori (a yellow bird).

Korilakkuma looks like a small Rilakkuma. In fact, her name stands for “little Rilakkuma” (Ko means little in Japanese). She frequently plays pranks on Rilakkuma while he is sleeping, such as drawing on him, putting headphones on him and sewing odd color patches on his bear suits.

On the other hand, Kiiroitori always lived in Kaoru’s house. He used to be in a birdcage but now he comes out at his own discretion and scolds Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma because Rilakkuma is too lazy and Korilakkuma is too mischievous. He plays a tsukkomi role (considered to be the smarter, more logical one who criticizes others for making mistakes). Sometimes he feels down because he thinks he scolds them too much.

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What are Rilakkuma’s fave activities?

Rilakkuma likes listening to music, watching TV, enjoying hot springs, and relaxing with Kaoru’s yellow cushion. Its favorite foods are dango, pancakes, omurice (rice omelettes), and purin (Japanese name for custard pudding).

What’s the zipper on Rilakkuma’s back for?

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There is a zipper only in the back side of Rilakkuma. By opening it, we can only find something that is blue and polka-dotted. There are some rumors about the insides of Rilakkuma among people:

  • Just a bear

  • A small old man

  • Kaoru’s boyfriend who does not work and lives with her

  • An alien

  • Another zipper after a zipper

What makes Rilakkuma and his friends so special?

The story of Rilakkuma is special because of the juxtaposition of the whimsy with the mundane. Kaoru (the 25-year-old lady) is stuck in a job that seems not to value her, all her friends have found love and success and rarely keep her in mind, and because of that she often feels worthles, and depressed. Kaoru struggles with internal conflict, and she turns inward to deal with them.

On the other hand, the animals help Kaoru to remind that there’s good things in life. They encourage her to be more open to possibilities no matter how small they might be.

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Where can I learn more about Rilakkuma?

To learn more about Rilakkuma we recommend you to watch Rilakkuma and Kaoru, a 2019 stop-motion animation series created by Dwarf Studio in cooperation with San-X that premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2019. Also, visit our stores to discover all our Rilakkuma and friends merchandise. Our team will tell you more about this cute Japanese character!

That’s all for today! What do you think about this San-X character? Does he resonate with you? Leave us a comment below!

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*Sources: Japan Info, Gizmodo, San-X, Kansai Chick, Wikipedia, Iloverilakkuma.weebly.com, Sora News 24, Polygon.

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