Netflix began 2018 with an announcement that it was increasing its slate of anime licensing and original productions, and this increased anime push is continuing into 2019 as Netflix has now released one of the most anticipated releases of the 2019 anime season. The curious and delightful stop-motion animated series, Rilakkuma and Kaoru, is now streaming on Netflix.
Now available for streaming in 190 countries around the world, this new Netflix series will follow an adorable soft toy bear named Rilakkuma who comes to live with a girl named Kaoru. He's got a visible zipper on his back, but fans never really figure out what he's got hiding inside. Though previous clips seem to tease that this stuffed bear look is a costume, Rilakkuma's real nature is still a cute mystery.
Netflix officially describes Rilakkuma and Kaoru as such, Kaoru’s unexpected newroommate is Rilakkuma, a bear with a zipper on its back that spends each day just lazing around — but it is impossible to hate.”
The series runs 13 episodes and each one lasts about 10-15 minutes. The series follows the titular cute duo along with Kaoru’s pet bird Kiiroitori and a small white bear cub named Korilakkuma, as they got on even cuter adventures. This new series will be animated by one of the most prolific stop-motion animation studios, dwarf inc. -- the company behind another popular mascot Domo -- and original creator Aki Kondo will be helping with the story development for San-X.
Rilakkuma and Kaoru is directed by Masahito Kobayashi, and Naoko Ogigami (Kamome Shokudo, Close-Knit) is serving as screenwriter. The titular Kaoru is voiced by Lana Condor, who fans might recognize from other Netflix Original projects such as To All the Boys I've Loved Before and as the current Jubilee in the X-Men Cinematic Universe. There aren't many stop-motion animation projects anymore, so fans might want to experience this series in the hopes that more Rilakkuma projects such as thing come in the future. At the very least, it should be a nice way to balance out some of the more intense releases this season.
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