As part of its 2019 anime slate, Netflix also released a trailer for Rilakkuma and Kaoru, a new stop-motion series launching on April 19th, 2019.
“When a woman in her thirties begins sharing her apartment with a soft toy bear that has decided to take up residence there, she finds that the secret to life is sometimes as simple as relaxing. One of the most popular characters in Japan comes to life in this stop-motion animation series.”
Rilakkuma is a popular soft toy bear created in 2003 by Aki Kondo for San-X, a company that creates cute animal characters for media and merchandising. Ms. Kondo came up with the idea of a cute little bear when she saw a TV show about dogs and wished she had the enough time to relax and have a pet.
Rilakkuma appeared in seven picture books between 2004 and 2010. He also featured in seven video games on platforms as diverse as the Game Boy Advance, the Playstation 2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii and on phones as recent as 2016. He has also featured on merchandising like dishware, stationary, sticker books, backpacks and plush toys. Rilakkuma is almost up there with Hello Kitty in popularity, ranking 5th most popular character in Japan in 2010.
Now Netflix has greenlit and paid for an original series based on the books for global streaming, with the intention of melting people’s hearts everywhere. And will probably result in the sales of more Rilakkuma toys worldwide.
Yup, I just looked – you can order a Rilakkuma plush toy from AmazonSan-x Rilakkuma Plush doll S (Rilakkuma).