I have watched and absolutely adored each of the 13 episodes of the visually stunning stop motion animated series Rilakkuma and Kaoru on Netflix. The score, the imagery, and the quirky characters made this experience a joy and I have encouraged many to try it for themselves. When I learned on NetGalley that there was a book, I downloaded it with haste. The book includes special instructions for reading: “Set it down near you, and open to whatever page you like, whenever you want. Of course, it’s also fine to start reading from the very beginning. After turning to the page you want, Rilakkuma and his friends will be there for you…”
I chose to read it from the beginning and found each illustration and the accompanying text to be charming and at times inspiring and there were a few statements that stood out to me for the thoughts that they sparked, such as: “Even if we don’t meet for a long time, it will be great when we see each other again,” and, “Even stars with weak lights are amazing stars.” I also liked the simplicity of silly utterances like, “It is not always good if the sun shines directly on you. It’s hot…” also, “Frowning is tiring,” and then finally, “Deliciousness is justice!”
Overall, Rilakkuma was colorful and whimsically pleasant. I honestly don’t know however, if this book would have captured my attention if I had not first seen the series on Netflix. I am glad that I had the chance to read it though.
As far as my favorite of the 13 episodes in the Netflix series, I would go with (in chronological order):
Rilakkuma and Kaoru | Official Netflix Trailer