Rilakkuma and Kaoru 2019 / Netflix's first stop-motion anime is cute, quirky, and surprisingly profound.

8.2

Meet Rilakkuma, a relaxed teddy bear (which is indeed what his name translates to in Japanese), and Kaoru, a Japanese office worker in her mid-thirties, who lives with said bear as well as a smaller white bear named Korilakkuma and a yellow chick by the name of Kiiroitori. As whimsical as all this may sound, the show offers up endearing and humane life lessons to go with all the heart-warming cuteness as Kaoru navigates being single, her apartment building being demolished, and her job stressing her out. It combines charming stop-motion characters with great writing, adorable animation, and a beautifully quiet tone. You might be surprised at the profundity of a show that, at the surface, is about a Japanese girl with cuddly toy roommates. It’s hard to compare it to anything else!

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