Rilakkuma and Kaoru Netflix teaser: Why does the plush bear have a zipper on his back?

The Netflix series gives fans a closer look at the mysterious zipper on the back of the titular toy bear

Rilakkuma in the Netflix series Rilakkuma and Kaoru

If you love all things kawaii, then you’re probably familiar with the popular Japanese character Rilakkuma. Rilakkuma is a brown bear known for his relaxed and laid-back attitude. He is often seen taking naps, drinking coffee, or eating food. But unlike most bear characters that originated in Japan, Rilakkuma has a mysterious zipper on his back. Read on to find out what does this say about the beloved character.

Rilakkuma’s mysterious back zipper explained

Ahead of the launch of Rilakkuma and Kaoru in April 2019, Netflix released a teaser for the stop-motion animated series, which sheds some light on the mysterious zipper on the back of the toy bear Rilakkuma.

The 30-second clip reveals that there’s a zipper on Rilakkuma’s back because he’s actually wearing a bear costume. While a toy bear wearing a bear costume is something that most people wouldn’t expect, the fact makes the character even cuter.

Rilakkuma takes off his one-piece bear costume at some point in the teaser. But because he does it while under the blanket, it’s unclear what he looks like without the costume on.

Rilakkuma's back zipper
Rilakkuma’s back zipper

As also seen in the teaser, Rilakkuma has dozens of bear costumes in the closet, so he can definitely get a new one whenever his costume gets old or dirty.

Though the teaser is filled with cuteness, the latter part of it ominously reveals that someone is spying on Rilakkuma. Could this be the antagonist of the series?

『リラックマとカオルさん』 着ぐるみ篇

What is Rilakkuma and Kaoru about?

As per Netflix, Rilakkuma and Kaoru follows the adventure of office lady Kaoru and her endearingly lazy roommate Rilakkuma. Though Kaoru’s life is a little bit mundane, she gets to go home to Rilakkuma, along with her pet bird Kiiroitori and a small white bear cub named Korilakkuma.

The characters of the TV series Rilakkuma and Kaoru
The characters of the TV series Rilakkuma and Kaoru

Rilakkuma and Kaoru is animated by stop-motion animation studios, dwarf inc. — the company behind another popular mascot Domo. The show is directed by Masahito Kobayashi and is written by Naoko Ogigami. Rilakkuma’s original creator Aki Kondo also co-developed the story for San-X, the Japanese company that originally produced Rilakkuma.

The titular character Kaoru is voiced by Lana Condor,  who is best known for her roles as Jubilee in the 2016 superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse, and as Lara Jean Covey in the 2018 film adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Rilakkuma and Kaoru | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

How many seasons does Rilakkuma and Kaoru have?

Rilakkuma and Kaoru currently has two seasons.  Season 1 premiered on Netflix on April 19, 2019, while the second season, titled Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, dropped on August 25, 2022. The freshman run has 13 episodes, while the sophomore run is comprised of eight episodes.

There has been no official announcement from Netflix or San-X about a third season of Rilakkuma and Kaoru. However, the show was very popular and well-received, so it’s not impossible that Netflix will renew it for a third season in the future.

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