Stream it or skip it?

Netflix streaming of adventure at Rilakkumas theme park
Photo: Netflix

What shows will it remind you of? Obviously, this Rilakkuma adventure is an offshoot of Rilakkuma and Kaoru, which you should definitely watch if you don’t get to this continuation because you were already a fan. There are shades of the Sanrio series, like so many hello Kitty animated iterations as well as the most recent Aggretsuko. Those are must-see shows for anyone who picks up what The Rilakkuma Theme Park Adventure is putting it down.

Our outlet: The Rilakkuma Theme Park Adventure it’s a little treat that has something for everyone. It’s not too sweet that it’s cheesy, and it has plenty of spicier, action-packed moments for viewers who might not get involved for the fun of watching Rilakkuma come to life. Clocked at just 12 minutes, it’s a fun little diversion that will end in less than the length of a regular movie, and there are elements of anime, mascot series, and even sitcoms here.

San-X knows its audience and this spin-off of the cozy Rilakkuma and Kaoru offers much the same in a smaller package, with a more cohesive narrative that will span the length of the entire season. This first episode is grappling with several strange events that beg you to get up and pay attention: what’s up with the idol? Why does the masked girl keep on Rilakkuma? She’s not afraid to reveal some really wacky plot points, and that’s what makes it work so well.

Gender and skin: Absolutely none. This is definitely not that kind of show.

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Farewell shot: Rilakkuma ends a leaflet handing session when his whole body leans to the side. Looks like someone is holding him by the tail. The camera shows a young girl in a hat, visor and mask pointing an ice cream cone-shaped gun behind Rilakkuma’s head. “Don’t move a muscle! Come with me, understand? she insists, shoving the ice cream cone gun into Rilakkuma’s head. The screen goes black.

Sleeping Star: Pokémon famous Veronica Taylor reprises the role of Tokyo, a boy who lives in Kaoru’s apartment complex. Having previously voiced characters like Ash Ketchum in the popular monster-centric series, her voice is a welcome addition to the cast and the perfect tone for a guy just looking to make friends, even if he’s an office worker in his thirties. Taylor makes Tokyo a fun and complex character at the same time.

Most of the pilot line: When Kaoru realizes she has to go get her bag, she orders everyone else to come inside. “Tokyo, why don’t you go ahead and have fun?” We are talking about Rilakkuma. It’s probably not a good idea to send this huge toy-like bear to an amusement park with only one human companion. And that’s exactly what kicks off this adventure to begin with.

Our call: STREAM IT. So few shows nowadays really take the time to be both adorable and interesting at the same time. San-X’s characters are perfect candidates for this, and Rilakkuma and her friends pretty much have fun with an intriguing side. Watching this colorful theme park visit is like playing with a set of detailed action figures, and it’s an impressive visual spectacle from top to bottom. It’s sweet and sugary with a rocky road side through and through, and this first episode is a gateway to what will inevitably be another sugar rush like Rilakkuma and Kaoru.

Brittany Vincent has been involved in video games and technology for over a decade for publications such as G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, and more. When she isn’t writing or playing, she collects consoles and retro technology. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake

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