If you’ve seen Rilakkuma, you can bet that Korilakkuma hasn’t ever been too far behind! This little white bear is more than acquaintances with Rilakkuma; they’re the brown bear’s energetic shadow! But who is Korilakkuma?
Korilakkuma is a white bear cub who, like Rilakkuma, mysteriously appears on the doorstep of a girl named Kaoru. No one knows where they came from, but we’re glad they’re here!
The San-X teddy bear got their name from Kaoru’s yellow pet bird Kiiroitori and can be distinguished from their friends by their fluffy white fur and the red button adorning their chest. Despite lacking a zipper, it’s pretty clear from their sewed-on red button that Korillakuma is not a real bear. So they’ll stay small and cute forever? We’re not complaining.
It’s not just their looks that set them apart, though. Where Rilakkuma is lazy and relaxed, Korillakuma is mischievous and has lots of energy. Korillakuma loves to play, especially if we’re talking about playing tricks.
When Rillakkuma reminds us to relax and enjoy our friends, Korilakkuma reminds us to let loose! From their love of strawberries to their mischievous nature, Korillakuma lets us know that it’s ok to indulge in our energetic impulses and have fun.
Korilakkuma and their friends all come together to remind Karou (and us!) that life is more than just work, chores, and all our other mundane struggles. The way all the characters complete each other’s dynamic makes us love them so much.
The balance between our responsibilities and our innate need for indulgence, relaxation, and fun is what Rillakkuma is all about. Who doesn’t need that reminder every once in a while?
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Even the making of Korilakkuma was in character! The creation of the little bear was after Rillakkuma’s. After being introduced in 2003 through the picture book series Rilakkuma Seikatsu, the white bear cub became an (integral) important part of the Rillakuma family and brand.
There’s no debate that Rilakkuma is now a household name! So, even if you didn’t know their reputation before reading this, Korilakkuma is recognized worldwide as that adorable white bear cub with a red button on its chest.
Since their introduction, Korillakuma has remained a popular and well-loved character. There is hardly an item or media platform that this little white cub hasn’t appeared on! These adorable characters have plastered the wall with their appearances on absolutely everything.
From their start on items like children’s books, stationery, and plushies, to their expansion to things like lunch boxes, house slippers, and chopsticks- one thing is clear. If you want to see Korilakkuma and their friends on something you use every day, you can and will find a version of it with them on the front!
If seeing these characters on physical items wasn’t enough for you, there’s no need to panic. Their appearance isn’t limited to just your everyday tangible items. These adorable characters have been gracing our screens since 2005 with their appearance in the Gameboy Advance release of Rilakkuma na Mainichi.
If that’s not the game you remember seeing them in as a kid, don’t worry- they didn’t stop there. These little guys have appeared across eight different games on seven other platforms.
From their first digital release in 2005 to most recently appearing in a game for the Nintendo Switch in 2020, they’ve kept finding ways to remind you how much you need them in your life. They even appeared in a two-season long stop-motion television series in 2019!
Korilakkuma and their friends have become much more than the cute little animals that graced our stationery and children’s books. They’ve become iconic characters-center figures in the conversation surrounding Japanese pop culture, especially those that managed to expand their reach to places outside Japan.
We all know Rilakkuma-and now we all know Korilakkuma too! Are you a fan of the Rilakkuma characters- and is Korilakkuma your new favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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