Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

My Latest Netflix Binge: Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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If you are looking for a relaxed, adorable anime look no further! Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a Japanese animation about two adorable stuffed bears and a little baby bird.

The official summary goes like this:

Her life might be a little mundane, but Kaoru gets to go home to Rilakkuma, her endearingly lazy roommate who happens to be a fuzzy toy bear. -Netfix

I know it’s not much to go on, but trust me you will be getting all the cute feelings from how the characters interact with each other. I’m not familiar with the famous Japanese pop icon Rilakkuma, so I called him “Big Brown Bear” and the other bear “Vanilla Bear”.

From Wikipedia:

Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of リラックス rirakkusu, a Japanese transliteration of the English word “relax”, and クマ(熊)kuma, the Japanese word for “bear”. He is a soft, toy-like bear whose interests are mostly limited to sleeping and eating, although these traits are portrayed positively, with fans and consumers encouraged to, at least sometimes, emulate Rilakkuma as sort of cure or treatment for stress.

Now enough backstory and explaining. Let’s get into what I liked, and what I didn’t like about Rilakkuma and Kaoru!

I loved all of the characters, the bears, Kaoru, and even the neighbor kid who brings a child-like perspective to the bears’ lives. There’s funny moments, heartwarming ones, and there’s at least one episode everyone can relate with.

My favorite episode is the Rainy Season. It’s Typhoon season in Tokyo, and even though Kaoru has a difficult trip to her little office job, it’s not as crazy as what’s going on in the bears’ apartment! Hilarity ensues and it’s a good reminder on not to do too much lazing about.

Another thing I loved about the show is how each episode ends with an inspirational quote. They’re always positive, and I found it was a nice way to end an episode. It was kind of like a “what did we learn today?” kind of ending.

There really wasn’t anything major I had an issue with, mostly just nitpicks and minor things that don’t affect my overall feeling for the show.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this anime, it held my attention, and it gave me a good laugh and heartwarming feelings. I hope Netflix will invest in a second season! I will be looking forward to a new adventure with these loveable characters.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Onibi: Diary of a Yokai Ghost Hunter by Atelier Sento

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*No Spoilers*

Part fantasy, part travelogue, Diary Of A Yokai Ghost Hunter follows the adventures of two foreign visitors as they tour Japan. When they buy an antique camera along the way, they discover they can capture images of Japan’s invisible spirit world. The forgotten spirits they meet can be kindly, mischievous, and some, downright dangerous.

Everywhere they go from forests to Shinto temples to fishing villages they are met with Yokai, the Japanese word for supernatural monsters, ghosts, and demons. The subject of Yokai is wildly popular right now and is featured prominently in books, websites, and online videos. Google receives thousands of searches on the topic daily.

Readers 10-18 who cherished books like Cool Japan Guide and Diary of a Tokyo Teen will delight in this comic book style adventure. The graphic novel format will appeal to diehard anime and manga fans while stressing the importance this ancient spirit world is to the Japanese culture.

I enjoyed this manga, it has a different art style for sure, but don’t let that detour you away from this graphic novel. The art style looks like it was sketched with colored pencils. It makes the adventure feel realistic.

I enjoyed seeing all of the different areas of rural Japan, and how unique and different each town or village can be. It’s amazing at how a small island can have so many different environments. From mountainous forests to the sulfur flats and fishing areas. This manga covers the gambit.

I never felt like the main characters were in any real danger. The only time I ever felt uneasy is when the locals were being creepy and telling the two main characters about the Yokai that had been spotted in the area.

However, I still enjoyed the manga and all of its whimsical adventure. I would highly recommend this for lovers of legends, folklore, traveling, and mangas.