Though not as internationally beloved as fellow Japanese character Hello Kitty, San-X’s Rilakkuma dots huge swaths of Japan via gracing special sweets at convenience stores and pencil cases at schools. Rilakkuma, a bear who constantly relaxes, might not seem like the most interesting choice to appear on untold amounts of folders considering the only thing he does is chill out. Yet it’s this defining…errrr, only…characteristic that makes Rilakkuma sorta fascinating, at least to a dweeb like me. Sure the bear is cute, but the main reason I think the Japanese love Rilakkuma is because they envy his hyper-relaxed life. In a country absolutely strained by long working hours and rare breaks, Rilakkuma does nothing but rest. The character’s creator made the bear as a result of wishing more relaxing times herself, and it’s a desire a lot of Japanese people crave. I can back this up courtesy of a close contact who agrees with my hypothesis, and wears really cute Rilakkuma socks.
So now this sleepy dude has an album coming out. Relax And Good Sleep Rilakkuma will feature various J-Pop songs covered in a way appropriate for a “soothing bedtime album” Tokyo Hive reports. Several singers will contribute to this sleepy-time album, which will feature only acoustic guitar, piano and soothing vocals. Cute and maybe it can help a few exhausted salary-folk get some shuteye. If they have time to buy it at an official Rilakkuma store.
Unrelated: Rilakkuma is easily the most chillwave Japanese character around. Discuss.