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YMMV / Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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  • Adaptation Displacement: For western viewers at least, this is most likely their first exposure to the San-X brand that's been in Japan for decades.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Some viewers find Kaoru realistic and relatable, while others find her annoying, in part with several Values Dissonance.
  • Ear Worm: "Sampo."
    • The Hawaiian-themed ukulele piece Rilakkuma plays, during the luau the friends put on for Kaoru.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Several viewers cite Kaoru as by far the least enjoyable part of the show, because (1) she was never a prominent character in Rilakkuma lore, yet has co-lead billing with the bear here, whereas they preferred a show centred solely on the gang's antics, and (2) they found her to be whiny or selfish as a character. This seems to overlook an important theme in the show, which is that Rilakkuma and friends can afford to be carefree because they are largely supported by Kaoru, and do not share her valid anxieties and concerns. Instead, their relationship is a mutually beneficial one. The show also hints pretty heavily that Kaoru has depression and self-esteem issues, given her response at not being able to afford a cat.
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  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Rilakkuma's adventures are often very sweet and calming.
  • Values Dissonance: Western viewers are less sympathetic to Kaoru's struggles, as most of her concerns have to do with living as a woman in Japan. One instance that causes a divide is Kaoru being desperate to finding a boyfriend and getting married (more specifically the Quitting to Get Married and Christmas Cake tropes). In Japan, there is a lot of pressure and expectation for women to marry and eventually quit their job to take care of their children, while in the West, it's widely accepted to work while having children.

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