Howdy! Time to introduce the American West Rilakkuma team!
These patriotic mini-plushes were released in October 2015 as part of the Kichijoji Rilakkuma Store’s 5th Anniversary celebration, but I thought it was appropriate to write about for this weekend as the United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4!
Like always, I enjoy the wonderful details such as Rilakkuma’s dango holster, and the cactus, bear and star motifs – really an excellent and cohesive set!
Gosh, TONS of things going on in the Rilakkuma-verse recently!
This weekend is the Anime Expo, and the Rilakkuma booth is presenting in full cuteness! JapanLA Clothing will be debuting their new Rilakkuma clothing line, and it’s alphabet themed!
I really want one of the black tank tops! This line will be premiering at the Rilakkuma booth (#4405) at the Anime Expo starting today, and will be available online at JapanLA.com after the show!
Anyone going to be there this weekend? I’ve always wanted to go, but it’s just so far away! Can’t wait for when they expand out here and hold events in the southeastern United States one day!
Now for Rilakkuma news across the Pacific: the Teahouse (茶屋) Series is coming out this month!
In Japanese tradition, these teahouses (茶屋) are free-standing structures built exclusively for tea ceremonies. They have a deep architectural history stemming from the start of the Edo period, and there are many famous teahouses across Japan. I think this a great part of Japanese history and culture, and I love that it is incorporated into this summer’s Rilakkuma designs!
Lots of great items! I will be trying my hand at getting the bento box, to match my Oden and Osechi set! I like the dango-shaped Rilakkuma plush, too. What about you? Anything catching your eye?
Next up in Rilakkuma’s World Tour is Mexico and Hawaii for Kamiotai’s 1st and Harajuku’s 4th anniversary, respectively!
The Harajuku Rilakkuma Store’s 4th Anniversary celebration starts tomorrow, July 2! The Hawaiian imagery they use is always very beautiful, but Rilakkuma and friends have visited Hawaii before in their Aloha Rilakkuma Series back in 2013 – I suppose it was a good enough vacation back then that they revisited again this year haha.
The Kamiotai Rilakkuma Store will be celebrating its 1st anniversary next weekend (July 9), and the theme is Mexico! And I love a poncho-clad Rilakkuma plush haha. Seems like they enjoy traveling in the Americas! They picked some great places to visit to enjoy the summer sun!
Also, a new smartphone app for the virtual Rilakkuma collector: Collect! Rilakkuma (Atsumete! Rilakkuma – あつめて！リラックマ) is out now!
You can download it now on the App Store or Google Play store! I’ll try to download it soon and figure it out with my extremely limited grasp of Japanese haha. Anyone tried this out yet? Looks very cute, and seems a lot like the cat collecting app (Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector) that has been super popular!
Finally, have you checked out Canon Asia’s collaboration with Rilakkuma?
Gosh, isn’t that the most adorable promotional video? Canon Asian has a great contest on Instagram right now for Asian Rilakkuma and photography fans – you can win a Canon EOS M10 kit and a limited edition Canon EOS M10 Rilakkuma plush just by posting your Rilakkuma photos based on their challenge themes – “food” and “chillout” are the themes going on right now!
I think this has motivated a lot of folks to take some very creative Rilakkuma pictures! I have really enjoyed seeing everyone’s Rilakkuma photos recently on Instagram, and it’s inspired me to take more time again taking Rilakkuma photos like I used to!
Stay cool, and have a wonderful summer!