This month, Mayu-chan and I are celebrating our four year wedding anniversary. We keep enjoying our marriage more and more. Many people say that the thrill of marriage wears away gradually year after year, but this has not been the case with us. But as we spend more and more time together, I've found that our personalities become more and more alike. We have become inseperable and I've noticed that our idiotic idiosyncracies grow on each other. The first time I really noticed this was when my adorable wife turned to me and said, "Shut up you Satanic asshole." It was then that it dawned on me that it would be impossible for me to love another girl for the rest of my life. We had become each other.
One of Mayu-chan's passions is teddy bears. She has a deep respect for Mr. Bean because he has a teddy bear and is not ashamed of it. He plays with his teddy and his teddy has its own personality, it seems. Mayu has her own collection of officially licensed Mr. Bean teddy bears in so many shapes and sizes. I've bought her plenty of different ones off of eBay, including Mr. Bean bubble bath that came with a miniature teddy and Mr. Bean teddy bedroom slippers. She has one teddy in particular that is her favorite. Apparently she has some sort of psychic connection to this teddy, because she can communicate telepathically with her teddy. We can be in the car driving along and she'd tell me that teddy is sick, or he's hungry, or whatever. He also is full of bad advice, because whenever Mayu does something crazy that irritates me, she says teddy told her to do it. I've threatened teddy with violence plenty of times, but he never seems to stop.
Last year I discovered my own favorite teddy bear during our five-week trip to Japan in April/May. I found him in a UFO catcher at a game center. His name is Rilakkuma. His name is a combination of the words "relax" and "kuma," which is Japanese for "bear" (I'm sure you could've figured that out yourself). Actually, I would have romanized his name "Relakuma," but it's too late for them to change the name to make more sense. Oh well. Rilakkuma is one of the character lineup of San-X, a spinoff company from Sanrio. As I hope you already know, Sanrio is the company that brought us Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Pochacco, bad-ass Batz Maru, and my current favorite, Chococat. These are all easily found in stores across America. However, and unfortunately, San-X characters have yet to make it Stateside. San-X characters include the droopy Tarepanda and Afro-Ken, the pooch with a fro. If you're already familiar with these chracters, then you're considered a true Japaense pop culture connoiseur in my book.
So anyhow, I found Rilakkuma in a UFO catcher. UFO catchers are the prize-catching claw arm games of Japan. If you didn't know this either, then you really are testing my patience. So there I was, staring at this cute little teddy bear behind the glass and I fell in love with him at first sight. I proceeded to spend plenty of yen trying to catch as many as I could.
Namaketaro, you've met your match for sheer laziness. Tarepanda, I barely knew you. Move over, because here comes Rilakkuma. Rilakkuma is embodiment of the very essence of serenity, nonchalance, and relaxation. He's a lazy brown teddy with a zipper down his back. Every time I look at him, I feel good about myself. I feel peace. I feel happy. I feel cozy. He's another classic example of the effectiveness of Japanese minimalist design. His simple features are what makes him so incredibly cute.
This is why Rilakkuma is so cool:
This is Rilakkuma's adorable little sister. "Ko" is Japanese for "little." (But I'm sure you could've figured that one out yourself too. What's wrong with you, anyway? Sheesh.) While she enjoys relaxing with her big brother and laying on top of him, she's much more energetic and likes to dance while listening to her own MD player. She also likes to play with toys. She doesn't have Rilakkuma's trademark zipper down her back, but she has an adorable button on her chest. And she has pink ears. How cute is that? Very. Don't make me come over there and explain it to you, or you'll be sorry.
Honestly, I don't know what the hell this guy's name is. He's obviously a chick, so that's what I've decided his name to be. He is Rilakkuma's sidekick and he's constantly criticizing and nagging Rilakkuma. I don't know if he's really Rilakkuma's friend, nor if Rilakkuma even likes him. Chick even calls him Darakkuma, which can be translated as "filthy bear" because Rilakkuma refuses to pick up his trash. Just between you and me, I think that Chick's personality drives people away and he has no friends. I think he hangs around Rilakkuma because he's lonely. And since he can't express himself properly, he's just irritating and henpecks Rilakkuma. This little bird has issues. Sometimes, Rilakkuma is mean to him. Once while he was taking a bath with his sister, he took the showerhead and soaked Chick and made him cry. Chick probably deserved it too, because he probably went to disturb their bath to tell them that they were taking too long in the bath. He's a real turd.
Here are some amazingly unknown facts about Rilakkuma that are exclusive to this homepage, mainly because I made them up myself:
Rilakkuma Da Yori (Blog)
Rilakkuma News! (Another Blog, where I learned about the GameBoy Advance Rilakkuma game!
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"Last week, Japanese scientists placed explosive detonators at the bottom of Lak Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water. Sir Curt Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards to cast a protective spell over the lake and the local residents and all those who seek the peaceful existance of our underwater ally." ---Napoleon Dynamite