Sanrio’s Aggretsuko will have you raging in new Netflix show

The most relatable Sanrio character in all of Sanrio history, Aggretsuko, is finally debuting her Netflix show tomorrow, Friday, April 20th. Aggretsuko is an overworked, frustrated red panda working in a stressful job in Tokyo, Japan. Working for incompetent bosses who don’t appreciate her, Aggretsuko (actually named Retsuko) relieves her stress by drinking beer and singing heavy metal karaoke after work.

In honor of the launch of the series, Netflix and Sanrio will celebrate Aggretsuko‘s love of death metal by making an appearance at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles and San Francisco this Saturday, April 21st on National Record Day.

We received four episodes of the series and we can officially say, Retsuko is a lot of us when it comes to our career. Surrounded by the typical coworkers – the gossip, the suck-up, bullies, and even the sexist pig (literally, he’s a pig), Retsuko works a mundane job and is extremely underappreciated. Wanting to be responsible in her life, she deals with the hardships presented to her, which could be very frustrating. In order to control her anger, she holds it all in to be later released when she’s alone screaming into a microphone at karaoke.

The anime is pretty simple and straight-forward. It’s not your typical one with lots of action or complicated storyline. At times, it feels like it could be an animated version of a Mindy Kaling comedy. Retsuko deals with many friends and situations we see in many comedies – the coworker who has a crush on her; the gossip hippo who gets involved with everything; the pretty deer who feeds the pig boss’ ego; the sarcastic two-faced fox; and, the cat friend from college who lives a care-free life.

Throughout the episodes, we are constantly rooting for things to go Retsuko’s way and feel the raw frustration she faces. We also feel annoyed when she doesn’t stand up for herself. I understand the work culture in Tokyo – “work until you die”, so it does put Retsuko’s situation in perspective. Retsuko, also, represents the negotiations and frustrations women faced in a patriarchal society before the era of ‘Me Too’ and the fight for equal pay. In an episode, Retsuko is told that reporting the pig boss to HR would cause her even more trouble. In another episode, when Retsuko questions the pig boss’ workload, she is immediately shot down and reprimanded by her lizard manager.

The episodes can be aggravating at times, but the series gives us moments of hope for Retsuko – a close friendship, the idea of marriage, and a potential friendship with the two female superiors at her company. I’m hoping the rest of the series will slowly show Retsuko becoming more independent and, eventually, stand up for herself.

The anime series could be good for kids and adults to watch and understand. Kids may actually learn what not to do when choosing their career path and to stand up for themselves when necessary. Adults could just watch this and find many of Retsuko’s situations relatable. In the end, both the kids and adults will be rooting for this small, overworked red panda.

Aggretsuko premieres tomorrow, Friday, April 20th, on Netflix.

Netflix’s Aggretsuko official synopsis:

Retsuko is a 25-year-old red panda who is an office associate in the accounting department of a trading company in Tokyo. All she wants is to do her job and get through the day, but when frustrations reach a boiling point, she vents through death metal.

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Laura Sirikul
Laura Sirikul 1831 posts

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul