Aggretsuko is an original net anime series consisting of ten 15-minute episodes, and it features a character created for Sanrio named Retsuko. She is a small and cute-looking red panda, but she doesn’t fit the mold of the traditional Sanrio characters.
Retsuko is a single 25-year-old who works in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm. Her supervisor is Director Ton, a chauvinistic pig (and yes, he is an anthropomorphic pig). She deals with stress at her job, thanks to Director Ton and other supervisors in her department. When her job or her life cause her to fill with rage, she goes to the local karaoke bar and vents her frustration through singing death metal. Seeing this cute little red panda screaming with rage is amusing, but it’s also very relatable. But Retsuko tries to keep this a secret from everybody that she knows.
But the series doesn’t just focus on her job, although it’s an important aspect of the series. We also see her struggles with money, friends, and falling in love. This is a short series, but I think it runs long enough to tell Retsuko’s story without running it into the ground.
Besides Retsuko, my favorite characters are her friend Fenneko and her co-worker Haida. I like how perceptive Fenneko is, and how can she be deadpan at times. Haida is depicted as having a crush on Retsuko from early on in the series, and I found myself shipping these two characters. I can’t give a definite reason why I did, but I think I could feel a kind of chemistry between them. But I find that all the characters in Aggretsuko have their own charms, even if they aren’t among my favorites. The series incorporates co-workers for Retsuko that you would find at any job, such as the gossiper and the flirt.
While I may not work in the same kind of environment as Retsuko, I know that I’ve had days at my job where I wish I could have a way to vent my frustrations. I could empathize with Retsuko, and I found myself becoming invested enough in her character that I would be almost as frustrated and angry as she was when she had to deal with stressful or unfair situations.
In the end, this is a very relatable series for viewers who are currently employed or who have ever had a job. A part of me wishes there were more episodes, but a part of me also thinks that it would be better to just leave the series at these ten episodes. Is there that much more that can be explored without it feeling like the franchise is being stretched out just to keep it going? Yes, the ending of the series is a little open-ended, but this allows viewers to use their imaginations and come up with their own ideas of how these open-ended aspects would ultimately conclude.
As of this writing, the Aggretsuko net anime is available for viewing worldwide on Netflix. This show can easily be watched in roughly two hours if you binge watch it, and it’s worth every minute.