Anime Spotlight: Aggretsuko Season 2

Aggretsuko Season 2 continues the adventures of Retsuko, a small and cute-looking red panda. She is still a 25-year-old office worker who works in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm. When her job or things going on in her life fill her with rage, she goes to the local karaoke bar and vents her frustration through singing death metal.

This season introduces Retsuko’s mother, who comes across as very controlling and domineering. Whether it’s about Retsuko’s eating habits, her cleaning habits, or her love life, her mother is trying to be in control and push things onto her adult daughter. After seeing her mother’s behavior, it’s no wonder why Retsuko is as shy and timid as she’s been portrayed as up to this point.

But Retsuko’s mother is insistent that her daughter find a man and get married. A lot of the season sees Retsuko’s mother trying to play matchmaker, much to her daughter’s chagrin. But during all of this, Retsuko decides she wants to get her driver’s license, and shockingly, her mother approves of this idea. During driving school, Retsuko encounters a male student who is about her age, and they start talking with one another. There are some interesting plot twists surrounding this young man, but I don’t want to say anything further in order to avoid providing spoilers.

But I do have to say that I found Retsuko’s mother to be rather annoying, and I really didn’t see anything to redeem her by the end of the season. I could easily understand Retsuko’s frustration with her, and why she would feel the need to lash out with death metal.

But if Retsuko’s mother isn’t causing her enough stress, a new co-worker only adds to her stress level. Anai is a recent graduate and comes across as overly eager to please, but once you say or do something that offends him, he starts texting that person like crazy and demanding answers from them in writing. Luckily, the storyline with him doesn’t run for the entire season, and I like how it was resolved.

I also appreciated how Kabae, who had been portrayed as an annoying and talkative co-worker, played an important role in this season. While yes, she’s talkative and can be annoying, she had some pearls of wisdom for Retsuko to ponder over when it comes to marriage. I thought this helped to add a little more dimension to her character. She also plays an important part in the storyline about Anai.

Ultimately, a big theme in this season was growing up. This theme appeared for stories about Retsuko, Anai, and Retsuko’s friend, Puko. With the way this season ended, it feels like there needs to be a third season, since nothing truly felt wrapped up. The first season ended in such a way that it could have ended there, or it could have continued. The end of season two doesn’t feel that way. Hopefully there will be a third season announced at some point.

My only gripe with Aggretsuko Season 2 is that four of the episodes I saw on Netflix didn’t have the English subtitles for the dialogue (episodes 5, 7, 9, and 10). I prefer to watch anime with the original Japanese audio, so it was a little frustrating to have to turn on the English dub for these episodes in order to understand what the characters were saying. Did anyone else have this issue while watching Aggretsuko Season 2 on Netflix?

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