Aggretsuko (2018 On Netflix)
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Music, Comedy, Office Life, Death Metal
First Aired: Spring 2018, 10 episodes
Summary: Retsuko is a 25-year-old red panda working as a professional in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm. Work life is difficult for Retsuko as she has to manage the stress that accompanies her traditional office job. She’s one of the most diligent and hardworking at the office, but she is also one of the newest employees so she has to deal with senior co-workers giving her an unfair workload and talking down to her. Her boss is a real pig (literally and figuratively), so she has to deal with misogynistic remarks from him. Her accounting team sees her hardworking attitude and gives their work to her. All Retsuko’s frustrations build up until after work where she destresses by singing death metal karaoke about her co-workers and their idiocy.
Aggretsuko speaks to me on so many levels. I related in one way or another to the office situations in practically every episode, whether it’s people pawning off work or personal information traveling around the office way too fast. Even the opening scene was familiar. Retsuko is leaving her apartment and checks to make sure she has her phone, wallet, and train pass. While I personally don’t check for the train pass, I always consciously check for my wallet, phone, and car keys before I leave. It was also enjoyable to get an inside look on Japanese compared to American office life. For example, one day Retsuko shows up to work in her house slippers and she is mortified her co-workers will notice.
Despite Aggretsuko being filled with anthropomorphic characters and simple animation, the series relatable and enjoyable. Retsuko deals with her fair share of problems and is treated substandard a lot of the time. She keeps relatively quiet at work and releases her frustration through karaoke. It’s easy to judge her and think she should just speak up, but how many times have the rest of us been in a similar situation? Retsuko’s problems are not unique and can happen to any of us. It was refreshing to see Retsuko’s development throughout the series. Despite it being only ten episodes and each episode being 15 minutes, Retsuko grows a lot from beginning to end.
You might enjoy this if: You have ever worked in an office or had a pesky co-worker.
You might not like it if: You want an anime that’s traditionally animated.
Note to the Viewer: Aggretsuko is directed and written by Rarecho. As if that wasn’t enough, Rarecho also voices Retsuko when she is singing death metal karaoke!
AMV – Work by Miraculous Ladybug