What do you get when you combine Hello Kitty, Japanese animation, and death metal? A ridiculously good time, that’s what.
When Sanrio (the creators of Hello Kitty) partnered up with Netflix to create an anime, most people weren’t expecting much. Maybe it’d be a cute little number featuring a bunny or something, most people thought.
What we got instead was Aggretsuko; a story about a ridiculously cute-looking red panda with a job in accounting in a 9 to 5 Japanese corporation who deals with the tension and stress of her work life by doing karaoke after hours.
Where one would expect her to sing J-Pop or some other cutesy genre to reflect her adorable looks, Retsuko surprised the audience by being more into death metal. Yes, growling and all.
With a second season announced on Netflix, now is the perfect time to catch up on the show.
So here are 5 reasons why you should watch Aggretsuko.
1. Adorable character designs
Source: TV/AV Club
Animals that dress and act like people have been popular for quite some time.
From Zootopia to the various cartoons like Amazing World of Gumball to even Hello Kitty herself, audiences have proven that there is something about these cute little critters doing human things that we just like to see.
Aggretsuko is another one of those shows with really cute character designs. The show has various animals with interesting character designs and personalities that somehow complement the species they are.
Some notable examples include Mr. Ton (a literal sexist pig who is Retsuko’s boss), Fenneko the sarcastic fennec fox, Washimi the secretary bird (who is literally the secretary of the company boss), and many more.
2. Relatable storytelling
The anime YouTuber, Mother’s Basement once described this show as ‘A Cartoon for Children 20+’.
While previous Sanrio anime might have been comfortable with appealing to a wide demographic or being feel good, this show feels like it is aimed at a very specific demographic; the scores of twenty-somethings (and older) around the world who find themselves part of the corporate world, grinding day after day to earn a living wage.
This is the show for anyone who feels like life is not quite the exciting and movie-like dream they imagined it could be. It is for those of us who have to wake up early to get to work on time, deal with various types of office politics, and struggle to find time to enjoy ourselves, even when work is over.
With storylines dealing with issues such as backbiting colleagues, aggressive or cruel bosses, the frustrations of a 9 to 5 job, the difficulty of dating when working hard, and the various little bits of stress and tension that accumulate during the average working day, Aggretsuko stood out from most of the anime that for being very, very relatable and real.
It’s amazing to think about how real the show can feel sometimes, despite the fact that the main character is a red panda and her best friend is a fox.
3. Short episode length
Source: Know Your Meme
One of the things that makes Aggretsuko really easy to sit through despite a busy schedule is just how short the episodes are.
Each episode is 15 minutes long and covers one topic or situation. However, it does not feel brief or incomplete.
Rather, the quality of writing and acting makes it feel like every bite-sized chunk of Retsuko’s world is a complete story that is equal parts relatable, ridiculous, and often hilarious.
There are ten episodes in total and it would take about two and a half hours to binge the entire season.
4. High quality animation and music
Don’t let this show’s cutesy and simple-looking aesthetic fool you. The animation quality present here is top notch.
Each character is distinct, instantly recognizable, and visually outstanding. Their dialogue, personality, and mannerisms are heavily influenced by the type of animal they are, while still being reminiscent of actual people we may encounter in our day to day life at work.
The soundtrack of the show is also fantastic. It conveys all kinds of moods and emotions really well, making it very easy to relate to Retsuko and what she is going through. You don’t have to be into death metal to get into it as that aspect of the show is more of a visual and audible representation of the character’s anger and stress.
5. Cathartic potential
There is nothing quite like watching Aggretsuko after coming home from a stressful day of work that made you wish you could scream.
There’s something instantly relatable about Retsuko and her daily struggles at her job and with her coworkers that so many of us can relate to. And just like her, we are not always in a position to call people out for misbehaving or chastise them when they take it too far.
In Retsuko’s case, death metal is her outlet and as she sings (screams?) about how much her life sucks, she ends up feeling better, ready to take on the next day of the daily grind.
When we watch her deal with fictional versions of what we deal with and express emotions in ways we sometimes wish we could, the result is a sense of kinship, validation, and catharsis.
Add to that the fact that most of her stories usually have some kind of interesting or relevant message within it for the people at home who can relate to Retsuko, and we get an anime that’s the ultimate post-work stress buster for “children” who are 20+.
So what are you waiting for? Log onto Netflix on whatever device you have and watch Aggretsuko season 1!
Season 2 is coming in 2019.
Header Image Source: YouTube