It's been quite busy here at RG Headquarters these last few weeks. We've all got day jobs and sometimes those day jobs can interfere with the fun stuff. That interference can lead to frustration, and frustration can lead to rage. Netflix's Aggretsuko couldn't have dropped at a better time.
Aggretsuko (short for Aggressive Retsuko) tells the story of Retsuko, a 20-something red panda working a boring accounting job just trying to make it through the day. We follow her as she navigates the narrow straits between annoying co-workers and her literal pig-headed boss. She does a pretty good job of keeping it all together, but every adorable animated panda's got their breaking point.... When it's all too much to bear, Retsuko escapes to a safe place (or sometimes a bathroom stall at work) and belts outs her frustrations via death metal karaoke!
Quite simply, the series is a must-watch.
Not only does it speak to my inner-metal fan (the music's actually quite good), but so many of Retsuko's thoughts, feelings, and reactions echo moments from my own mid-20's (although I never had to deal with the same level of sexism/chauvanism she does). Even in my 30's I find Retsuko is a kindred spirit. One episode finds Retsuko begrudgingly handing over a cash gift at the wedding of a friend which results in mayo and bread crust lunches for the foreseeable future. It's all too real. She swears she's not an office drone and dreams of a life beyond the walls of paperwork and deadlines. Inevitably, those daydreams end and she's back at home eating takeout and downing a few beers just to wake up and do it all again the next day.
Aggretsuko was created by Sanrio company of Hello, Kitty fame and made her first television appearance on TBS in 2016 in a series of one-minute shorts. Netlfix recently picked up the rights and has released 10 new 15-minute episodes. Netflix seems to be on a roll with these original adult-rated animated shows, specifically "F is for Family" and "Big Mouth".
Aggretsuko offers a more honest portrayal of "adulting" than some other live-action workplace comedies. If you've ever worked an office job. If you were ever broke. If you ever wished for something more while your friends (seemingly) had it all figured out, then Aggretsuko might be your spirit animal, too.