I suppose the big question is, “Why doesn’t Aggretsuko get its own full-length review?”
The simple answer is, I did not think there would be enough content to do a proper critique. With this series’ short length (ten episodes at fifteen minutes a pop), it was either going to land or flop. Regardless of which, I’d have to force myself to think of a way to pad out an outlook that could be summed up in a few sentences.
So why not just cut out the middle man?
Additionally, this overview is coming out in April 2021. I realize Anime Hajime is late to the Aggretsuko game. I mean, it wasn’t like this series was unknown. Recognizing this show’s immense popularity, yeah, it has been brought up once or twice.
As such, I am LofZOdyssey, and for Anime Hajime, here are my quick impressions of Aggretsuko.
The premise behind this series is simple. Retsuko – an overworked and under-appreciated accountant – tries to stay calm in front of her peers while relieving her stress by singing hardcore death metal karaoke.
If nothing else can be said about Aggretsuko, it strikes a chord.
This series was brilliant at creating a nightmare – but not wholly unrealistic – work environment. Consequently, Resuko is easily one of the most relatable characters to ever exist, be it in anime or elsewhere. Why this show has become as popular as it has is no mystery.
If Aggretsuko doesn’t grab you with its first episode, then I would suggest stopping there. However, episode one should be more than enough to get you wanting more.
We start with a bubbly and energetic young lady raring to take on the world as a model citizen; nothing could stand in her way. Cut to five years later, and that once hopeful optimist has another one of “those mornings.” I imagine you know what I am talking about. And if someone says they’ve never experienced one of “those mornings,” then, dear readers, that person is either a small child who doesn’t know any better or a liar.
Your alarm goes off, and with every ounce of your being you think, “f@#$ everything.” If the utter disgust on Retsuko’s face doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about her and what she has been through, I don’t know what will.
The restraint Retsuko displayed was near-superhuman at times. All the stereotypes were present and baring down on her: the valley-girl suck up, the needlessly peppy co-worker, the disgustingly parasitic brownnoser, the vindictive supervisor, the power harassing boss. Is it any wonder this adorable tiny red panda was brimming with pure rage?
Naturally, it was odd to see such anger (not to mention alcohol and more adult-leaning jokes) from a Sanrio property. And in case you don’t know, Sanrio is the company behind many of Japan’s most iconic cute characters: My Melody, Little Twin Star, Pom Pom Purin, and, of course, Hello Kitty.
Aggretsuko, especially Retsuko, could get downright adorable, which, in turn, made the show much more fun.
Aside from simply being entertaining, Aggretsuko was also impressively well-made. Retsuko’s growth and this series’ side characters were phenomenal.
Throughout the show, Retsuko slowly got more comfortable with revealing the death metal side of her personality. Although it was only here and there, she got bolder when confronting the things that gave her stress. Hell, these were the moments you greatly anticipated; you want Retsuko to stand up for herself.
Then there were Retsuko’s colleagues, and to my great surprise, most were incredibly memorable.
Haida and Fenneko were Retsuko’s close work-friends, and thank god for them. They might not have been able to relieve Retsuko of her stress, but it was nice to know they were in her corner. And incidentally, Fenneko was probably my favorite character of the series; her sarcasm was perfection.
Then there were Washimi and Gori who were like a godsends for poor Retsuko. These two women brimmed with confidence and would not stand for it when someone hurt their dear Retsuko. They let our timid protagonist have her first taste of letting loose.
Last, there were the stressors, the people who only added to Resuko’s fury. Given the nature of this show, these characters were plentiful. Still, they each had one thing in common; they were effectively irritating.
To round this post off, I was worried Aggretsuko would run its premise into the ground. After all, how long could a show continue to subjugate the same character to ceaseless torment?
That, I think, was this series’ greatest strength.
It might have been ruthless to Retsuko, but it still gave her plenty of space to fight back. This is fantastic since there are (currently) two more seasons to go. I can’t wait to see what this will do in its subsequent installments.
Occasionally, Aggretsuko hit a little too close to home. However, that was what made it worth watching.
No matter how cutesy this series looked, it was relatable. If you’ve never been in Retsuko’s position, odds are you’ve had encounters that have made you want to scream murder and death into a microphone.
At around two and half hours long, this series is the ideal winddown to a stressful day.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? What were your impressions of Aggrestusko? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and be sure to come back next week as we look at Aggretsuko Season 2.
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