This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of binge-watching “Aggrestsuko” on Netflix. For those who are scratching their head, Aggretsuko is a portmanteau of “aggressive” and the name “Retsuko.” To give you a low down, Retsuko is a red panda character created by Sanrio, yes, the same company who gave us the joy of all things Hello Kitty. The difference here is that unlike Hello Kitty, who is known for her polite, cute demeanor, Retsuko, is a twenty-something, single, working female red panda trying to survive the drudgery of office life in a big city — in this case Tokyo — who secretly unleashes her inner rage through death metal karaoke.
Let’s be honest here. Everyone has a horror story or two when it comes to office life, from dealing with hard-to-please bosses and managers (to put it mildly) and annoying colleagues to struggling to maintain some sort of work-life balance (or lack thereof). Yes, there might be days where you just want to throw in the towel and call it quits. But we all know that life is a beautiful mess that is more complicated than we want it to be. To simply put, being an adult can be miserable.
Now you might be thinking, but it’s an animated series; can I really relate to an animated character? The answer is you bet. There are many moments throughout each episode where I laughed so hard because I could picture myself in Retsuko’s shoes in some of the more outlandish scenarios. The line between reality and fiction blurs at times when it comes to ridiculous situations. For instance, Retsuko’s horrible boss is literally a pig with the last name “Don.” The good thing is Retsuko has some help along the way in navigating her not-so-great situation, including her habit of belting out death metal songs to de-stress.
The first season has ten episodes, each clocking in around 15 minutes. So you can definitely watch the entire season in one seating if you choose to do so.
I just hope that the series will be renewed because inside all of us — including men — lies Retsuko, a cool, composed red panda with a death-metal screaming alter ego.