Aggretsuko, in my humble opinion, is the cutest Sanrio character that has ever been created. That, however, is not the main reason that I love her. She also has some of the most relatable traits that I have ever seen in a fictional character. She is smart, sweet, caring, a team player, hates her job, and works for a boss who she cannot stand.
She is I, and I am she.
So, when the news broke that Netflix was releasing her Christmas special, We Wish You a Metal Christmas, I rejoiced. Trust me: calling me excited would be an understatement. Like any other responsible adult with free time during the holiday season, I binged through the show. The themes and gags are still just as relatable and funny as they were when it was first released. Just in case you do not have time to burn through the show before December 20th, here is a short crash course on what you need to remember.
Aggretsuko, short for “Aggressive Retsuko”, is a 10 episode show that began streaming on Netflix in April of 2018, and it took the anime community by surprise. It follows a red panda named Retsuko; a 25 year-old office worker who, at the end of the day, just does not want to adult anymore. Office life has become a redundant (but necessary) stressor in her life – mainly due to the harsh work environment. Retsuko has found an escape, however, which acts as her own version of stress relief: death metal karaoke!
Because of Aggretsuko’s relatable main character, there has been many a think-piece written, analyzing the show’s impact and its nuanced themes. This is the anime that you can show your non-otaku friends and even they can say “I can dig it”. Let’s be frank: within the main cast, we all know that one friend or co-worker who could be represented by each cast member.
Within each fifteen (yes, only fifteen) minute episode, the audience is taken on a journey through Retsuko’s attempts at just trying to make it through her workday. We learn about some of her core relationships that she has with her awesome office mates. Characters such as Fenneko, a social media stalking fennec fox, Haido, the hyena who has the cutest crush on our darling protagonist, and the two dopest upper management friends that one could wish for: Gori and Washimi.
The main thing that you should remember is that the show has three arcs. Cumulatively, I have named these “Operation: How Can I Escape my Corporate Nightmare?”. These arcs are as follows:
- How to start a self-sustaining business with my irresponsible homegirl.
- How can I get my boss to stop being a chauvinist pig.
- Maybe marry a man who has at least six-figures in the bank so he can save me.
The way in which Retsuko fails at each one of these steps is both spectacular, and reflective of our own real lives. It definitely speaks to those of us who have thought about a way out of our job(s) multiple times in a single shift.
The Christmas special will also have some more relatable content, as we’ll get to see a glimpse of how Retsuko’s interpersonal relationships have evolved. It also examines other themes that pop up around the holiday season: validation and the willingness to please others. Things that everyone has experienced at least once in their lifetime.
Still, we really won’t get a full picture until season 2, which is due to premiere in 2019.
Check out Aggretsuko: We Wish You a Metal Christmas on Thursday, December 20th on Netflix!