Netflixing: Aggretsuko

in tv •  last year 

As an admirer of anime, I can still appreciate the many criticisms I often hear about the art form.

As an example, a lot of people have a hard time processing anime's no-holds-barred approach when it comes to storytelling. Unlike what we see in the west, the gatekeepers of Japanese media seem to be more concerned with the quality of the product and less with whether the project is "too different". This frees the creators of manga, anime, and other Japanese media to go to strange new places. And the novelty of these ideas becomes part of their appeal.

The idea that "nothing is original anymore" does not exist in Japan.

But in the west, a lot of people tend to think of anime as "weird", particularly in how it can nonchalantly blend cuteness into any genre. Whether it's cute sci-fi, cute fantasy, or even cute horror.

And then you've got Aggretsuko.

Which is something else entirely.

A Netflix Original (for Real this Time)

It's no secret that most of the anime listed under the "Netflix Original" banner is not original to Netflix. They may be Netflix-exclusive in North America, but most have been aired on broadcast TV in Japan.

Aggretsuko, on the other hand, is a true Netflix-original anime. It launched worldwide on the platform, and has one of the broadest language option selections of any Netflix offering.

This is a landmark moment for the Netflix platform and may open doors to future anime distributions through their service, which would only be good news for international anime fans.

My Language Pick

I watched the show with the original Japanese dubbing and English subtitles. Because the quality of the voice acting is so important to enjoying anime, I must reveal upfront that I have not listened to the English dub, and I cannot vouch for its quality.

That said, the series is short enough that you could easily watch it multiple times with multiple languages, if you so desire, within the space of a day. So you may want to find out for yourself how good each of the dubs may be.

With all that out of the way, lets dive in and talk about Aggretsuko. But to do that, we'll first have to talk about the company that made it.

Sanrio, the Great and Powerful

Once upon a time, there was a company that saw how animated characters, starring in cartoons, could be made into merchandising mascots.

This company then thought to itself, "What if we do that, only we skip the part where the characters star in cartoons." Thus, the Sanrio corporation was born. It's quest was to create merchandise-able mascots out of nothing.

Some thought they could not succeed. But they succeeded beyond even their own wildest expectations.

Since that day, the free peoples of the world have lived in fear, as cute characters whose only purpose is to advertise themselves have slipped into every facet of modern life, led by their beflowered feline commander.

But she shall never have ME.

You will never have me, Hello Kitty.

I will not give in to you.

I will resist you.

You do not control me, Hello Kitty. I will not love you.

I will not embrace you.

You have no power over me.

STOP IT! STOP IT NOW! I won't. I won't. I WON'T.

Whelp, looks like I lost that battle.

Now that Sanrio rules the world and controls the allegiance of every government, bank, and corporation, the question naturally arises: "Where do they go from here?"

The answer, interestingly enough, is "animated office drama".

And this is how we got Aggretsuko.

A Show for Adults (and the Adults who Love Them)

Aggretsuko is a strangely grown-up animated comic drama about the life of an office worker. People have gone so far as to call it an animated Office Space, and it features new and original Sanrio characters living out adult situations in present-day Tokyo.

The focus of the show is Retsuko, a red panda...who is yellow. (Y'know, one of them yellow red pandas). She works in the accounting office of a nameless trading firm, and after five years at the company, she has grown disillusioned with her work environment.

Her job is not particularly rewarding. She gets a lot of grief from her coworkers, who take advantage of her meek and pliable nature.

Worst of all is her direct supervisor, who deliberately mistreats her because he is a sexist pig.


He expects Retsuko to clean and arrange his office space and shows neither hesitation nor pity when "correcting" (or make that insulting) her.

And the pressures of her professional life are so colossal that they force themselves out of Retsuko in a most peculiar way.

Specifically, she takes out her frustrations through the time-honored medium of karaoke---death metal karaoke.

It's also implied that she's a heavy drinker.

And this nightly habit of hers is enough to get her through the day, for the most part.

But her whole world is about to change when a couple of senior office ladies decide to include her on a late night outing, and Retsuko, the company she works for, and all her friends and coworkers, will never be the same.

The Characters

Being a character drama, most of Aggretsuko's merits come from the characters themselves, as well as their various relationships. To give you a better idea of what you're in for, lets explore a few of them in depth.

Retsuko, Fenneko, and Haida

The show's central trio. Retsuko is the frustrated doormat that everyone else treads upon. Haida is the office friend who secretly has a crush on her.

And Fenneko...well, I think Fenneko has that same thing Sherlock has.

She uses inductive reasoning to deduce any secret anyone tries to keep from her. She has little respect for boundaries, personal privacy, and even the law, and she laughs like she has no soul.

Y'know, cute Sanrio kind of stuff.

Washimi and Gori

Two senior office workers who command respect through displays of power and elegance.

Gori is the head of marketing. She's a little superstitious and can be a bit immature and needy, but she covers it up with an unbreakable air of professionalism until she leaves the office.

Washimi is secretary to the president of the company (fitting, since she is a secretary bird). She works by the book and does not tolerate nonsense from anyone, even the president himself.

A chance encounter at a Yoga studio causes these two ladies to befriend Retsuko and take her under their wing.

Director Ton and Komiya

Retsuko's supervisor, Ton, is a verbally abusive, harrasment-prone, nightmare of a boss. Depicted as a pig, he causes endless problems for Retsuko. He and his toady, Komiya, serve as the immediate antagonists of the show.

But an interesting thing about Aggretsuko is how it fleshes out its antagonists and develops them as characters. Where other shows would content themselves to simply label them as villains and work towards the ultimate goal of destroying or expelling them from the narrative, Aggretsuko opts instead to give them backstories and motivations. Ton is not just a chauvinist, he's also a hard worker and an asset to the company. And getting him fired is not Retsuko's goal nor part of her arc. He is still her boss at the end of the series, and is still a pig.

But though he changes little, Retsuko's perception of him is largely transformed, as she realizes that, of all the problems going on in her life, he's actually one of the smaller and more manageable ones. And she can even find uses for him, when push comes to shove.

Though perhaps the same can't be said for Komiya, who's slavish devotion to Ton is unchanged throughout the entire season, which I guess fits his personality, since he's...apparently some kind of meerkat. And as far as henchmen go, he ranks about...

Wait a minute.

Meerkat? Who works with a pig? Why does that sound so familiar?

No. No, it can't be.

NO. It's not true. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Retsuko's sexist boss is Pumbaa, from The Lion King. How could I not have seen it? Why is life so cruel and hopeless?

My Judgment

Aggretsuko is one of the best new shows on Netflix. It is also one of the shortest, at only ten episodes. And most of those are only fifteen minutes long apiece.

The mature themes and characters, though rendered as adorable cartoons, bear a strangely realistic resemblance to the ups and downs of modern adult life. A story that seems at first to have clear cut heroes and villains turns out, in the end to show a moral complexity that is not so easily judged. These are real people, not the caricatures we so often get from most forms of entertainment. And their individual struggles and triumphs hit home in ways rarely seen outside of anime.

I recommend it to all adults who have access to Netflix. A show like this doesn't come along every year.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 4
  • Trollhunters
  • Round Planet
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 3
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2
  • Kakegurui
  • Planet Earth II
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2
  • Revolting Rhymes
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1
  • The Polka King
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Movies

  • The Iron Giant
  • Jaws
  • Phantom Boy
  • The Boss Baby
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Strictly Ballroom
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    İt is wonderful. You are awesome @talanhorne

    Another smart film review by @talanhorne sir...
    Parents need to know that Aggretsuko is an animated series about a cartoon character who's fed up with her lot in life and channels her anger into singing aggressive metal songs. The series is in Japanese with English subtitles, and the themes are mature: Retsuko is mad at her boss, at her coworkers, at a society that tells her being cute and passive is more important than being happy or self-actualized, nuanced themes that may be difficult for young viewers to grasp.
    I'm always appreciate ur works sir...
    Upvoted and Resteemed..

    Great review friends.I really like this.Today your sharing picture is very attractive.I enjoy this so much.
    Thanks again for sharing your good writing with us.

    Indeed, Aggretsuko deserves attention. All the fans of anime I advise you to look. And after your recommendation, there are no doubts. Thanks for sharing @talanhorne

    Most interesting of Washimi and Gori characters there. I read some conversation. Looks like Japanese one. Story review so awesome and guess better one for society.

    fantastic post sharing, upvote, follow and resteem

      ·  last year (edited)

    Definitely @talanhorne you made a great analysis, i'm agree with you Aggretsuko is a great show, i like the story line i mean it's different in some points and that's what an anime follower appreciate. Regards

    Wow.... Great information... love to read the Netflix Series. I want to watch and finish the series. I love so much Netflix .
    Thanks for the post.

    I was watching the aggretsuko trailer and it looks like something different is funny because the characters are animals but sometimes it's even better.

      ·  last year (edited)

    I love the quality with which the japanese anime come up with.They do have great background of stories..actually meant for adults ...
    They dont care about graphics

    Another great movie review of Netflix Series.I am glad to read your post my dear friend.Thanks for sharing with us

      ·  last year (edited)

    @talanhorne sir...
    Aggretsuko...such a smart animation film...
    So cute. So cuddly. And Retsuko’s death-metal vocals will shred your clothes and melt your face off. Netflix’s newest animated series is raging against the machine and looks adorable doing it.

    Starring Retsuko, a red panda character developed from the same company that masterminded Hello Kitty, “Aggretsuko” (a portmanteau of “aggressive” and “Retsuko”) depicts the life of the 25-year-old accounting clerk by day who deals with workplace frustrations and injustices by growling death metal at her local karaoke joint at night. More than just escapist fare, Netflix’s anime series manages to fit in a remarkable amount of insight about society within 10 brief, 15-minute episodes.
    Smart work sir...

    Aggretsuko is one of the best new shows on Netflix. It is also one of the shortest, at only ten episodes. And most of those are only fifteen minutes long apiece.

    You made a professional judgement which is very clear to understand. Nice work.

    It's a amazing series of movie world. I think Netflix Series is best movie series. This very qualitative movie. Netflix sound is very mind blowing sound.
    Thanks lot for great share

    I just finished my exams yesterday and was looking for an anime.
    Thank you friend.
    Can you also suggest an anime with a lot more episodes

    I started watching the Fate series. Looks cool till now

    Haven't heard about that.
    Will definitely check it out
    Thanks bro

    as you said it is one of the shortest
    i will definitely give it a shot
    with limited time it is good option

    Netflix doing great

    @talanhorne, Aggretsuko is a another great movie to me of Netflix Series. You given better introduction there. Seems better mature themes and characters indeed. But will check it out.

    I love to read your writing @talanhorne
    Your writing is really good and your article is awesome.Thanks for sharing your writing with us.
    100% upvote and resteem done sir.

    I really liked your review. I think all the anime fans of the middle age will like it, after your recommendation for viewing.

    @talanhorne - Sir really interesting to read the way you write your Tv series reviews... I'll try to watch this series Sir... It's a good concept to keep a limited Episodes for a season... Nice you decided to share this Sir...


    I like the quality with which the japanes anime come up with.
    Story review so awesome and guess better one for society.
    Keep it up

    Was waiting for this third part and its beyond my expectations loved it and enjoyed it completely : )

    You putting another excellent review of movie series @talanhorne. There are most interesting story to my self. I prefer to main title story here. Want to find and then watch.

      ·  last year (edited)

    I can literally imagine...

    Specifically, she takes out her frustrations through the time-honored medium of karaoke---death metal karaoke.

    It really must be a great show since I have not heard you talk about your recent reviews with so much excitement. Anyway heads down to your review. I always imagine how much time and work you have to spend to do this.

    Aggretsuko, on the other hand, is a true Netflix-original anime. It launched worldwide on the platform, and has one of the broadest language option selections of any Netflix offering.

    Currently Netflix contribute their network to international level. It has some impressive news. We can change our mind for various title include movies. Nice story here. Nice explain @talanhorne.

    this is interesting tv series and wonderful are very good at writing articles and for quality efforts

    Worst of all is her direct supervisor, who deliberately mistreats her because he is a sexist pig.

    That made me laugh! I’m glad you liked Aggretsuko! It kind of reminds me my childhood, when we watched 15 minuets long animated movie before the bedtime. Great review!

    can i guess, anime movies are one of your favorite. am i correct? this is a nice review & very interesting to watch. thank you @talanhorne

    reteemed & upvoted

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    Another wonderful and interesting movie review by @talanhorne sir...
    Actually I'm really like watch 3D animation moviews in my free times...
    Nicely done sir...

    Congratulations @talanhorne
    Now you are in the MinnowsPower Loyalty Member List...!!!

    Exceptional review of 'Netflixing Aggretsuko'...!!!

    100% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    wonderful post, upvote and resteem your post sir

    Wow I will try this one! I tried to watch Troll Hunter, but feel boring! So I will give a try to this one! Great review friend!


    Looks good from your review.
    Will give a try

    I recommend it to all adults who have access to Netflix. A show like this doesn't come along every year.

    it must be special then!

    This is valuable and interesting review with hopefully tv series . sharing.

    This is the 1st time I heard of this TV series. Excellent discussion & conclusion

    I agree lot of people have a hard time processing anime's
    Nice review about this Netflix movie @talanhorne sir
    I will definitely watch this movie with my sister.
    She will love it.
    Impressive post.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Resteemed your post.

    upvote and resteem @talanhorne

    Aggretsuko - Outstanding review & tells the story in attractive way. Excellent writing & brilliant job done.

    Amazing TV Series . Great experience @talanhorne

    For your post propagation.

    That is valuable and great post. very good Netflixing movies and good think.
    best writing
    Have a great day.

    Aggretsuko is amazing sir thanks a lot for sharing have a great are rocking with these blogs sir.

    Aggressive Retsuko is one of the most underrated Sanrio characters besides Keroppi and Cinnamoroll. Great post, @talanhorne!

    Really this tv story. best writing .@talanhorne

    Great review sir 🤗
    I completely agree with you.
    I love anime movies, and your suggestion about this movie is amazing.
    Great article.
    I always watch anime movies with my friends.
    The story is interesting.
    Best of luck

    please check out my post Once🤗💙
    Thanks @talanhorne sir for sharing this post.

    Such a great article and this is a great netflix movie series.

    Hello @talanhorne,

    Extraordinary good TV Series review & incredible Judgment you provided at the end. valuable article.


    had to watch it now for sure been thinking to watch something new finally got it :) thanks for your review

    Very beautiful anime life netflix tv post to you for thank you very much, and post a lot like and like post vote and comments and post share, I like this post a total of all see and this post to everyone can vote

    Your another Netflix review.... wow ... that’s great... I like your Netflix review...thanks for sharing your analysis with us ...

    Another wonderful and interesting post by @talanhorne sir...
    have a nice day

    I am a great fan of anime myself :)

    Will sure check it out.Thanks for the review buddy !

    Wonderful post @talanhorne
    Resteem this post

    resteem this post now @talanhorne


      ·  last year (edited)

    great post, wonderful work, I love animes , Thanks for these reviews,my dear friend @talanhorne,There are most interesting story to my self. I prefer to main title story here. Want to find and then watch.

    fabulous post sir, resteem

    resteem done

    outstanding post sir, have a nice day, resteem

    have a nice day sir

    great work, my friend, your view of the plot is very original, which gives a peculiar vision of the film itself! Thank you @talanhorne

    yeah @talanhorne i was searching for something related to this,
    thanks for sharing.

      ·  last year (edited)

    I love animes , Thanks for these reviews, you've inspired me to watch them!

    Really love your work sir thanks a lot for sharing have a great day.

    Really very wonderful work
    Thank you for your information
    fantastic post, thanks for sharing @talanhorne

    Very nice life movies blog. post I share and we post up vote and gave
    totally interesting @talanhorne.

    images (2).png

    Dear @talanhorne, Every time i see your post, i always feel happy and happy.
    images (26).jpg


    2nd comment
    The series is a refreshing new direction for Sanrio, a company known for its passively kawaii characters

    Sometime graphics are not the main issue while you represent the theme of the story and sometimes graphics is the key for the show and with high quality.

    Great review sir @talanhorne

    Another smart article by @talanhorne sir...
    Wel done and perfect work sir...

    İt is wonderful. You are awesome @talanhorneI love the quality with which the japanese anime come up with.They do have great background of stories..actually meant for adults ...
    They dont care about graphics

    Postingan yang bagus @talanhorne, saya suka dengan postingan anda dan saya ingin membagikan postingan ini, terima kasih sobat

    All the best sir @talanhorne

    Happy ending always made things perfect. Exceptional writing...!!!

    Really graphics aren't important when the story line is perfect. I have watched a lots of animes but not the I s one. And your review is really speaking to me about this. Will surely give it a try. Thanks for the awesome review

    Very beautiful anime on Netflix tv. I am really enjoy to watching this channel.
    I did follow upvote and resteem

    Thank you sir @talanhorne for sharing good information

    Magnificent and intriguing film study


    Great post sir

    I just downvoted the comment by @gaul

    @gaul - You clearly realize that "great post" is considered to be spam since I've replied to you 29 times before so I just gave your comment a 29% downvote*.

    @talanhorne - You can remove this comment and everyone can whitelist me from appearing in future posts.

    *If you continue posting in this way, I will continue flagging and the weight of my downvote will increase each time I reply until you stop. Please reply if my algorithm is mistaken.