Aggretsuko started out as a simple Sanrio character – the world shown through the eyes of an adorable red panda named Retsuko, who deals with the stresses of her dead-end job by singing heavy metal karaoke at night. Retsuko and her world were developed through a series of shorts, which recently became a 10-episode anime produced by Netflix. Despite being so short, this anime and its characters really struck a chord with us at Honey’s Anime! We strongly believe that everyone should watch Aggretsuko, as it is a series that reaches a broad audience. With great characters and a well-developed plot, Aggretsuko touches on important discussions and has something for everyone! Here’s why we think you should be watching Aggretsuko.
Loveable Characters Teaching Relevant Life Lessons
Retsuko represents all of us who have ever struggled with authority figures or a dead-end job. Though we may not all find our peace in some late-night karaoke screaming, Retsuko’s quest to find where she belongs is something we all go through, questioning what path we should follow next. The depth of moral truths shown in this brief anime is impressive, covering everything from relationships to standing up for yourself. Retsuko’s kindhearted nature and secret rebellious side are the perfect combination for a loveable protagonist.
Retsuko is the main focus of Aggretsuko, but accompanying her on her journey of growth are plenty of other relatable characters! Each one of Retsuko’s coworkers has a personality of their own, with some of the characters growing as Retsuko gets to know them. From the cynical Fenneko to the reasonable Washimi, Retsuko’s interactions with her coworkers help to change her. Even as Retsuko opens up to show others her rebellious side, her coworkers begin to open up to Retsuko (and the audience) as well. The cute chibi design of characters in Aggretsuko hides the true nature of emotional depth that these characters reveal over time. We learn alongside them, especially Retsuko, as they learn more about who they want to be.
Just like many of us, Retsuko struggles with relationships, both romantic and platonic. At first, she doesn’t seem too concerned with romance, being too caught up in her job. However, after attending her friend’s wedding, Retsuko begins to think that the solution to her job difficulties might actually be to get married! Of course, finding someone to spend her life with is not as easy as she anticipated…
Even as Retsuko goes out of her comfort zone to befriend many of her coworkers, she attempts to do the same when it comes to her romantic life. But instead of finding a fairy-tale ending, Aggretsuko goes on to show how difficult relationships can be. Retsuko finds out she has to be honest with herself in order to have a real, thriving relationship with someone. Aggretsuko teaches us all to let our true selves shine – only then will we find meaningful and lasting relationships with others.
Retsuko also has difficulty standing up for herself to the misogynistic bosses at her work. Through the characters of Washimi and Gori, we can see the type of woman that Retsuko wants to be – confident and respected in all aspects. Even though these women seem untouchable at first, as Retsuko gets to know them, she sees a more “human” side as well. As Retsuko learns to be stronger through her friends and experiences, we also see that this strength is even attainable for us!
Though Retsuko seems like a quiet and sweet character, her personality is actually more complex than that. Her love of singing heavy metal is something she keeps hidden from everyone, even her close friends. However, when Retsuko does start to show her friends this hidden side of her personality, she realizes that her friends actually love that part of her! It is part of what makes her unique, and her friends even end up encouraging her in it. Aggretsuko is full of moments like this, where characters learn to accept who they are as others around them show acceptance as well.
Aggretsuko is a humorous yet meaningful anime, managing to inspire us despite its short number of episodes. Whether you enjoy heavy metal or not, everyone can appreciate the journey of Retsuko and her friends! Full of loveable characters teaching us about the acceptance of others, empowerment, relationships, and other important life lessons, Aggretsuko is much more than it appears. Retsuko and the other characters will always hold a special place in our hearts, whether there is a second season coming or not – but we hope there will be more!
Have you watched Aggretsuko already? If you agree with our thoughts, please let us know in the comments section. And stay tuned to Honey’s Anime for more anime suggestions!