By Samantha Sainz-Valdes
Who would have thought that the most realistic adult anime would consist of a talking red panda in the accounting department? Aggretsuko just proves that even at 25 years old we all still have growing up to do. Throughout the show, we follow Retsuko navigating her way through life. Finding love, working on her own self-worth, and trying to survive her awful job, all with the help of friends, and it doesn’t hurt that she also has got some killer vocals to help her cope.
Most people can relate to putting on a façade because of the current circumstance they are in, whether at work, or school, or during family dinner. Retsuko on the surface is a very sweet, quiet, responsible red panda. However, right under the surface, is unyielding rage personified. She copes typically by going to the local karaoke bar and yelling her frustrations to death metal. Fitting.
But you can see that this isn’t the Retsuko we are introduced to, she clearly hides a lot of her temper and usually sings a lot about small things that bothered her throughout the day and have been adding up over time. Over time, with the friends that she’s made, she discovers that this part of her is valid. But her friends also give her some insight on viewing things from a different perspective, and with this you see her character start to develop.
All the situations are pretty relatable and anyone could see themselves in. Horrible boss? Check. Overbearing parents? Same. Not knowing what path you will take in life? We have hit the jackpot. The difference between Aggretsuko and other shows that have a similar subject matter, like The Office, is that Aggretsuko seems a lot more hopeful. I hate my job? My coworkers are always there to lend a hand. This guy that I like and I aren’t compatible? Well, I wish him the best, but I have to do what’s best for me. I’m not too sure what I’m doing in life? That’s okay because I have people in my life that support me while I figure it out.
A key lesson that Aggretsuko teaches is that no one has it figured out. Even the people that seem like they have everything are just as scared and clueless as you, so let’s work together while we figure it out.
All that being said, I would highly recommend Aggretsuko because it is so nostalgic. It is nice to just shut your brain off and be captivated in a cute colorful world with adorable animals that have problems similar to yours. It was reminiscent of waking up early on Saturday mornings to your favorite cartoons, but this time it was binge watching it on Netflix all night on a weekday. The lessons you learn you take with you, even after the show is done. Aggretsuko is cute, smart, funny, and it also just goes to show you, that you can still learn a thing or two from cartoons.