Over the 4th of July weekend, sometimes entertainment news can fall through the cracks. Everyone is outside, trying to remember what we did before wifi and central air conditioning. It’s exhausting and requires copious amounts of cheap beer and grilled meats to survive, leaving little room for compulsively checking alerts for niche Netflix animated shows. Which is exactly how many people missed the joyful news that Aggretsuko has been optioned for a second season by the streaming giant. You have until 2019 to catch up and let me tell you if you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, loved anime and/or Hello Kitty, or have ever worked at a soul-sucking job that made you question your time on this planet, Aggretsuko is right for you.
Created in 2015 by Sanrio, the parent company responsible for Hello Kitty, Aggretsuko literally translates to “Aggressive Rage.” A young single woman living in Japan, Aggretsuko, who goes by Retsuko, navigates the realities of being a corporate accountant which is nothing like what she imagined while still in college. However, society frowns on angry women in both Japan and America, so Retsuko buries her rage until she can utilize the safe outlet that is a karaoke bar or the office restroom. Then? The death metal breaks loose. Check out her rampage against her garbage pile of a literal pig boss named Ton.
Aggretsuko blends existential dread and soul-sucking monotony with adorable animation and a true ear for death metal. A cast of motley characters keeps the short episodes entertaining and insightful, from the friendly social media-obsessed (though she’ll deny it) fennec fox Fenneko and Haida, the hyena who has been trying to pluck up the nerve to ask Retsuko out for months to antagonists such as Mean Fake Idiot Girl™ gazelle Tsunoda who uses her giggles to get ahead and a middle manager Komodo dragon named Tsubone who revels in making her subordinates lives miserable. Two highly placed career women — Washimi the bird who uses her power to coerce the CEO into being a decent man and Gori the Gorilla who runs the marketing department — befriend Retsuko and help teach her the finesse needed to win the office game of thrones.
You can power through Season one in less than a day. With only 10 episodes, each clocking in around fifteen minutes, there’s is no excuse not to catch up. It’s basically a long animated film about finding ways to overcome the doldrum dread of entering the workforce in your twenties. With little power to exert change, minimal life experience, and a desire to make a difference in the world, people of all ages can relate to Retsuko’s struggles and abundant rage. Also, Fenneko has the best laugh. THE BEST.