Did you grow up loving your Hello Kitty and Orange Story school supplies, but now consider yourself a little “too old” to be seen with your cutesy planner at work? Sanrio called, and they have a new character with which to lure you back into the fold. Even if you aren’t normally a fan of the smiley, soft-edged animals, you may find their newest character speaking to you on a personal level.
— Sanrio (@sanrio) January 5, 2017
Aptly named Aggretsuko, this twenty-five-year-old red panda slogs through a pretty recognizable office job: a crappy commute, irritating coworkers, unrealistic workloads that destroy her work/life balance, and unsympathetic bosses. After drinking the pain away in the obligatory after-work ritual with her bosses, she finally lets loose with her rage face and some screamo heavy metal karaoke. “I’ll quit one day anyway! This is not my fate!” But through all that, she perseveres with a hopeful resignation we can all recognize: “Tomorrow is a new day!”
She could speak for the entire millennial generation, both here and in Japan: faced with the realities of the real world, she attempts to maintain a professional façade in the office while relishing her geeky after-work outlet that others might find strange and bizarre, but which speaks to her deeply. Perhaps intentionally, Aggretsuko’s debut is not featued under the “Sweet Happy News” portion of the Sanrio official English website.
Aggretsuko has parallels to other female characters from beloved geek media. Princess Unikitty from The Lego Movie is candy-sweet and adorable until her anger reaches a tipping point, after which she becomes a great and terrible force of rage and destruction. So too with Sakura Uchiha from the smash-hit manga Naruto: although she is outwardly mild-mannered and deferential, rarely speaking up to voice what’s truly on her mind, “Inner Sakura” expresses her rage and powerful emotions violently. How many of us rehearse flipping out at our idiot coworkers but somehow manage to keep our true feelings bottled up for fear of getting fired?
If you want to quietly profess your inner rage at your crappy job, Sanrio will soon have a merchandise line for you. And if you spot a fellow commuter with an Aggretsuko keychain on their work bag, you might give them a knowing, commiserating smile.
What do you think of Sanrio’s newest character? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Image Credit: Sanrio