She's nearly back! Netflix released the trailer for season 3 of Aggretsuko ahead of its August 27th premiere. Everybody's favorite funny animal embodiment of living under Late Capitalism is coming back to provide catharsis for our anxiety-ridden times. This may be the third season on Netflix, but the show has actually been running since 2016 on Japanese television before Netflix took on the global streaming rights.
Twenty-five-year-old golden fox Retsuko is still working as an office lady in an accounting firm. She's still overworked, underpaid, and put-upon. Her literal sexist pig of a boss is still making her do grunt work, despite looking like she's getting a promotion. She's in more debt than ever, a common dilemma for nearly everyone working under Late Capitalism right now, never mind the Japanese. Screaming Death Metal at the karaoke club remains her only real outlet.
Season 3 promises more stress, more angst, and more dire situations to reinforce Retsuko's existential desperation. Worries over friendship, romance, her friends' increasingly nutty side gigs like starting a marriage counseling service. Retsuko ends up moonlighting in an underground girl band to make ends meet. Even that doesn't bring her much joy. Look at the pop idol band she has to deal with. That's going to go well. From the looks of things, she's going to need Death Metal karaoke more than ever.
Under all the cute funny animal slapstick and cringe-office comedy, the show actually offers an unglamorous, warts-and-all look at young adult life in Japan. The stress and drudgery of office work, the pressure to conform and live a normal life, the familial demands, the social demand to find a romantic partner and eventually get married, the need for friends. Sometimes you wonder what the point is. Retsuko does everything she's supposed to do and it makes her stressed out and miserable. Only Death Metal karaoke doesn't let her down! She is all of us.