Aggretsuko, the anime about our 21st Century's spirit animal and avatar for everyone toiling in joyless, life-sucking jobs under Late Capitalism, is back, baby!
For those of you who don't know, Aggretsuko is short for "Aggressive Retsuko," a cruel nickname because Retsuko is not aggressive at all. She's a nice, quiet, introverted 20something who just wants a nice, ordinary life working in an office and make friends. Unfortunately, life – and Capitalism – got in the way. She's stuck in a soul-sucking, thankless job with a literal sexist pig for a boss and endless stress. Her only outlet is to scream out death metal at the local karaoke bar after work. And everyone is a funny animal! Retsuko is a red panda. Yes, some of us have mistaken her for a fox, but she's a red panda, and they're always cute. Aggretsuko was actually designed and created by Sanrio, the company behind Hello, Kitty! Who would have expected that a company that specialized in creating cute anthropomorphized funny animal characters for toys and merchandise would end up with one of the most incisive satirical social commentaries of our time?
It's amazing that it's been three seasons already. Retsuko has been through the ups and downs of modern dystopian life, from getting addicted to dating sim games with horrible microtransactions, to getting romanced by a tech millionaire, to putting up with her mother and pressure to find someone to marry, to navigating her office mate Haida's unrequited crush on her, to becoming an underground pop idol and barely surviving a murder attempt by an obsessed stalker. Now onto Season 4 in December:
"Frustrated with her thankless office job, Retsuko the Red Panda copes with her daily struggles by belting out death metal karaoke after work. After becoming an underground idol to pay off her debts, Retsuko decides to quit OTMGirls and enjoy living a happy, normal life… but just as the company she works for is facing big changes, her relationship with Haida finally begins to move."
Aggretsuko is streaming on Netflix.