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tcannon1

  • Colorado, US
  • Joined Apr 17, 2018
  • 25 / M

Aggretsuko

Apr 25, 2018

Aggretsuko follows the titular character Retsuko: a single 25 year old red panda during her stressful experiences working as an accountant. She secretly sneaks refuge in a karaoke bar to blow off some steam with her death-metal (yes really, and it's awesome). Thing is that this anime is more than the marketing gimmick. This’ll be less of a review and more of a short thing on why it made me feel feelings.

The ONA as a whole does a very, very good job at being emotionally resonant. I empathize with Retsuko’s anxiety from being overwhelmed. To my surprise it doesn't sugarcoat anything she confronts, including dealing with blatant misogyny from her sh*tty boss. The metal stuff isn’t just a running gag, she has every reason to be pissed off and it’s a believable catharsis. The music juxtaposes her being an otherwise sweetheart. Throughout the series she’s a people pleaser, making her a doormat to be exploited. Retsuko’s arc is her learning to be more assertive, both in her professional and eventual romantic relationships. I can’t reiterate enough that the show’s more than it’s shtick.

The series loves it’s characters (mostly) and that makes me happy. Retsuko’s circle work off each other like friends would. It’s a balance between cartoonish and multidimensional. Fenneko’s deadpan snark to Haida’s neurotic dorkiness just work. Even the unlikable characters are great ‘cause they’re great at being unlikable (I’m paraphrasing Arkada). Their small victories are always satisfying because of their relatability, which is why it works so well as a slice of life type of thing.

The animation is lively and only enriches such a character driven story. It’s simplistic and expressive. While cutesy and marketable the animators managed to capture a wider range of emotions, even if it’s not subtle, but that’s the kinda show this is. Both the English and Japanese VAs do a solid job in their roles, and unlike Devilman: Crybaby Netflix actually translated the lyrics to Retsuko’s songs. As a whole it’s a great example of aesthetic being apart of a show’s narrative.

I’m not used to seeing anime about Millennials in the workplace, so it’s nice to see one well executed. The last one I could think of was Shirobako, but another comparison I’d make is to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness. Aggretsuko took a simple gimmick and made it an empathetic story about the confusion of learning to adult, I can't think of a better compliment than that.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall

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