Aggretsuko

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Aggretsuko
Logo for the Sanrio Netflix series Aggretsuko.png
アグレッシブ烈子
(Aguresshibu Retsuko)
GenreComedy[1]
Anime television series
Directed byRarecho
Written byRarecho
StudioFanworks
Original networkTBS Television
Original run April 2, 2016 March 31, 2018
Episodes100
Original net animation
Directed byRarecho
Produced by
  • Kelly Luegenbiehl
  • Kaata Sakamoto
  • Taro Goto
  • Yoichiro Shimomura
  • Miyuki Okumura
  • Akira Takayama
  • Yasue Mochizuki
Written byRarecho
StudioFanworks
Licensed byNetflix
Released April 20, 2018 present
Runtime15–23 minutes
Episodes30 + Special (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Aggretsuko, also known by its original Japanese title Aggressive Retsuko (Japanese: アグレッシブ烈子, Hepburn: Aguresshibu Retsuko), is a Japanese musical comedy anime web television series based on the eponymous character created by "Yeti" for the mascot company Sanrio. The character first appeared in a series of animated shorts by Fanworks which aired on TBS Television (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television) between April 2016 and March 2018.

An original net animation (ONA) anime series adaptation was launched worldwide on Netflix in April 2018, followed by a second season in June 2019, and a third season in August 2020.

Courtesy of Oni Press, a comic book series is currently in production by Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland. The first issue was released on February 5, 2020.[2]

A mobile game, Aggretsuko: The Short Timer Strikes Back, was released by Hive for Android and iOS in July 2020.

Plot[edit]

Retsuko is a 25-year old and single anthropomorphic red panda, working in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm, trying her best to navigate through the typical problems encountered by young adults in 21st century Japan. Facing constant frustration every day from pushy superiors and co-workers, Retsuko lets out her emotions by going to a karaoke bar every night and singing death metal.[3][4] After five years of working the daily grind, Retsuko's misery causes her to undergo a series of events that puts her job in jeopardy, forcing her to shift her relationships with her co-workers and ends up changing her life in unexpected ways. After this, she continues to come up with ways to find happiness, and eventually comes to the conclusion that she would one day like to get married and raise a family. Unfortunately, her social anxiety combined with her naivety causes her to get into far more trouble than she expects, sometimes in life-threatening ways.

Characters[edit]

Retsuko (烈子)
Voiced by: Kaolip, Rarecho (vocals) (Japanese); Erica Mendez, Jamison Boaz (vocals) (English)[5]
A 25-year-old red panda in her company's accounting department who lets out frustrations over her job by singing death metal at a karaoke bar. She's an amiable introvert who suffers from social anxiety, and is prone to unrealistic dreams to the point where it negatively impacts her and those around her. After bad-mouthing her boss Ton on TV, Ton granted her the nickname "Short-timer" (JP dub) or "Calendar" (ENG dub), implying her job was on the line. When confronted with a new problem, personal or otherwise, she quickly retreats to a corner and tries to resolve the issue alone if she doesn't outright surrenders. As such, her emotional maturity is lacking and is reluctant to confide in others. However, she slowly grows into a healthier emotional state with help from her friends and, ironically, the co-workers she often can't stand.
Director Ton (トン)
Voiced by: Souta Arai (Japanese); Josh Petersdorf (English)[5]
The domestic pig director of the accounting department, who constantly gives Retsuko a hard time through blatant sexism or overwork. He spends most of his time practicing golf instead of working, though it is shown that he is an incredibly skilled and speedy accountant despite being unable to use modern technology. Though he regularly belittles Retsuko, it is implied that he actually greatly respects her for her diligence and reliability. He has more than once stepped into her personal life with timely wisdom to save her from situations that are actually causing her grief.
Fenneko (フェネ子, Feneko)
Voiced by: Rina Inoue (Japanese); Katelyn Gault (English)[5]
Retsuko's fennec fox co-worker and closest friend in the office. Highly perceptive and insightful, she is able to deduce anyone's mental state through mere observation of their habits and deviations from them, namely from scrutinizing others' social media. Cynical by nature, she often openly criticizes something only to later enjoy it, sometimes to an obsessive degree. She has a highly distinctive and monotonous laugh.
Haida (ハイ田)
Voiced by: Shingo Kato (Japanese); Ben Diskin (English)[5]
Retsuko's mild-mannered Spotted Hyena co-worker, who develops a crush on Retsuko after five years together as friends. His roundabout approach to confessing his feelings puts him in many comical situations, and in many ways shares the same social anxiety problems as Retsuko, resulting in poor communication with her. Despite being rejected already, he struggles to move on and continues to pine for her, often reacting badly whenever she goes out with someone; however, he does his best to give Retsuko space to keep himself in check. At the same time, Haida genuinely cares for Retsuko's well-being and happiness, indicating that his affection for her is far from shallow or selfish. Haida is an avid punk rock fan and also plays bass guitar. He has an under-bite with three fangs always protruding from his mouth.
Director Gori (ゴリ)
Voiced by: Maki Tsuruta (Japanese); G.K. Bowes (English)[5]
A gorilla lady who works as director of marketing at Retsuko's company. Along with Washimi, she does yoga with Retsuko and eventually joins her in karaoke. Despite her serious nature at work, she is highly excitable and takes great interest in bonding with Retsuko. A running gag with Gori is her over-the-top mourning over failed relationships, usually romantic ones. Despite being 40 years old and incredibly career driven, she has high hopes to still get married someday, and continues to make bold attempts to find "the one".
Ms. Washimi (鷲美)
Voiced by: Komegumi Koiwasaki (Japanese); Tara Platt (English)[5]
A secretary bird who works as the secretary to the company's president, and arguably the company's de facto president due to the actual president's incompetence. Strong-willed and confident, she's very wise and gives Retsuko a lot of sage advice when she's not busy keeping Gori's excitability in check. She sometimes ax kicks to intimidate those who frustrate her (mostly her boss), embodying the classic hunting behavior of her animal. Though very level-headed, she loses significant composure when the topic of marriage comes up, having gone through a bitter divorce after a four-month long marriage in her past, becoming almost hostile.
Tsunoda (角田)
Voiced by: Rina Inoue (Japanese); G.K. Bowes (English)[5]
A perky dik-dik coworker of Retsuko who frequently sucks up to Ton in order to remain in a favorable position and to lighten her own workload. Her shameless approach to office politics, and social media stardom, earns her the ire of many. However, she is highly self-aware and more genuine than her personality lets on. Like Fenneko, she's an expert on discerning the emotional states of those around her.
Komiya (小宮)
Voiced by: Sota Arai (Japanese); Todd Haberkorn (English)[5]
Ton's meerkat right-hand subordinate. Like Tsunoda, Komiya sucks up to Ton, but he appears to be motivated by genuine admiration for Ton while Tsunoda only does so for her own calculated benefits. In Season 3, it is revealed that he runs a popular blog on JPop idols and becomes a big fan of Retsuko after seeing her sing on-stage.
Tsubone (坪根)
Voiced by: Maki Tsuruta (Japanese); Debra Cardona (English)[5]
A Komodo dragon who is a senior to Retsuko in the accounting department. She is highly condescending and is implied to enjoy watching others fail, usually by giving them one of her many air-tight snack jars to open. Much like Ton, she frequently uses her seniority to push her extra work onto Retsuko.
Kabae (カバ恵)
Voiced by: Yuki Takahashi (Japanese); Misty Lee (English)[5]
Retsuko's hippo chatty coworker. Kabae is a middle-aged woman who frequently runs her mouth as the company's rumor mill. She is easily excited by new gossip but claims to never spread anything malicious. She's happily married to her husband and has three kids at home. Her motherly personality, when applied at work, has polarizing results on the younger workers at the office.
Resasuke (れさすけ)
Voiced by: Shingo Kato (Japanese); Max Mittelman (English)[5]
Retsuko's one-time, oblivious, red panda boyfriend in Season 1 who works in the Sales Department at their trade firm. Nicknamed the "Out of Pocket Prince" (JP dub) or "Space Cadet" (ENG dub), he is constantly zoning out, irresponsible with job duties, soft-spoken, and has zero social awareness. He has a large collection of thriving plants at home, suggesting that his character is a play on the Japanese term "herbivore men".
Anai (穴井)
Voiced by: Sota Arai (Japanese); Billy Kametz (English)[5]
A Japanese badger recent college graduate and a new hire in Retsuko's accounting department beginning in Season 2. He is very happy and eager on the surface, but does not take any kind of feedback lightly, treating it as a personal attack. This causes him to neurotically harass whoever said it via email demanding a written apology and recording all future conversations with the threat of escalation. As such, his professional and social skills are very lackluster, though his brick wall approach to criticism also renders him immune to the office politics others freely exercise in the department. He is, however, receptive to Kabae's motherly approach, and gradually learns to get along with everyone through her, suggesting that his poor behavior is the result of extreme anxiety. He is also an excellent cook and later sells his home-cooked meals to his co-workers. In Season 3, he becomes more emotionally stable, having found a girlfriend and writing a cookbook as a side project.
Tadano (只野)
Voiced by: Chiharu Sasa (Japanese); Griffin Burns (English)[5]
A donkey who is briefly Retsuko's boyfriend in Season 2. Initially shown as a lazy, jobless bum, Tadano is actually the founder of his own AI company that is quickly rising in stock and is both incredibly wealthy and intelligent. Tadano's laziness is attributed to the fact that he quickly loses interest in any task he finds mundane, and is driven to bring his AI program to the masses in hopes of moving society past late-stage capitalism, supporting programs like universal basic income. Retsuko slowly falls for the laid-back but driven Tadano after meeting him in driving class, unaware of his true identity, and starts a genuine, happy relationship with him. However, the relationship ends when Tadano revealed that he is not interested in having kids or getting married. In Season 3, Tadano makes no contact with Retsuko, but befriends Haida and Gori as the latter two struggle with Retsuko's lack of communication with them.
Retsuko's mother
Voiced by: Maki Tsuruta (Japanese); Kaitlyn Robrock (English)[5]
Retsuko's overbearing red panda mother, who is currently unnamed. Beginning in the second season, she regularly visits Retsuko, unannounced, trying to pressure her into marriage with one of many bachelors found via matchmakers. Despite her questionable actions, such as duplicating Retsuko's apartment key without her permission, she genuinely cares about Retsuko's well-being and gives her more opportunities to grow into adulthood by, often under immense emotional pressure, pushing her away from her comfort zone of "work, home, phone, sleep" as well as cooking and cleaning for her when she's over.
Hyodo (豹堂)
Voiced by: Sota Arai (Japanese); SungWon Cho (English)
A leopard who is a window washer at Retsuko's building by day and the manager for the up-and-coming idol group "OTM Girls" (short for Ōtemachi) by night. Retsuko initially meets him when she accidentally crashes into his van, forcing her to take up a second job as the group's accounting manager to pay off her debt. When Hyodo inadvertently discovers her singing death metal at her regular karaoke spot, he decides to move the OTM girls in a pop/metal fusion direction and coerces Retsuko into the center of the group. He is secretive about his day job with the girls, suggesting a sense of shame over it. Though highly aggressive and intimidating, his anger is implied to be a front to cover his feelings about his own failings and incompetence, as he's very poor with finances.
Manaka (マナカ)
Voiced by: SAYUMI (Japanese); Deva Marie Gregory (English)
The chinchilla lead singer of the OTMGirls. In stark contrast to Retsuko's extremely passive personality, Manaka is confident and brash. She often behaves like a diva, but she genuinely cares for those around her, including Retsuko. Her bold personality comes from the fact that she neither desires nor cares for approval from others, and encourages Retsuko to be less afraid of upsetting others, accident or otherwise. When she isn't performing, she works as a store clerk at a local convenience store.
Inui (戌井)
Voiced by: Rina Inoue (Japanese); Abby Trott (English)
A Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel mix dog who works in the General Affairs department at Retsuko's company. Introduced in Season 3, Inui is a sweet, gentle, and caring woman who tries to pursue a relationship with Haida after a chance encounter. Though they initially get off to a good start due to their shared love for punk rock, with Fenneko and Gori both pressuring Haida to accept her, Haida eventually turns her down after realizing his affection for Retsuko is too great to give Inui the relationship she's looking for. Though obviously hurt, Inui gracefully accepts the rejection.

Media[edit]

TV anime[edit]

A series of 100 one-minute anime shorts directed by Rarecho by Fanworks aired on TBS Television between April 2, 2016 and March 31, 2018 as part of the Ō-sama Brunch television program.[6] Pony Canyon began releasing the shorts on DVD from January 18, 2017.[7]

Mobile game[edit]

In July 2020, a mobile game, Aggretsuko: The Short Timer Strikes Back, was released by Hive for Android and iOS devices. The game is a tile-matching puzzle game with the premise that Aggretsuko should begin working to build the furniture on the new company building, similar to games like Gardenscapes. For every ten levels completed the user can download and see the episodes of the original one minute length TV Anime shorts.[8]

Netflix series[edit]

A Netflix original series was announced in December 2017, with Rarecho returning as director and writer at Fanworks.[9] The first season, consisting of ten episodes, was released worldwide on April 20, 2018,[10] with a second season which was released on June 14, 2019.[11][12] A third season premiered on August 27, 2020.[13]

A Christmas special was released on December 20, 2018.[14]

Episode list[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
110April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
210June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
310August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
Season 1 (2018)[edit]
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [a]Original release date
11"A Day in the Life of Retsuko"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
After five years at the same company, office worker Retsuko has to deal with many daily annoyances. She inadvertently arrives to work in her sandals, interacts with coworkers who either kiss up to the boss or couldn't care less about work. Her boss, Ton, makes her do menial tasks like dusting his desk and getting him tea, and then piles a bunch of papers on her, keeping her late at night. Afterwards, she lets out her frustrations by going to a karaoke bar and singing death metal.
22"A Good, Hard-working Girl"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Retsuko experiences a glimmer of hope when her free-spirited friend, Puko, proposes starting up her own business.
33"Short-timer"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Retsuko becomes more inclined to stand up to her superiors, which backfires when she learns her dream job isn't what she hoped it would be.
44"Walking Down the Aisle"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Feeling she can have a happy life by marrying someone with a huge salary, Retsuko takes up yoga classes, where she meets her co-workers Gori and Washimi.
55"Exposed"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Gori and Washimi end up taking Retsuko to her usual karaoke bar, where her penchant for death metal is exposed.
66"Stoking Rebellion"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Hearing about Retsuko's troubles with her boss, Ton, Washimi uses her connections with the company president to help her out.
77"The Duel"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Ton acts uncharacteristically nice following his warning, only for him to discover who reported him.
88"The Out of Pocket Prince"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Retsuko attends an office mixer, where she meets Resasuke from the sales department.
99"A Rosy World"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Retsuko falls head over heels for Resasuke, becoming oblivious to how bad things really are.
1010"The Dream Ends"April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
Retsuko is forced to realize that she can't keep ignoring the pain she is going through.
Special
--"We Wish You a Metal Christmas"December 20, 2018 (2018-12-20)
Retsuko becomes so obsessed with getting likes on Instagram that she forgets to make plans for Christmas Eve.
Season 2 (2019)[edit]
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [a]Original release date
111"Time to Grow Up"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Retsuko becomes increasingly frustrated with her mother's overbearing ways.
122"The New Hire Named Anai"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
The company hires a new worker named Anai who at first glance, seems nice and eager.
133"Double Moratorium"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Ton berates Retsuko for Anai's lack of progress on the job and Retsuko begins taking driving lessons.
144"Unavoidable Impact"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Retsuko and Anai have to host a food stall for the company's Family Appreciation Day event and Retsuko hits it off with a donkey named Tadano at driving school.
155"United Front"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Retsuko struggles with the food stall, and Anai finds solace in an unlikely coworker.
166"Unknown Future"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
With Anai finally in line, Retsuko rethinks her mother's advice and tries matchmaking, to poor results.
177"Growing Affection"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Retsuko gets her license and drives her friends off on a trip, which soon goes south, leaving her pining to see Tadano again.
188"He Lives Above the Clouds"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Tadano, in reality the CEO of a tech company, also has feelings for Retsuko, and asks her out.
199"She's Dreaming"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
Retsuko enjoys her new life dating Tadano, who seems too good to be true.
2010"Wonderful Life"June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14)
News breaks about Retsuko's relationship, and Retsuko learns that her ideal life might differ from Tadano's.
Season 3 (2020)[edit]
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [a]Original release date
211"The Blessings of Life"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
With her romance over, Retsuko fills the void with a virtual boyfriend but her savings get hit massively when she gets reckless with in-game purchases.
222"Deep in the Hole"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
Retsuko inadvertently backs into a parked car, damaging it. Desperate for repair money, she asks Gori for a loan.
233"A Sheltered Life"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
To pay her debt, Retsuko works as an accountant for an underground idol group. In reality, she is at their beck and call.
244"Winds of Change"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
The OTMGirls turn a profit for the first time thanks to Retsuko's business acumen. Haida hits it off with Inui after an unexpected encounter.
255"An Urchin in the Desert"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
After seeing Retsuko sing, Hyodo proposes that Retsuko becomes the main vocalist, demoting Manaka in the process.
266"Crossroads"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
The group's popularity soars after a blogger's favorable review. Concerned by Retsuko's odd behavior, Haida secretly tails her to Hokkaido.
277"An Impenetrable Wall"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
The OTMGirls receive a offer to perform at a rock festival. Hyodo re-brands the idols into a band, and the members must learn how to play instruments.
288"Bursting Her Bubble"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
Manaka's devotion to instrumental mastery inspires others to step up. Haida agrees to teach Retsuko guitar, but he invites Inui over the same day.
299"The End of the Moratorium"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
Inui opens up to Haida about her feelings but he is unable to respond. Director Ton lectures Retsuko when he learns that she has a side gig.
3010"When You Count to Ten"August 27, 2020 (2020-08-27)
Though shaken, Retsuko acts normal in front of her band mates after a deranged fan assaults her. Haida struggles to choose between Retsuko and Inui.

Reception[edit]

Aggretsuko was met with critical acclaim in America. The first season of the Netflix series currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 25 reviews, with the sites critic consensus reading, "Uniquely bleak for a Sanrio property, Aggretsuko balances biting corporate satire with adorable characters and absurdist comedy to create a surprising, insightful addition to the world of animation."[15] The series has been praised for its satirical portrayal of Japan's workplace culture, and of the pressures facing Millennial women in the workforce.[16] IndieWire gave the series a B+, and noted the distinctly Japanese stylistic elements of the animation that made it stand out from American productions.[17] The A.V. Club praised Aggretsuko for dealing with mature themes like misogyny and workplace anxiety, but criticized season 1's romantic subplot, calling the subplot "aggressively lousy".[18] The second season also received generally positive reviews,[19] and holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 8 reviews.[20] The third season holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c All English episode titles taken from Netflix.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beckett, James (May 3, 2018). "Aggretsuko—Episodes 1-10 streaming". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Netflix Hit 'Aggretsuko' to Get Comic Book Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  3. ^ Oi, Mariko (13 February 2017), The angry red panda that is Japan's new working woman, BBC News
  4. ^ Aggressive Retsuko, Sanrio
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Aggretsuko (w/green checkmark)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  6. ^ "Sanrio Posts English-Subtitled Aggressive Retsuko Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  7. ^ ラレコ, アグレッシブ烈子 1, ポニーキャニオン, retrieved 2019-02-28
  8. ^ https://www.aggretsukopuzzle.com/
  9. ^ "Sanrio's Aggretsuko Character Gets Original Netflix Anime Worldwide in Spring". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  10. ^ "Aggretsuko Netflix Anime's Trailer Streamed With English Subtitles". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (5 July 2018). "Netflix Sets 'Castlevania' Season 2 Premiere Date, Renews 'Aggretsuko'". Variety. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Aggretsuko Anime Season 2's Video Reveals June 14 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  13. ^ "Netflix Debuts Aggretsuko Anime Season 3 on August 27". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  14. ^ "Aggretsuko Anime Gets Christmas Episode on December 20". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  15. ^ "Aggretsuko: Season 1", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2020-08-27
  16. ^ Lee, Dami (2018-05-01). "Netflix's Aggretsuko show is a shockingly insightful portrait of feminine rage". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  17. ^ Nguyen, Hanh; Nguyen, Hanh (2018-04-21). "'Aggretsuko' Review: Netflix's Animated Series About a Red Panda Who Loves Death Metal Is a Subversive Gem". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  18. ^ "Netflix's Aggretsuko is a brutal take on modern life that also happens to be extremely cute". TV Club. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  19. ^ Lee, Dami (2018-05-01). "Netflix's Aggretsuko show is a shockingly insightful portrait of feminine rage". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  20. ^ "Aggretsuko: Season 2", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2020-07-20
  21. ^ "Aggretsuko: Season 3", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2020-09-04

External links[edit]