Where the hell did this show come from? Like seriously. This show appeared on Netflix in silence. Then its popularity just exploded everywhere. You know what? I’m apart of that crowd. I watched it a couple weeks later because I wanted the hype to cool down and you know what? It never did. EVER. The reason why I think that is true here? Simplicity. The framework of Aggretsuko is simple, but the ideas and themes hanged on the frame work can be complicated and not over take anything at all. Also, it’s funny. Very, very funny in a relatable way. Nothing completely over the top, but very hard hitting from situational and character perspective. There is a reason why it’s popularity has held for a while. Aggretsuko has very little weak points for me.
As I wrote in my title, Aggretsuko is a work place comedy at an accounting firm. The show is centered our Red Panda protagonist and her everyday struggle with work. She is the endlessly faithful coworker who will finish anything that you give her, so Retsuko is taken advantage of by her pig boss and a snake like coworker. Her extra work is why she stays late at night. She is stressed from all of this and trying to find a way out. Besides plotting leaving when she has some time off, how does she deal with that stress other than that? She screams death metal at a karaoke bar after work. Sometimes she screams it in a bathroom stall at work to take off immediate stress. That is why Retsuko has her own microphone on her at all times. If it wasn’t for those two people, she would have such a great time with her entertaining coworkers.
The show is focused our great main character Retsuko, so a small criticism is that there is too much of her because she overtakes the lives of her coworkers as well. That doesn’t mean that I can’t see each of her coworkers without her existing though. Each one of them has their own distinctive personalities and are multi-dimensional in their own right. And you know what? I think it’s Retsuko that brings it out of them. I do have my favorite characters, like the troll fox Fenneko and the two high level workers that take Retsuko under their wing, but even the misogynist pig has multiple sides. That first appears in a scene where he is drunk, but it really comes out at the end. The only person that lacks multiple dimensions is the space cadet love interest at the end of the series, and even that person isn’t a bad guy. I love all of these characters. These Sanrio Characters are just a lot of fun.
The art and animation are very minimalistic. The same workplace backgrounds, minimalistic cityscapes when they walk around, and very easy locations where a lot of characters sit when they need too. The character designs are from Sanrio, so each one of them are cute animals that are somehow very adult. They feel like they were animated in flash though, because they barely move around at all. Still, that works with the style of the show. Aggretsuko is a series of ten, fifteen-minute short episodes. It’s not an action anime and it doesn’t require specifics cuts of animation and art direction to get the jokes across like Nichijou. The minimalistic art and animation sell this point home for me. Such a fun two-and-a-half-hour watch that can be done again and again and again. (Also, the dub is great. One of the best English dubs I’ve listened to in years.)