Unexpected Metal on Netflix

Netflix can be a very hit or mix platform, especially when it comes to Netflix Originals. From Sci-Fi schlock that borrows a popular franchise name for a quick cash-in like The Cloverfield Paradox to the charming and thrilling adventures of the Robinsons family in Lost in Space, you never really know what you’re going to get when you settle in to Netflix and chill. However, I think it’s worth it to sift through the bad because you might just find something great buried within the shit pile.

I heard a lot about how good Aggretsuko was but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just drawn in by the anthropomorphic characters and cute art style. Starring a female red panda office worker named Retsuko, you are invited to experience her day to day frustrations in the work place and discover her secret double life. Resuko’s idea of relaxation is singing death metal about how much your boss and co-workers piss you off. The contrast of a cute, seemingly timid red panda girl singing death metal in a hilariously deep voice is always a fun highlight in each episode. As for her frustrations in the workplace, for the most part I think that most of us can relate. Working day to day just to make ends meet and keep your job underneath ungrateful and demanding superiors can certainly drive anyone mad. We all have our methods to unwind from the day’s stress as well, though I can promise you I don’t have the chops to sing death metal.

Luckily, Retsuko doesn’t go through it alone. Accompanying her are Fenneko, a nerdy and invasive friend, and Haida, a guy who is head over heels into Restuko but is too shy to actually approach her about it. Additional colorful cast members are introduced and utilized as needed of course, but these two are the stand outs for me. Fenneko seems very robotic and this is punctuated with a monotone voice, similar to those text-to-speech voices, but she is always looking out for Retsuko’s best interest even if it means obsessing over her activities on social media. Haida is very relaxed by contrast and is always offering a hand to Retsuko, but his intents just always seem to fly right over her head while she’s distracted with her day to day drama.

Breaking from the story briefly, the art style is pretty simplistic with thick outlines and flat colors. The cute character designs, exaggerated facial expressions and decent animation make it enjoyable enough visually but it isn’t going to wow anyone. The music is more important, given the context, and I think they nailed that. I should give it another listen sometime. For the record, I watched the dubbed version and should probably check out the subbed version as well.

The progression of the series involves Retsuko trying a variety of things to either cope with or get out of her job, often with hilarious consequences. Ultimately, she thinks her easy way out is to get married and depend upon a man to provide for her while her new upper management friends, Gori and Washimi, try to convince her that she is looking for love for the wrong reasons and doesn’t need a man to provide for her. Meanwhile, tensions with her bosses gradually escalate to a breaking point until her boss starts calling her “Calendar”… because her days are numbered. On top of all this is the pressure to keep her death metal karaoke passion a secret so that she may vent in peace.

Without spoiling anything, I have to say that the ending is pretty unsatisfying. To be fair, however, this is a series with the potential for additional seasons so perhaps it is for the best that some plot threads remain unresolved… provided, that is, that a Season Two is actually coming. Aggretsuko is pretty short but is certainly a fun time so if it sounds like something you may like, I definitely recommend giving it a shot!

Posted by Pedigree

1 comment

good review my man. this show owns

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