Review: Aggretsuko

I LOVE THIS!  I discovered it last night and watched the first two episodes, brilliantly short at fifteen minutes each – though they felt so much longer, packed as they were with story line.

If you’ve been on Mars recently and haven’t heard of Aggretsuko, it’s Japanese anime for adults.  All the characters are animals, the main character, Retsuko, being a red panda.  But the cuteness stops there.  Retsuko is in her twenties and works in a seriously shitty office job, the kind we either wish we didn’t have or spend our lives trying to avoid.  Her awful boss is channelling 80’s chauvinism and Retsuko, being the “responsible” one, gets dumped with all the work.  She’s basically a pushover and not at all confrontational.

But she’s angry.  And it’s the rage that makes it so funny:  when she gets angry, she karaokes death metal.  The first time this happened (she was in the toilet, it transpired), I nearly died laughing.  The cute panda became a sharp-fanged monster, an image I want on a T-shirt.  THIS is how I feel!

Despite the fact that Retsuko is more than a generation younger than me, I identified with her at once – and I’m quite sure I’m not alone, and that gender or age has nothing to do with it.  I’ve been listening to metal for years as my only outlet to the rage I can’t express.  For me, I’m standing on a mountain top with my microphone (and guess what – it looks just like Retsuko’s) screaming such expressive lyrics such as “shoot shoot shoot motherfucker.”

I can’t wait to watch the rest of this.  I wish only happiness and a more fulfilled life for poor Retsuko.  Seeing this on the day I didn’t get a job I’d just interviewed for (and didn’t want) made it even more poignant – I don’t even want to think about the rage I would have had to suppress!



About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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