Confession: I am a grown ass woman who wholeheartedly loves Sanrio. The Japanese answer to Disney is a company upheld by a cast of tender-hearted, colorful fairies and animals like (most notably) Hello Kitty. There is a Sanrio Hello Kitty Land in Tokyo, and, yes, I have been there. So on 4/20, when Netflix premiered Aggretsuko, a new original series about a Sanrio character—amiable red panda Retsuko, an accountant by day, death metal singer by night—you can bet I tuned in.
Retsuko (the kanji for this name translates to “rage-child”) is a fed-up, burnt-out, Japanese 20-something stumbling through adulthood with Crocs on, trying to do her best.
We are introduced to Japanese office culture via her colorful cast of anthropomorphic co-workers and superiors, including a chauvinistic pig and a manipulative snake (yes, really) who continuously tests Retsuko’s limits. The mysteries of the professional world slowly come together for Retsuko, but there are still some things she needs to know, like how exactly does Marketing Director Gori(lla) keep up that office power walk all the time?
Aggretsuko is refreshingly hilarious with its endless array of realistic mishaps. Hangovers? Rent? Socializing? Hello Kitty would have torn out her whiskers by now. But Retsuko? She’s your girl—err, red panda.
Fine, I’ll admit it: I’m never escaping the grips of Sanrio, because I don’t want to. The ever-expanding universe of Hello Kitty, Kero Kero Keroppi, and Little Twin Stars held me down through adolescence, but with Aggretsuko, my devotion is complete. When I get home later, I’m grabbing my Hot Cheetos, a Rainier, and settling down to enjoy an adorably intense death metal session with Retsuko.
Even if she is performing it in the stall of her office bathroom.