January Anime Challenge – Aggretsuko

January Anime Challenge - Aggretsuko

Happy New Year challengers! We kick off 2019 with a brand new challenge, Aggretsuko (known in Japan as Aggressive Retsuko). This musical comedy tells the tale of an anthropomorphic red panda named Retsuko. She works in the accounting department of a Japanese trading firm and is 25 years old. Our single red panda heroine faces pushy superiors and annoying co-workers on a daily basis and rather than taking out her frustrations on them, she let’s loose her emotions by going to a karaoke bar every night to sing death metal. But after 5 years of torment… er… working the daily grind, her unhappiness causes her to experience a series of events that may cause her job, causing her to change her relationships with her co-workers and transforming her life in unexpected ways.

The anime is based on the character created by ‘Yeti’ for the mascot company Sanrio. It was written and directed by Rarecho at the studio Fanworks and originally ran at TBS Television for 100 episodes between April 2016 – March 2018. It has also recently been pocked up by Netflix. Our challenge is easy. We will try to watch all 100 episodes this month and have weekly goals to help us in the challenge. Don’t worry, the episodes is about a minute minute long, so if we spend about 25 minutes a week on the challenge, we will beat it!!!

Week 1 - 07 - 13 January

Episodes to Watch: 1 to 25

Let’s meet some of the characters. First up is of course our heroine Retsuko. She is an amiable introvert that struggles to stand up for herself and tends to be naive and prone to dream unrealistic dreams. As mentioned before she works at the accounting department for a trading firm and blows up steam by doing some death metal karaoke at night. Next up is the pig director (as in, he is a pig) named Director Ton of the accounting department. Director Ton is a sexist and overworks the poor Retsuko, while the lazy baka practices golf instead of working himself!!! He is incredible at being an accountant though, but is unable to use modern technology.

We also get to meet Fenneko, Retsuko’s fennec fox co-worker and her closest friend in the office. She is very insightful and perceptive but able to deduce anyone’s mental state through observation of their habits and deviations by scrutinizing others’ social media. Lastly we meet the mild-mannered Spotted Hyena co-worker Haida, who develops a crush on Retsuko after being friends with her for five years. His roundabout way of trying to confess his feelings to Retsuko puts him in many comical situations. He is a punk rock fan and can play bass guitar.

There are many more weird and wacky characters to meet, and it is up to you, fellow challengers to meet them. Our challenge this week is episode 1 to 25. Have fun and have a super sugoi week!!!

Week 2 - 14 - 20 January

Episodes to Watch: 26 to 50

It is week 2 of our Aggretsuko challenge and we look at some of the antics that happened in the first 25 episodes. Kabae, Retsuko’s hippo co-worker certainly had some hilarious airtime in the first 25 episodes. Those that watched the challenge know that she is a middle-aged gossip-junky that loves to spread rumours but claims that she would never spread anything malicious.

We felt sorry for Retsuko when Kabae kept on forcing Retuko to watch photos of her kids. (Episode 2). Don’t you just hate when you are in a hurry and people bother you with stuff that you really are not interested in. Well, it did help Retsuko to sing a very interesting Death Metal song when she had to karaoke…. In Episode 20, she is a thorn in Retsuko’s side again when she hogs the bathroom mirror at work. She keeps putting make-up on, wipes it off and put the make-up on again. It would drive anyone that wants his or her turn at the mirror nuts but brave Retsuko yet again turned her experience with the hippo in a Death Metal song. Then there is the episode (Episode 9) where Retsuko has a cold and just want to sleep it off at home but once again Kabae messes with our dear panda girl’s plans.

There were a lot more cool characters to explore, the yoga class episodes (Episode 4,6), Tsunoda the Giselle that drove Retsuko crazy (Episodes 12, 16, 19) and much more, but we will not spoil it for those challengers that must still catch up to us. This week our challenge is episodes 26 to 50. Have fun watching with us and have a super sugoi week.

Week 3 - 21 - 27 January

Episodes to Watch: 51 to 75

It is week 3 of our Aggretsuko challenge and we look at some of the themes that happened in last week’s episodes. Some of the episodes dealt with Valentine’s Day themes, romance, and the lack there off. In Japan Valentine’s Day works a little different that in the Western world. Women give men chocolates, and it is men’s turn to do so on White Day. Here is more information on how it works. 

In episode 37 Retsuko reveals to Giselle that she is single and have no boyfriend to share the holiday season with. Giselle, of course, tells everybody about it. But in episode 42 we see Reketso falling for co-worker Resasuke, who happens to be a red panda male. In episode 43 she decides to buy Resasuke a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, which also caused for an interesting black metal song in the episode. In episode 44 we see her trying to make Resasuke her Valentine but men in the office keeps interrupting her and she assaults… er… hands them each a chocolate slab for Valentine’s Day.

Will Retsuko and Resasuke start a beautiful romantic relationship? Or will she stay single? We have to watch on for these questions to be answered. This week our challenge is episodes 51 to 75. Have fun watching with us and have a super sugoi week.

Week 4 - 28 January – 04 February

Episodes to Watch: 76 to 100

It is week 4 of the Aggretsuko challenge. Aggretsuko, despite having anthropomorphic animals as characters, is a realistic look at life. It deals with several issues like facing a sexist boss (Episodes 05,62), judgement and prejudice (Episodes 22, 69), Escapism because of low self-worth ( Episodes 31, 38,) and more. We can see ourselves in these episodes. How many times did we feel unappreciated when we went the extra mile or do something thoughtless or nice for someone, like when Retsuko baked cookies for her co-workers but no-one wanted any (Episode 25).

We all deal with issues, hurdles and problems daily and keeping emotions bottled up is not good. We can take negative energy and put that energy to good use, find something to do that will vent off some of that negativity out of our system, even if it is black metal karaoke or yoga (Episode 04) like Retsuko did. We owe it to ourselves to learn from Retsuko’s life. Stress in our life can lead to depression, or rage. We need to seek help, we need to speak up when faced with a hurtful situation. What did you learn from or take way from Aggretsuko? Think about it. You matter. This week our challenge is episodes 76 to 100. Have fun watching with us and have a super sugoi week.