Available on Netflix SA
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Aggretsuko is back for an encore to viciously sing her troubles away for a second season. If you’re not familiar with this anime series, here’s the story – Retsuko the red panda’s thankless office job and daily struggles lead to her belting out death metal karaoke after work.
In this season, Retsuko deals with her overbearing mother, a paranoid junior co-worker and a new suitor.
While each episode of Aggretsuko is fun to watch, this season is a little less satisfying. What made Retsuko so endearing in the first season was that her struggles were relatable.
In the first season, Retsuko’s harmful relationship with her boss Ton (who is a literal pig) reflected gendered power dynamics in the workplace. This time around, her workplace trouble stems from her attempts to train the newly hired badger Anai. But, regardless of how kind she is towards him, Anai takes all of her feedback badly. Anai records their conversations, sends her detailed emails reckoning every alleged offence, and even files complaints of harassment.
The truth is that many young men have trouble accepting working with women who are their superiors, but Anai also goes on to turn against male co-worker Haida. In this instance, the show sidesteps what could have been an interesting look into this very real reality. Instead, they go for the “these kids are way too sensitive these days and need to be coddled like small children” message.
But, in season two, Aggretsuko has grown up, meaning there are more specific songs and more targeted rage, which is different from her scream-singing her stress away like she did last time.
The most important lesson you’ll learn from this season is that, in life, you’re going to encounter awful people who might not be dreadful all the time, but what side you choose to focus on is completely up to you.