Reality Check: with Aggretsuko!

[ Spoiler Alert: Proceed with caution ] 

Aggretsuko or Aggreshibu Retsuko is a Netflix Original Anime that came out in 2018. The show is about Retsuko, a 25-year-old typical 9 to 5 corporate slave and the everyday adventures of her ordinary life. You’ll find that she and the rest of the show is very relatable, especially the awkward situations Retsuko finds herself in whilst dealing with the drama around annoying coworkers, power-abusing superiors, and potential love interests. But if you take a slightly closer look, the show makes you pose some good questions about today’s world, and it might just give you some answers. 

Spirit Animal

Retsuko being the type to bottle up her frustrations has only one place of solace. And this is my favourite part of the show. I always find myself staring at the screen in utter fascination and admiration as I watch the very personification of my short temper take life. Retsuko blasting death metal at her karaoke place was all I needed to get hooked on to the show. 

Spirit Animal 2

Aggretsuko has some amazing dialogues, extremely good characters, and something I respect about the show is that the relatability is on a very realistic level. Even in our lives, we might have found ourselves put in similar situations like the ones in the show, and we might have been surrounded by the same type of characters as well, but the real takeaway is how these situations and people were dealt with, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today! 

Speaking from my own short experience of employment (short, because I’m a recent graduate) and my non-existent love life, I believe I was able to view Aggretsuko from a slightly different point of view and the things I learnt from the show, will be principles I carry on with me throughout my life. 

Reality Check #1: The Anai Arc

Anai is the new guy to join Retsuko and her squad in season 2. He’s fresh out of college and has had adulthood suddenly thrust upon him. His training falls on Retsuko’s shoulders but unfortunately, they get off to a bad start. Anai’s paranoia and anxiety about screwing up at work and his obsession to protect himself (which is not evident to his fellow seniors) ends up involving everyone in the department in a giant power-harassment complaint. While the rest of them were fretting about how to deal with this, Kabae steps in (unbeknownst of the situation), takes time and patience to teach him the ropes and gives him the encouragement which he needed to hear. And at the time of watching this, I wasn’t working, but when I got my first job, I fit into Anai’s shoes perfectly. This arc was quite significant to me – it serves as a reminder that just a bit of patience and kindness can go a very long way. I hope in the future, the younger generation knows that it’ll be okay and the older generation will be more understanding. 

Kabae’s redemption

Reality Check #2: Washimi and Gori 

Being a newbie at work, for the first few months, I felt like I was walking on eggshells. I mean, it can’t be helped, can it? Not wanting to screw up, not wanting to disappoint people’s expectations are very normal feelings to have when you start something new. However, I was fortunate enough to have senior employees who not only helped me settle in but also had my back consistently. It instilled in me great confidence and was also just reassuring to know I had someone I could turn to and wasn’t completely alone in this extremely new environment. They were great coworkers and human beings who have now become cherished friends. Watching the relationship Retsuko developed with Washimi and Gori reminded me of my own experience and warmed my heart. While I’m aware real life is vastly different in a professional setting, I feel like this reiterates my previous point of just being a kind person and being more supportive in such environments. 


Reality Check #3: What is love? 

I found Retsuko’s love life to be most amusing. In the first season with Resasuke, she reminded me of all the dumb high school crushes I had, where I was completely blinded by my ideas of the person rather than focusing on the relationship I had with the person. No matter what age you are, it’s still a good point to keep at the back of your head, don’t you think? I also found Resasuke to be a very fascinating character due to his lack of self-awareness. 

And I think this built the perfect segue to Retsuko’s relationship with Tadano in season 2. I loved this arc of the story. Retsuko’s starting to think about what she wants now – even though she’s being pushed into considering marriage by her mother, she doesn’t exactly hate the idea of it either. Even though she truly loved Tadano, his aversion to marriage and suggestions of a relaxed life was not the life Retsuko had in mind for herself, and I admire her for having made a decision that best suited her. I’ve heard people say that being in love means you have to compromise sometimes, but I think its also very important to listen to yourself and what you want. 


Retsuko’s character development has been wonderful and I’m very excited to see how season 3 is going to play out. Season 3 brings in new characters as well, so I hope you’re just as excited as I am. August 27th – I’ve marked my calendar. 


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