Aggretsuko: Kitty-chan for Adults 英会話・英語 アミック
Trying to learn Japanese when you’re an English teacher can be a challenge. When you teach English all day, the opportunity to speak Japanese is close to impossible. Luckily, with a little help from Netflix, I can hone my Japanese listening skills. I especially like the Netflix anime series Aggretsuko for it’s honest (if not exaggerated) portrayal of the Japanese workplace.
Aggretsuko, a combination of “aggressive” and “Retsuko”, follows the mishaps of a young red panda named Retsuko. By day, she silently suffers at her boring office job where she is overworked and under-appreciated. But by night, she releases her workday stress by singing death metal. Her musical ire humorously covers nearly every topic from her horrible boss to uncomfortable shoes to meddling shop clerks.
What I enjoy the most about Aggretsuko is the juxtaposition of the cute animals with the decidedly un-cute world of office work. The characters were created by Sanrio, which is world-renowned for Hello Kitty, Purin, and other adorable characters. But Kitty-chan and Purin-kun don’t work terrible office jobs; their biggest problems are what birthday present to get their friends or getting a stomachache from eating too many apples. Aggretsuko has the nostalgia factor and brand-power for young adults who love cute Sanrio characters, but are forced to grow up and start their own, possibly awful, careers. Plus, with an episode run time of 15 minutes, I can watch two or three episodes in Japanese before I go to bed. Who says learning a new language can’t be fun?!
Retsuko by day–calm, polite, and hard-working.
Retsuko ready to unleash her grievances.
And here’s a 15 minute compilation of all of Retsuko’s rage breakdowns.