Not going to lie, my relationship with anime over the last few years has been… Rocky. In my high school years, anime was this amazing beautiful thing that captivated me and mesmerized me. here and now, it’s a thing that comes around on Saturday nights, and serves primarily as background noise while I do literally anything but watch it. Because lately, I can predict what the plot is going to be with a grand total of one, maybe two episodes.
Dumdum McRetard wants to become the very best like no one ever was. Maybe it’s the king of the pirates, maybe it’s the wizard king, maybe it’s the great hokage. Whatever you want to call the very best, that’s Dumdum’s goal. Unfortunately, Dumdum has no grace, no tact, no intelligence, no social skills, no table manners… In fact, why are we even focusing on this guy? Badass Van Asskicker, Dumdum’s long time rival and significantly more competent counterpart, is often times the more fascinating characters in these shows. But wait, there’s a twist! You see, despite the fact Dumdum McRetard is a hopeless fucking idiot with no chance in hell of making it up so much as one rung of the ladder, it turns out he’s the most powerful fucking person in the entire universe! And thus, he accomplishes his goals based entirely around dumb luck.
A Carl Rove production.
Lather, rinse, repeat, dub it into English, and hand it off to Cartoon Network for their dead horse of an anime block.
Call it whatever you want: Naruto, Bleach, Black Clover, Fairy Tail, Seven Deadly Sins, My Hero Academia… Really, at this point, the list goes on. I’m so fucking tired of this concept!
Netflix does have a significantly more varied selection of anime… It was through Netflix I watched shows like Welcome to the NHK, and most of Moribito. Unfortunately, with Netflix, the one fatal drawback is the show doesn’t always come with an English dub. Yeah, I’m one of THOSE people: the guy who’d rather not spend a binge session reading subtitles and actually hear English come from my anime. Call me a weirdo if you must, but if I wanted to READ for a few hours, I’d get a book.
So yeah, I haven’t really been keeping up with anime in the last few years. I’ve heard some titles, found one or two of those titles on Toonami, saw exactly what I was getting, and went back to bingewatching Baskets or something.
Then, earlier this weekend, a friend of mine introduced me, and another friend to Aggretsuko.
I got to say, this show is actually pretty entertaining. A lot more entertaining than a furry anime based on cubical drone life deserves to be, that’s for sure.
Meet Retsuko. She’s a “red panda” (which I just recently discovered is a legit thing), working the cubical life, putting up with horrible bosses, and a life that honestly doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. But when she isn’t working, she’s going to the local karaoke bar, and screaming her lungs out to death metal! It’s very Phineas and Ferb in the sense there’s a song of the day, but it’s more akin to Metalocalypse in the sense it’s metal. I’m fairly certain they rehash the same two or three instrumentals and just put new lyrics to it, ala Nurima Daikon Brothers, but I’m not all the way through the series just yet.
Trust me, this is definitely looking like one of those shows you don’t have to watch all at once if you don’t want to. if you’re like me, and bingewatching four different things at the moment, that’s a good thing. Of course if you have nothing going on, and just want to binge the shit out of this show, that’s good too.
The acting, at least on the English dub, is solid. Although I’m about 85% positive the person performing the death metal is not only a different voice actor from the one providing Retsuko’s voice, but I’m also about 85% positive the death metal singer is a guy. I could be wrong about that, but as a bit of a connoisseur of the genre, I’m pretty good at picking out female shriekers from male shriekers. I think I was only wrong once in my entire life, and that was with the band Crisis.
It’s not the kind of show that reinvents the wheel. In fact, I remember thinking to myself that this was a show that joined the “kids show for adults” fad of the early to mid 2000s about a decade late. Then again, I don’t expect Japan to be keeping tabs on what’s popular here in The States, so I give this one a pass on that front.
I’m noticing a lot of metal coming from Japan lately. Between this show, and Baby metal (a Japanese metal band who’s avant gard even by Japanese standards), it’s hard not to notice a trend. Or maybe metal was always big in Japan, and I’m just now noticing. I don’t know. All I can really say is the stuff I’ve seen from Japan lately is a pretty decent change of pace. The American metal scene right now consists primarily of the djent fad, a few hand-me-downs from Denmark, and Five Finger Death Punch. If this is the best we can do, maybe it’s time I look into Japan’s metal scene more thoroughly. And my gateway was a red panda with a cubical job. Hey, I’ve had dumber origin stories for how I got into scenes and fandoms. I should tell you my story of how I got into the New Jersey Devils fandom some day.
I’m getting off track.
All and all, Aggretsuko is pretty good. If nothing else, it’s a very refreshing change of pace for me.