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‘Aggretsuko’: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Netflix’s Kawaii Counterculture Cartoon

A love of death metal isn’t the only secret about the white-collar red panda.

"Aggretsuko"

Netflix

Aggretsuko” has become Netflix’s latest animated sensation thanks to its adorable lead character and her habit of screaming death metal during karaoke to deal with her crappy boss. She’s the growling voice of Millennials, who rage against known injustice when they experience it.

The character hails from Sanrio, the Japanese mascot company that still deals with its kawaii creations such as Hello Kitty and Keroppi, but has shifted to add more counterculture, relatable characters like the depressed egg Gudetama and now Aggretsuko, which combines “aggressive” and “Retsuko.”

By now, most “Aggretsuko” fans have already binged through all 10 episodes since they’re only about 15 minutes each. Netflix hasn’t announced a second season (yet), so for now we can only dig in a little deeper to learn what else we can about the red panda who sings for all of us.

Here are five things you may not know about “Aggretsuko.”

1. Forehead Fierceness

When Retsuko allows herself to let loose and karaoke rage, kanji appears on her forehead for “retsu,” which means “rage” or “fierce,” according to various Japanese translations. No doubt this will be an essential detail to include for all of your Retsuko cosplay.

"Aggretsuko"

“Aggretsuko”

Netflix

2. What’s in a Name?

As noted above, the first part of Retsuko’s name means “rage” or “fierce.” The second part, “ko,” translates to child. “Rage-child” or “fierce-child” seems like an accurate description for our heroine.

3. A Rare Voice

Watching the series in its original Japanese language (subtitles over dubbing any day), it’s clear that Retsuko’s voice changes significantly when she switches into karaoke mode. The series’ writer and director Rareko (or Rarecho) is the voice of death-metal Retsuko.

4. Aggretsuko’s Past

Before the Netflix series, Aggretsuko was featured in 100 one-minute shorts that were shown on Japanese television. While many of these can be found online, the shorts have also been compiled and released on DVD by Pony Canyon.

5. The Bird Is the Word

Washimi and Gori, "Aggretsuko"

Washimi and Gori, “Aggretsuko”

Netflix

Many of Retsuko’s co-workers have names that relate to their animal species. Gori (in marketing) is a gorilla, Fenneko is a fennec fox, and Haida is a hyena (pronounced just the right way). Washimi’s name doesn’t tell much, but if you’re an ornithologist, you may have noticed that she is one of the terrestrial secretary birds. Her role at the company? Secretary, of course. The secretary bird is known for its strong legs that are used to strike and hunt, which is why we see Washimi using her legs to intimidate and break things on the show.

”Aggretsuko” is streaming all 10 episodes of its first season on Netflix.

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