Aggretsuko: An Anime I Struggle To Finish

We may all be so over 2020 that we’re looking to put it out of its misery once and for all, but I’m one of the ones who has turned a crap year into one of opportunity. It has been surprisingly productive for my creative pursuits, finishing some older games that have been sitting in my backlog for far too long, getting a lot of reading done, and watching some movies or shows stuck in my queue for months. Among those shows I’ve tried to finish up is Netflix’s Aggretsuko, however, I recently realized that this show is losing some of its appeal that got me watching in the first place.

[Credit: Netflix]
Aggretsuko is about 25-year-old Retsuko, a red panda who is working at a thankless office job in Japan while dealing with the ups and downs of being a young and single adult trying to figure out her life.

What initially attracted me to the series was Retsuko being a sweet and adorable red panda, who was fond of singing death metal at karaoke bars. Being a sucker for anything cutesy this anime seemed to be right up my alley, especially when it was a character originally created by Sanrio. I watched the entire first season and really enjoyed it.

Retsuko was scarily relatable when you see her bemoan a boss and job she hates to her closest friends and co-workers, or her struggles with dating and living on her own. It wasn’t anything I’ve ever seen before, let alone having these very real world problems being portrayed through the eyes of cute anthropomorphic animals. When I got to the second season it proved to be a much harder time to sit through.

I’m not sure what it was exactly. Retsuko was still the same timid red panda by day but the rage filled, death metal loving gal by night. One of the best parts about the show was watching Retsuko sing her heart out during those karaoke scenes, mostly segueing into the opening title and credits for the show. Four episodes into the second season, I found myself mostly bored and disengaged.

Maybe the novelty of a cute red panda who uses karaoke and death metal as an outlet for her stress and anger has worn off, or maybe the episodes I’ve seen so far weren’t as good as the first season. Whatever it is the show could very well end up being one of the few on Netflix I’ve started but never finished along with Iron Fist and the second season of Luke Cage.

With attention spans being so short as they are these days, shows have to work extra hard to keep you enthralled to the end. If they lose you somewhere along the way, it’s much easier now to abandon them altogether and move onto the next “it” show of the moment.

I typically don’t like giving up on things I start, but if a show isn’t as entertaining as it once was then why waste anymore time on it? I might give Aggretsuko a few more episodes before deciding to call it quits. If the last episode I watched is any indication, it might be time to break up with this show for good.

Were there shows you started watching but gave up on halfway in or after a season? What turned you off about them that you couldn’t find it in your heart to continue?


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