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YMMV / Aggressive Retsuko

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  • Accidental Aesop: While the franchise as a whole encourages letting out the aggression that comes with the frustrations of everyday life, many feminists have interpreted it as being about how women in particular shouldn't be expected to bottle up their anger.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series has been steadily gaining popularity since 2016, and the Netflix series only boosted Retsuko's popularity up to a larger audience, especially in many western countries. Retsuko even showed up on Hot Topic's "Hot Minute" in October 2017 and collaborated with skateboard brand ''Chocolate''.
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  • Popular with Furries: Retsuko has gained a lot of attention from furries since 2016 because red pandas are popular in the community. The anime series on Netflix only raised awareness and multiplied its popularity.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Relationships aren't and shouldn't be seen as a Happily Ever After case, nor a solution to your current life problems. They have their own plethora of problems and difficulties that show up through it, especially if you're trying to be with someone to gain something from them.
    • Overworking and over-stressing your employees doesn't benefit the company. Employees are people, too, and the employers shouldn't exploit or abuse them just because they can.
    • In season 2: Marriage is not for everybody. Some people just don't do well with that or don't want to get married, despite their desire to be with someone else in a steady, monogamous, and lasting relationship, such as Tadano and Washimi, while some people genuinely want to get married and are happier in such a life. It's important to know which category you fit and which category your romantic partner fits in, when you're considering a long term relationship.
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    • People are more complex than they let on. Those that appear to have it together actually have their own problems, while those who appear to be miserable, angry people aren't completely bad themselves.
  • The Woobie: Retsuko leads a pretty hard life, being constantly abused by her bosses who make her do their work, is unable to find a good romance, has a pretty lonely home life and ends up taking her frustrations out by singing Death Metal with Berserker Tears. Fenneko raises the possibility she'll be Driven to Suicide in the future.


The TBS Shorts

The Netflix Series

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Resasuke's social awkwardness, the fact that he had to be coached and nudged every step of the way while dating Retsuko, and the scene of him returning home to his plants after she breaks it off begs the question of whether he was as miserable with her as she was with him.
    • Retsuko is oblivious to Haida's interest in her for the most part, and she falls hard for Resasuke. However, Haida's the first person Retsuko goes to in her plan to marry to get out of work, making some wonder if Retsuko had feelings for Haida before but it just didn't work out for that particular plan.
    • Similarly, did Haida always secretly have feelings for Retsuko, did her asking him about marriage put the idea in his head that he might until he decided that he did (by his own admission, he was more attracted to the idea of being with her before realizing he should get to know her better first), or is he only interested because the opportunity presented itself?
    • When he threatens to beat up Tadano for dating Retsuko, does he genuinely think that Tadano is taking advantage of his friend and want to protect her, or is it the same petty jealousy he had when she was dating Reseaske?
    • Many fans have speculated that Anai suffers from an Ambiguous Disorder, as many of his (admittedly unflattering) traits are often symptoms of those affected by the autism spectrum, even with high-functioning types like Asperger's. This includes his mood swings, intense social awkwardness, and trouble focusing, as well as his negative reaction to pressure, positive reaction to motherly positive reinforcement and tendency to say insensitive and tactless things even when he's not trying to be insulting. He also excels in in a singular talent despite struggling with other tasks which is indicative of savant disorder.
    • Does Tadano really have Retsuko's best interests in mind, or is he a manipulative Control Freak who buys her off with charm? While it's clear that he does care about her, his way of showing is is not unlike his entrepreneurial efforts, in that he's more comfortable telling he what she wants or what's best for her rather than listening to what she thinks is best for herself.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Despite being aimed to the teen & adult demographic, this is also a show based on merchandising from the same company as Hello Kitty. One Malaysian promo poster features the character as part of the Sanrio Times Exhibition held in December 2018.
  • Author's Saving Throw
    • While Puca carefree attitude came across as her being a Lazy Bum and careless, the Christmas Special shows she actually is working at her import business and is apparently so busy that she has to turn down Retsuko's invite to hangout. Season Two also shows her shortsightedness eventually catching up with her when she neglects to pay the rent for her office space.
    • Season One focused on Retsuko wanting to marry someone just so she would quit work. In season 2, she falls in love with a genuinely Nice Guy who actually encourages her to quit work but doesn't want to get married or have kids, which Retsuko realizes she wants to do regardless of whether or not she quits her job.
    • Season 2 gave a lot more characterization to characters like Kabae and Ton, fleshing them out from simply being one note to having depth.
  • Crosses the Line Twice
    • The absolutely gripping fear of Retsuko coming home to her apartment to find it's been broken into deflating the second she hears her would-be burglar... vacuuming? Then you find out that her mom broke in just so she could be a mom to her and it becomes hysterical.
    • Anai's habit of responding to every single perceived slight with a Strongly Worded Letter. While the abuse he dishes out onto Retsuko is particularly brutal, the eventual reveal this this is just something he does makes it hilariously petty, especially after Heida goes out of his way to talk to Anai in the gentlest, lest aggressive way possible... and still gets an angry email. Not to mention the Catharsis Factor when Ton gets one too.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: It's not uncommon to find fans of Anai who claim that he was just a frightened kid or that he was a victim of corporate culture, conveniently forgetting or excusing the fact that he was an unstable blackmailer and harasser who flew off the handle at any innocuous comment he didn't like and never actually suffered any workplace bullying.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The Office theme, complete with elevator dings and phone rings. Enjoy a 1-hour loop of it while you work, and it never leaving your head. Ever.
    • Washimi and Gori's Leitmotif, aka 'Baddest Bitch in the Room Theme'.
    • The happy sunshine tune that plays during cheerful scenes. Catchy, chirpy, and definitely good mood-inducing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Ookami, the main character's maned wolf coworker, got his own set of fans due to his cool looks and attitude, despite only briefly interacting with the characters during one episode and only appearing in the background afterwards.
    • Tadano, in terms of being a legit Nice Guy similar to Haida and being a tech genius who plans to change the world.
    • Season Two introduces a female spaniel who checks on various people at the driving school (mainly Tadano). While she has a small amount of screen time, she started gaining her own set of fans due to her snarky and monotone attitude.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • The One-Scene Wonder with Haida dressed like a punk and owning a bass guitar has led to many people thinking that he is just like Retsuko in regards to lashing out after a cruel day of work. As a result, fanart tends to pair them both as a band of Death Metal.
    • Similarly, one of Resasuke's scenes reveals he's actually a Caring Gardener, to the point where he says hello to his many plants when he comes home. Many believe this is a sign that he's actually happier being with plants than he is with people, and that he'll be okay after such a messy breakup with Retsuko. Fan artists love to draw him with the various plants seen in that scene, even more so than his canned coffee.
  • Foe Yay: Tsunoda and Fenneko, almost every time they interact, reassure their soul-consuming hatred for each other, with both displaying strangely obsessive behavior, including Fenneko stalking Tsunoda's social media (down to figuring out a pattern for her posts) and Tsunoda inviting a blushing Fenneko to her single's meeting. It's also implied that Tsunoda is aware that Fenneko stalks her social media.
  • Les Yay:
    • Gori cares a lot about Retsuko liking her, acts flustered when she tries to talk to her, cries when she thinks Retsuko is mad at her and spends the night at her house after drinking too much, and asks whether any guys are interested in her.
    • One of the few things that causes Fenneko to flip out is the idea of Retsuko becoming as social-media obsessed as her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Tsunoda, going so far as to say Retsuko was one of the few "sane ones" in "Metal Christmas".
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "this is a[n] [X] stan account now"Explanation 
    • "hahahahahahahahaha...." Explanation 
    • Retsuko's habit of screaming her mundane frustrations in her death metal voice.
    • Furry awakening. Explanation 
    • "Haida is a good boy" Explanation 
    • "I'M COMING, SENPAI!!!" Explanation 
    • Selfie, dessert, latte art. Selfie, dessert, latte art. Selfie, dessert, selfie, dessert, selfie, dessert, a thigh pic. Explanation 
  • Misblamed: One of the deciding factors in Puka's unpopularity is the perception among viewers that she doesn't work at all, and therefore every yen she spends comes out of her parents' pockets. While she doesn't deny that she has a lot of financial help from her parents, she also briefly mentions in his first episode that she does work, she just doesn't have a full time job, allowing her to take long breaks and big risks like her startup company.
  • Moe:
    • Retsuko is a cute red panda that is dealing with a Soul-Crushing Desk Job due to her boss's harassment and abusive behavior, and it can't be helped to want to protect her, which is actually Haida's reaction.
    • Haida is a surprisingly cute guy due to his constant Luminescent Blushing around Retsuko and cute behavior towards her.
    • Tadano, simply for being a slacker-like donkey who's actually a genius tech millionaire.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Despite only appearing for one scene and one flashback, Shirota is generally very well liked by the fans due to being a charming and nice Big Beautiful Man that finally gets Retsuko thinking about what to do with her life.
  • One True Pairing: Fans really want to see Retsuko/Haida happen. It helps that the show never officially rules out the possibility, merely that the two would have to get to know one another better first before they can consider it a realistic option.
  • Paranoia Fuel
    • The absolutely sadistic level of control Retsuko's mother takes over her life, starting with making a copy of her daughter's house key without her consent so she can literally barge in whenever she wants, including when Retsuko isn't home. All just so she can continue treating Retsuko like a child, and she does not take no for an answer.
    • In-Universe where Haida gets freaked out by Fenneko and her constant use of her interpretations and stories behind pictures she's seen. Fenneko even tells him to stay off of social media if that was bad.
  • Periphery Demographic: The series has gained a following in the Death Metal and Heavy Metal communities in many countries where the genre is popular.
  • The Scrappy
    • Puko is a difficult character to like, as the same speech where she tries lifting up Retsuko's lifestyle is the same where she contrasts her easygoing lifestyle as being one reliant on other people rubs people the wrong way. Even when her slacking eventually caught up with her in season two, she still finds ways to burden her friend, such as forcing her to move the contents of her headquarters up four flights of stairs because she was too cheap to hire movers.
    • Anai (at least per Values Dissonance; see below). His habit of threatening literally anyone who criticizes him with blackmail is not only petty but frustratingly immature, especially since he only seems to respond positively to Kabae responding to his habits like he's an angry child.
  • Stoic Woobie: Some people do feel sorry for Resasuke after Retsuko breaks up with him.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The various localizations of the series are incredibly well done, liberally rewriting jokes where appropriate to make jokes funnier for native speakers and in some cases even improving on the original. Numerous videos on YouTube can be seen comparing the different translations to showcase the quality.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Washimi and Gori's Leitmotif is very similar to a spiced up, remixed version of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Retsuko's mother never learns of her relationship with Tadano.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • While Puko does try to help her high-school friend through a tough time, her carefree, easy-going lifestyle depends entirely on her having rich parents to mooch off of and responsible people like Retsuko doing all of the work for her. Her best advice to Retsuko's financial struggles amounts to "move back in with your parents." To the show's target demographic of millennials, the first generation in recent history to earn less than their parents and as a result generally struggle with the most basic living necessities, Puko ends up coming off as a Spoiled Brat.
    • Anai, at least to American viewers (see Values Dissonance). The shows tries to pass off his borderline criminal levels of abuse and blackmail over any imagined slight (including cornering Retsuko in the archives room and recording their conversation), as well as his outright refusal to do any work once the whole office becomes too scared to approach him, as a cry for positive reinforcement from a nervous, paranoid young man, and that putting it all in the past once he shows off his better side is perfectly reasonable. The fact that he only responds positively to Kabae's motherly approach comes across as him only responding to superiors who hold his hand.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The series shows that sexual discrimination in the workplace is much different in Korea and Japan than in many western countries, as pointed out in this article.
    • The fact that the entire office puts up with Anai's hostile and uncooperative behavior rather than firing him on the spot might confuse western viewers. For Japanese businesses, recent college grads like Anai are considered a valuable part of the labor force and management would likely side with him in a dispute to avoid him badmouthing them online and potentially give the company a bad reputation. This is why Retsuko is so hesitant about standing up to him and no one suggests reporting Anai's actions and texts: the most likely outcome is that they'd get fired rather than Anai.
    • Similarly, to American viewers, Puko is a Spoiled Brat coasting on her parents' money and other, more responsible people's effort. But in Japanese culture where honor is paramount, failure and losing face can drive someone to suicide, and that getting paid to do nothing is considered shameful and insulting, Puko's seemingly flippant attitude about her situation comes across more like she's half-jokingly shaming herself for it.
  • Viewer Species Confusion:
    • Several fans thought that Haida was an African Wild Dog before Word of God confirmed him to be a hyena.
    • Similarly, Ookami was thought by many to be a fox before it was confirmed he was a maned wolf (though if you already know that his name literally means "wolf" in Japanese, it's kind of obvious).
    • There was some initial confusion regarding Tadano's species, with some viewers thinking he was a rabbit due to his long ears. The fact that he's one of the few, if not the only animal who's appeared in the show so far with an abnormal fur color (he has light purple fur with a blue mane, possibly dyed) only added to the confusion. Once you see his tail it becomes a lot more apparent that he's a donkey.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Sure, it's made by Sanrio, the creators responsible for Hello Kitty and other similar characters, and it retains the cutesy animation style. It also regularly depicts character drinking alcohol and enduring sexual harassment, not to mention occasionally swearing. Meanwhile, a realistically grounded workplace setting and plots about overworking, late-stage capitalism and adjusting to the responsibilities of adulthood in your twenties don't sound like something that would appeal to children, nor would some of the scarier scenes, such as Retsuko's metal singing or Anai blackmailing her, be considered scary in ways that would be appropriate for them. In terms of vulgarity, however, it's no worse than The Simpsons and only slightly worse than Rocko's Modern Life (it's certainly nowhere near as vulgar as Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt), so responsible parents not concerned with the more child-unfriendly aspects of the show may not mind older children (ie, upwards of 8) watching it.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Retsuko's new boyfriend in season 2 is a post-capitalist blue donkey, and that's all that needs to be said.
  • The Woobie
    • Retsuko. She's an Extreme Doormat whose only skill of note is following orders, which allows her tyrant of a boss at her dead-end job to walk all over her and call her a degrading name. Season 2 makes her life even more of a living hell with her intrusive mother taking an iron grip to her personal life and being forced to train an uncooperative intern, taking almost all of the brunt for his abuse. It it any wonder that her main source of catharsis is screaming death metal?
    • Haida is a sweet guy who can't manage to land the girl he likes, despite her being right around him all the time. He seems to have his self-confidence particularly mined after Retsuko ignores him in favor of Resasuke.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The English dub contains a few, including Fenneko referring to Resasuke as a "space cadet" instead of an "out of pocket prince." Ironically, this makes the episode's title (Out-of-Pocket Prince) sound nonsensical unless you're familiar with the translation's changes (or have JP subs on).
    • Another similar case with when Ton starts calling Retsuko "Calendar" in the English dub. The English subs use the nickname "Short-Timer" instead, which is the name of the episode where the nickname is first used.

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