And now for something quite a bit different… A popular and award-winning anime series takes on a classic of European fantasy with Aggretsuko: Down The Rabbit Hole. “When Retsuko attempts to go on vacation with Gori and Washimi, she’s pulled into a terrible world where she’s forced to work for her freedom. Featuring all of the fan favorite characters from the office in twisted versions of themselves, Aggretsuko must navigate the twists and turns of a world gone mad!” Written and illustrated by Patabot, this new hardcover graphic novel from the folks at Oni Press hits the shelves this October.
In this third season of Aggretsuko, we move further away from the focus of the stress of work-life in and of itself and instead cover the fulfilment of one’s dreams through the side gigs adults do to try and find money in their passions. This season, the characters come to find that these new avenues may come with stresses of their own; work is still work.
Given this the office itself plays even less of a role than the prior seasons. Without going into too many details in this summary, the conclusion of this season is one that will probably strike an intense chord with furry fans given the passion that we have for our fandom “side gig”.
If you enjoyed the prior seasons then you’ll find enjoyment in this season. Spoilers ahead, so watch before continuing should you wish to go in blind.
Aggretsuko has launched its second season on Netflix. The first season won an Ursa Major, and the show has become a hit among the fandom with its theme of worklife in the modern era. Will the second season be able to retain its title?
In short, I personally found the second season to be a bit tamer than the first as far as content goes. The red panda, Retsuko, seems to have adapted more to her stresses in life and the duality of her underlying rage seems to have been numbed a bit. When she did do a scream-fest, it seemed more forced and circumstantial than prepared and thought out. It also looks to be that the season focuses on the social obligations outside the workplace this season. Items such as friendship, family, and the future of Retsuko’s life outside of work seem to be the focus of her stresses.
Given this, those that like the first season may have differing feelings of the direction of this one. My thoughts are a bit complicated. I think the first season was far punchier and excellently paced, whereas the second had good moments but also some questionable decisions on character usage.
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a feeling this year’s furry content is coordinating their themes. It’s always interesting when common threads start to show up near each other, especially when they were not intentional. I remember when Fred Patten’s anthology Furry Future was thought to have had prejudice as a subtheme by a non-furry reviewer. It might have seemed odd that all but one story in the anthology touched on the idea of social inequities without coaxing from the collection editor, but it was just coincidence that the writers felt like writing stories about that theme at the time.
It is surely strange coincidence that just after I played a game with a deeply ingrained theme of a protagonist diving head first into responsibilities to the point of self-detriment that there is an anime playing off this same subject released onto Netflix. However, unlike Yet Another Research Dog, which was a highly niche affair that probably only I had played of those I know, Aggretsuko was already slaying the fandom by the time I had gotten around to hitting the play button.
So what is all the hub about and is it worth the hype?