SANRIO’S LATEST CHARACTER PERFECTLY ENCAPSULATES THE CHARACTERISTICS AND STORIES THAT TOUCH THE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS OF THE CONTEMPORARY GENERATION IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED WAY.
After the official debut on their Youtube Channel at the end of last year, Sanrio’s latest character who goes by the name of Aggretsuko has become the persona many modern-day office workers highly identify with, to the point where we cannot help but think to ourselves, “how did Sanrio know my life so damn well?”. This red panda represents the reality that goes beyond the super cute design we have seen from Sanrio alumni, but perfectly encapsulates the characteristics and stories that touch the feelings and emotions of the contemporary generation in the most unexpected way.
Aggretsuko or Aggressive Retsuko is a red panda office lady. She’s a Scorpio, and at the age of 15, she’s completely single. Her biggest dream is to lie in the arms of the man of her dreams. Each day, she fights the rush hour crowds in the subway to go to work at a leading trading company located at the center of Tokyo. Despite having director Gori Buchou, a gorilla working woman from the marketing department whose delicate sensibility and kind heart are hidden under her raw and ruthless personality, or secretary Washimi, the fierce and gorgeous eagle lady who seems to be the President’s favorite, being a soft spoken, introverted gal as she is, Retsuko is always pushed to the edge by her associates, from dumping a massive pile of work on her desk and pressure to working overtime and inconsiderate ridicule. While she’s able to stay patient most of the time, whenever she loses her patience, the submissive red panda will turn into a hardcore metal head who spews all her frustration and anger though vile death metal songs (that will get everyone raising the devil horn). This vicious side of her can be seen at karaoke joints she goes to after work to have a few and release some steam. There are times when the devil slips out and freaks her colleagues out. The Sanrio office workers are available in all types of everyday products with a short anime airing every Saturday as a part of Japan’s hit variety Ō-sama no Brunch on TBS with (unofficial) translations in many languages including Thai.
And while the Sanrio buffs are still head over heals with the absolutely adorable Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody and Gudetama, reflecting on the life of a Japanese OL (Office Lady) and organizational culture through Retsuko and friends builds a strong and accessible connection that touches the hearts of the working age folks (who have more purchase power). With these factors, we are hopeful that this accountant panda can climb up from the 50th place in Sanrio Character Ranking over the next years to come. And for those whose life is just as shitty, stay hopeful. In the words of Retsuko, “Ashita mo ganbaressa-!” “あしたも がんばれっさー！” “Tomorrow is the new day!”
TEXT: SUDAPORN JIRANUKORNSAKUL