anime - March 6, 2023

Aggretsuko Season 5 – Review

It is laborious to consider that Aggretsuko has been operating sturdy for 5 entire years now, not to mention that it is lastly coming to an finish. It has been a bumpy journey, particularly because the sequence struggled via some rising pains as soon as it ran out of primary workplace job situations for Retsuko to death-metal scream her approach via and began involving our heroine in more and more wacky and implausible misadventures. I assumed final season’s return to Retsuko’s day job was a stable return to kind, even when Haida’s quasi-heel-turn made for some very irritating character developments alongside the way in which. This 12 months, although, Haida is out of a job totally. Whereas Retsuko has dedicated to being Haida’s girlfriend in spite of everything this time, the main focus for a lot of the season is squarely on the pair’s relationship creating alongside Haida’s efforts to lastly get his shit collectively. Given how combined Aggretsuko‘s makes an attempt at romantic melodrama will be, my greatest concern going into this sequence’ last season was whether or not it could be capable of make our final journey with these loveable and perpetually exhausted characters really feel satisfying and enjoyable.

I’m more than happy to report that the present is no less than profitable for essentially the most half! Haida should still be a little bit of an fool, however his idiocy feels rather more grounded and relatable this 12 months, and it is laborious to not empathize with a man who no less than has legitimate causes to really feel cynical and defeatist about reentering the Japanese workforce. As Retsuko herself totally admits, most individuals cannot stand their jobs. Nonetheless, it is one thing that it’s a must to do to get by on this basically dehumanizing and hostile capitalist hellscape we name the 2020s. As Haida struggles with the specter of homelessness, the fully detached and demoralizing job software course of, and the final wrestle of making an attempt to determine what he even needs his grownup life to be, I discovered myself rooting for him as laborious as I used to be again within the glory days of Season 1, which was a really refreshing place to in comparison with final 12 months.

As you may need seen, given the entire focus I’ve paid to Haida’s character arc, Retsuko’s facet of the story takes a stunning again seat for the primary half of Season 5. This no less than partially is sensible, provided that a lot of the earlier 4 seasons have been about her getting her personal life collectively. Now that she’s within the place of being a comparatively well-adjusted thirtysomething, she spends quite a lot of the season serving to Haida play catch-up. Actually, my Western sensibilities have at all times had me wishing for a way more overtly romantic and “dramatic” model of the Retsuko/Haida love story. Nonetheless, I actually got here to understand the rather more low-key (and really Japanese) depiction of the pair’s development this season. We’d like extra rom-coms that present adults coming to grips with what it means to actually share your life with somebody, together with all of the inane little particulars like find out how to cope with a associate’s gross hygiene habits. Aggretsuko gave me that form of love story in its last season, and I can not complain an excessive amount of about that.

What I can complain about, although, is how the again third or so of the season nonetheless finally ends up feeling rushed, regardless of even going with a double-length finale, which is one thing this sequence has at all times struggled with. A selected flip of occasions lastly pushes Retsuko to the frontlines of her present once more, nevertheless it’s wild and requires extra time to correctly arrange than what the present has to work with. On the very least, Retsuko’s last profession swerve does an excellent job of tying collectively quite a lot of earlier threads from previous seasons (the OTMGirls and Hyoudou make a return!), to not point out oodles of social commentary concerning Japan’s present political local weather, and it one way or the other manages to make Ton, of all characters, the MVP forged member of the season. The present has to make some actually large leaps to get us to its (admittedly cute and comfy) ending, although, and I am unsure if all of it comes collectively nicely sufficient to justify the mad scramble. Hell, perhaps essentially the most important growth of Retsuko’s life comes and goes in a montage so rapidly that you simply would possibly miss it when you blink on the flawed second.

Aggretsuko‘s last season stands among the many greatest that the sequence has to supply on the subject of giving us perception into what life in fashionable Japan is like as an individual (or a panda) that’s simply making an attempt to make it via the day-to-day grind. It is as messy and inconsistent as its previous seasons in locations, however I feel it brings the tales of Retsuko, Haida, and several other different characters to (largely) satisfying conclusions. I positive do hope we will no less than get one other Vacation Particular or two with these loveable dorks someday down the highway. Nonetheless, if that is actually the final time we’ll get to board the morning prepare to work with Retsuko and the crew, then I will be lacking these critters a hell of rather a lot, and I want them nothing however the very best in no matter adventures life has in retailer for them subsequent.

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