When Aggretsuko started in 2016, I knew it was a plug to push merchandise of the new Sanrio character. What I didn’t expect was to be absolutely hooked on the series and absolutely adore Retsuko and her friends.
Retsuko is an office worker who loves to unwind by singing metal at a local karaoke bar. This is a secret she keeps close to her chest. As she develops genuine friendships she shares this part of herself with them.
From cussing out her boss ala screamo to becoming the lead singer in an idol group, there’s not a boring moment in Retsuko’s life. This extends to the final season. However, for a final season, it definitely lacks something.
Some spoilers ahead.
Disjointed to an Extent
Unlike previous seasons, where the focus is on the titular Retsuko, the focus shifts to Haida in the first half as he deals with the aftermath of season 4.
During the beginning of his unemployment, Haida becomes addicted to online gaming, and life spirals downwards from there. Retsuko takes a backseat in this part, but watching Haida navigate unemployment, homelessness, and trying to start over is something that can definitely hit too close to home with viewers.
Once Retsuko and friends find out about the true nature of Haida’s living situation, it becomes an all-hands-on-deck situation. At this point, the season lulls between the two as they navigate their relationship and meet each other’s families before switching to Retsuko as the main focus.
This final arc in Retsuko’s story leads her to a very wild place as she runs for office. In true Aggretsuko fashion, this is not because Retsuko wants to, but is somehow pushed into it. This shows how much love and support Retsuko’s friends have for her, but it doesn’t feel like a true culmination of her and her story.
One of Retsuko’s goals was to be a blushing bride and retire to be a homemaker. In season 2, after dating Tadano, she realized she didn’t want to be a homemaker. However, she does want to be a blushing bride and have a happy marriage.
We don’t get that in the series finale. One of her main goals throughout the series is thrown out the door at the end. For me, ending the series with Retsuko getting what she’s been looking for would have been the perfect ending for her.
Not Series Finale Material
Shoving two seasons of stories into one wasn’t the right move.
Watching Haida struggle with unemployment and homelessness and finding a fresh start had great potential for a whole season. Especially because we meet a new character, Shikabane, who has her share of hardships. She plays a major role in the first half of season 4 only to disappear and come back at the tail end with no explanation.
The series concludes with Retsuko giving Shikabane a chance to outlet her frustrations. This was a weird move because Shikabane and Retsuko have no rapport. So, why would Retsuko’s efforts mean anything to Shikabane? It was a disjointed way to bring things full circle while keeping Retsuko in the spotlight.
Aggretsuko: Final Thoughts
Overall, the Aggretsuko series finale wasn’t the best. The first half of the season was interesting and warranted an entire season to itself to fully flesh out the story and give Haida and Shikabane a definitive ending.
The second part of the season could’ve been a final season, but with more of a focus on Retsuko and her wants and desires. However, in the end, all we got was Retsuko trying to deal with the fallout of the curve ball that got thrown at her.
Despite my issues with it as a finale, it’s a fun season. However, it left me wanting better for my favorite metalhead and her hyena.