Retsuko, Sanrio's adorable, death metal–loving red panda, has officially arrived on Netflix. The series, titled Aggretsuko (short for "Aggressive Retsuko") follows our favorite furball on a quest to balance a shitty accounting job (think Office Space with anthropomorphic animals) with a passion for death-metal karaoke. Don't let the critter's fuzzy face or pleasant demeanor fool you — Retsuko's performances throughout the season prove she can death growl with the best of 'em.
Clocking in at just 10 15-minute episodes long, Aggretsuko is one of the leaner, most bingeable Netflix originals as of late. For those of you who'd rather cut straight to the kvlt action, here's our list of the show's top 10 most metal moments. WARNING: Turn back now if you don't want spoilers!
10. Just another manic (metal) Monday (Episode 1, "A Day in the Life of Retsuko")
Aggretsuko's opening scene sets the harsh, hilarious tone for the series right off the bat. It lays bare the show's main contrast — the monotony of everyday Retsuko's life on one paw, and her liberating passion for death metal on the other — in less than 30 seconds, coupling scenes of the red panda going about her morning routine with ephemeral, Morbid Angelesque grooves.
9. Drunken Retsuko channels Deicide (Episode 8, "The Out-of-Pocket Prince")
Beer-loving Retsuko's usually pretty good at holding her liquor, but just like the best of us, she can go a bit overboard sometimes: episode 8 finds her getting too turnt at a company singles mixer and collapsing on the floor. Inevitably, she rushes to the bathroom to puke — and by puke, we mean death growl. So much for Tums.
8. "Lightning, lend me your strength!" (Episode 2, "A Good, Hard-working Girl")
One of the most prevalent problems in Japanese work culture is "power harassment," a form of harassment in which those higher up on the corporate ladder routinely humiliate, bully and threaten their subordinates. Retsuko has it especially bad: She's cursed by not one, not two, but three shitty bosses, who love saddling her with extra work and unnecessary tasks. Understandably pissed, she asks mother nature to lend a hand and smite them with lightning: "Strike them down!" Metallica would be proud.
7. Aggretsuko's double life, revealed (Episode 1, "A Day in the Life of Retsuko")
When Retsuko gets pissed, she head straight for the karaoke bar to scream her guts out. Aggretsuko's pilot closes with a scene of the red panda rocking out in corpse paint — the first of several such scenes in the series — only to be disturbed by a llama waiter bearing refreshments. Our heroine is embarrassed, but she plays it cool, switching back to her calm self.
6. Aggretsuko rages against the corporate machine (Episode 1, "A Day in the Life of Retsuko")
Work sucks, Retsuko knows. Her bosses make a point to pile all their extra work on her on a regular basis, leading to periodic, fearsome outbursts like this one. As with the rest of Retsuko's ear-splitting workplace rants, the death-metal tantrum partway through "A Day in the Life of Retsuko" plays out entirely in the main character's head. It's the fiercest of fantasies, and it fucking rips. (Bonus points for the "Shitty boss/Shitty boss/Shitty boss" hook — we've all been there.)
5. Retsuko's heavy-metal marriage fantasy (Episode 4, "Walking Down the Aisle")
Episode four opens with Retsuko giving her friend a gift of 30,000 yen (roughly $278) as a wedding present. Her generous gesture leaves the red panda strapped for cash, reduced to feasting on bread crusts and mayonnaise in the company break room. There, she gets an idea: Why not quit the working world altogether and become a housewife? A brief, blistering ode to matrimony ensues, setting the stage for Retsuko's season-long quest for love.
4. Aggretsuko sticks it to her supervisor, Slipknot-style (Episode 3, "Short-Timer")
It's not an office comedy unless someone sticks their face on the photocopier. When a daydreaming Retsuko inadvertently produces printouts of her smiling mug, her snake boss, Miss Tsubone, tapes it to the furball's face as punishment and mocks her. Fed up with her superior's shit, Retsuko pulls a 180 and talks back to her boss through her grinning mask, as metal plays in the background. She may not win the war in the long run, but at least we get to see her pull a Slipknot.
3. Aggretsuko shares her secret (Episode 5, "Exposed")
A few episodes in, Retsuko forms a fast, unexpected bond with two of the highest-ranking women in her company: a lip-stick wearing gorilla marketing president named Gori, and her avian secretary Miss Washimi. The ladies take their new friend to a karaoke bar, unaware of her regular heavy-metal singalongs. Rather than keep her secret to herself, Retsuko lays her love of death metal on the line. To the red panda's great surprise, her performance proves a hit with her new pals, who accompany her to karaoke throughout the rest of the season.
2. Aggretsuko annihilates her boss at the company party (Episode 7, "The Duel")
Retsuko's pent-up rage finally spills forth at the company party, when her misogynistic porcine boss, Director Ton, drunkenly challenges her to a karaoke duel. Though he puts up a decent fight in the opening round with a boisterous rap diss aimed at his subordinate, the pig is roasted beyond a reasonable doubt in round two when Retsuko goes in for the kill — "Your beats are wack and your rap sucks," she screeches. "Why'd you go again?/Nobody wants to hear it!" — followed by the coup de grace: "You're a shitty boss." Brutal!
1. A happy, hellish ending (Episode 10, "The Dream Ends")
For the most part, Aggretsuko frames Retsuko's death-metal obsession as an outlet for her rage, as opposed to a simple hobby. By the end of the season, however, that rage has mostly dissipated, mostly thanks to her budding confidence and new boyfriend (a handsome red panda from sales known as the "Out-of-Pocket Prince," due to his disorganized nature). The final scene sees our heroine finally coming into her own on her own terms, declaring her love of death metal to her beloved with a joyful roar, rather than the usual anguished scream. This is Retsuko in her prime — and judging by the ending cliffhanger, we're pretty sure she's just getting started.