Merry Metal Christmas Everyone!
Along with Violet Evergarden, no other Netflix anime this year managed to resonate so profoundly with its audience as Aggretsuko. Playing on that daily grind so many of us find ourselves in with mundane jobs, Retsuko was the perfect embodiment of an apathetic, run-down worker. After 12 wonderful episodes and some really impressive character work, the announcement of a second season was met with a big sigh of relief and a few hearty death-metal screams.
Helping to tide us over while this is still in production, Aggretsuko delivers a slice of heavy metal flavoured festivities. The story is decent, highlighting themes around isolation, loneliness and our unhealthy obsession with social media while maintaining the same charm inherent in the first season. From a thematic perspective at least, We Wish You A Metal Christmas showcases a very important message we all should heed. Unfortunately with only 22 minutes to play with, the episode feels painfully short and various characters are reduced to a few seconds of screen time which is a little disappointing.
Despite this, everyone’s favourite red panda Retsuko is as charming as ever. The over-the-top facial expressions, unique aesthetic and general comedic timing all return, boasting the same style that made the first such a stand out series. Along with Retsuko, Haida is the only other character here who’s given a good amount of screen time. He deliberates over a recent dream and whether to ask Aggretsuko to spend Christmas with him. This, coupled with Retsuko’s depressive state around spending the holidays alone, come to a head in the final scenes of the episode which, to me at least, end a little abruptly.
Still, it’s worth sticking around for the end credits, as a selection of still images and one heartwarming moment at the very end help bow out this charming but unfortunately short episode of Aggretsuko. If the second season can keep up the same consistency seen during the Christmas special and first season, Aggretsuko could easily steal the hearts of fans again in 2019. Until then, get settled in and enjoy this 22 minute episode that reminds us during the holidays to get off social media and spend some quality time with loved ones.