Pop Culture

Sanrio’s New Character is an Angry, Booze-Swigging Heroine for the Modern Age

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Sanrio is best-known for creating Hello Kitty, and their newest character is just as cute, but way more relatable.

Aggretsuko is an adorable little red panda. She’s a 25-year-old woman who works as an associate in an accounting department at a major international company in Tokyo. She is bright, hardworking, and ambitious, and she worked really hard to get to where she is. The problem is, where she is sucks in a way familiar to everybody who has ever had a job.

Her bosses are clueless and lazy and give her all their work. Her coworkers think she wants to see pictures of their babies. Her commute is the pits. Everything sucks, but she works with a smile and takes life on the chin. She smiles and does what’s expected of her, until it all gets to be too much, and then she goes and vents her anger issues by getting wildly drunk and screaming angry heavy metal songs at karaoke.


Aggrestsuko is all of us. A lot of people are going to find Aggretsuko deeply relatable. She has a good job and she works hard, but she also hates it. A voice in her head is screaming “I’ll quit someday! This is not my fate!” while her cute self is saying, “I’m going to nail it tomorrow!”

It’s so real. It’s almost too real. Is this really not Aggrestuko’s fate? Or is it exactly her fate, like it is for most of us? In 10 years, is Aggretsuko going to be working the same job? Or maybe she’ll be a cute, smiley semi-stay-at-home mom with small children and a frustrating, low-paid side hustle and a deep need to chug wine and scream when the kids go to bed? Probably, and when that happens I will buy the Aggretsuko-mom pencil box.

With all her screaming and drinking, Aggretsuko is probably not a character small children are going to love, but that’s OK. Sanrio stores are still full of Hello Kitty and My Melody for the toddler set. Aggretsuko is for the rest of us. The addition of Aggretsuko to the Sanrio lineup is probably going to do great things for a lot of kids’ Hello Kitty collections, because mama needs to stop by the Sanrio store for a new Aggretsuko phone case, and a pin, and maybe a stuffed animal.