Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Aggressive Retsuko: We Wish You a Metal Christmas

This short Christmas special was a welcome fix of this cute animal world. Now that the show is a Netflix anime, I do feel like there’s a slightly more Western feeling to it and the ways the characters interact, as though major plot points were suggested by foreign execs, but I can’t say I’m complaining. Just dipping back into this world brings a smile to my face.

The plot is in large part a way to continue from the cliffhanger of the main season but end up more or less in the same place as it started. Haida-kun has to keep on working hard and taking baby steps, which will presumably bridge into a new season that maintains the status quo a bit more than I thought it might.

One problem with having watched the original and the Netflix reboot almost on top of one another is that I forgot which parts aren’t in this continuity. For example, I had to wonder whether that hippo was ever investigated for being an international spy for a little while. And interestingly, it seemed like Washimi and Gori took a step back towards their original roles of being somewhat regular older women in the workplace who are as unlucky in love as Retsuko. They were a lot more with-it in the reboot.

There’s not much to say here. The story basically follows the tensions of what to do on Christmas Eve, a big date night in Japan. Retsuko is getting addicted to Instagram and is trying to find the perfect pic to upload for her followers. Meanwhile, Haida is hoping to pluck up the courage to ask her out. The show is now held aloft by these relationship tensions, and it is a great way to keep things intriguing. But there’s only one outburst from Retsuko’s inner metalhead and I’m starting to wonder if the show will run short of ideas in a new season.

It certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome in a half-hour Christmas special, though, and I enjoyed it start to finish.