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How workplace bullying is being tackled by a Japanese anime

Workplace bullying is a big problem for lots of people

Workplace bullying is a big problem for lots of people – but now a new Japanese anime on Netflix might be helping.

The show, which is called, Aggretsuko, follows an adorable red panda called Retsuko who works in an office in Tokyo. Every day at work she encounters workplace bullying, office gossip and gender discrimination – which could be why the show is so popular.

The show initially went viral after it was shared on Facebook, and within a few months, Netflix had commissioned Japanese studio Fanworks to create a season with ten episodes. The show was launched in April, and it was a huge success. In fact, it has already been commissioned for a second season!

But where did Aggretsuko come from?

The origins of Aggretsuko

Aggretsuko first appeared in 2016, when Japanese studio, Sanrio, held an internal competition for staff. The competition allowed employees to submit potential new characters and animations, and Aggretsuko was submitted. The designer said that she was inspired by office work culture in Tokyo – many employees work very long hours, and most are also required to attend functions after work.

This is very time-consuming and stressful, and so the designer wanted to reflect that frustration. So Aggretsuko spends her days working long hours in a office that is rife with workplace bullying – and then when the day ends, she relieves her stress by singing thrash metal karaoke.

Hello Kitty for grown ups

The show is also produced by the same company that owns Hello Kitty, so it is very likely that many Aggretsuko fans grew up watching Hello Kitty and then moved on to Aggretsuko. After all, the show has a very similar animation style.

Many of the issues in the show are extremely relatable. The office is filled with people who take selfies as they work, as well as people who stalk their ex on social media so they can see what they are up to. Lots of characters also have to bite their tongue at work, which is very relevant to many people experiencing workplace bullying.

The show isn’t just popular in the UK – it is also been viewed by millions of people across Europe and the US. This shows that the issues in the show are relevant to people all across the globe – and surely that means that it is time to seriously address the issue of workplace bullying.

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