Aggretsuko: Hello Kitty's beer swilling, heavy metal-loving angry sister
It's a situation that most stressed office workers can all relate to: Long commutes, odd co-workers and a never-ending task list.
But on this occasion, it's not your average city dweller who's confronting the harsher aspects of adult life.
Meet Aggretsuko or Aggressive Retsuko, a 25-year-old cartoon red panda that slogs away in a mundane office job in Japan.
She might be a slick professional at work, but her cute exterior hides a darker reality: After hours, she bashes out her pent-up rage through some serious beer-swilling and heavy metal karaoke and dreams of one day leaving her dead-end job.
She's also Japanese company Sanrio's -- better known for Hello Kitty -- latest creation.
"My target was working people or people who want to vent their frustration. I think (Retsuko) is a character that these people can empathize with," Yeti, Aggretsuko's designer said.
Pointing to the changing nature of 'kawaii' or cute culture, Yeti, who only wanted to be identified by her nickname, told CNN that traditional forms of cute from the Hello Kitty era were no longer making the cut.
"People are interested in seeing more dynamic and newer characters," said Yeti.
As different generations have different needs, it's unlikely that a disillusioned office worker would identify any longer with a romantic, girly, pink Hello Kitty, Griseldis Kirsh, a senior lecturer in contemporary Japanese culture at SOAS University of London, told CNN.
伦敦大学亚非学院当代日本文化的高级讲师Griseldis Kirsh对CNN说，因为每代人都有各自不同的需求，浪漫、女孩子气、粉嫩的Hello Kitty已经无法再让幻想破灭的白领产生共鸣。
"Another, slightly darker, more self-aware and tomboyish character -- which is perhaps a bit closer to people's reality, but still likeable and cute enough, opens up new markets, targeting those who would not see themselves to be like Kitty, but more like Aggretsuko," explained Kirsh.
Japanese sales assistant Kazumi, 30, told CNN that while Hello Kitty lived in "dreamland," Retsuko reflected a typical working girl's life in Japan.
"We face situations that Retsuko experiences a lot at our office. It's a typical Japanese culture trend, for both gender but especially girls, as we can't say "no" to boss and to our colleagues," said Kazumi.
In January 2017, when Sanrio's second English-language Aggretsuko video hit the internet, international fans were quick to relate to the cartoon's plight with many referring to the red panda as their "spirit animal."
"I'd wager that most young women who have worked an entry-level office job would be able to relate (to Aggretsuko)," Helen Tseng, a San-Francisco-based graphic designer, told CNN.
"And while Aggretsuko is probably Sanrio's most feminist character yet, I have male friends who relate just as deeply to her plight (and love of alcohol and metal karaoke)," added Tseng.