“Living With Pets Isn’t Always the Cat’s Pajamas”
Winter is in full swing, and so is the Winter 2019 Rewind by “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog”, a biweekly feature in which we explore some of the stand-out titles from the Winter anime season of one year ago.
This time, the fur will fly as we get mixed up in a domestic story involving an introverted artist and an inadvertent animal companion as we look back at My Roommate is a Cat.
What’s My Roommate is a Cat?
Based on the manga by Minatsuki, My Roommate is a Cat is a 2019 TV anime with direction by Kaoru Suzuki and animation production by Zero-G. Crunchyroll describes the story of the series as follows:
The story of Mikazuki Subaru, a novelist who is shy and struggles in relationships with other people, and a cat who was dumped by humans and lived a tough life on the streets. Through a twist of fate, the two of them end up living together. This heartwarming tale illustrates day-to-day life through the eyes of both man and cat. These moments seem trivial, but as they build upon themselves, the two become family and find happiness in their life together.
An everyday drama with a bit of situational comedy thrown in for good measure, My Roommate is a Cat looks at life from the perspective of a person perplexed by their new responsibilities as a pet owner as well as from the perspective of a stray cat who is accustomed to life on the mean streets of urban Japan.
Holding On, Letting Go.
While many episodes of My Roommate is a Cat focus on the trials and travails of Subaru, the human protagonist, as he shares his life and his home with Haru, the feline protagonist, the central conflict at the heart of the series is a bit more serious: Subaru is still in the emotionally perilous process of mourning for his parents, who were killed in a tragic tour bus accident three years before the story begins.
Even before his family tragedy, Subaru was a bit of a shut-in and a misanthrope, getting along better with books than with people or pets. The introduction of Haru into his daily life gradually shakes Subaru out of his misery, and as the series progresses Subaru begins to surpass his grief and open up to the world around him, thanks in part to Haru’s positive influence on him.
One of the most charming aspects of My Roommate is a Cat is how in each episode, the perspective switches at some point from the human characters to the feline ones, in the process re-contextualizing key events. Behavior that may seem selfish or strange – such as Haru jumping at shadows or refusing to move off of Subaru’s laptop when he’s trying to work – takes on a different meaning when it’s presented from the kitty’s point-of-view.
Although Haru’s thought processes are anthropomorphized to a degree, at heart she’s still a cat, and its amusing to see how she misinterprets the workings of the human world. For example, Haru is convinced that she’s the protector of the household, and that she is caring for Subaru by making sure he is properly fed and rested, rather than the other way around.
How To Care for Your Human.
Since Subaru is a rank amateur pet owner and Haru is a former stray, My Roommate is a Cat also has a minor educational component. As Subaru bumbles along and picks up tips from friendly neighbors and pet shop employees in how to care for Haru, the audience learns along with him. The show offers some helpful advice for prospective pet owners in how to care for their kitties, and an appreciation for the joys of caring for an animal companion is apparent in every episode.
Catch as Cat-ch Can.
Crunchyroll currently streams My Roommate is a Cat in numerous territories around the world, and the series is available in the original Japanese language with subtitles in English, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Russian. A U.S. Bluray release featuring an English dub is also available from Funimation.
Sometimes sentimental, sometimes bittersweet, My Roommate is a Cat is an excellent choice for fans of both cute animal antics and low-key human drama. If a story about learning to live and to love with the help of a very opinionated kitty sounds like your cup of tea, and if the series is available in your area, then please consider giving My Roommate is a Cat a try.
Thanks for joining us for this most recent entry in the Winter 2019 Rewind by “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog”. Be sure to tune in next time, when we check out cuteness of an altogether different (and magical) nature with an original TV anime that turns some of the time-honored tropes of fantasy RPGs on their ear.
Is there a series in Crunchyroll’s catalog that you think needs some more love and attention? Please send in your suggestions via e-mail to [email protected] or post a Tweet to @gooberzilla. Your pick could inspire the next installment of “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog”!
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.
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