Iiiit’s Cat Time!

Subaru is a stand-offish, depressed young writer. He has lived alone since his parents died years earlier, although he is sometimes visited by his annoying friend Hiroto and cheerful (but somewhat tone-deaf) editor Kawase. For a while now he has been in a slump, and unable to find any inspiration for a new novel. But on a routine visit to the grave of his parents, he has a chance meeting with a stray cat – and, finding the cat’s somewhat evil-looking gaze to be compelling, decides to take it home. While Subaru seems to greatly misinterpret the cats behaviour in his house – his imagination goes wild with thoughts of the cat conspiring against him – it turns out to be just the inspiration he needed for a novel.
After a while, we then see the same events from the cat’s perspective to find out what it was actually trying to do. As Subaru had saved the cat from starvation with the sashimi he had bought as an offering to his parents, it feels it has a debt to repay to him, and from here a friendship starts to develop.

Please don’t feed real cats this much food at once.

The Japanese title translates to ‘My Roommate Sits on my Lap and Sometimes on my Head’, which I honestly think is a lot funnier than the official ‘My Roommate is a Cat’, if not a little clunkier. Anyway, I had been interested in this show ever since I saw a display copy of the manga in a Japanese bookstore and flipped through it – I thought it looked cute, and meant to look into it further, but as with every time that happens I soon forgot all about it until seeing the season previews. And it turns out that My Roommate is a Cat is indeed very cute. If you’re a cat person, or you just enjoy watching cute animated animals, then it looks like it could be a very fun show to follow.

Given that Subaru is very obviously suffering from both depression and some degree of social anxiety (he can not stand crowded areas or being interrupted by people), it also has the potential to be a very heartwarming story about finding healing and comfort through pets. As any cat-lover knows, cats are animals with incredibly therapeutic presences and work well as therapy animals. This potential is what I am most interested in the series for, although it’s hard to really tell if that’s the angle it’s going to commit to, or if it’s just going to content itself with silly comedy. I did kind of think that some of the expressions and humour felt a bit too ‘cartoony’ so far, but we’ll see. It does clash a  bit with the serious tone set at the episode’s beginning – we literally open with a funeral after all.  To be honest, there really wasn’t much attention given to the death of Subaru’s parents, and his social anxiety seems to be almost played for laughs – so while there was more serious things present in the episode, I honestly felt like the cat’s flashback to one of its siblings dying of hunger was sadder and more hard-hitting than any of Subaru’s troubles. On that note, some people apparently thought that the episode would have worked a whole lot better if the cat did not have an internal monologue (something only shown in the second-half of the episode when we see the events from its point of view) – but I actually disagree – the cat already looks pretty cartoony so it doesn’t seem out of place – plus the cat’s thoughts were pretty cute and amusing as well.

I plan to watch more of Subaru and his new cats antics – tonal gripes aside – and hope that it can settle into a groove as it goes along. I also hope that I get to find out the cat’s name and gender soon!

this is so dang cute.

Out of 5,