With all flights being cancelled because of the storm, Subaru has to catch a bullet train home; delaying his return by four hours. After noticing that the storm is mostly concentrated around his home area, Subaru asks Hiroto to check in on Haru.
Meanwhile, Haru notices that Subaru still hasn’t returned that morning, and becomes increasingly concerned. After Hiroto drops by, Haru manages to escape the house. She runs around the city frantically trying to find where Subaru went. Subaru (who arrives back in his city not long after), hears about the bad news from Hiroto and also embarks on a frantic quest of his own to find Haru. Subaru is able to get help from his friends, Hiroto, Kawase, Nana, and Yugo—and despite the stormy weather, they all put in their best effort going around the city to search for the lost cat.
In a moment of desperation, Subaru returns to his parents’ grave with some cat food, hoping that Haru is somewhere close by. He shouts her name… and she amazingly responds. Subaru soon finds Haru stuck in a ditch close to the gravesite. Although Subaru ends up falling into the ditch as well when he attempts to retrieve her, the two have a happy and tearful reunion.
Much later on, Subaru and Haru have continued living happily together. Subaru is shown to be working on his next novel, which is themed around “family.”
This was a suitably emotional final episode with a (thankfully) happy ending. There’s really not much for me to say here.
There was some great background music to convey the severity of the situation when Subaru and Haru were running about in the storm looking for each other. It was also heartwarming to see Subaru doing so much for the sake of his cat. Subaru has completely changed since episode 1 of this series. The Subaru we knew at the beginning was a rather selfish and self-centered person. But in this final episode, he’s willing to run around in the rain and completely ignore his social anxiety in order to find Haru. I noticed that Subaru hesitated at first when asking strangers if they’ve seen Haru, but he eventually gets over this because his worry for Haru is greater than his social anxiety—and I think that was a really nice touch.
Since I knew this series would likely have a happy ending, I didn’t cry while watching this episode. But I came pretty darn close when Subaru started having flashbacks to his parents’ death when he was trying to find Haru. This scene basically outright tells us that Subaru thinks of Haru as part of his family—and that he would be devastated if something bad happened to her. I have never owned pets so I can’t entirely relate, but I can only imagine how gut-wrenching this episode would be for someone who owns/owned a beloved pet.
While Haru did get a segment of her own in this episode, it still felt like this episode was mostly Subaru-centric. This is understandable as Subaru’s point of view would be much more relatable to viewers since… Haru is a cat and is basically running around the city aimlessly. My one big nitpick of the episode is that Haru’s segment (towards the end of the episode), was an almost exact copy of what just occurred in Subaru’s segment. I guess the episode wanted to keep Subaru’s and Haru’s perspectives separate because of the difference in tone (Subaru’s is more dramatic while Haru’s is a bit more comedic), but I feel like there was a missed opportunity in combining both of these perspectives together.
After Subaru and Haru are reunited, we get a small happy ramen party (Haru gets some expensive cat food instead), and then we have a short epilogue segment. The epilogue did feel a bit rushed to me, but I guess there wasn’t much to expand on since it’s obvious that Subaru and Haru live happily together. I was just kind of hoping we’d at least get some shots of the other characters (i.e. Hiroto or Nana) as well. I do appreciate that the last line of the anime drops the Japanese title for the series: “My Roommate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes, on My Head.”
Overall, this was a pretty solid episode all things considered. It provides a satisfying and realistic ending, while also leaving just enough wiggle room for the possibility of a season 2.
Out of five:
My Roommate is a Cat was a rather charming and surprisingly mature series. It differentiates itself from other slice-of-life cat anime by featuring the perspective of a human character AND a cat. I think this is a very clever way of telling a story, and it also provides a source of humor (which results from the misunderstandings between Subaru and Haru). My Roommate is a Cat also sets itself apart from other relaxed slice-of-life shows by having a strong overarching story. While this show is very slow-paced and mostly focuses on the mundane life stuff; the show also revolves around Subaru and his character development.
This anime could easily be renamed: “how a cat helped a depressed man to enjoy life a bit more.” Subaru starts off as a pretty pathetic main character. But, thanks to Haru, Subaru is a changed man by the series’ end. I love how gradually Subaru develops as a character. It’s realistic. He gets a whole lot better by the end, but it’s also shown that he still has some form of social anxiety. And that’s okay, because Subaru will likely continue to get “better” because he’s become more comfortable with being around people and having friends. I have heard that getting pets is quite helpful for people who have anxiety or are depressed. And again, I applaud this series for portraying this aspect realistically. Subaru doesn’t magically get better just because he now has a cat—he had to go through a lot of painful and uncomfortable experiences to get to where he’s at in episode 12. But at least having Haru was a big motivator that encouraged him to push past his usual boundaries ever so slightly.
I think another great aspect of My Roommate is a Cat is that it actually explores grief deeply. Subaru’s parents die at the beginning of the series, and he spends the rest of the anime dealing with his grief over their deaths. So few anime actually take the time to explore this subject. The entirety of this show is basically about Subaru learning to move on. It’s painful, it’s sad, and there’s a lot of regret involved. But Subaru being able to move on from his parents’ death also allowed him to grow as a person. I like that My Roommate is a Cat treats this subject so respectfully.
There are just a few things I feel that My Roommate is a Cat could improve on. While the animation for the series is acceptable and remains mostly consistent (a hard feat to pull off for an anime series), I do feel like the animation quality is a little bit on the lower end when compared to other anime. Haru also sometimes looks a little strange, although I can let this slide as I know that animals can be much harder to animate than humans.
Despite the series’ perspective being split between Subaru and Haru, I noticed there was less and less focus on Haru after her big flashback episode (episode 6). I guess this is due to Haru having essentially “finished” her character development by that point. She’s resolved everything from her past, and has now decided to dedicate her life to protecting and supporting Subaru. I get that… but Haru’s segments were the most enjoyable part of the show for me; so I really missed seeing more of her perspective in the last few episodes.
I also think that this show introduces a ton of side/minor characters and then kind of just… drops them. Again, I understand that this is because My Roommate is a Cat is such a tightly focused series, and that it doesn’t want to be bogged down with too many unnecessary side-plots. But I really wish we could have at least seen Haru’s little brother (Hachi) again, even just once as a cameo. We also never learn about the fates of Tora and Kuro (the cats who helped Haru when she was a stray). This series also introduced Nagisa and her blatant crush on Subaru, leading me to expect that she may be an important character later on. But she (like the other characters already mentioned above) never show up ever again in the anime.
Minor gripes aside, I still think My Roommate is a Cat is a good show that people should check out even if it’s not something they would usually watch. It’s got more depth to it than first meets the eye. Even though the “main plot” of the series has been resolved, I still hope there’s a chance of us getting a season two.
Out of five, I give this series as a whole: