Final Impressions: My Roommate is a Cat

Season aired: Winter 2019

Number of episodes: 12

Genres: Slice-of-life and Comedy

Thoughts: My Roommate is a Cat is a cute story revolving around the daily life of a reclusive yet successful author who decided to pick up a stray cat as inspiration for his new book series. It’s slice-of-life, simple, and that was honestly all that I was expecting from the series itself. Yet, much to my surprise, it is more than just comedic fun of owning a cat. It is a perfect illustration of the bonds you form with your pets, how you change and grow with them, and ultimately it is about becoming a better person.

There really isn’t a lot of points to discuss for the series itself. The storytelling is episodic and relatively simple in a manner that reminds me of Natsume’s Book of Friends. In fact, the entire atmosphere of the series reminds me of Natsume including the life-changing decision of taking in a cat (just one is more normal than the other). The art and animation is well done but not extraordinary. The soundtrack is cute and fits the mood, and the voice acting is well done for all the characters but nothing particular stands out.

Haru shines! (Source)

Yet, there is just something so incredibly magical about the anime. The episode is largely spoken from the point of view of Subaru, the author and protagonist of the series. But entwined within his narration is the narration of the cat, Haru, and that is where the author’s creativity and writing style really shines.

Haru’s point of view is understandably different compared to those of a human, but that is what ultimately makes her narration so charming. From her reactions to Subaru’s loud and noisy friends, to Subaru’s stalking of her trying to slip a collar on, and to the smell of food, everything regarding Haru is so realistic even though I can’t ever say I understand how cats think. I also particularly love how they introduce multiple animal characters (a friendly golden retriever neighbor, an older cat that belongs to Ookami) to really illustrate that every animal is different with their own set of personalities and viewpoints on the world.

A lot more emotional than you’d expect (Source)

However, the most surprising thing about the series is that it is more than just comedy and daily followings of a socially awkward author and his cat. There is a whole set of character development lurking beneath the surface for Subaru, and when the changes began to happen, the tears would always start to flow. I cried just as many times as I have laughed and having grown used to the slice of life comedy genre where things aren’t meant to be taken seriously, the feels slam out of the left field and right into my gut. It was simply so refreshing to have something so unexpected come from what otherwise feels like a lighthearted anime here to make you feel better after a long tired day. My respect for the mangaka grew immensely while watching the subtle changes to Subaru’s character. In fact, I found myself wishing for a second season, something that rarely happens when it comes to slice of life comedies.

All in all, I really loved My Roommate is a Cat. It is the surprise anime of the season, and I definitely did not expect it to be as good as I thought it would be. I understand that this might not be everyone’s tastes as those seeking thrills and adrenaline would only come up empty handed with this series. However, for everyone else who enjoys simple comedy and wonderfully written relationships (or love for cats), give My Roommate is a Cat a shot.

Rating

I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.

Plot: 8

Characters: 8

Voice acting: 7

Art/Animation: 7

Soundtrack: 7

Total: 37

Multiplier: 2

FINAL SCORE: 74

 

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