My Roommate is a Cat Series Review

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cute Moment

It Has A Cat In It – Recommendation Enough?

When My Roommate is a Cat, or Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue (what a mouthful) premiered, reactions were clearly split. The first episode by its very nature turned part of the audience away which is kind of a shame given this story ends up being one with a lot of heart and a dramatic climax that feels earned.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru and Subaru

My trepidation going into My Roommate is a Cat was the slice of life label on it. I’m not the biggest fan. Couple that with the bright yet bland promotional image of all the happy smiling characters and the jumping cat and basically I thought I was going in to something that was going to bore me to tears before I’d just stop watching and walk away. However, the thing that was annoying a lot of first episode viewers was actually the thing that caught my attention and dragged me into the story.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

And that was Subaru.

As a central character I kind of understand why a lot of viewers didn’t like him and even why a few outright hated him. Another anime character with dead parents. Starting with a funeral sequence to garner sympathy for a character we don’t know or have any reason to care for. And then there was his general attitude. He was rude to his editor and really to everyone in the first episode. So yes, I get why a lot of viewers didn’t like him.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 1 Subaru
Blunt – but given the circumstances potentially justified.

I didn’t like him either. But I understood him and felt a bit of a connection. Subaru is socially awkward and anxious. He doesn’t like interacting with others and when forced out of his comfort zone his defences are up. That comes across as rudeness but is really a self-defence. I actually blamed the editor in the first episode more than Subaru. When he should know his writer well enough to know that meeting him in a public place was just going to set him on edge. For me the sequence established Subaru’s character beautifully and the underlying issue he was going to need to face and so while I agree that Subaru wasn’t a nice character, I was intrigued from episode one.

Then there was the cat.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cat on Keyboard
My cat would love to do this but knows the keyboard is an absolute no-go zone.

While Subaru may have been the repellent for a lot of potential viewers, the as yet unnamed stray cat was the lure. Adorable and standing in for every cat everywhere in mannerisms, the eventually named Haru stole the show.

Interestingly enough, when Haru was rude or cagey or defensive people found it adorable and yet Haru and Subaru are literally two of a kind. That’s why the two form such a strong bond as they both grow over the course of the series.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru

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However, most slice of life anime know these days that you do in fact need some kind of gimmick to keep people watching and clearly My Roommate is a Cat isn’t relying on the cute girl factor, although Nana is kind of cute. No, the gimmick in My Roommate is a Cat is that each episode tells the events twice. Once from the human point of view and then from the view of the cat. Mostly the cat view is a brief few minutes at the end of the episode but some episodes give more time to Haru’s perspective particularly toward the end of the season.

Yes, Haru isn’t just a plot device to inspire Subaru’s character growth. Haru is a fully fledged character in her own right going through her own healing character arc alongside Subaru. While I’ll admit that some of the cat sections added little in some episodes, they were always cute, and at times they did offer some interesting insight and certainly allowed Haru the growth she deserved within the story.

There’s little more to say about the plot given each episode is just another day for the man and the cat who are now sharing a house. Various events occur, the characters react, learn something and we move on. It is slice of life and it does that well providing some very calm and occasionally amusing viewing.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8

What sets this one apart from so many slice of life anime though is that it did offer a climax that I felt was emotionally rewarding. I’m not going into detail here, but it brings the story of Subaru and dealing with the loss of his parents as well as moving forward to a satisfying conclusion and really consolidates the relationship that has grown between Subaru and Haru throughout the series. I couldn’t have asked for more from the final couple of episodes and just loved it.

Visually it works well enough. I’m not really into the colour scheme being used and it is all just a little bit bland really, but given the subject matter and tone the visuals work well enough for that. The animation for Haru is perfect and I’m sure if you are a cat lover you will see your own cat in her at various points, but there’s a lot of sitting and talking in this anime and a lot of very still sequences with little movement so while the animation works it isn’t exactly awe inspiring.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Subaru and Haru

However, I do have to mention the OP. Unknown World is an incredibly infectious song and I found myself happily bobbing along to it most weeks and occasionally even replaying it just because it made me smile. I also really enjoyed the imagery used during the opening as it fit the tone of the show perfectly even if it wasn’t the most exciting ever. I definitely recommend giving the OP a listen to even if you have no interest in My Roommate is a Cat.

Still, for cat lovers this is a must watch. For people who enjoy slice of life anime, this one works well enough. If you are looking for a character who is slowly opening himself up to new experiences and working through issues of social awkwardness and anxiety, there’s plenty to enjoy here. While My Roommate is a Cat is a far from perfect anime, it was a delightful intrusion into the season and ended up being one I looked forward to each week.

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Karandi James
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Up Close With Subaru

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

This week I’m turning my attention to the human half of the fabulous duo that made up the very sweet My Roommate is a Cat, Subaru. Admittedly, individually, and particularly at the start of the season, Subaru’s personality is a little bit abrasive and hard to take. I still found him interesting to watch but didn’t necessarily like him. However, the fantastic, emotional journey he goes on throughout the series and the growth he makes as a person just made him really shine by the end of the series and I think he is a character well worth spending some more time on.

There will be some spoilers for the series.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 1 Subaru and Cat

If you only watched the first episode or two of My Roommate is a Cat, your impression of Subaru, other than the fact that we have yet another anime protagonist starting a show with the funeral of his parents, is that he’s a bit rude and abrupt. I kind of understood why though because in the cases where he was being rude to his editor, the editor had taken him out of his comfort zone seemingly for no reason. If you know someone doesn’t like going to cafes and the like and there’s no reason to meet them there, then why drag them out. Still, Subaru doesn’t make the best first impression on the audience.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 3 Subaru

However, in these first episodes, Subaru comes across Haru, who despite being a cat very much deserves her own character post, and Subaru, seemingly on a whim, takes her home with the intention of using a cat as a muse for a new character in a story he is writing. it’s an on the spot decision made without a lot of forethought and it becomes obvious fairly quickly that Subaru doesn’t have a clue how to deal with the new addition to his household.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Subaru

Over the course of the series, we see that Haru’s presence in Subaru’s life begins to help him reconnect with others and makes him remember his parents and the many lost opportunities to connect with them. While this show doesn’t have a dramatic change of character, Subaru begins to subtly grow, seeking out small interactions with people building up until he agrees to a book signing.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Subaru

That doesn’t mean he’s actually good at interacting with others. He’s still awkward, gets flustered, at times wants to run away, but he’s more and more committed to trying to deal with those in his life. He also begins to appreciate what each of the others brings into his life and tries to show that he appreciates it.

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However, the final push comes at the end of the series where he goes on the last holiday his parents planned. While this is an emotional enough development given the course of the story, what really shows the change in Subaru is his reaction when he realises he can’t get home to Haru as planned. Then, Haru manages to get out of the house and Subaru needs to search for her.

From a character who blatantly refused to leave the house and if forced outside was cold and cut-off, to one who actively searched for another and called on those he’d made connections with to help, Subaru’s character grew in leaps and bounds and while his basic personality hadn’t changed at all, something shown through the clever use of flash backs, his ability to deal with others and his acceptance of them had developed tremendously.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed watching Subaru grow as a character and found his story delightful.

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone

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My Roommate is a Cat Episode 12 Review

The wild storm rages and Subaru is forced to take the train back home. Meanwhile he calls his friend to go and check on Haru. Alas, Haru escapes the house in a desperate attempt to find the strangely missing Subaru and so the search for Haru begins.

It is such a fitting final episode really to My Roommate is a Cat. With Subaru visiting the grave where the story began and he met Haru in the first place during his search, there’s a sense we’ve come full circle and yet we can also see how far Subaru has come as a character in the time we’ve spent with them. We also bring all the minor characters in on the search.

My favourite point was when Subaru was being rescued from the puddle and much like the child-Subaru was more concerned with saving his book from the water, adult-Subaru ensures Haru is lifted clear first. It is a touching and adorable moment made only cuter by the quiet moments once the two characters return to the house.

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I very much look forward to writing a full review of this one and Subaru and Haru are adorable as roommates and hopefully one day they’ll continue to have adventures together but if not this is certainly a nice place to leave the two.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 12 - Haru and Subaru

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The Overnight Trip That Awakens Emotions

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My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Review

As cute as Haru is in this series, for me it becomes more compelling when the episode focuses on Subaru, and very much more interesting when it examines Subaru’s emotions in dealing with his parents’ passing. The series begins with the funeral but then seems to just skip ahead and other than establishing that Subaru was on his own, it doesn’t seem significant, but as the series has continues on it has been surprising in that the dead parent trope is more than just an establishing point. This anime seems like it actually wants to look at the process of someone coming to terms with their relationship with their parents and deal with their loss.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

Admittedly, it is still very slice of life and doesn’t seem to want to become too much of a downer, so it isn’t exactly diving head-first into dealing with grief. But in its own quiet way it is having Subaru confront the reality of his parents’ love for him, that he wasn’t able to respond to at the time, and realising that it is all just a little bit too late to change that.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

As a result, this episode, while it took awhile to get going, was kind of the great penultimate episode. We got to see Ookami’s brother again and he apologised unnecessarily for how he treated Subaru when they first met which kind of brought that sub-plot to a close. We had Subaru trying to get Haru into a cat carrier and failing which was the only real interaction these two had this episode and was our daily dose of adorable. We also had Subaru relying on his childhood friend to feed Haru while he was away.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11

Because yes, Subaru is taking his editor’s advice and going on a trip to help him think of an idea for his new novel. Almost on impulse, though spurred on by his realisation of what his mother had done with the garden, Subaru has decided to take the last trip his parents had planned to take but didn’t get to complete. This brings on a lot of reflection for Subaru as well as some happy moments and overall it is just a great part of the episode for seeing how far he has come as a character since he adopted Haru.

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Then of course we get the ending where a storm rolls in and his plane is cancelled and Haru’s home alone. It is about as dramatic an ending as something this low key could get without totally shifting the tone and it works well enough as a build up to the final episode.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 11 Subaru

For those only watching for Haru, this episode offers little. Haru is in the episode but her moments are very much diminished as the focus is very much on Subaru. I really liked it but I can imagine those waiting for cute Haru moments might find the episode a little bit dry.

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The Quiet Joy Of Sharing a Meal

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My Roommate is a Cat Episode 10 Review

There’s not much to say about this episode of My Roommate is a Cat. Subaru is exhausted after pulling all nighters to finish writing but Hiroto’s sister and her friend come to play. In the process they teach Subaru how to cook a meal for Haru and the remainder of the episode is Subaru first trying to buy the ingredients for the meal and then prepare it before we flip to Haru’s point of view.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 10

If you are watching this because you enjoy Subaru’s awkward nature and the play between cat and human, this episode will be great fun. The payoff when the two eat together at the end is well worth it. However, there’s little else to this episode that would really stand out.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 10

I do find Haru’s perspective is starting to wear a little thin with her constant worrying about Subaru not eating. Admittedly, it is a legitimate concern but it is starting to become a bit repetitive. There was very little added through seeing Haru’s perspective this week and the end of the episode felt a bit weak because of it.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 10

Still, seeing Subaru stumped at the grocery store and Hiroto coming to his rescue was amusing enough and the final scene of cat and human, fed and happy, is certainly heart warming enough. This series remains cute enough and entertaining for those who relate to owning a cat (or being owned by a cat) but episodes like this one show the decidedly one note nature of the series.

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Dreaming of the Past and Protecting the Present

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My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Review

I’ve been really enjoying getting to know Subaru and seeing him soften a little from his original stand-offish character while still remaining essentially true to himself. He still dislikes noise in his house and people who won’t leave him alone but he’s also come to appreciate those who look out for him. It is a nice progression of his character and one that has been enjoyable to be along for. Episode 8 of My Roommate is a Cat continues this development by taking a bit of a look at how young Subaru grew into the author he is today.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Subaru and Haru

Though, I’ll point out making someone choose between saving a cat or a book from landing in water is just cruel. At the same time, I assume my cat is smart enough that if she doesn’t want to land in the water to jump to the shore so I’d probably save the book. That and my cat likes playing in water when it is really hot (which is a good five months of the year) so she probably wouldn’t mind that much. Winter would be a different story.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8

As usual the episode flips between Subaru’s perspective and Haru’s with Haru’s part being quite adorable this week as we see the stand-offish affection a cat holds for their human. Haru perfectly embodies this and while her mannerisms may not be identical, most cat owners should see a bit of their feline in her antics.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 8 Haru

All and all, this one remains a pleasant viewing experience and I’m finding myself enjoying it more and more each week. I would like to see Subaru get a little bit more of a push to deal with others but I’ve honestly loved seeing him grow so far throughout this series.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Review

It is time for Subaru’s book signing and as expected when it comes to actually doing it he suddenly realises just how far out of his comfort zone he’s decided to step. On that note though, Haru, left at home, is freaking out because her human started acting strange (was dressing in a suit) and then left for a day (usually never goes out).

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Haru

Unusually, the story starts from Haru’s perspective before we see Subaru at the book signing before returning home, where we flip again back to Haru’s perspective. It works well though in framing the story and Haru’s tirade and mass destruction of tissues and books is again something as a cat owner I recognise. My cat tends to take out photos and ornaments when I leave her alone too long, though she usually waits until I return, makes sure I can see her, and then deliberately knocks them flying off a shelf (okay, my cat has a mean streak when ignored).

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Haru

Despite enjoying Haru’s moments which are cute and touching as we see her fretting about being left alone, Subaru facing his readers at the signing is the stronger part of the episode. From panicking over signing crooked to worrying he didn’t thank his first readers, to reaching out to them, we see him really pushing himself personally.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Subaru

I was expecting it, but Oukami’s appearance and realisation that Subaru is actually the author her brother likes is pretty adorable and yet another good character moment for Subaru as he tries to convey his feelings in words. While his shouting thank-you after her is a little over the top, the scene is otherwise really nicely conveyed.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 9 Subaru

All and all, another fun episode with Haru and Subaru and while they aren’t together for a lot of this episode, that allows them both to grow as characters.

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Finding Value In The Unexpected and Uncontrollable

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My Roommate Is a Cat Episode 7 Review

We know Subaru doesn’t really like dealing with people, hates interruptions to what he is doing, and generally isn’t great at dealing with the unexpected, and this episode gives him a dose of all three. However, rather than being an excuse to bring the curt Subaru back from episode one, the series of events this week shows just how much owning Haru and the interactions Subaru has had in the last six episodes have changed him. That said I think he would still prefer to be left alone so his inherent character hasn’t changed.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 7

The episode begins with Subaru meeting his editor and they are picking out covers for his book. As usual the editor is prattling away and seemingly oblivious to the fact that he is incredibly annoying but Subaru actually just keep focused on looking at the options in front of him. It isn’t until the editor asks him about a book signing that Subaru actually shuts him down. All things considered with Subaru’s character it makes sense, though you have to wonder how that effects his career.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 7

During this sequence though the childhood friend shows up with a tribe of siblings in tow. Apparently they came to play with Haru, because randomly invading someone’s house without notice to visit their cat is a perfectly sensible thing to do. It would have made more sense if Subaru had been involved with them growing up of similar but he didn’t even know the younger siblings, so the whole scenario is just kind of weird.

However, rather than venting frustrations, Subaru actually goes with things. Part of that is probably shock and inability to figure out how to throw them out, but that also is a sign of growth in that he actually cares about how to go about removing the problem rather than just wanting it gone.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 7 Subaru and Haru

While there’s nothing overly profound here, the kids are actually surprisingly cute, their interactions with Haru mostly benign, and Subaru actually makes some progress by the end as he reconsiders at least thinking about the book signing. Of course, the real precious moment comes from Haru and Subaru both curling up and going to sleep, exhausted from dealing with others. Owner and cat are definitely very similar here.

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