5 Reasons To Watch: My Roommate is a Cat

#1 Oh look at the cute little kitty!

Right off the bat, the main reason for why My Roommate is a Cat is a must-watch anime is its protagonist. It is an entire TV anime about a cat. A little scoundrel who embodies all the adorableness that cat-kind is known for.

PHOTO: Haru jumps on Subaru's face.

Haru is actually a stray cat, who one day steals a bunch of fish from a young man. This person is 23-year-old author Subaru Mikazuki, who happens to currently be working on a book about a cat. He decides to adopt Haru hoping she’ll act as inspiration for his novel. Only to soon learn that cats can be difficult creatures. It takes a lot of work to take care of one and they rarely do what you’d want them to. Good luck writing those books when your muse is sleeping on the laptop!

From there, the story follows the daily life of these two. During which they steadily grow from being wary strangers to becoming the best of friends. Storylines include adventures like going to the vet or Haru knocking over something important. Stories that will be very relatable for anyone who has ever owned a cat themselves.

#2 Healing the protagonist

Subaru is a tragic person. He was always a bit of a bookworm that struggled to socialize with others, but his behavior worsened after losing his parents in an accident. He became even more isolated. At the start of the story, he can’t even really go outside anymore. Just hearing other people around him is enough to send him into an anxious fit. Never mind the horror of having a stranger actually speak to him.

PHOTO: Subaru weeping over a photo album while Haru comes to check on him.

So he chooses to remain cooped up in his house. In a tiny room where he writes his novels with minimal human interaction. He habitually forgets to eat, causing him to work to the point of fainting. And he also never made an effort to work through his feelings since the accident. Grief, regrets, and guilt are all stewing within him, none of which he has any outlet for. Subaru operates under the belief that it will all turn out fine, so long as he just ignores everything and keeps distracting himself with his novels.

Until a certain cat changes his life. Living with Haru doesn’t just inspire his writing, it also forces him to change his ways. He might forget to feed himself, but feeding Haru becomes a structured part of his day. He needs to go outside to get that cat food and he needs to ask other people for help to figure out how to even raise a cat. These are small steps at first, but they begin a journey of self-improvement for him. Following that journey was very interesting and added a lot of emotional depth to this silly cat anime.

#3 Switching perspectives

A fun thing that My Roommate is a Cat does is that episodes are generally split between two perspectives. Most storylines play out from Subaru’s perspective first. He has to sort out some cat-related trouble with funny antics along the way, eventually leading to a conclusion. After that, the events of that episode are revisited from Haru’s perspective.

PHOTO: Haru sees Subaru trying to put a collar on her as a challenge.

We get to see how she perceived everything that happened and what she was thinking at the time. In essence, the show wants to have it both ways. It is both a tale about the struggles of a fumbling pet owner, as well as a story about a cat struggling to interpret human behavior. This leads to a lot of fun moments, like Subaru believing that Haru really likes her name when he comes up with it. When we revisit that scene from Haru’s viewpoint, she thinks that “Haru” means food; because Subaru only ever calls her when he is feeding her.

Watching the same story twice in one episode may sound annoying, but My Roommate is a Cat makes it work out fine. With Haru, you get to see parts of the story that Subaru missed. Even the scenes that do repeat are animated differently and come with new jokes. Or even a second punchline to a joke that already played out before. They certainly weren’t lazy about it even though the opportunity was there.

#4 Tearjerkers

Though it is primarily a comedy anime, My Roommate is a Cat can also be a real tearjerker at times. In a way that feels like a natural part of the story, rather than a jarring shift of tone.

PHOTO: Haru after just tipping over a trash can.

Most of this comes from Haru. As she gets used to living with her new owner, there are a lot of flashbacks to her time as a stray. Times filled with hardships and loss, which hit me incredibly hard. Cats are such precious creatures man. I can’t bear to watch them have a bad time like that.

Fortunately, there also “good” tearjerking moments in there. Moments of such intense happiness that you can’t help but feel moved by it.

#5 Genuinely good cat advice

Finally, I have to say that My Roommate is a Cat is also genuinely helpful. In that it provides advice on how to raise a cat yourself. Subaru has to figure everything out from scratch. The dolt literally doesn’t know anything about cats. Even the notion of petting them is strange to him.

PHOTO: Nana struggles to deal with Subaru at her shop.

The character of Nana is very helpful in this regard. She is a clerk at the local pet shop, who is also very pushy when it comes to treating animals right. She is, to put it mildly, mortified when she finds out how little Subaru knows about keeping a pet. She gives him sound advice; like always taking any new pet, especially strays, to a veterinarian to have them checked out. Or how to deal with overfeeding a cat and fixing earlier mistakes in raising them.

I have had cats all my life, so most of this was nothing new to me. Still, I appreciate that My Roommate is a Cat does such a good job at this. I would certainly recommend the show to any new or aspiring pet owners.

1 thought on “5 Reasons To Watch: My Roommate is a Cat

  1. Yes, I loved this anime! It’s so sweet and heart warming, and I love the antics of Haru. The flashbacks of Haru’s life as a stray really were very sad, but I’m glad that through Subaru making connections in his community, she gets a little reunion!

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