My Roommate Is a Cat is an anime based on the manga of the same name by Minatsuki. The anime was produced by Zero-G and directed by Kaoru Suzuki. The 12 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from January 9-March 27, 2019. As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American license for My Roommate Is a Cat.
Subaru Mikazuki is an introverted mystery writer. Ever since childhood, he’s preferred reading books to interacting with other people. His parents often went on trips, but Subaru would always decline to join them. At the beginning of the series, Subaru’s parents are killed in a tour bus crash, leaving him all alone. One day, while visiting his parents’ grave, he puts out a food offering and a stray tuxedo cat jumps out of hiding and devours the food. Subaru decides to take the cat home and uses her as an inspiration for his next story. The cat is given the name Haru.
As we see in flashbacks, Haru had a rough life leading up to being found and taken in by Subaru. She and her four younger siblings were abandoned in a cardboard box, and they learned to survive thanks to training from older stray cats. As time went on, two siblings were taken in by a family, one sibling was killed, and another sibling was separated from Haru and taken in by a young woman named Nana Okami. Nana works at a pet store, and she becomes a source of information and help to Subaru as he adjusts to being with Haru.
Other characters introduced in the series are Subaru’s editor, Atsushi Kawase (who is very fond of cats but can’t have one of his own due to his wife’s allergy); Subaru’s childhood friend, Hiroto Yasaka, who often drops by unannounced to drop food off for Subaru; and Yugo Okami, Nana’s younger brother and a fan of Subaru’s work. We also meet Hiroto’s younger siblings, as well as a girl who had regularly fed Haru at her family’s restaurant when the cat was still a stray. I can’t neglect to mention Taro, Subaru’s neighbor’s dog, because he’s a very good boy.
A big focus of My Roommate Is a Cat is on the relationship that develops between Subaru and Haru. While they rarely understand each other, since the cat can’t talk, their misunderstandings usually lead to a common goal. And with Haru entering Subaru’s life, he finds his world expanding thanks to all the people who become involved in his life thanks to her.
Overall, I found My Roommate Is a Cat to be a pure and wholesome series. One of the things I liked about the storytelling is how most of the episodes are written in a way where roughly half of it is told from Subaru’s perspective, and then the other half shows some of the same scenes but we see them from Haru’s perspective and get to hear her thoughts about what’s going on around her. Both Subaru and Haru are main characters in the series, and with Haru being unable to talk, getting to see events from her point of view helps the audience to get to know Haru better. And since Subaru and Haru are both main characters, we get background information and character development for both of them.
I really appreciated the final episode of the series, because it not only ups the stakes for both Subaru and Haru, it shows just how much Subaru’s world has grown from all the people who have come to know him or become closer to him thanks to Haru. While the series doesn’t have a definitive ending, I don’t think a series like this one really needs one. The main reason there’s an open-ended conclusion to the anime is the fact that the original manga source material was still ongoing at the time it was being produced, but the anime perfectly captured the arc of Subaru and Haru becoming a kind of family. Because of that, I don’t really feel that another season is truly necessary. However, if for some reason, it’s decided to continue adapting the original manga source material for another season of My Roommate Is a Cat, I wouldn’t be adverse to watching more.
When it comes to the animation, I found it to be rather standard. It’s not bad at all, but there really wasn’t a whole lot to make it stand out, either. But, to be honest, I think this average animation style worked well for the series.
If you’re looking for a short anime series that’s wholesome and doesn’t make you think too much, then you might enjoy My Roommate Is a Cat. If you like cats, then you’ll likely appreciate this anime as well.
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