My Roomate is a Cat // Episode 1 Review
Episode 1 Review: An Encounter with the Unkown
Mikazuki Subaru is not the protagonist I expected for My Roommate is a Cat. In fact he is rather unlikable and pretty dumb for someone his age. Watching through the first half My Roommate is a Cat didn’t paint a particularly great picture of Subaru. He is unkind to his editor Kawse Astushi, he is mean to his old neighbor and peer Hiroto, and he otherwise seems to hate humankind. In fact I would argue that his only redeeming quality is his kindness towards a stray cat. Fortunately it works out for him in the end.
I came into the first episode of My Roommate is a Cat fully expected the cat to have some magical power or is the embodiment of some ancient priestess reincarnated. It was a surprise to not see any anthropomorphism of the stray cat at all through the first half of the episode. The switch to the cats perspective after Subaru faints was a fantastic twist. All along our new found friend has been trying desperately to feed. She is actually a rather sweet yet naive young kitten. Her repeated attempts to feed Subaru are endearing unlike everything else her master does. Even the glimpses of backstory I hope are fleshed out are bittersweet.
Humans and Cats are the Same
Unfortunately for our main character the anime opens with the death of his parents. Not much is explained but it serves to establish the rather nonchalant and uncaring nature of Mikazuki Subaru. We know he has a seemingly caring friend in Hiroto, and now he lives alone. Uncaring is a strong word to describe Subaru since his visit to his parents graves precipitates the events of the show. At the grave he meets his new roommate.
Subaru takes home his new companion to use as inspiration for his new book he wants to write. All the while he begins to deeply focus on his story,. Here his new roommate shows some care that he himself will not apply to himself. We all know that cats love to leave dead animals around for their owners. The cat leaving her food in front of the door was a cool twist on this idea. Giving a deeper motivation in trying to feed Subaru when he himself will not eat. This goes to further establish the hard life that the cat has lived up and until the point. After Subaru passes out from the strain of working we see the hard-knocks that the cat has been through before rescue.
The flash backs, while bittersweet, really do well to establish the motivation of a stray cat to stay with a big dumb human. She has been on the streets her whole life and has seen how hard it is to find food. Not understanding that humans are more than capable of providing for themselves, she finds the need to care for someone who cared for her. I would argue that Subaru, who until this point has only had disgust for all people, doesn’t even deserve the love he gets from his cat. At one point he equates humans with cats. He is not a likable character.
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
The first episode overall is hopefully a good indicator of what is to come. The cat, who is not named in the first episode, is a pretty compelling character. Their is a depth and backstory I want to see. Much more than our lazy shut-in protagonist Subaru.