Alternative title: Dōkyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue, My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes on My Head
Manga adaptation by Zero-G
Streaming on Crunchyroll
A burnt-out writer learns about the healing power of the love of cats.
colons’ verdict: Precious, but Crunchyroll did a bad job with their English name
In my year-end writeup, I mentioned that I had recently discovered a fondness for live-action cat fiction, by way of Rentaneko and the Neko Atsume film. Housemate (which I insist is a much better title than the one Crunchyroll is using) has made me reassess that; I am now pretty convinced that animated cat fiction can and will be better.
Like the Neko Atsume film, Housemate is about a writer in a dry spell whose problems are solved with the power of cat affection. The major difference, and the reason I’m now convinced that animation is a better medium for this kind of story, is that cats can actually be characters. The way this episode is structured would be impossible were it live-action, but works extremely well here.
I… I kind of don’t want to spoil it. If you like cats at all, you’ll like this show.
Euri’s verdict: Housemate > Roommate
If you’re a pet owner, you may have found yourself wondering about what your pal may be thinking. Personally, my cat has had his fair share of bizarre moments, whether it’s an urge to bolt around the room unprovoked, or just staring into space as if he can see something we can’t. The hook of Housemate, besides being sickeningly adorable, is in showing us that these moments can be explained. This isn’t just a show about the relationship between a human and their cat, it’s also about showing us that our pets are smarter and more understanding than we might believe. Which is good to know, because I’d like to think my cat appreciates me for more than my ability to conjure food.
As colons has said, Housemate has some surprising similarities to that of the live-action Neko Atsume film from 2017, featuring writers that find themselves in a rut and looking for inspiration. That said, Housemate also has a focus on the loss of loved ones, and while it didn’t play a major role in this particular episode, I’m sure we’ll be learning more about how Mikazuki and his fluffy friend Haru go on to support each other emotionally.
Also the opening theme sounds like a knock-off Nyan Cat and I entirely approve of that.