Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue Review: Cats make no sense

Subaru hates crowded places

Somehow, this series managed to be one of the biggest surprises for me in Winter 2018. Introduced as the story of a novelist who rescues a cat he sees as a muse, I thought that the series would focus on the crazy ideas of a writer desperate for inspiration. If you rewind to my post about the first episode, I was heavily critical of the main character, Subaru, for his particular behavioral quirk of hating spoilers in fiction.

Haru is shocked to see Subaru move

Thankfully, the topic of Subaru's stories goes away almost immediately. Instead, we watch as Subaru breaks out of his reclusive lifestyle through the simple process of trying to understand his new cat, which he later names Haru. As a result, a story that I expected to be largely comedic turned out to be one of the most heartwarming stories of the season for me. Oh, and did I mention that Haru has amazing facial expressions for a cat?

Subaru has trouble seeing other people

The story is told through two different perspectives, with Subaru and Haru each getting to show a separate view of the same set of events. Subaru lives alone as a novelist after losing his parents in a recent accident, and he's suddenly forced to take care of another life. In many ways, Haru fills the familial hole in his life. Conversely, Haru comes from a struggle for survival, having lived the life of a stray. Despite that, she feels a strong sense of responsibility for Subaru, who is shown to be hopeless at taking care of himself.

Box cat

The series probably struck a particular chord with me, as well. And no, it's not just because I like cats. As charismatic as I might seem, I enjoyed seeing Subaru's attempts to reach out to the people close to him. I really liked that every step seemed like a small incremental change, but it built up to a solid overall character shift. I've also had similar reservations about the responsibility of taking care of a cat. So, Subaru's pretty relatable to me, even if I don't understand his literary views.

The food

It may not have been much, but this show was consistently a pleasure to watch. Even if it seems tough to go out and interact with others, it's a feasible goal if you make small steps towards it. I think that's my general takeaway from this series. It almost makes me want to go out and get a cat of my own.

Overall Score: 8/10

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