Sometimes in life, you need soft anime. You know what I mean? The kind of anime that is easy to digest and feels like a cup of warm tea for your soul. It’s wholesome — refreshing, even. I’ve watched two such anime recently and I felt like they should be mentioned. So.
The first anime I watched is My Roommate is a Cat — and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The whole premise of this anime is that Subaru, a young novelist living alone after the death of his parents, meets a cat at the family gravesite. The stray cat sparks a new series idea in him so he adopts it and takes it home with him.
My Roommate is a Cat | 12 Episodes | Subbed | VRV
The kicker to this anime is that Subaru has absolutely no social skills — like, not a single skill for interacting with other living beings. He’s an introvert in the truest sense and interacting with other people outside his circle of familiarity (his best friend and his editor) freaks him out to crippling degree. So, when he adopts his cat, all he thinks is: “Oh. I just need to give it food and water and it will be fine.” So, with that thought, he proceeds to throw himself into his work with reckless abandon — not eating, sleeping or taking any breaks.
Now, anyone who has ever owned a pet will most likely have experienced this, but if you don’t eat and take care of yourself, your animal companion will worry about you. Subaru’s cat is no different and over the course of the series, you see both cat and man grow closer together and begin to understand each other. Subaru gives his cat a name: Haru — and Haru grows accustomed to having a home and being cared for, no longer being a stray having to survive on her own or protect her younger siblings.
It’s a really cute story honestly. As Subaru grows closer to Haru, his world broadens because of his connection with her. His editor loves cats and starts to come over more frequently to check on him and Haru — his best friend has a ton of siblings who begin to visit him because of Haru — the employee at the pet store has cats of her own and befriends Subaru when he comes in knowing absolutely nothing of how to take care of a cat and is almost too afraid to speak to her. Subaru’s world grows and he comes to realize that closing himself off to others isn’t always the best way to go about things.
The show is told from both Subaru’s and Haru’s perspective so it’s honestly pretty hilarious at points too. The ending is cliché, but it’s heartwarming and sweet all the same. It definitely put a smile on my face.
The second anime I watched was Yotsuiro Biyori and I’m not going to lie — based on the cover, I thought this was going to be in the same vein as the anime I talked about in my I’d Rather Anime With the Boys post. I was wrong, but I was not disappointed.
Yotsuiro Biyori | 12 Episodes | Subbed | VRV
Yotsuiro Biyori follows the lives of the four friends, Sui, Tokitaka, Gure, and Tsubaki who run a café called Rokuhoudou. Sui — the glasses-wearing, cat-loving, host — inherits the café from his grandfather and does his best to bring it back to life, so it’s pretty old-school and nostalgic for most who enter. The guys pride themselves on making their customers happy and though they all have pretty distinct personalities, they work well together, take their craft seriously, and are willing to go the extra lengths to satisfy their customers.
Tokitaka is the chef and Sui’s childhood friend. He’s the most level-headed one and also does pottery, so the tableware used in Rokuhoudou are all created by him. He also teaches classes for it, so a lot of the senior citizens who stop by know him personally. Gure (my personal fave) is the tall, boisterous one who is the muscle of the shop and will make a customer the most amazing latte with the absolute worst latte art.
Tsubaki is the red-haired one who handles the sweets. He’s probably the most passionate and intense about what he does of the four and watching him and Gure interact with each other is honestly just pure gold. The show follows their day to day lives of navigating new customers, unexpected requests and events, and helping their customers in subtle ways through their food and hospitality. It’s a fun watch and so wholesome.
My only critique of this one would be that there’s a storyline introduced between Sui and his older brother. It’s not a major plot point at all, but it’s implied that Sui and his older brother fell out with each other — the reason for it is unknown and there’s no real resolution to it either. This didn’t detract from the show, but it made me curious why they would include it if they weren’t going to give it any context.
I’ll also say this, if you like (non-canonically) shipping people together, you can easily do this with this anime. There are plenty of moments to support any ship you want to set sail, but I’ll say this again — this is not a yaoi anime. Not even close. The four are legit just friends who work together to serve delicious tea, lattes, sweets, and food.
That being said, finishing this anime left me feeling a bit lighter. It’s not the type of show I would binge necessarily as the episodes are only lightly connected from episode to episode with recurring customers, but it is a fun watch. It made me miss the days of being able to go out in public and find a nice quiet spot with good vibes and yummy food — but, alas, the pandemic is still raging and that’s just not an option — PSA: vaccine or not, please continue to wear a mask and social distance from strangers y’all. But this show gave me those feelings of relaxing and rejuvenating and I’d recommend anyone who likes wholesome shows centered around friendship and food give it a watch.
But that’s my two cents on these anime — spend them how you like!