Guys this episode was so sweet, I almost teared up at several points. All of which involved Subaru’s parents who are literally too pure for this world (that’s why they’re dead). I came into this show half-expecting the parents’ death to be a throwaway trauma meant to add a little extra inner turmoil into Subaru’s life, but they are characters in their own right, with their own emotions and struggles. The flashbacks to Subaru’s life with them were heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. The scrapbook scene where Subaru cries over what a subpar son he was hit me right in the heart. Call your parents, everyone.
The revelation that the indistinct things that Haru was freaking out over (another important Cat Trope ticked off there) were the spirits of Subaru’s parents was predictable and a little cheesy, but I thought it was cute anyway. They’re so nice, they deserve to see their son’s character development from beyond the grave whether it’s a cliché or not. Are they just gone forever now, though? Like they see their shut-in son has an angry little cat to hiss at suspicious objects for him and go “We can pass on to the spirit world now, he’s in safe hands”? I feel like that’s kind of an insult to Hiroto, who’s been over here trying his best with Subaru for ages. He deserves some credit. I hope he gets an episode soon. Then again, maybe they just decided to move on because they didn’t feel like being hassled by a cat every day.
Even though the episode was low on Hiroto, Editor-san, aka Atsushi, got a lot of quality airtime. I thought he was pretty good from the start, but by god I was truly not prepared for him to be so cute. WTF I love Atsushi now. As someone who desperately wants a pet but lives in a place that doesn’t allow them, his scenes were eerily similar to me in the vicinity of literally any animal. Why is everyone in this show so relatable?
The series is really starting to make me question the philosophy of pet-owning, too. To the shock/confusion of Atsushi, Subaru’s natural instinct is to be a fairly hands-off “owner”, not really doing much with Haru other than feeding and general passive hanging out. They really are more like a couple of roommates than a pet and an owner. And it’s odd, sure, and there’s no way I could have a cat in my house without petting it whenever I had a chance, but there’s a level of mutual respect that underpins Haru and Subaru’s interactions precisely because of that. He doesn’t go around pestering her, and he even let her choose her own name, more or less. It’s actually a fairly equal relationship, in a way, and even though it’s slowly becoming more “conventional”, I think Haru will probably still remain more a roommate than a pet. The equality of Haru and Subaru’s relationship is also highlighted by the parallel nature of their story arcs; they’re both just two loner mammals trying to work through loss and trauma the best that they can, helping each other while barely even realising it. I can’t wait until they’re best buddies for real though.
I’m so excited for the next episode because it looks like Haru is going to have a dog friend for the day. A guaranteed recipe for cute antics.