This week we see Subaru going on a bit of a soul searching mission to a place that was important to his parents. What will he discover there? Find out in this week’s episode of My Roommate is a Cat, Episode 11, ‘Feelings Crossing’!
Original Japanese Title: 巡る想い
Subaru is experiencing a bit of writer’s block, so he decides to take a stroll through his garden for a bit of fresh air. There he sees flowers that were most likely planted by his late mother and he waters and tends to them. Beside the flowers is an empty flower bed that was supposed to be home to flowers from Tokushima, the place his parents intended to visit before their untimely deaths. Subaru plans a spur-of-the-moment trip to Tokushima in hopes that completing the trip in their stead will bring him closer to understanding his parents and himself. Rather than take Haru with him or leave her with a sitter, Subaru leaves her home alone again intending for it to be just a short trip. But, when a surprise storm leaves him stranded in Tokushima, Haru begins to worry that Subaru is never coming back.
The Secret Garden: What little we know about Subaru’s parents we’ve learned secondhand, either through flashbacks and Subaru’s own recollections or stories from other people. In this week’s episode Subaru learns that the flowers growing in his backyard were planted by his late mother. Each plant was acquired during one of her many trips (with her husband) around Japan. Their neighbor (Taro’s owner) recounts a conversation she and Subaru’s mother had shortly before her death about the Baby Blue Eyes she was planting.
Yugo’s Visit: It’s been awhile since Nana’s brother was introduced in Episode 5, ‘I Want to Tell You‘, but, if I’ve learned anything from this series, it’s that there are no one-off characters. After the events of Episode 9, we can assume that Nana told her brother about Subaru being the author of his favorite book series prompting him to pay a visit. It’s always fun seeing an ‘intimidating’ character acting contrary to their appearance and despite his scary looks, Yugo is just a big old teddy bear.
Going on a Trip: Subaru takes Kawase’a suggestion to get away for a little while to clear his head. He decides to take a trip to Tokushima, the last place his parents wanted to visit before their tragic tour bus accident. Once there, he visits the places he and his parents might have gone had they taken the trip all those years ago. It’s one of the more emotional parts of the episode because you really get to see just how much Subaru regrets not spending more time with his parents when they were alive. There was one scene in particular that was especially gut-wrenching, as we see Subaru actually break down.
Themes and Trivia
Baby Blue Eyes: One of the flowers growing in Subaru’s mother’s garden that she collected while on a trip to Ibaraki. Baby Blue Eyes or Nemophila menziesii are a distinctive flowering herb known for their white centers and vivid blue tipped petals.
Lavender: One of the plants growing in Subaru’s mother’s travel garden, which she purchased in Furano. Lavender is known for its purple coloring and has a number of uses, from culinary and decorative to medicinal.
Rabbiteye Blueberries: These types of blueberries are so called because their fruit is pink before turning blue when ripe. Subaru’s mother obtained her cuttings while on a trip in Ishiwaka.
Tulip: A spring blooming perennial plant that grows from bulbs. Tulips come in a wide range of colors and shapes, but the most common are cup-shaped.
Awa-ai (阿波藍): Is a type of dye used to make indigo. The technique was developed in Tokushima during the Heian Period.
This week’s episode seems much longer than the others, possibly because there was something resembling an actual plot as opposed to the usual slice of life stream-of-consciousness storytelling of the previous episodes. This is the first half of a two-part arch that I imagine is meant to bring together all the lessons Subaru has learned over the course of the series. And for what it’s worth, ‘Feelings Crossing’ was a much more enjoyable episode for me because there wasn’t a ‘big lesson’. Rather, Subaru worked through the loss of his parents in a healthy and meaningful way.
His trip to Tokushima isn’t just about getting ideas for his next book, but connecting with his parent’s memory and as the episode progresses you really feel the emotional toll it takes on Subaru. The Tokushima trip was something his parents planned for the three of them, and because of their accident, it was never fully realized. So in having Subaru take this trip alone you are giving him the opportunity to face his loss head on, not as the person he was before their death, but as the Subaru he has become with the support of his friends and acquaintances, and of course, Haru. I kind of wished the rest of the series had been like this episode, but, I suppose in a way they were. Each episode is a lesson that Subaru has to learn to work through his insecurities. While they may seem trivial at first viewing, when seen together, you really see just how far Subaru has come as a character.
A Change of Pace
I absolutely loved this episode! ‘Feelings Crossing’ is the result of each of the lessons Subaru has learned over the course of the series. This week’s episode offers some rare quiet time for Subaru and a nice change of pace from some of the more Haru-centric episodes. I can’t wait to see how they wrap things up in next week’s episode, but there’s nowhere but up from here!
I’ll be back next week with another My Roommate is a Cat review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Winter 2019 reviews!!
My Roommate is a Cat
Winter 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast