There are a few things that leave me scratching my head in the otherwise generally sweet The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today. I don’t quite get the author I guess. They describe themselves as “a sheep who draws manga” and I guess I just have to take their word for it.
I’ll try to explain what I mean when I talk about this episode.
Saku is a generally untraditional heroin in the fictional sense of the word. She’s still totally the impossibly conventionally attractive girl who stays that way with little to no effort and is so sweetly goofy and inept in a cute way. Something we could call the manic pixie dream girl if the story was told from the PoV of a protagonist who had fallen for her. And there is definitely something to be said about telling the story from that archetype’s perspective. It’s an original and fairly unique take. But the thing about that archetype is that they’re not really people. They’re usually more of a collection of quirky traits. And although that can be endearing in an out-of-reach love prospect, it’s a little thin to carry the whole story. They need to be a bit humanized and fleshed out for that.
And one of the weird ways it’s done in a Matserful Cat is by making Saku an actual human capable of putting on weight. we never actually see it as she is drawn to look downright skinny but the show tells us. And they do so repeatedly. It was the whole premise of the first part of this week’s episode.
I understand that considerations of weight and eating disorders are very different in other parts of the world but it always seemed a little off to me. Like why would someone like Saku care, and indeed she doesn’t really. It’s Yukichi who cares. But the way it plays out it makes me feel like I should care. Because Yukichi is the reasonable (masterful) one. So his concerns are usually shown as justified. And well, why should I care? It’s a weird little recurring bit and I don’t quite get it.
I enjoyed the rest of the episode much better. Rio and Yuri’s little chat and disillusionment with the contrast between the idea of romantic love and the practical implications was great. Of course, it was a feather-light and superficial treatment of it but the acknowledgment that traditional heteronormative views might have let them down and the implications of possible attraction to other ladies were still hinting at a deeper and quite interesting conversation. And it was handled rather maturely so kudos on that.
Saku eating cat grass and thinking she had poisoned herself is of course something Saku would do. Pixie dream girl, I’m telling you! But it was a nice little gag, I liked it.
And I particularly enjoyed Saku and Yukichi imagining alternate versions of each other. It’s telling that Yukichi has enough self-awareness to realize that he’s pretty tough on Saku and he probably would hate to be treated that way himself but doesn’t put two and two together thinking he should change in any way. Again, very cat-like. I think Hitsuji Yamada might actually be a cat who draws manga. I also liked that Saku’s realization was…nothing. Mostly that she’s very cat-like but it hardly seemed like a revelation to anyone.
And so we come at the end of another episode of The Masterful Cat. Only two more to go, folks!!!
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 1
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 2
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 3
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 4
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 5
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 6
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 7
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episodes 8 & 9
- The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today – Episode 10