She and Her Cat -Everything Flows- – Review

Having gotten quite a number of recommendations for it, I finally went back and checked out the season’s secret gem, the new version of She and Her Cat. The Makoto Shinkai version of this story isn’t particularly noteworthy, but this new one is excellent, which isn’t that surprising – it features a top-tier director handling material perfectly suited to his strengths. Daru is one of the most believably animated animals I’ve seen, and the overall story is wonderfully understated and beautifully atmospheric. It’s barely a time commitment at all, either, so it’s definitely worth a look.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!

She and Her Cat

Episode 1

Charming aesthetic overall

Jeez, great direction even in these opening shots

“I’m searching for her because she is searching for me”

Daru’s the cat

Her friend is moving out to live with her boyfriend

Really great incidental animation, and the cat looks so much like an actual cat. Very expressive

“We’ll have to look for a new place.”

Excellent direction. Great sense of atmosphere created through these shots

Her mother wants her to come home

Great scenes bringing this character’s struggle to life. Her practicing trying to look enthusiastic about various jobs in the bathroom mirror is great

“I don’t understand anything anymore…”

“On the other side of the door is an imperfect world that’s also a bit cruel. She’s doing her best to learn to love that world”

Episode 2

More excellent color palettes creating a strong natural atmosphere

And shots that really express the cat’s perspective well

“She is young, with beautiful fur, but she has a large void in her heart”

She’s unhappy because her father is gone. But the storytelling is all natural

The cat ends up helping her make her first friend at the new school

A demonstration of the power of understated storytelling

“These moments when my time and hers intersect are more precious than anything”

Episode 3

Daru is an old cat

“She’ll never be happy if she doesn’t let me go.” The girl sees herself as a burden to her mother

She declines to go to her friend’s wedding

“Why can’t I move forward? I wish I were stronger, more of an adult…”

This series condenses a young adult coming of age narrative into just glimpses at its component parts, all witnessed incidentally from the perspective of the cat. In doing so it reveals how little a story actually requires

“I want to help her, but I can’t even reach her anymore”

Episode 4


Miyu is her name

“You need to keep the place clean, because Daru is here”

Daru managed to call her mom for help

The solution is simple, but that’s how it goes. You don’t want to reach out for help

She and her mom laughing together

Once she’s happy, Daru can sleep peacefully at last

3 thoughts on “She and Her Cat -Everything Flows- – Review

  1. I’m a cat lover, so I watched the first episode of this. It’s sweet and all, but everything about it screams “THE CAT DIES AT THE END!” That’s not a spoiler, just speculation, since I totally don’t have the willpower to finish this series if I think there’s cat death in it.

    Which I guess brings up the question of where good, emotional storytelling ends, and blatant emotional manipulation begins. To this day, I still don’t know how I feel about the first ~10 minutes of Up.

    • Couldn’t help but think of this when I read your comment:

      I get what you mean, but when an author utilizes death as a narrative device, it ought to mean something or else it’s a death in vain. And it applies to any type of emotional cue that is drawn out from the viewer. In a sense, our willingness to invest ourselves in a show is less manipulation than it is actual engagement. To that extent, I think it’s warranted to feel betrayed or shortchanged when things don’t go the way you expect them to. But even if that does happen, there should be some kind of emotional exchange – something you get out of the experience. That’s why we flock to sad stories about people who suffer, because we share in their suffering and become stronger as a result – and seeing their victory above that sorrow is a wonderful thing to behold.

      But it’s still a good point of contention. I don’t think there’s any one straight answer, but we are the final arbiters of the media we consume. What it makes us feel is utterly our own, I guess.

      • Well shit, I was hoping you’d assure me that no cats die at the end.

        Thanks for the link… I had forgotten about that essay, and I’ve subscribed to your bloggy blog blog since I didn’t recognize it and it looks well-thought out along with often updated.

        I guess my issue with Pet Death in fiction is that I think you’d damn well have a good reason for it, because having a pet companion is maybe one of the most universal empathizers in the 1st world. Even more so than having a spouse or children or maybe even siblings. It’s SO EASY to use it for tears, so if I can see it coming a mile away, then I’m probably not even going to bother.

        But I guess that’s my own problem, and not the problem of the work in question. I guess I should just chalk this anime up to “not for me”. It’s just a weird category to put it in, since that sits it right next to “physics-defying, water-balloon boob anime” and “lolicon/siscon stuff”.

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