I’ve come to the unsettling conclusion that apart from the panda fetish (and the world domination gig) Warumono-san and I are basically the same guy. Seriously – he has all my hangups, all my obsessions. He sentimentalizes everything, even trash. He loves cats and tries to communicate with them. He obsesses over the small pleasures in life, like coffee and ice cream choices. He’s fixated on the paramount importance of the day off, which must be maximized for existential satisfaction at all costs. He waxes poetic at a hair trigger, and he’s stuck in the wrong job.
Mind you, it would be more upsetting if Warumono-san weren’t such a fundamentally good person (like, you could do a lot worse for a doppelgänger). He’s a mess (curse you, mirror) but who isn’t, really? Certainly not Ranger Shinonome Pink (Kakuma Ai). She’s a super sentai hero who dreams of being a mahou shoujo. And if we’ve seen that combo before, it’s escaped my attention. She and Blue seem to have a somewhat antagonistic relationship that may or may not be based on mutual crushing, and the Green twins are rather protective towards her (just ask poor Blue’s knees and shins).
Pink crosses paths with Warumono-san when she loses her mahou shoujo wand keychain (from the anime “Magical Girl Angels“). This causes her great distress, and she heads out into town to search for it in the darkness. No one has helpfully tied it to a tree, but someone – in a trench coat – has turned it in to the local koban. When Pink chases after the person to thank them, it’s pretty clear she has no idea who he is – but he knows that she’s a mahou shoujo fan, at the very least.
Someone (I couldn’t say who) loves to make a joke about “pan” and “panda” (as in, “what animal is this?” while holding up a loaf of bread). So a panda tie-in at the local bakery makes perfect sense. Warumono-san is seeing pandas everywhere these days (even in Magical Girl Angels), and that includes a panda stamp rally at the local shopping district. Of course he buys enough to get all ten stamps on one trip, but the trouble comes when he has to decide which free prize to claim. Naturally – because he’s me, and I would have done the same – he chooses the coffee mug with the lid.
A series doing an entire segment on a guy shopping for panda goods and then deciding which prize he wants – and that’s literally all it is – just makes me happy. Where else are you going to get that if not here? But as usual Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san saves the meatiest segment for last. It starts with a cleaning day at home (a rare pass on visiting the pandas) that incorporates the aforementioned inability to throw out an empty box (because it had pandas on it, and it was a gift from his shy little underling). Then he takes a break to watch a panda video (what we see is him watching the video, not even the video itself). And, climactically, a trip to the park.
“This creature’s standoffish attitude and charm have made it a favorite with Earthlings”. Indeed, truer words have never been written. Warumono-san loves cute things and he’s an introvert (and maybe tsundere), so against cats he has no chance. He resolves to charm this one as an ambassador to recruit cats to his side in the conquest of Earth, but it’s not easy. The irony with the whole “different language” thing is that scientists have figured out that cats developed that language specifically to communicate with (read: charm) humans – they never meow at each other. Progress is slow but real (“I earned a glance!’) and eventually Warumono-san switches to cat language. But the capper is that the whole conversation is being overheard by the patrolling Pink, and may be cultivating the flower of attraction. Could Konbini Girl have competition?