Cats. The universally beloved gods of the internet and the universe, as we have already mentioned several blogs ago. You can't help but just like their entire package. The cuteness, the snobbish attitude, the random cuddles, everything! Even if you are more of a dog person, you can at least appreciate the level of love that cat enthusiasts can potentially have.
But... what if you are allergic to cats?
Well, there are a lot of ways to circumvent the direct interaction issue. You may not have to appreciate them from a afar or from an enclosed space, if none of the allergens can touch you (hint: protective gear). Or, you can do very light brushes among their kind, in the hopes that a lower trigger level can be established (spoiler alert: it failed).
"Sticky bombs in three... two... one..."
For the famous fashion designer Madoka Takatori, however, there is one clever alternative that trumps all other options: interacting with a playset of cat stuffed toys making someone wear a cat kigurumi for your pleasure.
"This... isn't exactly the image that I'm supposed to have for such a dramatic intro."
Even for a relatively rich, upper-class elite family, growing up at the Takatori household was still a rollercoaster ride for the young Madoka. On the crazier side of things, her sister would simply pull her into different kinds of shenanigans, the most notable of which is getting him into very gorgeous dresses.
But on the more serious side, he was always faced with the stern, distant public image of her mother, with only fragmented memories of the closer, more solicitous private side of her.
"Never suggested, but my dear nephew Chihiro got up on it anyway."
"I'm starting to doubt your humanity even more."
Somehow, somewhere in between, he also became a bum for house maintenance, developed a good skill set for baking sweets and pastries, even turning an early childhood obsession (ordeal?) into his current famous profession. He also developed a trauma for dogs, and of course...
... the aforementioned allergy to cats came into the picture as well.
"Image, left: dear nephew. Right: the secretary's secret admirer."
This is where his nephew, Chihiro Komiya comes in. Yes, nephew. Having agreed to a "give-and-take" relationship of working as a "chore maintenance guy" in Madoka's mansion, he was then given both full access to the entire compound, as well as bearing witness to either Madoka's magnificent designer skills, or his doggedness (pun intended) to keep his nephew looking as cute as technically possible with his favorite frilly-type clothing.
"Oh,... making this wasn't really part of my work sched, haha."
In between his move into the household, and eventual take over as its cleanliness overlord, a cat kigurumi suddenly pops up. Random? Maybe, even for someone who literally makes clothes. Unwelcome? Most definitely not!
"I've always wanted to try this once. And no, I don't mean wearing the kigurumi."
To be fair, it was never hinted as a "Eureka" moment in the anime, and it might very well likely be that the kigurumi was already somewhere within Madoka's test wardrobe. But this connection strongly implied that the kigurumi was meant specifically for someone like Chihiro to eventually wear.
As for its design, it's nothing fancy really. A black-colored kigurumi onesie design that is sprinkled with cat-related elements, topped with the very signature ribbon bell that you can frequently see even on other cat kigurumi in anime that we previewed before.
"I'm actually starting to worry about my genius, now that I have in effect solved my problem pretty much instantly. Packaged in a bigger set of warmth and cuddles too!"
So yeah, with a brief stroke of genius, Madoka was able to hit a lot of stones in just one attempt, even if the allergy strategy thingy probably wasn't even on the list of his priorities initially.
And the technical benefits to this simple but elegant solution? Let's see...
- Seems to have given him a nice (and cute) test subject to test out similar kigurumi-like clothes in the future.
- Reduced the technical need to interact with real kitties, as per the "intention" of both Chihiro, and Madoka's secretary Keiichiro..
- Chihiro automatically gains a new outfit that can be used on certain occasions.
- Which, incidentally, was also part of his eventual idea to create the cat concept birthday party for Madoka... with the assistance of Keiichiro and Miyako, of course.
- Lastly, we the audience ourselves can be treated to this alternative goodness, the raw hard work of the passionate fashion designer himself.
"Never knew that my birthday party can be this ameowzing!"
"Oh boy, now I'm stuck with this idiot cuddling me to death and rattling off cat puns all day."
A few things that might have made it better would be to have the kigurumi eventually evolve to become Chihiro's default sleepwear, and perhaps a nice set of another one too for Miyako (also to be given under special circumstances, of course). Didn't have time to feature all those in a single cour I guess.
"... and don't force me to wear again this until the end of Episode 5!"
And that concludes our very short visit to Shounen Maid to feature Chihiro's semi-signature(?) cat kigurumi. Oh well, we can't be picky admirers. At the very least, we get to appreciate its existence very early beforehand within the series adaptation.