With the SLC Content Committee’s newest zine being themed “Anime,” the Stargazer blog is highlighting a more recent anime you might not have heard of. Though horrifically translated as The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague, this romance anime is charming and worth overlooking some awkward English phrasing. Fuyutsuki and Himuro overcome both magical and workplace problems while trying to control their crushes on one another.
Himuro is the descendent of a Snow Woman, meaning he has ice-related abilities tied to his emotions and environment. He freezes his feet when he gets nervous, causes blizzards when he gets excited, and melts in the heat. Whenever he thinks about his crush on Fuyutsuki, he creates little snowmen that either float around him or hit his coworker Saejima in the face. In this world, being descended from spirits or supernatural beings is normal, if not comedic.
Fuyutsuki is a human woman who is known for being “stoic” or “cold.” She has a hard time expressing herself and how she cares. She prefers smaller, more mundane shows of affection, like spoiling her cat Nyamero. While Himuro falls fast, Fuyutsuki takes her time developing a mutual friendship based on consideration and fun. She’s attentive to everyone around her, like their fox spirit descendant coworker Komori. As the series goes on, Fuyutsuki proves that she is loving and warm in her own way.
Romance anime fans might notice that Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague refreshingly takes place in an office instead of a high school. Due to the professional setting, there is no room for convoluted drama or overused tropes. Adult audiences will be more comfortable rooting for Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s relationship and hoping for a romance like theirs. Himuro and Fuyutsuki come across as real people, not caricatures being forced together for the sake of the plot.
This anime is character-focused, but the worldbuilding and lore compound in the background. In crafting Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s relationship, the anime asks questions like, “is having ice powers in modern Japan a good thing?” Viewers will realize that the answer is not so simple, even if the show takes a light-hearted approach to show the benefits and drawbacks of this blended society. Since the larger implications of this world are not given as much screentime, the show rewards attention to detail.
The visuals sometimes communicate aspects of Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s personalities more than the characters do. Their apartments, their phones, the way they dress, and so on provide information about how they relate to each other and the world around them. This article is spoiler free, but keep a lookout for clues and easter eggs. The music favors the piano and stringed instruments to create a perfect, romantic ambiance in Himuro and Fuyutsuki’s sweet moments. In contrast, the sound effects are silly and fun at just the right moments.
Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague doesn’t try to be more than what it is: a heartwarming romance anime with an interesting premise. The easy pacing and storytelling make for a low-stakes show that audiences don’t need to commit to. This anime is a palette cleanser, a feel-good series to recharge after watching something violent or dramatic. Comedy and a cozy aesthetic can do wonders to recover from emotionally taxing mainstream media.
Himuro and Fuyutsuki find a near-impossible balance that shows them fumbling into romance without giving the audience second-hand embarrassment. Their love story is possible, despite the ice powers, of course, and that is what makes Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague so enjoyable to watch.
Writer: Faraday Diaz
Artist: Hannah Liu