HomeAnimeANIME REVIEW | "Ice Guy" Finds Warm Love Via "Cool Female Colleague"

ANIME REVIEW | "Ice Guy" Finds Warm Love Via "Cool Female Colleague"

ANIME REVIEW | "Ice Guy" Finds Warm Love Via "Cool Female Colleague"

Jeez, there sure are a lot of high school romance stories in anime! Don’t get me wrong: a lot of them are great, but it’s sometimes weird to relate to teenage characters when someone like me is…not a teenager. Sometimes I wish adult romances got as much love and respect in anime, rather than wait every blue moon for another WOTAKOI or My Senpai is Annoying. Thankfully, we’ve finally got another romance anime for grown-ups, in the form of The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague.

Based on the manga by Miyuki Tonogaya, The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague begins with Fuyutsuki (Yui Ishikawa) heading to her first day of work. On the way, she finds a strange man whose feet are literally trapped in ice. Himuro (Chiaki Kobayashi), a descendant of a Snow Woman spirit, is nervous about starting a new job, which fills him with so much anxiety that he’s literally frozen in place. Being a kind person, Fuyutsuki helps Himuro melt the ice with her tea, which also eases his stress.

Upon arriving at work, both Fuyutsuki and Himuro discover that they are sharing the same office. But they’re not alone, as the fox spirit descendant Komori (Yumi Uchiyama) and other normal human Saejima (Koki Uchiyama, no relation) have also started working for the same company. On top of building a great office friendship, the four find themselves often pairing up for out-of-work get-togethers. As this goes on, the bonds between Fuyutsuki & Himuro and Komori & Saejima start to grow stronger.

Outside of it being about adults rather than teens, what makes The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague a strong show is the mannerisms of the characters. As the title points out, Fuyutsuki is the type who doesn’t show too much emotion. She’s laid-back, calm, and manages to be the strongest-willed person in the entire series. On the other side of the spectrum is Himuro, whose anxiety causes indoor blizzards and for computers to literally freeze when he’s nervous.

But it’s when Himuro is happy when his powers are showcased in an adorable manner. I can’t tell you how much I love seeing the little snowmen popping out of him whenever Fuyutsuki does something for him. From simply sending him a pic of her cat to buying matching merch at an amusement park, the appearance of these cheering little snowmen is both cute and charming. Even better is the fact that both Himuro and Fuyutsuki make so much progress towards being a couple in a short amount of time.

Perhaps this is what makes adult-based rom-coms in anime stand out from the high schooler ones. When we’re young, we don’t know what we want out of love, so of course it takes an anime three seasons and a movie to get some sort of confession going! Meanwhile, we all know what clicks romantically starting in our mid-twenties, so when we’re gelling with the right person, the best step forward is to mold that gel into a healthy relationship. And this is exactly what The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague does with its two lead characters!

Yes, I know that there has yet to be an “I love you” uttered by either of them. But neither Fuyutsuki or Himuro need to use words to show their feelings. Instead, we see it in their actions at home or in-office, on dinner and movie dates, and even with the gifts they buy one another. It should also be noted that actually saying “I love you” is not at all common in Japan (or even most Asian countries), which is why their actions are as loud as, well, the wind from a New England blizzard!

However, one thing I do wish we saw more of is Komori and Saejima’s progress. Although the fifth episode gave us a good idea on how both feel about one another, these two fun-loving characters tend to act more like sidekicks rather than part of the main crew. I do get that this anime is about Fuyutsuki and Himuro, but Komori and Saejima deserve a little more love than what they’re currently given. Hopefully as the show goes on, we see them take a spotlight for a spell or two.

What I think is the biggest selling point of The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague is its tone. Most adult rom-coms tend to lean more into the comedy than the romance. Here, the show is filled with the sort of cuteness and heart-pounding warmness you’d get from a show like Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible or Teasing Master Takagi-san. It goes to great lengths to prove that no matter how old you get, you can be sucked into feeling fuzzy for the person you adore most.

That fuzziness is showcased strongly through its voice cast. Ishikawa gets the cool personality down right as Fuyutsuki, who never raises her voice and leans more into talk in a calm and mature manner. Kobayashi can do the same as Himuro, but when he becomes flustered, that’s when the sweeter side of his performance comes into play. While both Uchiyamas (again, not related) do well in their respective parts, it’s Yumi who takes Komori’s foxy side and shifts it into gear when the time perfectly calls for it.

As it is a laid-back anime, The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague isn’t exactly the best-looking series. However, Zero-G (Tsugumomo, Grand Blue Dreaming) and newcomer studio Liber know the importance of bringing a scenery to life around its characters. Although the likes of Fuyutsuki and Himuro don’t move as fluid as a shonen manga protagonist, the backgrounds they’re surrounded in help to liven up their mannerisms a lot more. Be it in Okinawa or a cat-themed amusement park, the places these characters go are brimming with personality.

Also acting as a nice backdrop is its musical score. Composed by Ruka Kawada (Kin-Iro Mosaic, Is the order a rabbit?), the songs take form in a simple manner. However, they help strongly to emphasize the actions and emotions of the characters on-screen, especially when it comes to Himuro. Both opening and end themes fit perfectly with the tone of the anime, with Takao Sakuma’s “Frozen Midnight” being a beautifully chill love song, whereas Nowlu’s “Rinaria” closes out the anime with the warmth of a classic Carole King ditty.

The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague is how you do office romance anime right. It balances cuteness, silliness, and even a sliver of maturity to give viewers a rom-com we rarely get a chance to experience in this medium. In a world where every rom-com tries to be a When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle (seriously guys, it’s been over three decades since those two came out!), it’s nice seeing something as refreshing and original as The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague. Anime industry: speaking as thirty-something, please make more romantic comedies like this!

Voice Acting: (Japanese dub)
Final Grade (not an average):

The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague can be viewed on Crunchyroll and VRV. It has been licensed by Crunchyroll. Episodes 1-8 were observed for review. Promotional consideration provided by Crunchyroll.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)