Kisa Soma, cursed with the tiger zodiac, makes her debut! Due to bullying at school she has run away from home. When Hatsuhara retrieves her, more trouble brews due to her refusing to speak nor transform back into a human. All of this feels eerily similar to Yuki, as he is forced to reflect on a time when he went through similiar distress.
Kisa’s appearance and arc resolution is a bit sudden (it’s over in the span of this episode). What’s important is that it functions as a neat narrative device, and gives us more insight into the world of the cursed zodiac people. The reason Kisa gets bullied is because her hair and eye color are golden in nature, similar to a tiger. Apparently the color choices for all our characters isn’t just a weird anime trope thingy (gotta have blue hair!). This makes the world of Fruits Basket feel more realized and purposeful, and I really love that attention to detail.
Let’s get back to HEARTACHE, shall we?
Kisa’s unwillingness to talk reminds Hatsuhara of a time that Yuki refused to talk and stayed in his room for long periods of time. While unwilling to confront this out loud, we the audience are given a peek into his head via his internal monologues. Narratively, Kisa’s struggle functions as a wrapper to deliver us a package of character development for Yuki.
And boy…does it deliver. Yuki’s internal suffering at the hands of Akito gets worse and worse evertime I see it. It’s also impressive how the story is revealing it. It drips feeds it and uses an old horror trope. It shows just enough that we get some context but holds back enough that our imagination takes over. There’s nothing more terrifying than what the mind makes up all on its own. It was hard to watch both Yuki and Kisa suffer in this episode. I think it also helps that what they are going through is rooted in something very REAL. Being bullied or traumatized to the point where you inwardly shut down and try to disappear is something I feel many people can relate to.
Thank goodness Tohru is a beautiful cupcake and saves the day. Her explanation for Kisa’s behaviour really makes the onion cutting ninjas come out. It was also nice to see a zodiac cursed parent display love for her child, especially after the events of Episode 14. There’s such a release in watching Kisa’s recovery AND Yuki’s realization that he’s found someone who he knows will say “It’s okay” in regards to his pain. The feeeeels!
To soften the pain in this episode there’s also heaping tablespoons of cute. I love the relationship between Hatsuhara and Kisa. They are so freaking cute together. Equally cute is Kisa and Tohru together. I just want to cuddle her cute tiger fluffy self and her cute little girl self. SO…ADORABLE….!
Solid emotions and drama were on display in this episode. Kisa is cute AF and her story served as a wrapper for both Yuki’s character developmenent as well as some world building. Keep being amazing Fruits Basket.