Anime Review

Rolling Review – Fruits Basket 2019 (23)

Episode Synopsis:

Stressed about school, Tohru comes down with a fever and winds up stuck at home. Kyo helps take care of her, and she’s able to recover quickly. Later, Kagura shows up, overbearing as ever, but concerned for Kyo, who’s become more moody and worn out recently. When the two return from an outing, they find Kyo’s old teacher waiting for them.

Episode Review:

After the dramatic backstories of the last few episodes, it’s time to set up some foreshadowing. There have been a lot of hints throughout the Somas’ conversations and quick flashbacks that there is more to Kyo and his reasons for leaving the family than we know, and it looks like they’re about to come to the fore.

I know that for many, Kyo is one of the most fascinating members of the Soma family. He’s at odds with just about all of his “relatives”, especially Yuki, and spurns any chance to visit their home. He’s aggressive and outspoken, sarcastic and earnest in equal measure, and that makes him fun to watch.

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For my part, I find Kyo’s kindness genuinely endearing, but he always manages to couch it selfishly or with an edge of chauvinism that puts me off. He grumpily takes care of Tohru while she’s sick, but then says that it’s because her being down throws him off, which is a really selfish way of looking at it. It’s not clear if he actually believes this or is just keeping up a front, but his consistent complaints about not wanting to be beholden to a girl makes me want someone to just put a firm hand on his shoulder at say, “not cool, dude”.

By the time the first half of the episode is over, Tohru has recovered, and Kyo is still out of sorts because of his growing unease around her (and also the weather). They return home, only to be confronted by my least favorite character…

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Oh Kagura, I have not missed you at all. With the urging of that manipulative jackass, Shigure, she drags Kyo on an outing to buy groceries. Though she seems clingy and obsessive as ever, Tohru declares that she seems to be holding back – an assessment I don’t buy at all.

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I feel that she show could have done a better job demonstrating this, but stuck to their default interactions out of habit. Perhaps there are subtleties that I missed, but it still felt tired.

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In fairness, the show makes it clear that Kagura’s attachment is more than just an obsessive teenage crush. They were close as children, and she probably knows him better than most members of the family. How this will play out, and what it means for Kyo’s complicated relationship with Tohru, remains to be seen.

The final scene of the episode offers a final cue that Kyo’s past is about to come into focus. As all of the teens return home, they see a mysterious man in traditional clothes waiting in front of the house. It’s Kyo’s teacher, back to see him after months away. I look forward to seeing if his appearance will finally help drag out all of the half-hidden memories and troubles we’ve been teased about.

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Summary:

While the characters don’t do much in this episode, it serves as a good jumping off point for the season finale. After the welcome focus on Tohru’s non-Soma-related friends, it’s nice to be back on track with the main story, without feeling like we just got whiplash. I’m excited to see how everyone comes together as Kyo’s past and nature as the Cat Spirit are revealed.


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2 comments on “Rolling Review – Fruits Basket 2019 (23)

  1. Pingback: Rolling Review – Fruits Basket 2019 (22) – The Con Artists

  2. Pingback: Rolling Review – Fruits Basket 2019 (24) – The Con Artists

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