Akito continues his plan to isolate Tohru from the other members of the zodiac while they’re on vacation by having them over to his separated annex. This leaves Tohru and Kyo to hang out, mostly at the beach where they build sandcastles. Tohru also has a surprise encounter with Rin, who has collapsed/reverted to animal form from her unspecified illness, but Rin is too proud/afraid to accept help and quickly leaves. The episode ends as Akito decides he’ll invite Kyo over the following day, a serious break with normal zodiac tradition.
There’s a lot happening this episode, and the individual pieces are good, but it feels oddly incoherent and disconnected. It’s like a set of vignettes that have been grudgingly stitched into a single narrative. In just one episode, we have:
- Rin leaves the house that she shares (?) with Kagura (the boar), and criticizes Kagura for “playing pretend love”
- The beach house team eats dinner
- Kyo and Tohru are left alone the next day and go to the beach, while the rest presumably go to visit Akito again
- Akito talks with Haru. We have no idea where everyone else is.
- Everyone is suddenly at the beach and Yuki confronts Kyo over nothing
- Yuki and Tohru have a deep emotional moment, presumably while everyone is 2 feet away on the beach, and while Kyo just sits there and watches/fumes?
- Akito goes for a walk in the woods and discusses his petty evil plans with Kureno
- Tohru and Kyo are back at the beach, apparently the next day?
- Tohru is now by herself and finds Rin, and then Yuki also suddenly is there
As a viewer, I just end up with a lot of questions. For example, “how much time is passing here, and how much of each day is everyone at Akito’s house?” This is directly relevant to whether Akito’s isolation plan is doing anything, but instead we race so fast through the days with everyone together with Tohru at various times in each day that I didn’t even grasp that Akito was trying to isolate her until he said it out loud. Another good question is “What’s up with Rin and Kagura?” Do they live in the same house or is Rin just sheltering there temporarily? And of course the perennial classic “What is Shigure trying to do here?”
Many scenes feel like they’re setting up future events (Kagura may do something with Kyo after being goaded on, Rin’s reason for coming to the beach will be revealed, Akito and Kyo will have a contentious meeting) but there’s no substance to the episode itself. I was really interested in how Kyo and Tohru would interact while together for the majority of at least two days, especially given the strong conversation that happened last episode. Instead, we get a couple scenes of them building sandcastles, but that’s a tiny fraction of the day. Did Tohru just do housework for two days straight while Kyo sat there?
This would be prime time to develop their relationship together, but instead the episodes are focused on Yuki and Tohru’s relationship despite Yuki being away for most of the time.
You know what? I just realized what the problem is. Not enough Uo and Hana. They need to show up and school Kyo at Rich Man Poor Man to pass these long uneventful days. Get on that, Fruits Basket!