I couldn’t watch this week’s episode without getting all choked up! Nobody died. No, nothing like that… But what it did do was touch upon a couple of sensitive subjects… But more on that later! This week we learned more about Yuki: that he has a secret vegetable garden (very cute), that he’s scared of letting other people too close, and the reason why he and Kyo fight like cat and
The reason why Yuki can’t stand Kyo, and vice versa, is really quite complicated… There are definitely many layers to their ongoing feud, but Tohru was able to boil it down quite succinctly: their animosity towards each other stems (mainly) from jealousy. Kyo’s short temper may push other people away to begin with, but, like fire (to continue on from last week’s theme of fire and ice), they continue to be drawn to him in spite of his unpredictability and the danger that he poses. Yuki, who keeps people at arm’s length, for fear that they will discover that he’s not the exceptional young man they all think he is, envies this about Kyo. Kyo, meanwhile, has been excluded and ridiculed from birth. It is no surprise, then, that he would envy Yuki, a fully fledged member of the zodiac and somebody who has been treated as remarkable his entire life. In short, they both covet what the other has. It is ironic that their admiration for one another, in regards to the qualities that they both possess, has become so warped, to the point where it now resembles hatred.
But that’s the danger of comparing yourself to other people. Admiration for another person may propel you forwards in an attempt to emulate them, but it can just as easily turn into something darker, like envy, bitterness, or a deep dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances. I’ve been there. Waiting on my green card, dirt poor from being unable to work and from paying endless “administration fees”, social media being my sole window to the outside world, it was so easy to see all of the exciting things that were happening to other people and to envy them for it. I would have been much happier dwelling on what I did have going for me at the time: a loving husband, more time on my hands than I knew what to do with, and family and friends just on the other end of the phone, should I need them! In much the same way, Yuki and Kyo would be much happier if they dwelled, not on the other’s positive attributes, but on their own. It’s unfortunate that neither young man seems able to see their own “pickled plum”, the thing that makes them unique and special. It’s a good thing that they have Tohru to point it out for them!
The Sohmas may turn into adorable animals when they’re hugged, but setting that fantastical aspect to their characters aside, they are all so human, so believable. The things that they struggle with – like jealousy and low self-esteem – are all things that I struggle with too. Watching them wrestle with and overcome these issues is both comforting and inspiring. That’s something that I just love about the cast of Fruits Basket!
During this week’s episode, Tohru reflected on kindness. She believes that it is not innate, but something that grows alongside our bodies. Tohru also suggested that the shape of kindness, or how it is manifested, varies from person to person and that Yuki’s is like a candle: warm, something that draws in other people. What is the shape of Tohru’s kindness, I wonder? If Yuki’s kindness is like a candle, then Tohru’s is like the sun… All-consuming, life-giving, and something that drives out the darkness in people’s hearts…
Thank-you for reading this week’s post. As always, I would absolutely love to hear what you thought of this (really quite wonderful) episode! Hope to see you again next week!
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