Happy New Year’s, everybody! I hope that you all had an excellent holiday season, spent enjoying family, friends, and good food! Wait, that’s not right… Ha, ha! I wish that anime would at least try to coincide its holiday-themed episodes with the actual time of year in which they’re aired, but oh well! It’s probably more complicated than I think! Unfortunate timing aside, this week’s New Year’s themed episode of Fruits Basket (2019) was a good one! Tohru may have encouraged Yuki and Kyo to spend New Year’s with the rest of the Sohma clan, but, after some reflection, they both decided to spend it with her instead. This saved her the heartache of having to spend the holidays alone for the very first time. With each new episode of Fruits Basket (2019) we gain more and more insight into our characters. This week’s episode was no exception…
This week’s episode was, thematically, quite similar to episode five. During that episode, Tohru has two choices: to move back in with her grandfather and extended family or to stay with the Sohmas. She initially chooses to move back in with her grandfather, as she feels that she has already imposed enough on the Sohmas, who showed immense kindness and generosity by taking her in in the first place. Tohru doesn’t feel at peace with this decision, but, instead of expressing her true feelings on the matter, she decides to put on her best smile and pretend that all is right with the world. Sound familiar? You’d have thought that she’d have learned her lesson from that experience: that the Sohmas, Yuki and Kyo, in particular, are really quite alright with her “imposing” on them. And that it’s okay to be “selfish”, to prioritise your own happiness every now and then. However, that seems to not be the case at all, as, this week, Tohru repeats history by insisting that Yuki and Kyo spend New Year’s with the rest of the Sohma clan (despite the pain that she feels by being alone).
That Tohru will never admit to needing other people is probably her biggest weakness as a person. Instead, she’ll put on her most convincing smile and attempt to soldier on, in spite of the inconvenience or even the outright pain this causes her. This is, most likely, a byproduct of her fierce independent streak or an offshoot of her, kind of extreme, selflessness. But no matter how strong we may seem on the outside, we all need other people. We just aren’t designed to do life by ourselves. Fortunately for Tohru, her friends see right through her smile to the pain behind it and are there for her, whether she asks them to be or not. She’s very blessed to have such caring and insightful friends.
I think it’s quite interesting how so many of the Sohma men (Yuki, in particular) will quite happily open up and be vulnerable with Tohru, but Tohru, on the other hand, is still very guarded about her own true feelings. It feels like a complete role reversal: the men readily sharing their innermost feelings, while the woman pushes everything deep down inside until it all reaches a boiling point. I really like this: it shows that not all men are completely out of touch with their sensitive sides and that women, too, can have trouble expressing themselves.
On a final note, I really liked Hana this episode. Well, I like Hana every episode! She’s the ever-so-slightly theatrical, goth friend that we all secretly want! But I especially liked her this episode! The way that she apparated out of thin air, cloak and all, like some kind of Harry Potter extra, to give a spooked Yuki and Kyo a few timely words of wisdom was hilarious! You wouldn’t think that somebody so gloomy and expressionless could be so funny, but she’s absolutely crushing the comic relief role! Also noteworthy is the fact that she appeared at just the right time to nudge Yuki and Kyo in the right direction. Her impeccable timing rivals even Shigure’s. Though, unlike Shigure, whose allegiance isn’t quite clear just yet, Hana, in spite of her sinister appearance, is a definite force for good! She’s got such a heart for Tohru! It’s very touching!
Thanks for joining me again this week! As always, I would love to hear what you thought of this week’s episode. Look forward to next week’s, during which we’ll get to meet another member of the Sohma clan!
Hana is definitely going to be the MVP of the series if she keeps going. Loved her this episode.