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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
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Location: Gainesville, FL
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Birriaman wrote:
I read the manga years ago, so I remember the overall gist of how it ends and the all-important upcoming character reveal. But I have no idea what this “cliffhanger” was all about. Guess it’s been a while...


I JUST watched it, like 20 minutes ago, came here and see "cliffhanger."
Wait? there was a cliff hanger?
I had to go and look again...
Ahhhh, yes. The thing is, having read it and reread it between seasons, it is, to me, something so central to Yuki's relationship to Tohru that I know exactly what he means that I didn't even think of it as a cliffhanger- just a conversation that hasn't finished yet. But yeah, I guess it's a big deal and dealt with that way in the story. Maybe Team Yuki would just like to block it out though.

But as it is kinda a big deal, I just don't want to spoil it.

If you want a clue, consider Rin's trauma and what she wants- and who Tohru brings memories of to Rin. As Yuki says, he has that in common.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Just want to say I've really been enjoying the past couple reviews! Also just looking at the past few weeks and overall trajectory of this season, I forgot how Natsuki Takaya seemingly packed in all the roughest chapters from my memory in like, one of two volumes. Maybe it felt more spread out when reading it as volumes were released than with week to week episodes haha
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KitKat1721



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:02 pm Reply with quote
Watching Yuki go from being too scared to talk to the other Zodiac kids to attempting to reach out to Kyo, his mother, and then Ayame, only to be met with swift and harsh rejection each time is so heartbreaking. And even after all that, his first attempt at making friends goes even more poorly. Isolated childhood aside, no wonder he took Akito’s words to heart: The Rat, the most “beloved” in the zodiac, is truly the most hated. Speaking of Akito: while he wasn’t necessarily the nicest kid around (I guess knowing you’re a god during those formative years can do that), its interesting Yuki described it like he suddenly just snapped one day, almost overnight.

Also, maybe its because of all the build-up (even from way back in Ep. 2 of S1) in addition to the performance, but that short scene of little Yuki just bawling on the floor clutching the baseball hat destroyed me. One of the hardest things to watch in a season full of hard to watch moments.
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catandmouse



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:19 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
Speaking of Akito: while he wasn’t necessarily the nicest kid around (I guess knowing you’re a god during those formative years can do that) its interesting Yuki described it like he suddenly just snapped one day, almost overnight.


Eventually we’ll find out why Akito went from being a slightly mean kid to the psycho we all know and hate. It’s quite tragic, actually.
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KitKat1721



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:50 pm Reply with quote
catandmouse wrote:
Eventually we’ll find out why Akito went from being a slightly mean kid to the psycho we all know and hate. It’s quite tragic, actually.


For the sake of other readers, let's not talk too much about future events the show itself hasn't really delved into yet
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yuzumei



Joined: 03 Dec 2016
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:50 am Reply with quote
OMG!! Yuki and his mommy issues!

I can tell you one thing, absolutely no 16 years old girl wants to be seen as a mother by a male friend. NONE

I really hope that Yuki keeps his mommy issues for himself if he wants to keep a good relationship with tohru. Even the loving and caring tohru will freak out if he comes and tell her "I don't see you as a woman, I see you like a mommy" YUCKY!!!
A young 16 year old girl psyche can be damaged if a guy tells her that.

Yuki doesn't get it. Relationships evolve. What you don't see as attractive now might be attractive next week.
I personally think that he is soooo in love with her that he is over the top confused and doesn't know how to react. He has never been in love before and he doesn't have the experience of how to react and to deal with his feelings.

For crying out loud yuki, she is not your mommy!! She doesn't want to be your mommy! She is a loving and caring selfless FRIEND.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:18 am Reply with quote
I agree with what you're saying, but consider that Yuki has never had girl friends, since they all worship him as The Prince, and almost none among guys either (outside of the camaraderie of the Zodiac), who tend to be jealous of his status among the girls. He has a fixed idea of what being a mother means (unconditional love and acceptance) which Tohru offers, but he doesn't realize you can have that from a friend (or a lover) and that it's not exclusive to being a mother. So while his casting of Tohru as a mom is kinda creepy, it's also understandable, given his limited experience.

Kakeru's reaction also suggests that the narrative does not agree with Yuki's conclusions about how he sees Tohru. Btw, speaking of Kakeru, will we ever find out why he's so interested in Tohru? A few episodes back he suggested there was a story there that wasn't along the lines of "she's cute," but I don't recall him ever following up on that. (a simple yes or no will suffice. I don't want to know more than that at this point)
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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:09 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Btw, speaking of Kakeru, will we ever find out why he's so interested in Tohru? A few episodes back he suggested there was a story there that wasn't along the lines of "she's cute," but I don't recall him ever following up on that. (a simple yes or no will suffice. I don't want to know more than that at this point)


Yes, we will, since Kakeru does have a previous connection to Tohru.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:00 am Reply with quote
Nice breather episode this week.

Fruits Basket is...just so important. This is a story that gives us characters with various traumas and then gives them hope and a reason to keep going. That’s a really important message, especially for viewers who are dealing with their own mental health issues.
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:20 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Yuki's mommy issues surrounding Tohru make me raise my eyebrows at him and the narrative, but they are also weaved thoughtfully into the show's themes about family.


I disagree with thinking about Yuki's characterization of Tohru as mommy issues sort of misses the point. He sees in Tohru, and has received from her, the warmth and acceptance that he considers motherly, or characteristic of what he believes a mother ought to be. It also important to note that this is not debilitating or psychologically damaging for him to find himself thinking of her like so. He is not running to her side all of the time and hiding within her comfort. That's why Kakeru's reaction is important as well, it provides Yuki the ability to answer those who would ask the "mommy issue" question, or the question of moving romantic feelings to more familial love when it won't be requited.

Quote:
"That Isn't What I Want" refers to something we all thought Yuki wanted: a romantic relationship with Tohru.


This is only part of it. And this is what helps show how Yuki is taking and acting on the mother-like love given to him by Tohru. He is not hiding romantic feelings for her. He was never interested in her romantically. He tried to do so, but he never could. But his "that isn't what I want" is not just referring to romance, but also to remaining within Tohru's motherly comfort. He does not want to just succumb to Tohru's kindness and just leech off of her forever (Interesting to note that this is basically the type of relationship Akito wants with all of the Zodiac). Instead, he wants to grow and basically pay it forward.

Tohru's love gave Yuki a solid ground to find himself, his words, and ultimately confront himself. Yuki's growth has been great to watch, and it was sparked into life by the love he got from Tohru. He wants to answer her kindness with his own growth, showing that he can grow away from her, and wants her to be happy as well. That is why he is watching over her and Kyo and worried about her. Like Rin, his other fellow Zodiac member who sees the motherliness of Tohru, he recognizes that Tohru is hiding/repressing a good deal of pain.

He accepts her unconditional familial love and takes it to grow into a capable individual who can pay it forward in full. His relationship, if anything, is akin to Rei's relationship with Akari in March Comes in Like a Lion.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:58 am Reply with quote
Sisyphusson66 wrote:
I disagree with thinking about Yuki's characterization of Tohru as mommy issues sort of misses the point. He sees in Tohru, and has received from her, the warmth and acceptance that he considers motherly, or characteristic of what he believes a mother ought to be. It also important to note that this is not debilitating or psychologically damaging for him to find himself thinking of her like so. He is not running to her side all of the time and hiding within her comfort. That's why Kakeru's reaction is important as well, it provides Yuki the ability to answer those who would ask the "mommy issue" question, or the question of moving romantic feelings to more familial love when it won't be requited.


Yeah, I completely agree. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Yuki thinking of Tohru that way, because he totally respects her so much, and above all wishes for her happiness. His love for her is unconditional too.
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thebond&thecurse



Joined: 18 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:19 pm Reply with quote
People continue to be really good at missing the entire point of Yuki's feelings. For some reason people get trigger happy creeped out by the word "mother" and stop paying attention to what the story literally actually says. I am just gonna be reiterating what people above have already pointed out, but here we go:

1) Yuki doesn't see Tohru as a literal mother, he sees their relationship having functioned in a "motherly" (or parental) way, in its quality, not its literal function. They are friends, obviously. But Yuki sees the relationship as "uneven", where Tohru primarily provides him comfort and love and he primarily takes it and has nothing of the same level to offer in return. That's how he views the natural relationship between a mother and child, and he is right. Parents (mothers) give to their child, and the child takes. Yuki didn't have that as a child, because his parents simply used him as a tool and didn't care about him as an individual. His entire backstory last episode was demonstrating how Yuki was told/showed he had no self-worth, how "no one wanted him", which is the opposite of what good parents tell/show their children.

2) That type of relationship that exists between a mother and child serves an important function - it teaches the child that they have self-worth and so are capable of giving something of worth to others. It is the first and foremost relationship in the child's life, upon which the build a foundation for their entire future, their self-concept and relationship with others. They receive unconditional love and because of that they are able to build up their own self-confidence so that they are able to be functional in future relationships. There is actually a concept for this in Japanese psychology called "amae", which is a word that Yuki literally uses during his monologue at the beginning of this episode.

3) Yuki sees himself as someone who never received that essential component of a parental relationship as a child, where you receive an unconditional love that helps you build your self-worth and self-confidence, and so he sees his relationship with Tohru as the first time he was provided that. When they met, he was someone who had no sense of self, and by providing him unconditional acceptance, Tohru was able to help him develop that. That is the parental/motherly quality of their relationship that he sees. But he also recognizes that means their relationship is fundamentally uneven. He recognizes that he cannot have a "normal" teenage/adult/romantic relationship with her because of the place he was in when they met and the way their relationship developed. And that makes him uncomfortable because that isn't what he wants.

4) Yuki says that isn't what he wants because it is lonely, and it is uneven, and it is unfair. He wants to have an equal relationship with someone, where he can give as much as he takes. Where he has as much value in the relationship as his partner. He doesn't want to have a 'motherly' relationship with his peers, much less a potential romantic partner. He wants to take that sense of self-worth that Tohru helped him develop and he wants to continue to grow and move on and have functional, equal partnerships with people in his life, and especially with any future romantic partner.

Yuki also wants to continue to grow his relationship with Tohru, much the way a child once they grow up starts to also take care of their parent, the way a son becomes protective of his mother, but he recognizes that because of the way their relationship began - the person he was at the start and the person she was - their relationship can never be romantic, and certainly not in the way he desires to have an equalized romantic relationship. Their friendship will continue to develop, but Yuki can't walk back how it has been up to this point.

5) To summarize: Yuki saying Tohru existed as a mother to him is just shorthand for him saying that their relationship is uneven because she provided him unconditional love when he still had no self-concept/self-worth (i.e. what a parent does, which he never got as a child) and nothing to give back. Then he literally goes on to say that he recognizes that kind of relationship is uneven and it isn't what he wants for himself as a developing person in the future or out of a potential romantic partner.

There is no reason on heaven or earth that Yuki's declaration here should make people feel uncomfortable.


Last edited by thebond&thecurse on Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:24 pm Reply with quote
thebond&thecurse wrote:
People continue to be really good at missing the entire point of Yuki's feelings. For some reason people get trigger happy creeped out by the word "mother" and stop paying attention to what the story literally actually says.


Thanks for summing this up so well. Even before this episode aired, I've seen people go on about how Tohru is "literally Yuki's mom!!!" even though their relationship is more complex than that (not to mention how that's, you know, not what Tohru is to Yuki at all).
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:14 pm Reply with quote
Missed last week's review and don't have too much to add to what other's have already said. Its not that he literally thinks of Tohru as his mom, but their relationship has given him things like unconditional love that would be more typical of a parental relationship, and that allows him to actually develop some necessary self-worth. But while that's an irreplaceable thing, it is unbalanced, and that's not what Yuki wants moving forward (I do think they cut a couple lines where he talks about this a bit more clearly, I could be wrong). We've even seen in past episodes (like the one when he's talking to Haru near the house after bumping into Rin) that he's been conscious of the fact that he feels like he's always "taking rather than giving." I also think Kakeru's reaction is important in showing why Yuki would be confused and even embarrassed about this and try to rationalize his feelings/change his behavior the way he did (although I always crack up when Kakeru is like "I don't get it, do you want my mom?" haha)

For this week, the cinderella play really is a nice break of levity without undercutting (even highlighting) the inner conflicts the character's have been dealing with for the past few episodes. Even Arisa has a moment where she can't help but be obvious about her unresolved feelings. There were so many little touches I loved here: all the traditional stagehands carrying Hanajima's food around for her, Hanajima's mother being the only one to clap (her family really is one of the most admirable in the series as a whole), Kazuma's small look of surprise when Kyo tells Haru "you wouldn't want your parents here either," etc... You can tell this episode was a lot of fun to adapt/embellish. And while I wish they let Momiji just record the play on his phone or something, at least in 2020 they let Tohru understand what a DVD is, bless her.

Also, [very vague implications for the last two episodes]spoiler[I was super relieved to see the next episode preview. I wasn't sure until now how they were going to end the season, but if they're going the way I think they are, its the right call.]
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:25 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
Also, [very vague implications for the last two episodes]spoiler[I was super relieved to see the next episode preview. I wasn't sure until now how they were going to end the season, but if they're going the way I think they are, its the right call.]


I was expecting the last two episodes of season 2 to cover chapters 90-93, but the title for episode 24 suggests this season will skip right over them. I guess spoiler[they felt that flashback arc would work better at the beginning of season 3, not to mention the reveal at the end of chapter 97 would be a killer final scene for season 2.]
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