A Battle Between Apologists
Fruits Basket Episode 19
After watching this episode, I kind of get why this story and this character were left out of the original anime. In addition to being a re-run personality type, this episode uses suicide as a punchline multiple times throughout and ends with the two most annoying characters in the show having a heart to heart seeing who could apologise more. It kind of damages the calm healing this series has going for it even when it has used over the top humour previously.
However, I should probably start at the beginning of the episode where we realise that Shigure is once again playing with his editor. It is really a cruel game but honestly his editor might as well have ‘designated victim’ tattooed on her forehead. She’s a professional and should stop falling emotionally apart every time he messes with her. Honestly, I refuse to believe that his books sell so well that the publishers are willing to put up with this kind of unprofessional behaviour in the first place.
So we were off to a rough start right from the get go and then Ritsu showed up. Now, we’d met Ritsu’s mother before at the hotsprings so we kind of expected the personality we got but when paired with the editor’s wails and dramatic suicide gestures this whole episode just kind of puttered along. It isn’t broken by any means but none of what I find appealing about Fruits Basket is really on display.
Perhaps that’s why Tohru’s ‘find a reason to live’ speech on the roof is so incredibly heavy handed. Maybe they were trying to compensate for the lack of warm and fuzzy feels that this episode would deliver. I do know that the roof scene is problematic, not just because someone was threatening suicide on it.
I’m remembering the New Year’s episode when Yuki, Kyo and Tohru all happily walked around that roof without a care, all smiles, to watch the sun rise. Now Yuki and Kyo are freaking out that Tohru is up there and naturally she slips on a loose tile and nearly falls off. I’m struggling to see why a roof that was perfectly safe when it was likely damp from snow is suddenly a death trap other than a contrived bit of tension, but even then, Tohru barely pauses her speech so there’s not exactly any drama going on here.
Anyway, that’s literally it for the episode and no, it certainly isn’t my favourite, but it isn’t as though I hated it either. It was more just kind of on the edge of annoying without delivering that happy buzz I normally get from Fruits Basket.
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Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.