The Tough Talker
Fruits Basket Episode 20
This episode of Fruits Basket is an interesting one because it gets us to that emotional feel good payoff that we love from the series but it does through the device of a really annoying character. Hiro is a well written obnoxious character because he is undeniably obnoxious and yet at the same time you can sympathise with how he ended up in that state, even if you can also sympathise with Kyo wanting to deck him about three times during the episode.
Following up on the adorable episode Kisa had back at episode 18, we now meet Hiro, who is about the same age and in love with her but feeling pretty bitter and useless because he couldn’t help her when she was being bullied. Worse than that, he feels responsible for her being injured by Akito because he told Akito that he liked her. For a kid, feeling completely powerless to protect or help the one you like is a hard emotion to deal with and in Hiro’s case he has most definitely developed a nasty and prickly exterior and he is most definitely unloading on Tohru who has done literally nothing to deserve it.
I do love how everyone in the show is more annoyed at Hiro for his actions and verbal abuse of Tohru than Tohru. While she isn’t exactly loving his actions, particularly when he stole a picture of her mother, she continues to maintain her stance on looking for the underlying reason for people’s actions and tries to understand Hiro.
I wonder if Tohru is going for sainthood or something because Hiro is incredibly aggravating.
That said, the relationship between Kisa and Hiro is pretty adorable and you can fully understand why Hiro feels bad about not being able to protect her. Does anyone else find it amusing though that the sheep fell in love with the tiger and the sheep is the one feeling bad about not being able to defend the tiger? I just found that kind of amusing.
Anyway, despite Hiro being an irritating character, it doesn’t take any shine off the sweet ending delivered in the episode and while last week kind of missed the feels that I love so much about this anime, Fruits Basket came back strong this week and made me smile while simultaneously making me want to cry so well done to it.
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Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.