Fruits Basket Episode 18: The struggle to improve

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Haru arrives

We’re back with a completely new character, along with yet another incredible episode. I personally thought that the episode handled the bullying angle well, and I liked that Yuuki played such a large role in the story. It was amazing to see him help Kisa while also growing a bit in the process. It drives home the idea that Tohru is passing her traits along.

Kisa hides in a corner

Well, I wasn’t expecting the tiger to be such an endearing character. She sure came out with all of her cards on the table. I didn’t know what to expect, but Kisa ended up being pretty cute even when she wasn’t talking to Tohru.

Tohru helps Kisa

I’m happy that Kisa’s mother didn’t end up being too cruel in this episode. It felt like she was at a loss with Kisa’s situation, but she clearly still cared. It’s hard to feel too upset with her. In contrast, I like how Tohru approaches Kisa. Where Kisa’s mother chastised her for being trouble, Tohru assures her that she’s done nothing wrong, allowing her to open up.

Yuuki affirms himself

This is a small line, but it seems to have a strong meaning in a show like this. Yuuki assures himself that he’s human, despite his ability to change into an animal. In response, Tohru notices and agrees, giving Yuuki a sense of comfort. I always enjoy when shows take advantage of double meanings.

Yuuki reads the letter

I like how Yuuki frames his criticism here. It’s true that being able to love yourself is a good view to have, but I like what he points out about its use as “advice”. I feel like I can relate with this idea that hearing praise from yourself can feel empty without validation from someone else. I personally see how the teacher’s letter can be interpreted as saying that Kisa is not “trying hard enough”, which can a negative effect despite decent intentions.

Yuuki accepts the role of president

I didn’t even realize that the student council president role would become a larger plot point in this episode. I think it was a great way to visualize the change in Yuuki with something concrete, so I appreciate that it was there.

Yuuki talks about lessons learned

Yuuki’s closing words are probably my favorite part of the episode. I like the idea that he’s working towards something, rather than going through some kind of dramatic shift.

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