Fruits Basket S2 Ep. 4: Broken-hearted ox

So your girl dumps ya. In the immortal words of Bart Simpson, “Don’t have a cow, man.”

Hatsuharu visits Rin in the hospital, and she does not look like she’s in a good mental place. Why is she in the hospital? Beats me. But knowing this show, it’s probably due to her parents. Fruits Basket is filled to the brim with bad parents.

— He tries to give her some flowers, but she immediately knocks it to the ground. Wow, rude much? She then tells Haru that she’s tired of him. Again, knowing this show, she’s probably just trying to protect him. Remember: parents bad, kids good. Have you met an evil young person yet? Besides, of course, Akito, but considering how she rules this family with an iron fist, she’s kinda like their parent anyway.

— By the way, I binged through the first season by watching the dub. As a result, I somewhat miss Momiji’s silly German accent. The original voice just sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

— Everyone’s looking forward to the school trip to Kyoto, which also means Tohru’s best friends also get to tease Kyo about Tohru. After all, he’s the classic tsundere archetype, and they usually win the girl in these romance series, don’t they?

— Personally, they’re both annoying albeit for different reasons. You would need an infinite amount of patience to look past Kyo’s temper, which is why Tohru is the way that she is, I suppose. As for Yuki, he’s just one of those people who needs to help himself before he gets with someone, y’know? You shouldn’t bring that baggage into a relationship.

— Still, the whole Kyo versus Yuki thing is weird to me, because at the moment, Tohru is so… romantically inert. I’m sure she’ll eventually realize that she likes one of them, but at the moment, she’s just like a little sister who cooks and cleans after them.

— Anyways, Momiji has some bad news. Apparently, he’s gone “dark” due to being dumped by Rin. Y’know, I wanna have a good look at that Sohma family tree. I’m sure these kids are probably distant cousins, but still! Yeah, yeah, it’s a different culture and anime has a penchant for pseudo-incest in general, but I’ve never seen this much cousin-loving before.

— Hatsuharu is busy trashing an entire classroom, because he’s an idiot. I mean, if you wanna take your aggression out on something, try not to be so goddamn conspicuous about it. Then again, maybe the ox is crying out for help in the only way that he knows how.

— But before he can get that help, he gets a left hook from Kyo for grabbing Tohru. I’m kinda surprised Yuki just stands there calmly. Maybe this is why the tsundere usually wins. They tend to jump into action when the situation calls for it.

— Eventually, a teacher shows up and cools the two hot heads down. Imagine that… a teacher actually doing something useful in an anime. Other shows have taught me that schools are barely even staffed!

— Afterwards, Hatsuharu returns to normal, and he’s even in a good enough mood to joke around with Kyo. I guess we sometimes just need to scream out our frustrations. Even so, he could’ve done this without breaking stuff. He probably won’t get expelled, but I feel like this is the sort of thing that would normally kick kids outta school.

— Tohru is her typical empathetic self, so she wants to help Hatsuharu with whatever ails him. Kyo wants to be overprotective, but he quickly remembers that he hurt her back in the first season. Well, what now? Is he going to avoid her all of a sudden? Don’t take two steps back after finally managing to go one step forward.

— Ultimately, the only person who can talk to Hatsuharu is Yuki. And because Hatsuharu is still sore over losing his lover, maybe he wants to spare his friend from the same fate. As a result, he tells Yuki to start calling Tohru by her first name. He seems to be implying that the rat will lose ground to the cat if he doesn’t push forward.

— Meanwhile, the rat mopes about how he’s so self-centered even though he’s taking his time to talk to a friend. This why I can’t stand guys like Yuki. Like c’mon, man… you’re like a walking, talking Livejournal with all that angst.

— The kids eventually learns that Hatsuharu has been suspended from school. That’s a lighter punishment than I was expecting. I mean, he scared his classmates and shattered some windows. His friends might understand the whole light/dark bullshit that he goes through, but everyone else doesn’t. They just know that he’s a potential danger to them.

— Tohru continues to express her concerns, so Yuki decides that he needs to do the right thing: he needs to confront his fears and return to the Sohma estate. This way, he can try and cheer Hatsuharu up.

— The lingering trauma, however, gets stronger and stronger the closer that Yuki gets to the Sohma estate. At one point, it seems as though he might pass out. To make matters worse, this old lady tries to lecture him about how he made Akito worry. Man, they sound like cultists. Either that or some serious codependency issues but somehow on a family scale.

— Yuki finally makes his way to Hatsuharu’s room just to find the ox playing video games. Five hours? That’s it? You gotta pump those numbers up! Those are rookie numbers!

— More importantly, the ox is in relatively good spirits. In fact, he tells Yuki that he won’t give up on Rin. Well, they do say that oxen are stubborn. In fact, that’s all I heard growing up. “Oh, you’re born in the year of the ox! No wonder you’re such a hard-headed child!”

— Well, Yuki is encouraged to see Hatsuharu doing so well. And who knows? Maybe Hatsuharu’s resolve will find its way to Yuki via osmosis. Maybe we’ll see the rat try even harder to win Tohru over.

— But Kyo is also practicing his moves at the dojo. Metaphor for him working hard as well? Or maybe he’s also got frustrations to let out. Eh.

— Either way, it doesn’t really matter if Tohru doesn’t undergo some sort of romantic awakening, i.e. she starts seeing these boys as more than just friends. After all, we cut to our heroine sitting at the dinner table patiently. Her stomach is growling, but she wouldn’t dare start eating first. She’s either a mother figure or a little sister. Either way, she’s just way too dutiful, and there’s not a romantic bone in her body. Not right now, anyways.

— Right before the episode ends, when Yuki starts running home, we see Rin staring at him with an almost menacing look. Hoo boy. I’m sure we’re going to get a feels trip regarding her pretty soon.

— I just remembered something: right before the pandemic shut nearly everything down, my local theater was going to screen the first few episodes of Fruits Basket S2. Having now seen the first four episodes, that would’ve been a waste of a ticket. I don’t think the show’s super bad or anything, but at the same time, these episodes aren’t special enough for that sort of treatment.

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