Ah well, time to start from the top.
— Thanks to Shigure’s meddling, Akito is now here to try and mess things up. “Try” is the operative word. Like the dog, I like to think that things have changed. When kids are raised by abusive parents, they don’t actually know that they’re in an abusive situation. It’s all relative, so their abusive situation is their normal. But once they get out in the real world and start forming their own relationships, this will open their eyes to how screwed up things are back home. What am I getting at? I feel like the Sohmas never tried to stand up for themselves, because they simply didn’t know any better. But now they do. Tohru is the direct opposite of Akito. Why would these kids seek out the latter’s twisted love when Tohru’s love comes without any strings attached? Sure, for those like Yuki, the trauma runs deep. Just seeing her in person triggers painful memories that paralyze him. But seeing her now will also force him to confront his fears. Does he want to risk losing Tohru? If not, then he better fight back. My only problem is that I don’t really like Yuki, but we’ll get to that later.
— We quickly learn that Hiro’s mom is pregnant. Since all of the Zodiacs have been born, she will just be a normal kid. That means Hiro can’t touch her at all. Welp, time to start breaking that curse.
— Shigure is so slimy. Even if he admits that he’s just teasing Tohru, it’s still skeezy for a grown man to joke about this kinda thing with a teenage girl.
— Along with some watermelon smashing shenanigans, we see that Tohru now feels self-conscious about how often she talks about her mom. She comes to realize that most of the Zodiacs do not have positive relationships with their parents, so she’s afraid that she’s been rubbing her happiness in their faces. Meh, I guess that’s possible. But if she had really gotten on, say, Kyo’s nerves, I’m sure he would’ve screamed at her about it. That boy ain’t subtle.
— While cleaning up, Yuki spots Tohru being all motherly to the younger Sohmas, so he has an odd look on his face. He just wants the same treatment. He wants Tohru to dote and care for him as if he’s her child. That’s why I’m rooting against him. First, I have no special affinity for Kyo; I don’t really like tsundere love interests. Second, I’m admittedly biased against love triangles, so I hate this see-saw between him and Kyo. Oh gosh, who’s gonna win Tohru’s heart?! I rather have one good story about two people falling love than two shitty courtships. Having said that, I also honestly do not think he’s right for her. I just don’t think he has passionate love for her.
— To be fair to Kyo, I also think he just understands her better. He’s the only one who realizes that she has been off ever since yesterday’s mini-conflict with Hiro. He also then talks to her about it. Oh my god, someone solving issues through communication? Snark aside, Kyo manages to get Tohru to start talking about her mother again. I just find it odd that they’re having their conversation right next to the sleeping kids. I guess they’re deep sleepers, but I totally would’ve woken up if I was in that situation.
— How is this even possible?
— Oh no, it’s now Kyo’s turn to have a weird look on his face.
— Oh yeah, Kureno’s here. He’s like Akito’s boy toy, I guess. Kinda pathetic. Though I guess going after a high school girl like Arisa is also pathetic.
— Even the framing here is dramatic. I dunno, it feels like a shot straight out of a cheesy soap opera. Well, I guess Fruits Basket is kinda like a soap opera.
— Eventually, Shigure informs the rest of the Sohmas that Akito is here, so they should go and see her. Just lead them right into the lion’s den, huh? It just feels weird because adults are supposed to protect children. Unfortunately, that’s normal, and I don’t think the Sohmas understand what normality looks like. As a result, Shigure’s plan for breaking the curse involves having the kids have a taste of happiness with Tohru, then let them do their battles for him by seeing Akito. Maybe I don’t understand his intentions well enough, but from my vantage point, he and the rest of the adults just seem like cowards.
— Naturally, Kyo doesn’t have to go. To be more accurate, he can’t go. He’s the cat. I guess it rubs me the wrong way that no one is rebellious enough in the Sohma family. I feel like Kyo should be old enough to say, “I don’t need to be a part of this family! I’ll go make my own family!” But this doesn’t happen. He’s just as scared as the rest of them. Does Akito have magic powers? Actually, don’t spoil it for me. I want my reaction to these juicy plot developments to be as raw as possible, because this series is just ridiculous.
— Kyo tells Tohru that Akito just likes to ridicule others. Her first instinct is to try and cheer him up. I guess that’s one way to do it. I, on the other hand, would have so many follow-up questions. Uh, why is Akito like this? Why doesn’t anyone say anything to her? Why do you guys follow her orders? As an outsider, the curiosity would be too much.
— When Shigure goes to tell Akito that the kids are here, she tells Kureno to leave without seeing anyone. He just follows her orders without any protest. As a result, we see him sitting patiently in a dark room. Like c’mon. Akito then hangs all over Hatori who just sits there and takes it. His facial expression doesn’t even change. Man, these men suck.
— Finally, Akito goes to see the children (and Hatsuharu). She kicks things off by telling them how much she loves them. But like I said, her love must seem so fake now. Before they met Tohru, Akito’s love might have meant something. After all, so many of them have shitty parents, so any affection is better than complete and utter rejection.
— Sadly, I can imagine one problem arising: everyone might continue to kowtow to Akito in order to prevent her from retaliating against Tohru. Maybe that’s what needs to happen. It sucks that Tohru has to be the guinea pig, but Akito might have to hurt Tohru before everyone says enough is enough.
— Towards the end of the episode, Tohru is nervous because none of the Sohmas have returned, so she decides to go check on them. As a result, she runs into Yuki on the beach. As fate would have it, there’s a meteor shower tonight. Yuki seizes the picturesque moment to reveal the thoughts that have been swirling in his head. He reveals that he was that boy from her past. He tells her that their first encounter also happens to be the first time he ever felt needed by anyone. Last but not least, he tells her that she’s dear to him. I guess that’s a love confession? But even though this is the golden opportunity to be romantic — there’s a freaking meteor shower above them! — he doesn’t do anything passionate. Instead, he kisses her on her forehead, then rests his head on one of her shoulders. So again, does he really want a girlfriend? Or does he just want a mommy?