(Warning: spoilers for Fruits Basket episode 9)
Here’s what I think about the series so far. It doesn’t seem like there’s much of a plot at this point. Or rather, the plot is the development and relationships of the characters, as Tooru gets to know more members of the Souma family. It works alright. It has nice pacing and is well-planned. There are many funny and heartwarming elements which improve the story.
The visuals look nice, and even the colorful, bubbly, and sparkly shoujo backgrounds look better than they do in any other shoujo series I can recall. The voice acting is fine, and the opening and ending songs are soothing and enjoyable. Characters are well-developed, creatively designed, and diverse in personality. I have a fun time watching each episode. At this ninth episode of Fruits Basket, I say the show earns a rating of 8.0/10.0, “Excellent.”
In this ninth episode of Fruits Basket, we got to meet Hatsuhara Souma, the ox of the zodiac. He is voiced by Makoto Furukawa, voice of Saitama in One Punch Man. When Yuki got sick during the marathon run, Hatsuharu (or Haru) carried him home in ox form. He then tells Tooru the story of how Yuki changed his life and became his first love. (Haru doesn’t seem to be joking, but who can say?) We learned that Haru sometimes has mood swings wherein he becomes aggressive and hyperactive. Yuki and company call his angry self Black Haru and his calm self White Haru. (Black and white because he’s a black-and-white male cow / ox.)
There were four funny or cute moments that were my favorites this episode. First, there was the fight between Kyo and Haru, and the reactions of Tooru and Yuki to it. Hatsuharu enjoys martial arts like Kyo and wants a competition. Kyo refuses, which puts Haru into a rage, AKA Black Haru. When they actually finally start fighting, Kyo and Haru both show amazing agility and strength. Tooru says, “I feel like we’re in a martial arts movie all of a sudden.” As for Yuki, he says he isn’t stopping them because, “I refuse to get caught in their crossfire.”
Second, there was the part where Hanajima chickened out of the marathon. “Alas, woe is me,” she laments, falling down on purpose. She tells Tooru with great sadness in her voice that she cannot run any longer (less than five meters), and must walk the rest of the marathon. In the end, she doesn’t do that either. Hanajima camps out in the front of the school with poker cards and ends up playing away most of the afternoon with other students, Kyo, and Shigure.
Third, there was the part where Tooru addresses Yuki as “Yuki-kun,” instead of the usual “Souma-kun.” As a result, Yuki blushes in an adorable way and transforms into his rat form. It was humorous and endearing. By the way, it was Haru’s idea for Tooru to try that. He wanted to see if Tooru was the one who’s been lifting Yuki’s heart. What he actually proved was that Yuki seems to “like” Tooru. Zodiac animals turn into their animal forms when they are vulnerable and weak, either emotionally, physically, or both. Hearing Tooru call him by his given name made Yuki flustered and embarrassed. Plus, he was already sick. That’s why he transformed.
Fourth, there was the ending, where all three main souma guys get sick. You know how colds work in anime. They’re treated like serious illnesses, yet they nearly always go away in a day. You can get a “dangerous” cold just by standing in the rain for a few minutes, getting splashed with water, or apparently, playing poker outdoors in the winter. Hatori comes over to treat Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure. He gives a nasty look off to the side and says, “The entire family wants me to die of overwork.” Oh, Hatori. You have my sympathy.
All in all, another terrific episode of Fruits Basket 2019!