(Warning: Spoilers for Fruits Basket episode 12)
The new semester at Tooru’s highschool begins and she officially becomes a second-year student. Hatsuharu and Momiji begin to attend as first-years, much to the irritation of Makoto Taikei, the Defense Force (?) club captain who thinks he has the right to tell other students what to do. After Dark Haru surfaces and deals with the noisy Makoto, Tooru goes on ahead while the Souma boys stay behind. Momiji tells them Akito is here at school. Tooru, of course, meets him outside when she’s alone, but Akito is perfectly friendly in greeting her and introducing himself.
When Yuki shows up, convinced Akito has “done something” to Tooru, Akito threatens to lock up Yuki again, reminding him of a traumatic experience where Akito really did keep him locked away and psychologically tormented him. Tooru pushes Akito away because she can Yuki is scared. Once Akito leaves, Tooru decides to banish the fear from Yuki’s mind. She gathers Haru, Momiji, Uo, Hana, Kyo, and of course Yuki for a long, fun game of badminton. Yuki is reminded that the things he wanted while he was locked away, like warm friends and a fun life, are real after all. It’s a happy ending to the first cour.
The story is slow and gentle overall in Fruits Basket, being a Slice of Life Shoujo anime. The suspense and drama Akito caused in this episode is about all you’re going to get from Fruits Basket if you’re looking for excitement, but the show has much to offer in terms of comedy, beautiful art, relaxing music, and uplifting messages. It’s always a good idea in terms of story structure to present something exciting or interesting in episodes 6 and 12 for a 24-episode series. Fruits Basket has a well-planned and structured plot.
As usual, the art and animation were beautiful. Colors, lighting, pretty and realistic backgrounds, detailed but classic character designs, and face expressions— all these and more help to create the gorgeous visuals. The music is also quite nice, and I absolutely adore the ending song. Also in terms of audio aspects, I loved hearing Maaya Sakamoto play Akito. She is one of my top 3 favorite female seiyuu. A few of her roles were Haruhi in Ouran, Hitomi in Escaflowne, Ciel in Black Butler, and Shiki Ryougi in Kara no Kyoukai.
The characters that took the spotlight of my attention this episode were, not surprisingly, Akito and Yuki. I wondered why everybody was so grim when it comes to Akito, and if it was because of bad things Akito did, I wondered why everyone let him continue having his way when he seems so weak. This episode gave me a better understanding. Yuki afraid of Akito because of the trauma he put him through when they were younger. Akito is allowed to do what he wants because he is the head of the great Souma family. He may be weak and spoiled, but he is also apparently very talented at psychological abuse and manipulation. There may be more to it, but those reasons are enough to explain most of my questions.
Sometimes I like to say a bit about the new zodiac members in these episode reviews. However, there’s no confirmation in the show that we met one. I’m pretty sure that Akito is one of the zodiac animals, though I can’t even remember which one. It would be simple to look it up, but I want to wait and see for myself. I could also just guess by process of elimination. Akito is probably either the snake or the tiger. I think it might be the former because the negative connotations of “snake” seems to fit Akito, or the latter because Akito is feirce, volatile, and in his own way, powerful, much like a savage tiger. We’ll see. At any rate, it was awesome to see Haru (ox) and Momiji (rabbit) once again. The former was hot as hell and the latter cute as a button.
What I enjoyed most in this episode simply had to be the part where Hatsuharu takes Makoto into the bathroom to prove that his hair is naturally black and white. Then Tooru has no idea why it worked, and Haru proposes “doing it” with her. It was a hilarious scene. xD On a more serious note, I also enjoyed getting to know more about Yuki and Akito. This was another great episode of Fruits Basket and a great end to the first cour! Thanks for reading! Ja ne!