Alone for the Holidays // Fruits Basket Ep. 8 Review
See You When You Get Back: Fruits Basket Episode 8
I feel bad for Tohru. She is too proud to really press on anyone to spend the holidays with. Everyone else has made plans that don’t involve her. Fruits Basket episode 8 hits a few sad notes for our otherwise plucky protagonist.
A lot of episode 8 is spent looking back at various moments from the previous 7 episodes. I wish more was spent in the present. There is a lot of great interaction between Tohru, the Soma clan, and even Tohru’s friends. The end of the episode does tease an interesting twist with Shigure exclaiming that Akito is now reaping what was sowed. There are some subtle nods there, but this episode is all about Tohru and how she is abandoned and recovered.
The first group to abandon her is once again her grandpa and company. Every time he comes into play there is an issue with spending time with Tohru. This time he is taking the whole family on vacation to Hawaii. I can understand if Tohru turned him down to spend time at home in Japan, but it seems like he simply forgot about her again. Her actual family has once again abandoned her. Its really just another punch in the gut from her horrible extended family.
The second group to abandon her is the Soma clan. We already knew from the last episode that they have a grand festival on the Soma estate. It was pre-planned from the beginning that Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure would be out for a few days over the New Year. Its still abandoning her as they are very much her family now even if they aren’t blood related. I feel like a lot of this episode was built around reinforcing their relationship as a family, especially between Yuki & Kyo with Tohru. They definitely see each other as more than friends at this point even if the boys might not want to admit it.
The third group to abandon poor Tohru is her friends Uo and Hanajima. This group is the most excusable since she is neither blood related or living with them. These two are also the group most concerned about her well being. Even though they don’t really have room to host Tohru for the holidays, they still both go out of their way to make sure she isn’t lonely. Uo gives her a call during the New Year’s show. Hanajima plots to sow doubt in the minds of Yuki and Kyo as they head to the Soma estate. Its a genius plot on the part of Hanajima.
Tohru’s New Family
There is no question since the episode with Tohru’s extended family, that the Soma clan has essentially adopted Tohru. Even Shigure recognizes this, even if Yuki and Kyo want to be oblivious. A lot of this episode is flashbacks to different points in building this relationship. Most of it is to reinforce the relationship between them. When they catch Tohru sitting by the table with a photo of her mother, it is to remind us that Tohru doesn’t have a traditional family anymore. It is also to remind us that despite that she isn’t alone.
In spite of their being a lot of flashback, making this half a clip episode, Fruits Basket episode 8 does a great job of closing the gap between the Soma boys and Tohru. They each handle the guilt of almost leaving Tohru in a similar way. Both Yuki and Kyo feel like they are being guilt into participating in the ceremony at the Soma estate. Each has a unique reason to not want to participate, but they both have the same reason to go back to Shigure’s home. They both can’t be without Tohru. Its bittersweet to see them get to this point. We still have a lot to go through before we can solve this love triangle, though.