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Shigure Fawns Over Tohru - Fruits Basket Episode 9

Dark Haru // Fruits Basket Ep. 9 Review

Yuki Was My First Love: Fruits Basket Episode 9

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We are back to the love triangle in Fruits Basket episode 9. Its Yuki vs. Kyo in an all out brawl with newcomer Haru added to the mix. With Tohru’s affection on the line, who will come out the winner?

I like the different focuses that Fruits Basket has taken, but the love triangle episode are definitely my favorite. There is nothign better than watching the boys subconciously compete with each other not just for dominance but for Tohru, even if neither of them know it.

Yuki Has a Cold

Most of episode 9 revolves slightly around the cold that Yuki has contracted. A minor cold isn’t going to stop him though as the next day is a running competition at school. With his honor against Kyo on the line, he isn’t going to stop for the cold.

You can see Tohru throughout a lot of the episode paying very special attention to Yuki’s cold. She is very motherly in her care of Yuki. Its another good story beat building their relationship beyond friends. She is the defacto mother of this Soma-clan outpost. There is more to her concern of course.

Soma Haru

Introducing this episode is Soma Haru. He was in the last episode, but Fruits Basket episode 9 is his formal introduction. He looks about as old as Shigure, but is apparently a whole year younger than Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru. He is pretty mild mannered and otherwise absent minded until he becomes angry. Then he becomes dark Haru.

As Yuki and Kyo are neck and neck in their running competition, Haru breaks up the fun just to challenge. It seems that everyone in the Soma clan has a vendetta against someone and wants to fight them. Its a pretty typical anime fight until Yuki collapses from his cold. Turns out that Haru’s Zodiac animal is the ox, and like the original story he carries the rat, Yuki, home.

The Soma Clan

Haru has a few poignant comments that really resonate with me. He talks about how he went into martial arts as a kid. It was a way to cope with his anger. An anger that stemmed from the way his family treated him for being an ox. In the story of the zodiac the ox is traditionally the second in the order behind the rat. That is typically because the rat is carried by the ox and then leaps off the back to arrive first. In Fruits Basket episode 9 we find out that the people of the Soma clan treat the ox like an idiot for allowing the rat to do that in the original story.

This story is just further proof of how messed up the Soma clan clearly is. They are mentally abusive to their own children based on what zodiac animal they are. Kyo is shunned for being a cat and not a true member. Haru is treated like an idiot for just being an ox. These are the kinds of problems only being away from the clan can solve. You can really see why Yuki and Kyo had no intention of returning for the festivities in the last episode.

Final Thoughts

The amount of concern that Tohru exhibits for Yuki’s common cold seems disproportionate until she quietly calls back to her mother. Her caring nature comes through from heartbreak she still feels over the death of her mother. I really like the direction the character takes here. This is pure Tohru who must care for anyone in need no matter the severity of the issue.

Haru’s character design is a pretty cool design that the writers felt the need to comment on in show. At the beginning of Fruits Basket episode 9 a couple of girls gossip about Haru until he rides away on a bicycle with a basket in front. Its a cute scene and hints at his immaturity we find out later on. Overall its a great love triangle focused episode as we see how Tohru reacts to the competition of the two boys and Yuki’s common cold.

[Source and Further Reading]
[Episode 8 Review]
[Image via Crunchyroll]