At last, it has arrived! The beach house arc! This is one of my favorite arcs in the series, and “Are you really this stupid?” proves that Fruits Basket is possibly the only anime (except for something like Free!) that will give you actual character development in a beach episode.
“Are you really this stupid?” sends most of the younger Somas (minus Kagura and Rin) to one of the family’s vacation homes. They seem to be there completely unsupervised, which considering the abysmal parenting in this family isn’t that much of a surprise. Of course, you can’t get that many clashing personalities together without having some drama manifest.
This time, it’s Tohru and Hiro again. Or, rather, just Hiro. Tohru is overly accommodating and does her best to please everyone, so she would never let on that she’s upset or hurt. It’s Kisa that calls Hiro out on his behavior, and then Kisa and Hiro who fight. As annoying as Hiro can be (he’s a 13-year-old boy, they’re pretty much all annoying, let’s face it), I do genuinely love his and Kisa’s relationship. They’re so devoted to each other, and Hiro will only really listen to Kisa.
That said, even though Hiro was a bit too blunt when he phrased his question, it’s an important thing to bring up. Tohru’s dad is a weak spot in her perpetually positive armor; we still don’t know much about the man, other than he died when Tohru was little and his death almost destroyed her mother. Plus, his and Kisa’s argument brings up the tremendous point that we never really know what someone is going through, so you should never presume you understand how someone is feeling.
Something I like about this plot is that it shows how tuned in to Tohru’s emotions Kyo is. Though they didn’t get much interaction in this episode, he is able to tell she is upset, whereas when Hiro looks at her, he thinks she’s more cheerful than usual. Kyo is also already on his way to save Tohru from passing out, remembering their previous conversation where she can’t breathe while she swims.
This is one of those episodes that makes it difficult to get a read on Shigure. I remember being extremely confused by his motivations and wondering what his endgame was. He seems to legitimately care about the kids, but he’s also extremely driven by his own selfish desires.
For example, he came across as downright predatory towards Rin (remember how, at the end of last season, Rin told Hiro that she was working on something and that Shigure was her last hope) and he suggests Akito go to the beach house
and ruin the kids’ fun time. But then he closed the door so that Akito wouldn’t see Hatori talking to that woman, because that really ended badly for Hatori last time. And this is just in “Are you really this stupid?”; there are many more examples of Shigure blowing hot and cold.
And to the surprise of no one, Yuki is the boy with the hat! I feel like that was a pretty obvious revelation, but Yuki telling Tohru that himself shows how much he is willing to open up now, which is a far cry from the reserved young man we met at the beginning of the series. I mean, sure, he could be slightly delirious with fever, but it’s the thought that counts.
Honestly, I say this every week, but this is really where Fruits Basket starts to heat up! This series just gets better and better.
Have you seen “Are you really this stupid?” What did you think?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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