Fruits Basket 2×10 Review: “Who Are You”
Tohru’s interaction with Akito in “Who Are You” is not the first time they’ve met, but it is seemingly the first time Tohru has put any kind of thought into Akito’s place in the Zodiac. The last time they met, it was unintentional, Tohru stepping in to protect Yuki. This time, Akito’s jealousy leads to a late-night confrontation.
For anyone who hadn’t been able to pick up the hints throughout the series, “Who Are You” confirms that as far as the Zodiac is concerned, Akito is God. That is why the rest of the Soma family falls all over themselves to follow Akito’s orders, why they put up with the abuse and degradation, and why they are so often at Shigure’s house instead of the family’s main estate. It explains – but does not excuse – the unhealthy amount of control Akito exercises over everyone else’s lives that we’ve seen, especially in recent episodes.
It also gives a little more insight into the Somas. Their little moments of defiance, which may not seem like much, suddenly take on a whole new look when you realize just how difficult it is for them to disobey Akito. Yuki and Shigure living outside the main compound is seriously breaking tradition. Yuki skipping the New Year’s banquet in season 1 was a Big Deal. Momiji telling Akito “no” is something that just doesn’t happen.
Fruits Basket likes to tease Tohru and remind everyone that she’s a little bit of a ditz, and kind of a klutz, but she comes through when it counts. Her brand of kindness isn’t limited to long talks about feelings and giving people second chances (when warranted). She’s also the type of person who will stand between a victim and their abuser.
In hypothetical situations, we all like to think that we would step in and save someone. But when push comes to shove, not everyone is capable of being strong enough to put ourselves in harm’s way. Tohru literally standing between Momiji and Akito, shielding him with her body, took a level of courage I’m not sure I could scrounge up.
And she still wants to protect them. Her resolution to break the curse and protect them all from Akito is directly contrasted with Yuki and Haru talking about how hard it is to protect someone. After all, all of them couldn’t protect Tohru from Akito, but she is determined to protect all of them, even after learning that Akito is basically God.
A bit of a translation error in this episode, if you were watching the subs, when Kyo storms away and Yuki says, “So she also feels pathetic sometimes,” it should read he – as in Kyo. It’s a subtle reminder that, although the audience is aware of Kyo’s overwhelming sense of self-hatred, Yuki doesn’t spend enough time with Kyo to really understand him.
On the other hand, Yuki seems to be aware of Kyo’s feelings for Tohru (which honestly is not that big of a stretch, considering how obvious that boy is), so I thought it was funny who he goaded Kyo into coming over to sit by her.
Now, I have to discuss that Akito/Shigure scene, but it’s rather difficult to do it while avoiding spoilers, (And I realize that even me saying that is probably a spoiler.) Anyway, let’s talk about that subtext. This isn’t the first time that it’s been hinted that Akito and Shigure’s relationship was romantic in the past. Akito is angry that Shigure is as devoted as he used to be, and Shigure seems jealous of Akito’s relationship with Kureno.
I’m really glad that “Who Are You” began and ended with the fireworks. The past few episodes have been super emotional, so it was nice that this episode had a little bit of fun at the end of it. As much as I love the beach arc, I’m glad that it’s coming to an end. Watching the scenes with Akito is much worse than reading them in the manga. They’re so tense and anxious and I just want them to be over.
But, and I know I’ve said this before, now is when Fruits Basket starts getting good. All of the introductions are out of the way, Tohru has officially met the entire Zodiac, and we can get into the bones of the actual plot – breaking the Soma family curse. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited.
Have you seen “Who Are You”? 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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