Whoever had Rin on their Fruits Basket Bad Parent bingo card, make sure you mark it. “Do You Wanna Kiss?” focuses almost solely on Rin’s backstory, showing us both how she and Haru started dating and how she ended up in the hospital. Honestly, Fruits Basket is, more than anything, a story about how bad parenting can really mess up a kid.
“Do You Wanna Kiss?” was a very difficult episode to watch, despite the cute title. There are a few episodes of this series that have been hard to take, but none of them have really affected me quite the way this one did. Perhaps it was Rin’s visceral reaction to everything – physically falling ill, thinking she was going to be sick, passing out – or perhaps it was because it was just legitimately that horrifying. Whatever the reason, anyone who may have been turned off by Rin’s attitude should know that she has only ever wanted to be loved – and for Haru to be happy.
Rin and Haru are very cute together, even if I’m a little squicked out because of how young Haru was when they got together, as this episode shows that they’ve been intimate. Still, they’re very devoted to each other and even Rin is quite sappy, saying she wished she’d been born as Haru’s heart so that she could die when he does. They’re both willing to go to extremes to protect each other, and it must be absolutely gutting Rin to be treating Haru the way she has been in order to protect him from Akito.
It’s amazing, when you see what most of the Soma kids have been through, that they still have the capacity for love that they do. Rin was physically abused by her parents to the point where she ended up in the hospital, and when their abuse was discovered they disowned her – while she was still in the hospital – and she was still able to find happiness with Haru.
And then there’s Akito, who gross misogynistic behavior was particularly appalling in this episode. Akito is definitely harsher on the women than on the men; with the exception of Hatori, it’s usually the female Zodiac members who get injured. There is a reason for this, which will eventually be addressed. Kudos to the animators; the scene where Akito tosses Rin out of the window was truly frightening. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get over the crazed, manic look on Akito’s face.
In contrast, Fruits Basket is able to make you hate characters without even giving them a face; as such, Rin’s parents. For being an anime about people who turn into animals, this show is able to showcase just how deep psychological scars can go. Rin has a physical reaction to the point of passing out whenever she is scared or anxious, and she resents anything happy or positive because it reminds her of what she didn’t have growing up.
Aside from the horribly traumatic abuse depiction, “Do You Wanna Kiss?” has also revealed what Rin was doing with Shigure earlier in the season. It was implied earlier in the season when she went to speak to Kazuma, but she is trying to break the curse. I feel like she is mostly trying to do that for Haru’s sake, as she doesn’t think he deserves to be tied to such a bleak future, but regardless, she is out to solve the problem that has plagued the Soma family for generations.
Rin is not the only one; in fact, multiple family members seem to be after the same thing as Tohru. Hiro confronts Rin when he sees her walking and asks if she was able to learn anything from Shigure. If you remember, Rin told Hiro of her plans at the end of Season 1. Shigure claims not to know anything, but we all know how devious and manipulative he basically always is, and Rin naturally doesn’t believe he doesn’t know.
Hopefully, they are all willing to band together to work the problem.
“Do You Wanna Kiss?”, for all that it was hard to watch, really stepped it up with the music and sound direction, particularly the scene with Rin and Akito. The voice acting was also top-notch, with Maaya Sakamoto (Akito) and Aki Toyosaki (Rin) giving stellar performances.
Have you seen “Do You Wanna Kiss?” 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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