Fruits Basket 2×19 Review: “There’s Just No Way!”
“There’s Just No Way!” is yet another melancholy episode, with a focus on the cursed bond between Akito and the rest of the Zodiac and the sense of helplessness that, even with everyone trying to find a way to break the curse, a solution has yet to be found. In true Fruits Basket fashion, there are some moments of levity, but on the whole, this was kind of a downer of an episode, albeit with excellent character development.
“There’s Just No Way!” sees Rin recuperating at Shigure’s house after her breakdown in last week’s episode. She’s determined not to get close to Tohru because she is trying to protect her in the same way she’s trying to protect Haru. People like Haru and Tohru, Rin reasons, are too kind for their own good and will just get taken advantage of by people like Rin. It’s reminiscent of “This Is a Wonderful Inn” from Season 1, when Momiji told the story of the traveler who was repeatedly duped by everyone she encountered.
When Rin and Tohru talk about the curse, it makes my heart heavy – the idea that you are bound by something you cannot control that you have no memory of. Regardless of how evil or benevolent the “god” figure in the Zodiac is, the rest of the members have no choice but to obey. Rin seems resigned that there is no way to break the curse while Tohru is still determined to do so.
The chills, however, came most when Shigure was discussing the curse with Hatori and asked him if he could hear the sound of something breaking. Despite what he’s telling everyone, this would indicate that he knows more than he says.
It’s very interesting, now that all of the Zodiac members have met and properly interacted with Tohru, to contrast their relationships with Tohru to their relationships with Akito. With Akito, they have a supernatural connection, a forced bond based on a promise made centuries ago that they no longer remember. Akito manipulates that bond in order to control the other members of the Zodiac for purely selfish reasons; they can never be free of it, and as a result, they all have deep psychological and, in some cases, physical scars.
Tohru, meanwhile, has naturally developed a connection with all of the members by virtue of just being herself and being kind. She has never tried to force anything, but the Somas seem to gravitate towards her regardless of her own behavior. She doesn’t have any selfish designs on any of her relationships, sometimes to her own detriment; she truly wants the best for all of them and desires only their happiness. They have chosen to bond with her of their own free will.
One thing we learn in “There’s Just No Way!” is just how different Tohru’s bonds with the Somas are. The scene with her and Kyo was subtle, but there is still a lot of power in it. He knew she had been to visit Rin because she made jello for dessert, for crying out loud. Yuki watching them talk is the exclamation point on his earlier revelation that he and Rin have a similar desire from Tohru – a wish to be comforted and cared for. For both of them, Tohru is someone who allowed them to open up and be vulnerable with no judgment or ulterior motive.
In short, while Season 1 heavily hinted at a possible love triangle between Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki, as the series goes on, it’s becoming more and more obvious that there really is no contest. The scenes between Tohru and Kyo are small and profound, and he understands her in a way that Yuki hasn’t been able to. But Yuki isn’t at all jealous, and that’s because he cares for Tohru in a different way; it just took him a while to recognize it.
Rin’s emotional breakdown is seeming to foreshadow Tohru’s. There have been hints in previous episodes, but we know that Tohru isn’t all right. She is still reeling from the death of her mother and seems to have decided to simply push on instead of allowing herself to grieve. Rin has recognized that avoidance in Tohru, and we’ve seen that she’s had several flashbacks or dreams about her mother in Season 2. Her kindness is genuine, but her positivity is a facade, and it’s about to come crumbling down.
But even in the darkest moments, there is some light. In the case of “There’s Just No Way!”, it comes in the form of the Student Council, who are proving to the best tension breakers around. Between Kimi’s declaration over the PA system (then gleefully running from Yuki’s fan club) and Kakeru’s promise to Haru that he would look after Yuki, it’s hard not to smile at their antics.
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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