Episode three is where the 2019 story starts really mixing things up, we have of course ‘Let’s play Richman-man-poor-man.” which is the episode that focuses heavily on Yuki’s character and his doubts about if he is a ‘good person’ or not. Which is the content of chapter 4 of the manga and a bit of episode 3 of the 2001 series. Then we have a few things from chapter 8 of the manga, which means we get a brief introduction to one of the other cursed Sohma family members.

Planning for the cultural festival has begun, and the class is going to be doing a rice ball stand. The question is ‘what type of stand’, so a few ideas are tossed around such as having three flavors in one [by Tohru], a rice ball battle where you fight to win the right to eat the rice balls [by Kyo] and the most sensible suggestion, a buy three get 1 free, but there would be ‘duds’ mixed into the free options.
Yuki tosses out this sensible idea and naturally, everyone in the class starts supporting it. Well, everyone but Kyo who gets upset that everyone was so willing to take Yuki’s idea when his was shot down in an instant. A bunch of cats come into the school and crawl on him in his angry state and he flees from the classroom.
Tohru finds him sulking on the roof and he explains that he is jealous of Yuki.
Jealous because of the way everyone is always praising Yuki, and how he seems to be perfect at everything.

In turn, later in this episode we discover that Yuki is also jealous of Kyo. How he can be close to ‘normal people’ and open up, when Yuki doesn’t really know how to get close to anyone in comparison. Which honestly, leads to one of the most thoughtful lines in this series to me. Something that has stuck with me since the 2001 anime and something that I think about often.

Tohru’s speech about everyone having something special about themselves, like a plum on the back of a rice ball though, you can’t see it. It’s so much easier to see the plums on other people and be jealous of them, without realizing the wonderful things that people see in you.
Kyo calls the analogy stupid, but he does say that she has a pickled plum on her back as well. Though it’s a tiny one.

And then, the 2019 version of “Tohru’s fantasy”, which somehow manages to look MORE gay then the 2001 version, which until this moment in time I never thought was possible.

What makes this episode stand out, aside from having the rice ball bits that would come later in episode 7 of the original anime. Is that we get to briefly meet a mysterious blonde boy speaking german. Any fans of the manga or the original will know exactly who this character is, but i’ll stop from writing the name in case we have any 2019 only people reading.
Though at the end of the episode, we set up once again to move in pace with the original anime and back to volume 1 of the manga with chapter 5 content. As the opening begins to play, a knock on the door introduces us to the next member of the Zodiac.
Kagura Sohma, and she is looking for Kyo. Next episode: ‘What year is she?’

I am honestly kind of fascinated by the choices made in this episode to bring in content from volume 2, overall, I think it was an excellent choice actually. It was just enough that we could get all of chapter 4’s content, without skipping right into Kagura’s introduction this episode. I’m interested to see if they are going to try to cover 2 chapters next episode as well and if they will both be from volume 1 or we’ll be moving into the volume 2 content again. Also, since the content for chapter 8 was taken care of this early, we can actually transition more smoothly later on to the blonde boy and another character showing up at the cultural festival.