Kisa’s episode is with us at last. The zodiac tiger joins the crew, and this episodes content continues to break my heart all of these years later.
We tackle the bullying that can come from looking different, as various members of the zodiac do. This isn’t a problem exclusive to being cursed though, I suppose that’s why it comes across as so important to me. Being bullied for how you look, then, when you try to stand up to them. They begin ignoring you, stopping only long enough to laugh at you every time you speak. It gets to the point that you don’t want to speak and eventually, that you can’t. That’s what happens to the Zodiac Tiger, Kisa Sohma.
She goes non-verbal and runs away from home, she’s found by Haru and brought back to Shigure’s house. Where Tohru, bless her, completely understands where Kisa is coming from. The awful shame of admitting that you’re being bullied to your parents. How weak you feel, how pathetic you feel and how much you need to hear someone say ‘It’s okay.’
So Kisa clings to Tohru like glue, though she still is reluctant to talk.
Meanwhile, Kisa is not the only one struggling with complicated emotions in this episode. Yuki is struggling as well. He’s being asked by the current Student Council president to be his successor. He’s not interested really, but through the episode as he helps Kisa and has to, through interacting with her and having to face his own fears and darkness. Remembering a time where he curled up and became non-verbal.
After a bit, they recieve a letter from Kisa’s homeroom teacher and honestly, this is the part of this episode when Yuki and Haru read this letter with Kisa. The teacher just spews a bunch of generic things about other not loving you until you love yourself.
Yuki straight up says that is stupid, that when you dislike yourself. All you can see are the bad things, it’s only when someone else is there to see something good and shine a light in that you can start seeing the good things. Self-love is fine and it’s important, but it’s not always viable.
Kisa begins speaking and they go to visit Tohru after work, Kisa runs over and hugs her. One thing i’m a little sad that is missing in this version in comparison to the original is Kisa calling her ‘Big sis’, that was adorable. So hearing her just call her ‘Tohru’ was a little strange and sad, but i’ll get past it eventually I guess. Maybe in later appearances Kisa will refer to Tohru as some kind of sister figure. The episode wraps with Yuki approaching the sitting student council president, ready to agree to face being the next president.
Kisa, moving on for herself and the people around her so they wouldn’t have to worry about her.
Yuki, growing and moving past the trauma of his past and forcing himself to do something he doesn’t really want to do and step outside his comfort zone.
Honestly, I didn’t realize until now just how much this episode and chapter set up the future of Yuki’s character. Everything coming for him stims from here, and there are a lot of hints on his true feeling for Tohru in this episode as well. While this is ultimately Kisa’s episode, Yuki does slightly steal the show.
At the end of the credits, during the episode preview we hear a shrill apology. Honestly, surprised to see them bringing in the next Zodiac member right on the tail of the last one, but i’m not complaining. I can’t wait to see him!