Okay, so, i’m not even sure what we’re doing with the order of character introductions or chapters anymore. Skipping right from Kisa’s introduction chapter in volume 5, to Ritsu’s introduction chapter in volume 8. Then, given the preview for next episode, we’re skipping back to volume 7 for another character introduction. So basically, I think we’re just trying to cover all of the members of the Zodiac that appeared in the original anime. I’ve kind of guessed from the beginning that we wouldn’t be seeing the unanimated members of the family until the second season airs. (with the exception of a shadow of one of them in a car, back at episode 7.)

Honestly, this episode comes across a lot differently then it’s manga chapter as well. Actually, the original anime had a closer adaption.

In the original chapter: Tohru and Ritsu get injured and need to have Hatori come and visit, There is an overarching plot from the last chapter involving Haru, The discussion that Ritsu and Tohru have about finding your self-worth and your reason for living comes while they are out buying Takoyaki.
Honestly, this episode keeps the spirit of the message and the point. In the way of adoption though, it’s odd to say that the original anime actually did a much better job.
With that said however!

Boy did I love what they did with this episode. a
I adore the relationship between Ritsu Sohma and Mitsuru, Shigure’s editor. They actually took a lot of time to develop their relationship in this episode, with Ritsu helping her, by echoing what Tohru told him. Giving her a reason to hold on, even when she isn’t sure that editing is the right job for her because of her personality and the way that Shigure treats her.
Mitsuru asking Ritsu to be her friend, that is something that means the world to both of them. Even if she does think that he’s a girl at the beginning, she is quick to accept the fact that he is a boy and doesn’t think any less of him for the way he dresses.

They are honestly so similar and it’s just a connection that i’ve always been fond of.

I’m not sure how much I want to get into the girl/boy, cross dressing politics. I feel like this is shaky ground and I really don’t want to offend anyone, however, we’ll just leave it at the fact that dressing in girls clothing makes Ritsu feel more secure and boy, oh boy, did I adore the Kimono that he was wearing in this episode. Absolute props to the animation team for how absolutely gorgeous Ritsu looked. This whole episode was pretty stunning actually, the colors were really nice. I’m not sure what it was, but it was honestly just kind of pleasing to look at.

Well, now we’ve met the Zodiac monkey. The only zodiac members we’ve yet to meet in the 2019 anime are the Sheep, Horse and Rooster. We’ll be seeing one of them next episode, and the others i’m honestly not expecting to see this season.
I am curious to know why this episode is so different from it’s manga chapter. Is this something Natsuki Takaya request? The original chapter and the original episode is a lot more, comediac? Almost like a gag chapter with a important life message at the center of it. Perhaps she wanted a more serious take? Along with some more time to establish the relationship between Ritsu and Mitsuru. I’ll be interested to read if there is ever an interview about the changes in this episode.