So due to the fact that Digimon has been put on hold due to the Covid crisis, I guess I’ll be continuing on with Fruits Basket until it decides to be put on hold… if it happens. Though I feel like it’s just a matter of time. But I guess we’ll see just how far TMS got with this series.
Anyways we’re back to a Yuki episode! With Ayame as a bonus! Gotta give me my bread and butter before the famine happens. But there should still be several moments before it completely shifts to one side of the love triangle. As soon as I saw Ayame enter my immediate reaction was: …Is it this episode??? The only episode they cut out from the first season that was shown in the original. And to my supreme delight, it is. After the first season, I was wondering what happened to this episode and upon looking it up in the manga, it actually does come up after Kyo’s true form arc. I thought they cut it out, which would have made me sad. Because not only does this episode hold one of the few remaining Yuki x Tohru moments, but also a really good bond growing between Yuki and Ayame. So I feel like it would have been injustice if they had cut it out.
In any case, we finally get the episode where Yuki decides to visit Ayame’s shop, deciding to put effort into trying to get to know him better. Though I will admit that it felt a little abrupt that Yuki changed his tune really fast despite being completely infuriated by Ayame a second ago. But I can appreciate the fact that he wants to change his relationship with Ayame and understand him more instead of getting heated with every little thing he does considering he even admits that it completely wears him out. Also hearing Nobunaga Shimazaki sound so exasperated is just so amusing to me. Probably because it reminds me of another character I like who he voiced in Kiznaiver. Frantic Shimazaki voice is best. As much as I love Yuki, I also find his exasperation towards Ayame really hilarious. Like, he just cannot comprehend anything Ayame does and his brain ceases to function. I’m sorry Yuki… I love you, but your straightman reaction to Ayame’s shenanigans is just too amusing.
I also really liked that foreshadowing of what Ayame’s business is when he starts sewing Yuki’s ripped shirt. Nice little foreshadowing detail there. And as outlandish as Ayame’s shop is, it’s actually pretty cool that he will tailor make ANYTHING a client wants. Not to mention he hand crafts each order. That in itself is amazing. I would definitely go to his shop if I wanted a cosplay done lol. Even though… he takes all kinds of rather questionable orders.
Ayame has always been an interesting character. I remember being exasperated by Ayame (just like Yuki lol) on my first watch of the original series. However, he’s just so amusing to watch in the redone animation. I legit burst out laughing at how he embroidered “brotherly love” on the back of Yuki’s ripped shirt. Maybe it’s just Takahiro Sakurai’s performance (which gives me Reigen vibes lol), but his delivery just cracks me up. I love it. But not only that, there’s so much more to him than his typical outlandish personality. He genuinely feels guilty over how he essentially pushed Yuki away in his time of need as we learned in season one. And he wants to be there for Yuki now, even if it may be too late. He’s trying his best in his own way, even if Yuki may not recognize it at first. It also seems like Ayame has an aversion to being too honest and serious. Probably because he feels exposed that way and uncomfortable baring that side of him as he quickly goes back to his typical wacky behavior.
I do like that Ayame admits to himself that he was very cruel to Yuki, basically doing what their parents did to him as well, abandoning him. Yuki was probably at his lowest when Ayame ripped away from him, seeking him as his last resort only to be rejected. It’s clear how much that rejection scarred Yuki, darkening his relationship with Ayame since that day. It honestly hurt to actually see a flashback scene of Yuki gingerly reaching out to an indifferent Ayame. It wasn’t until he was an adult that Ayame started feeling scared of Yuki treating him with indifference. It’s hard to say what caused this change within Ayame, but I feel like as siblings get older, they start to reflect more on how they treated their siblings when they were younger. Me and my little sister didn’t get long until I was in college, so I can definitely relate.
And I have to say, out of all of Yuki’s bonds, his and Ayame’s bond has to be my absolute favorite. Yes, even more than Yuki’s bond with Tohru. Just seeing their progression is rather touching and it’s as if it’s the starting point to Yuki’s long lasting relationships. This episode was also the first time we saw Yuki speak normally and honestly with Ayame and vice versa. We also learn that Ayame and Yuki are actually quite alike in certain aspects as both seem to want to be needed and validated in some way. With Ayame, he wanted to create so he started making outfits while Yuki started gardening. They both even found someone who accepted their imperfections and became a place of comfort for them. The two finally started bonding and I had to “awww” at Ayame basically affirming Yuki’s own existence, telling him he’s not a tool, his feelings do matter and that he isn’t alone. Finally acting like the older brother that Yuki wanted and needed. And while Yuki still gets annoyed at Ayame, he’s still acknowledging him and overall isn’t as cold to him as he started out.
We also get a deeper look into Yuki’s upbringing. I never understood why or how Yuki ended up having to be with Akito. After what was talked about in last episode with how people who take care of a Zodiac member will receive a large sum of finances to raise them, it seems like they sold Yuki off to Akito to get even more money. Judging from the beginning scene of the episode, we could clearly guess that Yuki does not have a good relationship with his parents, more specifically his mom. She straight up told him that he was a tool and that just broke my heart. No wonder Yuki was so cold towards others, he literally felt isolated and no one was there for him throughout his childhood. His parents abandoned him, his brother brushed him off and Akito straight up tortured him. There was literally no one in his life that Yuki felt warmth or love from until Tohru came into his life.
That’s probably one of the main reasons I ship Tohru and Yuki because she was legit the first person to show him warmth and love, accepting him for who he is. Imperfections and all. (Yes I know what their relationship amounts to in the end, just let me have this!) And boy did my Yuki x Tohru feels just skyrocket out of my chest when Mine brought out Tohru in a cute dress and Yuki just stared at her in awe. I do admit my heart skipped a beat when Yuki came in close to the camera with that flirty look in his eyes and told Tohru not to hide. UGH MY HEART.
This episode was an absolute gem to watch especially since it highlighted two of my favorite Yuki bonds and overall had such good Yuki and Ayame development. Even if they can’t quite see eye-to-eye, they are still able to share how they view things to get a different perspective, even if they can’t quite understand it all the time. And in the end, he’s glad he was able to understand a little more about Ayame. One step at a time, Yuki. You’ll get there someday.