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Thread: zodiac retelling and

  1. #1
    N3wb
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    Question zodiac retelling and

    Okay, so all throughout the series it was because of the rat that the cat was not at the banquet, but according to the version of the zodiac legend--given near the end--not only was the cat not not there; the cat was the first animal to be there. Indeed was it
    not because of the cat that god sent the invitations out for other animals to come and join them? With
    the cat's wish to see his god enjoying life with friends, not just under the light of the moon,
    but out in the sun, it seems as if Fruits Basket
    could have concluded with the god and the cat together.

    While the end was set from the beginning, could it have not just
    as well been Tohru-kun and a character other than Yuki-kun? That is, if the lines about Yuki-kun seeing
    Tohru-kun as a mother figure had never been written, would there still be
    scenes which naturally evoked the same sentiment? If so, which ones
    in particular?

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    Starting the Path to Legendary Kurisuta1's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused about what the question is. Could you maybe clarify? It sounds like it would be a really interesting discussion if I could just be sure what it was about...

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    N3wb
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    [skipping the first part about the zodiac]

    If I have it correct, the part at the end, where Yuki-kun thanks Tohru-kun and reveals what she was to him (a mother figure), was planned from the very beginning. But despite having read this a number of time, just cannot find any hints, or point to any scenes where it would be natural to think anything along the lines of, '"You know, the way Yuki-kun is with Tohru-kun is like a son with his mother."' Indeed, given that Yuki-kun echoed the words of Tohru-kun's mother to "just be herself", and the way he always seemed to be concerned about her well-being; maybe he was more of the mother in the relationship. Though actually felt more brother-sister/close friends than anything else.

    By the by, this is aside from all the scenes where it (Tohru-kun being Yuki-kun's mother figure) is written outright.

    Anyway it seems as if the scene could have been played equally as well with Kyo-kun expressing the same sentiments to Tohru-kun--before she left with Momiji-kun; and he went to be with Aa-chan.

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    Starting the Path to Legendary Kurisuta1's Avatar
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    Yuki seeing Tohru as a mother figure is one of those things that is explained outright in exposition, but I don't think that underscores it in any way. Akito has to explain through exposition exactly why she has such crippling fears of abandonment, Kyo has to explain through exposition why he feels such heavy guilt over Kyoko's death and what his true motivations were for his resolve to hate Yuki. So, likewise, Yuki has to explain through exposition why he sees Tohru as more of a mother figure. But once he clarifies all these feelings they do line up with his actions up to that point and the function of his relationship with Tohru.

    One thing to note is that Yuki starts to drift away from Tohru and spend more and more time with the Student Council, Kakeru and Machi especially, because of the strength Tohru has provided him to branch out, while conversely Kyo starts to spend more and more time with Tohru as the story goes on - and this is something happening before Yuki explains his true feelings towards Tohru.
    Much like a relationship between a parent and a child, Yuki starts to "break away" from Tohru and find outside relationship to sustain and support him. His relationship with Tohru, throughout the whole time, was one that was very nurturing in the way a mother specifically is towards a child. This doesn't mean that Tohru takes on a motherly role when with Yuki, or Yuki a childish one, as they act with each other as very close friends, but their friendship functions in a way where Tohru provides for Yuki what he was lacking from any parent.

    She builds him up and Yuki takes in that support and isn't in his own power to give her the same amount of support back, until he finally is able to reapply that support to his other relationships, i.e. with Machi, Kakeru, even Kyo and Akito. They don't act as equals in their relationship, this is something Yuki spells out that he feels, but it is also something that can very clearly be seen. While Kyo on the other hand provides for Tohru as much as she does for him, he is able to lend her a shoulder in a way that Yuki is not able to. Yuki can offer a kind word here or there, or a good, strong friendship, but he is not nearly strong enough for Tohru to actually "lean" on.

    There is even evidence in the fact that throughout the whole series Tohru never once lets herself cry in front of Yuki alone, but she does in front of Kyo several times. She may become a little embarrassed or flustered, or shed a few small tears of gratitude, but she never fully breaks down in front of him. She even very rarely confides in him when she is upset. Completely reversed, Yuki confides in Tohru much of the time and she provides her smiles and advice, while Kyo is the one Tohru always ends up turning to in confidence.

    Those kinds of dynamics in their relationships are what make the defining difference and the evidence to support how Yuki and others end up describing them. Of the same token, there isn't a relationship dynamic to support Akito and Kyo together, and a very tentative one between Momiji and Tohru, where it also has to be acknowledged that they have a motherly/childlike dynamic.

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    Thank you for responding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Yuki
    seeing Tohru as a mother figure is one of those things that is explained
    outright in exposition, but I don't think that underscores it in any way. Akito
    has to explain through exposition exactly why she has such crippling fears of
    abandonment, Kyo has to explain through exposition why he feels such heavy
    guilt over Kyoko's death and what his true motivations were for his resolve to
    hate Yuki. So, likewise, Yuki has to explain through exposition why he sees
    Tohru as more of a mother figure. But once he clarifies all these feelings they
    do line up with his actions up to that point and the function of his
    relationship with Tohru. .
    However, for the sake of this discussion I wanted to ignore the
    expositions, and focus on those scenes showing him being weak. According
    to the story, he was able to grow because Honda-san listened to his
    complaints--and whatnot--and accepted him unconditionally without passing any
    kind of judgment, right? But where in the story is it demonstrated Yuki
    attempting to talk to anyone else and being ridiculed and rejected? For me, to
    just describe a character as being this or that is too dull and simplistic. :-(


    What exactly were his weaknesses anyway? Other than the obvious lack of skill in home economics (i.e. cooking and cleaning) ;-)

    What did it mean when Yuki thanked Tohru for raising him as "a human"? What skills did she teach him that enabled him to be "human"? Was he behaving "in-human" beforehand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post

    One thing to note is that Yuki starts to drift away from Tohru and spend more and
    more time with the Student Council, Kakeru and Machi especially, because of the
    strength Tohru has provided him to branch out, while conversely Kyo starts to
    spend more and more time with Tohru as the story goes on - and this is something
    happening before Yuki explains his true feelings towards Tohru.

    Much like a relationship between a parent and a child, Yuki starts to
    "break away" from Tohru and find outside relationship to sustain and
    support him. His relationship with Tohru, throughout the whole time, was one
    that was very nurturing in the way a mother specifically is towards a child.
    This doesn't mean that Tohru takes on a motherly role when with Yuki, or Yuki a
    childish one, as they act with each other as very close friends, but their
    friendship functions in a way where Tohru provides for Yuki what he was lacking
    from any parent..

    And it does not really seem that it was until he started interacting with the student council that any real
    changes could be particularly noted. Prior to being on the student council, was
    he significantly different than he was from the first volume? If he was, are there
    any examples to illustrate this? Was there even much of any real
    interaction shown between Tohru and Yuki? Not that there was no
    interaction; but it seemed the gist of most of their interaction was mainly,


    Tohru: '"Hi Yuki-kun"'

    Yuki: '"Hello Honda-san. Well I have to get going."'

    Tohru: '"And I need to get to work"'

    Yuki: '"See you tonight."'

    Tohru: '"Okay, bye.'"
    (possibly a bit of an exaggeration)

    And no--I never thought she acted like a mother towards him--wonder if she would
    have taught him any cooking if she had ;-) --nor did he act like a child; but
    what he also craved was a place where he would be welcomed.
    He had a mother. Now while using him for
    her own selfish gain, and ignoring his pleas, would hardly win her any
    mother-of-the year awards; did she outright reject him? Such as the way
    Momiji and Rin were rejected by their parents?

    Would it not be more logical to look for a friend--in a colleague--rather than a mother replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post

    She
    builds him up and Yuki takes in that support and isn't in his own power to give
    her the same amount of support back, until he finally is able to reapply that
    support to his other relationships, i.e. with Machi, Kakeru, even Kyo and
    Akito. They don't act as equals in their relationship, this is something Yuki
    spells out that he feels, but it is also something that can very clearly be
    seen. While Kyo on the other hand provides for Tohru as much as she does for
    him, he is able to lend her a shoulder in a way that Yuki is not able to. Yuki
    can offer a kind word here or there, or a good, strong friendship, but he is
    not nearly strong enough for Tohru to actually "lean" on.

    There
    is even evidence in the fact that throughout the whole series Tohru never once
    lets herself cry in front of Yuki alone, but she does in front of Kyo several
    times. She may become a little embarrassed or flustered, or shed a few small
    tears of gratitude, but she never fully breaks down in front of him. She even
    very rarely confides in him when she is upset. Completely reversed, Yuki
    confides in Tohru much of the time and she provides her smiles and advice,
    while Kyo is the one Tohru always ends up turning to in confidence.

    And more is the pity. A scene where Tohru had cried, or been flustered, or just
    been despondent in front of Yuki with him at a loss as to how to handle it,
    might have been useful. Afterwards, he could have been recriminating himself
    for being too weak to be of any use for Tohru when she heed his help.

    Ironically, it was Yuki who first offered to listen if there was anything bothering her.

    Aside from when he tells her that he wishes he were more like Kyo; and that he
    nice to other people only because wants them to like him, when does he confide
    in her?

    What are some of scenes that show her building him up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Those kinds of dynamics in their relationships are what make the
    defining difference and the evidence to support how Yuki and others end up
    describing them. Of the same token, there isn't a relationship dynamic to
    support Akito and Kyo together, and a very tentative one between Momiji and
    Tohru, where it also has to be acknowledged that they have a motherly/childlike
    dynamic.

    Well Ky-to was not meant to be taken seriously--just having a little fun with the tale where the cat wanted the god to be happy. By the way, what was the point of having that story?


    Mo-ru however, was not too farfetched. But given that he had already described Tohru as being like a mother, maybe it would have made more sense for him to have seen Tohru as mother figure rather than a love interest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    However, for the sake of this discussion I wanted to ignore the
    expositions, and focus on those scenes showing him being weak. According
    to the story, he was able to grow because Honda-san listened to his
    complaints--and whatnot--and accepted him unconditionally without passing any
    kind of judgment, right? But where in the story is it demonstrated Yuki
    attempting to talk to anyone else and being ridiculed and rejected? For me, to
    just describe a character as being this or that is too dull and simplistic. :-(

    What exactly were his weaknesses anyway? Other than the obvious lack of skill in home economics (i.e. cooking and cleaning) ;-) What did it mean when Yuki thanked Tohru for raising him as "a human"? What skills did she teach him that enabled him to be "human"? Was he behaving "in-human" beforehand?
    Yuki's weakness is similar to mine, I relate to him (and Machi, incidentally) on a very personal level, so I think I can give some insight into this.

    The thing about Yuki is what he considers his weakness (while yes he has been ridiculed and rejected, namely by his family but I'll go into that later) not as something other people impose on him but something he sees him as doing to himself. Yuki doesn't feel a personal confidence, that he can be himself around other people. Sure, he gets along with others in school - everyone likes him, etc. but Yuki doesn't open up to others. He doesn't bond with other people. He has no friends. Aside from Haru, he isn't very close to anyone in the Sohma family on anything more than that familial/bond of curse level (& he's not even close to his own brother who is also cursed) and even with Haru, Yuki wants to have relationships with "normal" people - people outside of the Sohma family. He wants to be free of the Sohmas, free of being trapped in that "relationship", because of how it and they have only damaged him. But the problem is that he has trouble making those connections with other people, outside, because of how he has been damaged by the Sohmas. That's Yuki's weakness.

    And throughout the manga this is demonstrated quite a few times. First off, we are shown that Yuki has no friendships. He has a fan club and that is all. Secondly, he avoids social situations even being "popular" and only does some things because people expect them of him and he feels pressured into it because he has no other means of making those "human" connections, such as wearing the crossdress to the cultural festival. He doesn't want to join the Student Council even when asked because the kind of social and human relationships that come with that territory are scary to him, as well as that he puts of a faux attitude of being annoyed by it all, but really he's just scared of his own ability to hold up his end of the "relationship". Yuki has this deep fear that he has nothing to offer others. And this comes from the way he was treated throughout his childhood, by his parents, by Akito, by the Sohma family in general, even by Kyo. That no one needs him, he's useless, no one wants him. Heighten that insecurity with the fact that the "him" that everyone at school finds so desirable is a shallow facade and he believes the real "him" that can't even properly interact with people is someone no one would want. Again, he doesn't confide in other people, he has no real connection with others so he doesn't feel comfortable showing his true self. His insecurity even gets into his relationship with Tohru, because by a certain point after calling her Honda-san for so long he feels like he can't act familiarly with her and call her Tohru, even when they have a close relationship. When he first meets Kakeru he can't get along with him at all, showing that when he doesn't have that weird fanclub admiration towards him coming for the other end, covering up everything real, it is very difficult for him to actually form genuine relationships with people.

    Yuki isn't currently being ridiculed and rejected outright by his classmates, but he was all throughout his childhood by his family, and in many ways he still is. So, because of that past he has it's framed his whole way of dealing with himself and interacting with people now in the present. His parents essentially sold him to be a "plaything" for some other child, Akito constantly hammered into his head that no one liked him and no one needed him, and he saw that play out in the way some of the other Zodiacs treated him and especially Kyo, as well as with his own parents and his brother. The one time he made friends, their memories had to be erased when they found out what he "really" was, and that all served to reinforce in his own mind that the true him was something undesirable. So, as Yuki got older, he closed himself off and started interacting with others only in the most basic of ways - which for him is just a very polite, formal, however shallow way, which (combined with his good looks) served to make him popular with other students, but still meant he never really got to know anyone and never formed any friendships.

    What then triggers his relationship with Tohru meaning something deeper to him is the very fact that, like his first & only friends when he was a child, she finds out about the curse. However, she doesn't immediately turn away from him and the real kicker is when, at the prospect of having her memory erased, she asks if she can still be his friend. So, here is this girl that knows the deepest, darkest secret about him that made him "not human", shut him out from the rest of the world, and jeopardized his ability as a child to have any friendships or relationships with others, telling him that she would still, genuinely, want to be his friend.

    At that point, Yuki is more open to talking with Tohru. He lets her see more of him than he lets anyone else in his own peer group and by and large his own family see. He formed a relationship with her. Yuki says Tohru raised him as "a human" because her simple desire to be his friend, accept him and encourage him, despite anything else about him, allowed him to form a normal relationship with a "normal" person. And for Yuki, being able to have relationships with people is being able to to "be human" because the Sohma curse, this thing that manifests him into a non-human form, most obvious and most devastating effect was not that it turned him into a rat, but that it kept him from forming relationships with other people.


    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    And it does not really seem that it was until he started interacting with the student council that any real
    changes could be particularly noted. Prior to being on the student council, was
    he significantly different than he was from the first volume? If he was, are there
    any examples to illustrate this? Was there even much of any real
    interaction shown between Tohru and Yuki? Not that there was no
    interaction; but it seemed the gist of most of their interaction was mainly,


    Tohru: '"Hi Yuki-kun"'

    Yuki: '"Hello Honda-san. Well I have to get going."'

    Tohru: '"And I need to get to work"'

    Yuki: '"See you tonight."'

    Tohru: '"Okay, bye.'"
    (possibly a bit of an exaggeration)

    Aside from when he tells her that he wishes he were more like Kyo; and that he
    nice to other people only because wants them to like him, when does he confide
    in her?

    What are some of scenes that show her building him up?
    I think you might be confusing the timeline, cause those are more or less (although still an exaggeration) what the interactions between Tohru and Yuki became after he met the Student Council. Which is the point. But before that they had plenty of important interactions that led to Yuki being able to change even further when he became a part of the Student Council. Honestly, that is where the bulk of Yuki's personal growth happens - with the student council - and that is not a dismissal of the importance of his relationship with Tohru. It is meant to go down that way. Tohru was his support, she gave him something that simply allowed him to have the ability change, but it wasn't until he met Kakeru and Machi that he really had a reason to. He wanted to, but he had no one to enact that desire on. His goal was to form better relationships with other people, people outside of the context of the Sohma family - he needed to meet those other people first to be able to act on that goal.

    But if you want evidence of how his relationship with Tohru worked...I've already mentioned her saying she wanted to be his friend. After that he has a time that he feels like he can confide in her, I believe the one you mentioned, where he says he in envious of Kyo because he sees that he can easily form relationships with people outside, and that he acts kind towards others for his own sake. Immediately after that incident Yuki goes to tend to his "secret base" and Tohru follows him. She shows a genuine interest in his garden and in his concerns, she tells him that she is very happy that he opened up to her and it makes her feel as if they are growing closer, and she tells him that one day he will be able to be someone who has genuine relationships with others, because she believes in him. All that is so important to Yuki, he's never had anyone show interest in him, he feels like he is undesirable, he has someone telling him just how incredibly happy she is that he opened up to her, which is hard for him to do, and that it makes her feel like they are getting closer, the one thing he really wants with people. And to top it off - the encouragement that he can have all that he worries about and desires one day. Yuki even tells her then "I would like to be friends with other people" and Tohru immediately launches into saying she's sure he could make good friends with her friends (i.e. Hana and Uo) and that is when Yuki genuinely smiles for the first time.

    This kind of situation is repeated several times between Tohru and Yuki, with more added on as new nuances to Yuki's inner self and his relationships arise. Even the little things, like her being excited about him planting strawberries in his garden next, or being asked to play cards with them all, calling him by his first name, mean the world in building him up. And we see these small changes in Yuki, him trying to give kindness back to Tohru the best he can, even if it is simple things like calling her cute, and him smiling more genuinely when he is around her. Sometimes he does pretty significant things because of her, like skipping out on New Years. The most important thing is that he's formed a friendship with her, a relationship, he helps her study, he walks her home from work every night, they hang out together - he has a real relationship with someone. They go to the hot springs together and he laughs in front of her, and he's never laughed in front of anyone, and he gives her a present. He's opening up.

    Then she literally defends him against Akito, pushing Akito out of the way. Through Tohru's encouragement Yuki is able to start getting along better with Ayame and he's become less reluctant to be involved in activities that are social. We see him able to talk to people more easily, such as the leader of his fanclub (although, he doesn't know that's what she is) and more honestly. You can see him begin to act more confidentially, more open with himself, incrementally throughout these early volumes, up into volume 12. When he's worried about his future in volume 8 he also confides in Tohru, when he meets Kakeru for the first time he talks to her about how he felt about it all.

    One of the biggest events that happens for Yuki in relation to Tohru is when he discovers that she was the little girl that he saved when he was younger. That was a solitary moment in his childhood where he felt like someone might need him and that the might be able to help other people. Quickly afterwards however all that was squashed by the continued abuse of Akito and his family, but when he rediscovers that all these years later Tohru is that same girl, and she still remembers and so values that little boy that was him, it opens all these new avenues of hope for Yuki.

    When they are at the beach house Yuki tells Tohru once that there is something he wants to be able to tell her one day but that he isn't strong enough yet and again after Akito finds him and torments him we see Yuki meet Tohru on the beach on his way back, and rather than being all despondent as he might have been before, he's very confident and tells her that he has been struggling with some things but that he is okay. Then on their way back he ends up telling Tohru that she's helped him by always being their to listen, and always accepting him even when he is weak, and that he is continuing to move forward. And it should be noted that while this is an illustration of Yuki growing stronger it is also still a form of him confiding in her.

    Now we're up to Volume 12, where Yuki really meets and starts interacting with the Student Council. Although, even after that he still has moments with Tohru. However, farther and farther their relationship goes along there starts to be more give and take, although never as much as Yuki is able to put into other relationships, such as with Machi.


    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    And no--I never thought she acted like a mother towards him--wonder if she would
    have taught him any cooking if she had ;-) --nor did he act like a child; but
    what he also craved was a place where he would be welcomed.
    He had a mother. Now while using him for
    her own selfish gain, and ignoring his pleas, would hardly win her any
    mother-of-the year awards; did she outright reject him? Such as the way
    Momiji and Rin were rejected by their parents?
    Would it not be more logical to look for a friend--in a colleague--rather than a mother replacement?

    His mother did outright reject him. She doesn't need to tell him not to come home anymore like Rin's parents or erase him from her memory like Momiji's for her to have rejected him. She sold him off to the head of the family and didn't allow him to come home. She never thought about him or considered his feelings. She used him and didn't care about him for one second. Whenever he tried to tell her how he was feeling she dismissed him out of hand. That is rejection. That is abandonment. That is abuse.

    The way I've always stated it in my mind is that Yuki and Tohru have a friendship first and a mother/parent relationship second. Yuki didn't go looking for a mother replacement. He didn't know or feel he needed one, he didn't want to need one, in fact when he realized he was feeling that kind of relationship with Tohru it embarrassed him to the point that he tried flirting with her and it took him all the way to the last page of Volume 14 to admit it to himself. As stated above, it became very important to Yuki that Tohru wanted to be his friend. That's still important, it always will be, they'll always be friends first before anything else. The reason he says that Tohru existed like a mother to him is because Yuki recognizes that the stunt in his social growth is due to the way he was treated throughout his childhood and that starts with his mother. She never gave him what a mother gives to a child - encouragement, love, belief in them, but most of all that first human relationship. That relationship that is solid and provides you the ability to confidently believe you can form relationships with others. He never got that from his mother. But he got that from Tohru.

    Additionally, Tohru existed as someone he could go to and get encouragement and comfort from, but as I explained in my previous post, he didn't feel like he could give the same back to her. So, it is like a relationship between a mother and a child, where the mother sustains the child and the child doesn't exist to sustain the mother. A truly equal friendship or romantic relationship wouldn't work that way, so Yuki recognizes how mother/child-like his relationship with Tohru is.






    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    And more is the pity. A scene where Tohru had cried, or been flustered, or just
    been despondent in front of Yuki with him at a loss as to how to handle it,
    might have been useful. Afterwards, he could have been recriminating himself
    for being too weak to be of any use for Tohru when she heed his help.
    I think it is far more evidence that Tohru never goes to Yuki when she is feeling upset, or never allows herself to get very upset around Yuki. Because she subconsciously is recognizing it as well and playing out their relationship where she is the one that supports him.

    And it is not as if Yuki would be completely at a loss if Tohru were upset in front of him. He is able to offer her phrases of encouragement now and then just out of his kindness. It isn't that he wholly lacks the ability to help someone else, but the fact that he is so weak at the time that Tohru is always the one helping him, so he doesn't have the opportunity to help her. When he is made stronger by Tohru's encouragement he is then able to turn around and help Machi when he sees her upset, or senses it deep down. Yuki needed to learn to believe in himself, not learn the behavior.




    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    Well Ky-to was not meant to be taken seriously--just having a little fun with the tale where the cat wanted the god to be happy. By the way, what was the point of having that story?
    I can definitely tell you the point of having that story. Cause it actually ties into everything else I've been saying about Yuki. The point of Fruits Basket is this story about relationships, forming connections or "bonds" between people. It is about gathering up the strength and the maturity to go into the world and interact with other people. Rather than staying tied to one safe, exclusive group like the Sohma family is, but instead going out and finding people and forming relationships and growing as a person through that. The Sohma Curse itself was created because God was afraid to do that. God was afraid of rejection, afraid of not being able to find a place in the world, a place with other people...so when he found this relationship through the Zodiac animals and the Cat, he wanted that bond to stay forever. But the Cat wanted God to learn to grow and reach out and let go of some relationships in order to form new ones, living happily in the world with other people. So, essentially, that wish and that want of the Cat for God, and for everyone, is what the whole story of Fruits Basket ends up playing out. Everyone lets go of the Sohma curse and learns to live with other people and form new relationships.

    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    Mo-ru however, was not too farfetched. But given that he had already described Tohru as being like a mother, maybe it would have made more sense for him to have seen Tohru as mother figure rather than a love interest?
    I mean, it can certainly be debated how much Momiji had actual romantic feelings towards Tohru on the level Kyo did, or anyone else towards anyone romantically in the story, and wasn't just projecting on her, but that doesn't change any of the evidence towards why Yuki felt that way about Tohru. People react different ways to the same situation, Yuki and Momiji were both without a mother, but it is clearly evident from the very beginning that Momiji is a lot stronger than nearly anyone else in the Zodiac and is able to deal with that loss without so desperately being in need of what he lost from his mother's rejection. His circumstances following losing his mother were different also - Yuki's experiences and circumstances compounded to bring him out the way he was.
    Last edited by Kurisuta1; 10-09-2013 at 12:00 AM.

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    [due to time constraints this is just a partial response--because my typing skills leave much to be desired ]


    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Yuki's weakness is similar to mine, I relate to him (and Machi, incidentally) on a very personal level, so I think I can give some insight into this.

    The thing about Yuki is what he considers his weakness (while yes he has been ridiculed and rejected, namely by his family but I'll go into that later) not as something other people impose on him but something he sees him as doing to himself. Yuki doesn't feel a personal confidence, that he can be himself around other people. Sure, he gets along with others in school - everyone likes him, etc. but Yuki doesn't open up to others. He doesn't bond with other people. He has no friends. Aside from Haru, he isn't very close to anyone in the Sohma family on anything more than that familial/bond of curse level (& he's not even close to his own brother who is also cursed) and even with Haru, Yuki wants to have relationships with "normal" people - people outside of the Sohma family. He wants to be free of the Sohmas, free of being trapped in that "relationship", because of how it and they have only damaged him. But the problem is that he has trouble making those connections with other people, outside, because of how he has been damaged by the Sohmas. That's Yuki's weakness.

    And throughout the manga this is demonstrated quite a few times. First off, we are shown that Yuki has no friendships. He has a fan club and that is all. Secondly, he avoids social situations even being "popular" and only does some things because people expect them of him and he feels pressured into it because he has no other means of making those "human" connections, such as wearing the crossdress to the cultural festival. He doesn't want to join the Student Council even when asked because the kind of social and human relationships that come with that territory are scary to him, as well as that he puts of a faux attitude of being annoyed by it all, but really he's just scared of his own ability to hold up his end of the "relationship". Yuki has this deep fear that he has nothing to offer others. And this comes from the way he was treated throughout his childhood, by his parents, by Akito, by the Sohma family in general, even by Kyo. That no one needs him, he's useless, no one wants him. Heighten that insecurity with the fact that the "him" that everyone at school finds so desirable is a shallow facade and he believes the real "him" that can't even properly interact with people is someone no one would want. Again, he doesn't confide in other people, he has no real connection with others so he doesn't feel comfortable showing his true self. His insecurity even gets into his relationship with Tohru, because by a certain point after calling her Honda-san for so long he feels like he can't act familiarly with her and call her Tohru, even when they have a close relationship. When he first meets Kakeru he can't get along with him at all, showing that when he doesn't have that weird fanclub admiration towards him coming for the other end, covering up everything real, it is very difficult for him to actually form genuine relationships with people.

    Yuki isn't currently being ridiculed and rejected outright by his classmates, but he was all throughout his childhood by his family, and in many ways he still is. So, because of that past he has it's framed his whole way of dealing with himself and interacting with people now in the present. His parents essentially sold him to be a "plaything" for some other child, Akito constantly hammered into his head that no one liked him and no one needed him, and he saw that play out in the way some of the other Zodiacs treated him and especially Kyo, as well as with his own parents and his brother. The one time he made friends, their memories had to be erased when they found out what he "really" was, and that all served to reinforce in his own mind that the true him was something undesirable. So, as Yuki got older, he closed himself off and started interacting with others only in the most basic of ways - which for him is just a very polite, formal, however shallow way, which (combined with his good looks) served to make him popular with other students, but still meant he never really got to know anyone and never formed any friendships.
    But as the rat was he not also accorded the respect due being the "one closest to god"? Which, of course, is as shallow as the fan club. Being possessed of the cat, Kyo also suffered ridicule, and rejection of the Sohma (except for Kazuma); neither did he have any friends.

    Or is it more likely that the other family members, and estate residents, took their lead from Akito and treated him in like manner?

    Come to think of it, aside from Yuki, did any of the other members of the Sohma family have any friends. That is, friends not within the family; and not including Tohru, Arisa, and Saki?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    What then triggers his relationship with Tohru meaning something deeper to him is the very fact that, like his first & only friends when he was a child, she finds out about the curse. However, she doesn't immediately turn away from him and the real kicker is when, at the prospect of having her memory erased, she asks if she can still be his friend. So, here is this girl that knows the deepest, darkest secret about him that made him "not human", shut him out from the rest of the world, and jeopardized his ability as a child to have any friendships or relationships with others, telling him that she would still, genuinely, want to be his friend.
    [somewhat off-tagent] Sometime wonder if the reaction of a second-grader should be expected to be the same as that of some one who in high school.

    For instance, Tohru first sees the other form of Kyo when she is sixteen, and with an adult figure right nearby. Kagura, on the other hand, was but a small child, alone, when she received the unexpected shock of seeing her playmate turn into this cute--albiet malodorous--creature. Is it any wonder that she might intially run away in fright?

    Was it because his friends were so traumatized by seeing him
    turn into a animal; or was it in order to perserve the secret that their memories had to erased? Had always figured that '"everyone thinks it is disgusting"' was just more of Akito playing mind games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    One of the biggest events that happens for Yuki in relation to Tohru is when he discovers that she was the little girl that he saved when he was younger. That was a solitary moment in his childhood where he felt like someone might need him and that the might be able to help other people. Quickly afterwards however all that was squashed by the continued abuse of Akito and his family, but when he rediscovers that all these years later Tohru is that same girl, and she still remembers and so values that little boy that was him, it opens all these new avenues of hope for Yuki.
    For something that seemed so significant in the story, it was a shame that she never found out that it had been him.



    Sometimes it almost seemed as if Takaya-sensei simply wanted to put to rest any notion of a love triangle--thank goodness--by establishing that the feelings Yuki had for Tohru were of a familial nature rather than romantic; or friendly that could evolve into romantic--again, thank goodness. An amazing feat of speculation might put forth the notion that if Yuki had been the more popular of the two that it might possibly have gone the other way. And if that was the case, thank you kyo fans for keeping that from happening.

    Because as it is, it seems that some of the points made for Yuki seeing Tohru as a mother figure could be could also apply to Kyo. Not all, mind, just some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    But as the rat was he not also accorded the respect due being the "one closest to god"? Which, of course, is as shallow as the fan club. Or is it more likely that the other family members, and estate residents, took their lead from Akito and treated him in like manner?
    Just because Yuki was treated as if he was special, does not mean he was treated well. And the only people who really afforded him any respect because of his place as "the Rat" were the handlers around Akito and him. His mother didn't see Yuki as special, she just saw that the one cursed by the Rat was considered special, and used that to her advantage. He was isolated, kept in a room with an abusive playmate, used and seen by everyone simply as a toy for Akito, abandoned and dismissed, hit and yelled at by his mother. Any "respect" that the Zodiacs are afforded because they are viewed as special within the Sohma family (and no mistake that they are, the whole Sohma family is built around keeping intact and paying reverence to that "amazing bond") is more for the matter just twisted and abusive. Their idea of "special treatment" and "respect" is just a cult-like abuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    Being possessed of the cat, Kyo also suffered ridicule, and rejection of the Sohma (except for Kazuma); neither did he have any friends. Come to think of it, aside from Yuki, did any of the other members of the Sohma family have any friends. That is, friends not within the family; and not including Tohru, Arisa, and Saki?
    Everyone in the Zodiac Curse's main problem is their ability to form relationships with others. That is what the whole main pit of the Zodiac Curse is. Even down to that fact that their transformations are triggered by hugs, a form of intimacy with other people, is an example of how it is designed to keep them away from relationships with "the outside". What Natsuki Takaya then does is manifest these forms of social isolation differently in each character, to make different points. Yuki's comes in the form I previously went into great detail describing, so I won't do so again. Kyo's manifests in a different way, the crux of which is his autonomy and acceptance of personal responsibility in his actions towards others.

    But it is just true that Yuki was uniquely more isolated than any of the others, even Kyo. For the first four or fives years of Kyo's life, when his mother was still alive, he was kept mostly locked up inside their home by her. But even then he was allowed outside sometimes and he eventually formed a friendship with Kagura at that young age. Even after Kagura ran away from his true form, and his mother started letting him go out even less and Kyo was distant, Kagura determined to still have a relationship with him.

    After those first five or so years of Kyo's life his mother committed suicide and Kazuma adopted him. From then on Kyo had a life "outside", he had a father figure, a relationship with the people Kazuma had relationships with, he had relative freedom, he practiced martial arts with the other Sohma children, he went to school with the other Sohma children. The Sohma family in general treated Kyo with ridicule and rejection, but the actual other Zodiac children, while deep down in their hearts had those same feelings as explained by Shigure, were his friends from a young age. Even if he had a grumpy relationship with them because of his personal attitude, he at least had a relationship with them, which is more than can be said for Yuki.


    Kyo even had a rather strong relationship with Kyoko for a period of his childhood, and even though it ended on bad terms, again he at least still had that relationship.

    That was Kyo's life from the time is was around five years old to the present of the story. Now, compare that to Yuki. Yuki didn't get outside of the Sohma house until he was about 14 years old. That's when he went to live with Shigure. That is only a year earlier than when the story starts. And Haru was his friend at the time (Haru was the reason he got to go live with Shigure) but judging from context it looks like Haru didn't become Yuki's friend until after most of the traumatizing things in his childhood had already happened. And even then, it wasn't as if he got to see Haru very often or on his own terms.

    Yuki was kept locked away in a small area of the Inside Sohma household, even very little allowed to leave his room, forced for his only relationship to be with Akito. He attended a separate school from all the other Zodiac members and was not allowed to socialize with them - he was not allowed to sit with them during banquets and gatherings (he was made to always sit beside Akito) and he wasn't allowed to practice martial arts with them, as many of them were doing with Kazuma (Kyo, Haru, Kagura).

    All the other Zodiacs at least had each other, and even though Yuki wants to form relationships with those Outside of the curse it is still a very important distinction that he had no social relationships with anyone in his childhood, while the other Zodiac members at least had each other. And at least several of them had a few other relationships. Yuki is shown to have had absolutely no one except Akito.

    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    [somewhat off-tagent] Sometime wonder if the reaction of a second-grader should be expected to be the same as that of some one who in high school.

    For instance, Tohru first sees the other form of Kyo when she is sixteen, and with an adult figure right nearby. Kagura, on the other hand, was but a small child, alone, when she received the unexpected shock of seeing her playmate turn into this cute--albiet malodorous--creature. Is it any wonder that she might intially run away in fright?

    Was it because his friends were so traumatized by seeing him
    turn into a animal; or was it in order to perserve the secret that their memories had to erased? Had always figured that '"everyone thinks it is disgusting"' was just more of Akito playing mind games.
    Well, first I have to wonder in what context Kyo's true from could be considered cute. It certainly isn't human, or resembling any sort of real life animal. It has odd colored and textured skin, exaggerated disjointed limbs, sharp teeth and claws, long sinewy neck, oddly shaped face and murderous eyes. I mean. It is more than just "malodorous" (good word, though).

    But anyway, of course a small child's reaction is going to be different than a teenager's or adult's. Of course. Although, you have to take into account that Tohru is not your average person. She's not meant to be - she's the protagonist. We expect that she had a stronger constitution than anyone else her same age or older would. And she was still crying, throwing up and trembling with fear in Kyo's case. If Yuki's friends or Kagura would have been older I doubt it would have very much changed their reactions.

    That doesn't change the fact that the small child that is being rejected by the other small children isn't going to not be effected by their actions and carry that into their adulthood. Yuki's friends memories were erased because they have to preserve the family secret - it had nothing to do with protecting the other children. The Sohma family could probably care less who would be "traumatized" by finding out about their curse. They just have to preserve the sacredness of that bond and sacred things usually have a limited scope of who knows about it. Nevertheless, Yuki's friends were traumatized. The two aren't mutually exclusive. And even if they weren't exactly traumatized - a friend of theirs just turned into a rat. That's weird. They aren't going to want to associate with him any longer. Akito was playing mind games, telling Yuki that everyone finds it disgusting, but Akito wasn't completely wrong either. The Sohma aren't normal, in a very extreme way, and even small abnormalities in people that we come to expect or understand still get them excluded by others.



    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    For something that seemed so significant in the story, it was a shame that she never found out that it had been him.
    Yuki himself says it doesn't matter if she ever knows it was him with the hat. It means enough to him that she holds the memory sacred and he knows it was him. But I think she did find out. I think it can be inferred that Kyo explained more of his past relationship and what happened with Kyoko to Tohru after they got together, including the whole of the story with the hat and that it had belonged to Yuki. I mostly assume this because I find it too hard a suspension of disbelief to think that Tohru would have let Kyo get away with telling her he had known her mother as a child and felt responsible for her death and not explain anymore of it or clarify anything. I also don't think Kyo wouldn't want to tell her. And secondly, in their ending scene at Kyoko's grave Kyo says he will "be keeping that promise" and Tohru becomes very emotional at those words. She would need the full context of the hat story for those words to mean anything to her. So I think she did know eventually, even if Yuki never directly told her himself. All of that is probably why the hat remains on display in her house up into her very old age, next to things as important as Kyo's beads and pictures of her mother and family.



    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    Sometimes it almost seemed as if Takaya-sensei simply wanted to put to rest any notion of a love triangle--thank goodness--by establishing that the feelings Yuki had for Tohru were of a familial nature rather than romantic; or friendly that could evolve into romantic--again, thank goodness. An amazing feat of speculation might put forth the notion that if Yuki had been the more popular of the two that it might possibly have gone the other way. And if that was the case, thank you kyo fans for keeping that from happening.

    Because as it is, it seems that some of the points made for Yuki seeing Tohru as a mother figure could be could also apply to Kyo. Not all, mind, just some.
    I find this last response of yours entirely incredulous. For a few replies now I have been piling up the evidence that Yuki’s feelings and relationship with Tohru is something very complex, very purposefully played out from the very beginning of the story, very intentional and detailed. Something that relates on a very complex level to the larger themes of Fruits Basket. I don't understand how by this point you don't see that. I feel like you are trying your damnedest not to see it.

    If you want me to write over 8 pages worth of how Kyo and Tohru's relationship functions, as I did with Yuki and Tohru, then I could certainly do so. But I really don't feel like this isn't a conclusion you can come to yourself. As detailed in this post, Kyo has an entirely different childhood from Yuki and develops an entirely different personality and difficulties. He has a completely different relationship with Tohru. I'm certain none of the points for Yuki seeing Tohru as a mother figure could be applied to Kyo.

    Natsuki Takaya crafted her story and characters with great purpose and wasn't swayed by public opinion. You can know this simply by actually reading the story - you can tell how well crafted it was and how intentional it all was. You could not have the amount of incredibly perfected and detailed characterization or plot organization that Fruits Basket has if halfway through the story Natsuki Takaya had decided to change direction simply because of the "love story" she or fans wanted to see played out. Romance is not even the main genre of Fruits Basket.

    So, you don't even need to refer to authorial intent to see any of this but lo' and behold if you find that more convincing then we can - Natsuki Takaya has stated that the very first scene she ever conceived of for Fruits Basket was the one where Yuki is standing on the back porch with Tohru and tells her that she existed as a mother to him.

    Game, set, match.
    Last edited by Kurisuta1; 10-11-2013 at 04:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Just because Yuki was treated as if he was special, does not mean he was treated well. And the only people who really afforded him any respect because of his place as "the Rat" were the handlers around Akito and him. His mother didn't see Yuki as special, she just saw that the one cursed by the Rat was considered special, and used that to her advantage. He was isolated, kept in a room with an abusive playmate, used and seen by everyone simply as a toy for Akito, abandoned and dismissed, hit and yelled at by his mother. Any "respect" that the Zodiacs are afforded because they are viewed as special within the Sohma family (and no mistake that they are, the whole Sohma family is built around keeping intact and paying reverence to that "amazing bond") is more for the matter just twisted and abusive. Their idea of "special treatment" and "respect" is just a cult-like abuse.
    This pretty much coincides with how I saw it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    That was Kyo's life from the time is was around five years old to the present of the story. Now, compare that to Yuki. Yuki didn't get outside of the Sohma house until he was about 14 years old.
    Except when he went to school. Do you think the reason the mangaka might have had Akito allow Yuki out to go to school--rather than also being home-schooled--was for sake of cruelty, or was it to maintain the separation between the two? Or perhaps there really was no motivation other than to set up the situtation where Yuki would make friends and then have to lose them. And while the memory of Yuki turning into a rat was erased, they were the ones to first invite Yuki to be friends; why would not just have them do so again? Yes, of course, the answer is obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    That's when he went to live with Shigure. That is only a year earlier than when the story starts. And Haru was his friend at the time (Haru was the reason he got to go live with Shigure) but judging from context it looks like Haru didn't become Yuki's friend until after most of the traumatizing things in his childhood had already happened. And even then, it wasn't as if he got to see Haru very often or on his own terms.

    Yuki was kept locked away in a small area of the Inside Sohma household, even very little allowed to leave his room, forced for his only relationship to be with Akito. He attended a separate school from all the other Zodiac members and was not allowed to socialize with them - he was not allowed to sit with them during banquets and gatherings (he was made to always sit beside Akito) and he wasn't allowed to practice martial arts with them, as many of them were doing with Kazuma (Kyo, Haru, Kagura).

    All the other Zodiacs at least had each other, and even though Yuki wants to form relationships with those Outside of the curse it is still a very important distinction that he had no social relationships with anyone in his childhood, while the other Zodiac members at least had each other. And at least several of them had a few other relationships. Yuki is shown to have had absolutely no one except Akito.
    With the exception Hatsuharu later on. About how old was he at that point though? It was after the incident with Tohru, but he still looked rather young.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Well, first I have to wonder in what context Kyo's true from could be considered cute. It certainly isn't human, or resembling any sort of real life animal. It has odd colored and textured skin, exaggerated disjointed limbs, sharp teeth and claws, long sinewy neck, oddly shaped face and murderous eyes. I mean. It is more than just "malodorous" (good word, though).
    Eye-of-the-Beholder, I suspect. Though I did think the trousers were really quite silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    But anyway, of course a small child's reaction is going to be different than a teenager's or adult's. Of course. Although, you have to take into account that Tohru is not your average person. She's not meant to be - she's the protagonist. We expect that she had a stronger constitution than anyone else her same age or older would. And she was still crying, throwing up and trembling with fear in Kyo's case. If Yuki's friends or Kagura would have been older I doubt it would have very much changed their reactions.

    That doesn't change the fact that the small child that is being rejected by the other small children isn't going to not be effected by their actions and carry that into their adulthood. Yuki's friends memories were erased because they have to preserve the family secret - it had nothing to do with protecting the other children. The Sohma family could probably care less who would be "traumatized" by finding out about their curse. They just have to preserve the sacredness of that bond and sacred things usually have a limited scope of who knows about it. Nevertheless, Yuki's friends were traumatized. The two aren't mutually exclusive. And even if they weren't exactly traumatized - a friend of theirs just turned into a rat. That's weird. They aren't going to want to associate with him any longer. Akito was playing mind games, telling Yuki that everyone finds it disgusting, but Akito wasn't completely wrong either. The Sohma aren't normal, in a very extreme way, and even small abnormalities in people that we come to expect or understand still get them excluded by others.
    Is it the turning into a rat; or just turning into an animal that would be deemed so disgusting? At first had thought it the latter but then recalled series like Ranma 1/2, where people change into animals and no one really seems to care one way or the other, so that would not necessarily the case But then again in some Asian cultures rats are not considered as offensive as they might be in others. Is Japan among those Asian cultures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Yuki himself says it doesn't matter if she ever knows it was him with the hat. It means enough to him that she holds the memory sacred and he knows it was him. But I think she did find out. I think it can be inferred that Kyo explained more of his past relationship and what happened with Kyoko to Tohru after they got together, including the whole of the story with the hat and that it had belonged to Yuki. I mostly assume this because I find it too hard a suspension of disbelief to think that Tohru would have let Kyo get away with telling her he had known her mother as a child and felt responsible for her death and not explain anymore of it or clarify anything. I also don't think Kyo wouldn't want to tell her. And secondly, in their ending scene at Kyoko's grave Kyo says he will "be keeping that promise" and Tohru becomes very emotional at those words. She would need the full context of the hat story for those words to mean anything to her. So I think she did know eventually, even if Yuki never directly told her himself. All of that is probably why the hat remains on display in her house up into her very old age, next to things as important as Kyo's beads and pictures of her mother and family.
    That Yuki would find it unimportant is rather in keeping with his character. ;-) When he helped Tohru he was grateful to her for providing him a moment when he could feel that he was not completely worthless--that she should remember it was a bonus for him.

    But Tohru does get emotional quite a bit. It could have been just knowing that she would be able to be beside the one that she loved that had her tearing up. It is certainly possible that Takaya intended for the reader to figure that Tohru found out about the hat through Kyo; but it would not have been essential for Kyo to just tell her on his own volition. Tohru was not depicted as being the pushy type if he did not want to go into details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    I find this last response of yours entirely incredulous. For a few replies now I have been piling up the evidence that Yuki’s feelings and relationship with Tohru is something very complex, very purposefully played out from the very beginning of the story, very intentional and detailed. Something that relates on a very complex level to the larger themes of Fruits Basket. I don't understand how by this point you don't see that. I feel like you are trying your damnedest not to see it.
    ". . .trying your damnedest. . . ." Thank you, but you really are giving me far too much credit. But again it was merely wild speculation and hardly original. However, is it absolutely unheard for a mangaka to make changes in accordance to the reactions of the fans? That they are never guided as to which direction to take a story, or a character, by how the (majority) of the fans have reacted to the story and/or character thus far? :-(

    If you want me to write over 8 pages worth of how Kyo and Tohru's relationship functions, as I did with Yuki and Tohru, then I could certainly do so. But I really don't feel like this isn't a conclusion you can come to yourself. As detailed in this post, Kyo has an entirely different childhood from Yuki and develops an entirely different personality and difficulties. He has a completely different relationship with Tohru. I'm certain none of the points for Yuki seeing Tohru as a mother figure could be applied to Kyo.

    Gracious no. There is certainly no need for that. Yikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    Natsuki Takaya crafted her story and characters with great purpose and wasn't swayed by public opinion.
    Is this well known fact? Was she ever asked about whether public opinion might have ever played a role?

    In Fruits Bakset: Banquet did she not share that she had been tempted to pair Tohru with both Momitchi, or Akito? Originally she thought Yuki would be the second main character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    You can know this simply by actually reading the story - you can tell how well crafted it was and how intentional it all was. You could not have the amount of incredibly perfected and detailed characterization or plot organization that Fruits Basket has if halfway through the story Natsuki Takaya had decided to change direction simply because of the "love story" she or fans wanted to see played out. Romance is not even the main genre of Fruits Basket.
    No, it is a high school comedy.

    Nothing really needs be changed if enough dialogue is kept vague. Half started sentences, references to lids on boxes, etc allows an author to fill in gaps later on. Therefore, the manga-ka could very easily set up any number of the characters as having been looking for a mother figure. When Yuki is thinking back on how Tohru treated him, he recalls not just how he himself was treated, but the others as well. It is not as if were exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurisuta1 View Post
    So, you don't even need to refer to authorial intent to see any of this but lo' and behold if you find that more convincing then we can - Natsuki Takaya has stated that the very first scene she ever conceived of for Fruits Basket was the one where Yuki is standing on the back porch with Tohru and tells her that she existed as a mother to him.
    Was it the part where he reveals that she was a mother figure, or the part where he final calls her by her first name? It was that part that mangaka hoped people would be especially moved by.

    Game, set, match.

    Well I am not really a fan of horse racing. . .but tis neither here nor there--not unlike this post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehodgepodge View Post
    No, it is a high school comedy.
    Are you seriously

    Are you seriously

    seriously

    trying to tell me that the main genre of Fruits Basket would be "high school comedy"

    seriously?


    It would even be put under romance long before that.

    I'm...really almost sure we can't even continue to have this discussion if that it what you really think of the series. So...thank you but...yeah...

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