:Episode 1 -"Never quit under any circumstances":
(focus on Tohru)
we meet Honda Tohru, she is beaming
with pleasure at the beautiful summer day which makes
walking to school from her current home, a tent in
some woods, a pleasure. Before she's off, she talks
to the picture of her dead mother (dead from a
car crash just that May - it is autumn now),
assuring her that she will do her best to do well
in school and everywhere else, because
"One of my virtues is that no matter the times,
I will not be discouraged".
Actually, Tohru constantly talks to her mother and
we hear most of her inner monologue throughout the
series. She just has to put everything she experiences
in terms of advice from her mother or something she
wants to tell her - I am sure this is a big part of
how Tohru deals with the death of her last truly close
relative (given that her father died when she
was a small child).
She isn't fazed by the fact that she has to live in
a tent so as not to be a burden to any of her relatives,
while her grandfather's is being renovated to allow
his daughter and family to move in (she even works
part-time to pay her school tuition), so it is
no surprise that she's just as happily cheerful when
she discovers a traditional Japanese house near her
tent, and a collection of Juunishi-stones in front
of Tohru's favourite stories was the myth of the Juunishi,
which her mother had told her as a small child. Tohru
even then showed her sympathy for the outsider, because
- despite being born in the year of the dog (which
makes Shigure especially sympathetic towards her)
- she really wants to be born in the year of the cat,
the lonely outsider animal, who is not part of the
Sohma Shigure, a young man who seems
to be the owner of the house, turns out to be the
cousin of " of 1st
year, Section D, at Kawara high school, (so attractive,
and clearheaded, both scholarly and athletic) prince"
Sohma Yuki, who is classmate
to Tohru, but never truly noticed her until now. Yuki
comes across as friendl,y but reserved/secretive and
vaguely suspicious of Shigure's open friendliness
toward Tohru. Both Sohmas for some reason politely
overlook Tohru's story of her living nearby, although
both know that the surrounding forest belongs to the
Being a polite person, Yuki not only saves her from
a dubious proposal by Shigure (living up to his
"prince"-nickname), he also offers
to accompany Tohru to school, where she consequently
has to suffer the jealous interrogation of the LOVELY
YUKI-fanclub "Princess", until her two oldest
friends rescue her.
Tohru is proven to be a friend of the underdog, since
one of her friends is a former member of a girl-gang
(Uotani Arisa/ Uo-chan),
and the other girl (Hanajima Saki/
Hana-chan) seems to have dark psychic
powers: both have no other friend than Tohru. They
are fiercely protective, which makes them wonder a
lot that the stand-offish Yuki, who ALWAYS avoids
contact with females, has accompanied Tohru to school.
Hanajima senses that he is somehow different, something
she'll realise about all the Sohmas she meets.
It is here that Tohru's cheerful naivete shows its
first cracks, as we learn that she hasn't been able
to tell her friends the news that she is living in
a tent: she has tried to convince herself that it
is a chance for her to live alone. She doesn't want
to impose on her friends, one of whom has a large
family herself, while the other lives in a one-room
flat. The two are already suspicious that her grand-father
might steal Tohru's part-time job money.
Shigure himself comes across from the first as a comic
foil for Yuki (and Kyo, when he is introduced).
Where Yuki is introverted, and Kyo is aggressive,
Shigure seems to be a happy extrovert, always glad
to make a joke, be it ever so bad taste, and to poke
fun at the attitudes of everyone (- just look
at thim laughing his head off when they find Tohru's
tent ^o^). But he provides Yuki with a home away
from the Sohmas and Kyo with a home to be part a Sohma
family. Shigure provides the boys with the first opportunities
for change, but it will be Tohru, in her role as non-Sohma
outsider, who will become the true catalyst..
However, in this first episode it doesn't look promising:
Yuki explains to Tohru in his logical and precise
manner, that it is completely stupid for the cat to
want to be part of the Juunishi, and Tohru realises
in shock that he doesn't like cats, even though he
seems to be such a courteous person "Cats
are fools. They have a bad nature". Typically
Tohru, she decides to ignore Yuki's dislike.
Tohru has no concept of personal limits, not in work
and not in her belief that if she tries hard enough,
things will be as she wants them to be. So while she
is embarassed to be found in her tent by Shigure and
Yuki that evening, she rallies fast and asks for permission
to continue using their land for her tent, which she
has been using for a week. Tohru is very earnest,
willing to do anything to keep her current problems
hidden from those who love her.
Shigure, after having laughed himself out of breath,
shows the caring side of his dual nature and cautions
Tohru about the bad condition of the ground and a
possible danger of "molesters" - and this
time he is NOT joking. Tohru takes his objections
as only one more obstacle to overcome - once she has
made up her mind about something, she seems unstoppable
- even when the Sohmas realize she has a fever (and
can't offer any help, as the kitchen has become "the
sea of corruption" ^o^) . It takes a landslide,
which Shigure heard, to make it clear to Tohru that
she can't live in the tent anymore.
is the first time Tohru cannot find a way out for
herself since her mother has died. She breaks down
completely over the loss of her mother's picture and
comes to terms with the personal tragedy of losing
her home again, while remembering the pain that the
death of her mother caused her and the personal guilt
that she has been carrying around because of it.
I've lost my home again.
Shigure: Is that hard on you?
Tohru: No, I know something that's
Shigure: What's that?
Tohru: I didn't say... "Come
The morning of the day Mother died in the acccident.
I had a short test... so I studied into the morning...
and then couldn't get up. It was only that morning
that I didn't say it ... even though I always said
It was only that morning...
I... didn't want to go to high school... I thought
instead I would work... But mother said, "I only
graduated from middle school myself but I still would
have liked to have seen what being a high school girl
is like, you know? That's why you're going to enjoy
the high school life in my place."
I understood... that all that time, she was working
And yet, I couldn't say "Come back soon"
to Mother. I wasn't even able to see her back as she
left to work.
And so, I want to at least... I want to safely graduate
from high school, which Mother wanted me to attend.
That is my... goal.... This is... no time... to be
outdone by.... a fever...
Shigure, the faithful dog, serves as her sounding-board
there in the darkness of Sohma house with a few words
of common sense and by using her mother's advice to
make her see reason; encouraging her to share her
story, but not being nosy. Meanwhile the quiet Yuki
becomes active, to look for medical herbs and also
to unearth the picture of Tohru's mother.
Yuki finally starts reflecting on someone else's personal
tragedy, and sees it in relation to his own situation.
He realises that he has been playing it safe, his
small rebellion of living outside the Sohma main house.
That he always has family to fall back on, if the
road gets to rough - even though he claims to want
to stand on his own feet. He starts respecting not
only Tohru's kindness and cheerfulness, but her absolute
detemination to not be beaten by dark turns in life,
and live up to the shining example of her mother.
Yuki: It's quite
At school, she always seems so cheerful. It seemed
she had never known hardship or anything of the sort.
I had planned on running away from the House of Sohma...
but in the end, here I am, still among the Sohma...
If I really didn't like it, I could have done like
Honda-san, and carried away a tent, and gone off to
either somewhere unexplored, or to the back country,
I've had it easy, huh?
Shigure: To call it "amazing"
would be rude to Tohru-kun.
Yuki: That's true.
We finally get a look at the eerie side of being Juunishi,
when Yuki summons mice to help dig out the photo and
Shigure's eyes reflect the light in the darkness.
Tohru herself has one of those memory/dream conversations
with her mother (it seems she has always been
prone to having fever), and receives another
encouraging word on how to live. "
Tohru, you can just be yourself, and take things slowly.
You'll overtake them sometime."
The next morning an unusually relaxed Yuki invites
Tohru to use the spare room of the Sohma-household
until the renovation at her grandfather's place is
over. Tohru is of course increbibly awed and very
embarassed and starts babbling, because she does not
want to accept favours without repaying them. Shigure
slyly offers her the job of being Sohma-housekeeper,
and Yuki tops that by prosaically pointing out that
she has nowhere else to go. Tohru agrees, but wants
to know more about the Sohma's houserules and customs
RIGHT NOW, which Yuki politely but firmly declines:
Honda-san, you can just
be yourself, and take things slowly... in this house...
This is probably the first inkling that onigiri Tohru
has, that she might have landed in the fruits basket
she so desperately wants to be a part of.
And then the third part of the triangle literally crashes
into her life and into her new bedroom. Kyo,
never one for words, goes after Yuki right away -
fresh from four weeks of martial arts training in
the wilds. Kyo can not keep his head when Yuki taunts
him, so he completely ignores Tohru. He brings out
the feral, patronising part in Yuki's nature, so it's
now wonder that, after some taunting, the two have
at each other.
The completely baffled girl tries to stop the attack,
slips in her borrowed clothes on the broken roof tiles
littering her floor, falls into Kyo and suddenly finds
herself holding a bedraggled orange tabby. Tohru might
be full of panic, but she remains practical and wants
to get him to a doctor, but gets hit by another falling
tile and when Yuki and Shigure try to catch her, they
turn into their Juunishi-form, which brings Tohru
close to fainting and leaves her calling for her mother.
~ END OF EPISODE.
to watch a slideshow of the most interesting
moments in Episode 1. You better bring some time though,
since the images are of good quality ;-).