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Memory for you

Memory for you

Memory for You

Memory for You

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Memory for You - A shrine to the Fruits Basket Anime

:Episode 1 -"Never quit under any circumstances":
(focus on Tohru)

Tohru in front of her tentWhen 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 it.

Tohru remembers her motherOne 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 twelve Juunishi-animals.

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 Sohmas exclusively.

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.

Uo-chan is wondering about Yuki's behaviourAgain 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.

Tohru suffers from a slight feverThis 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.

Tohru: I've lost my home again.
Shigure: Is that hard on you?
Tohru: No, I know something that's even harder...
Shigure: What's that?
Tohru: I didn't say... "Come back soon."
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....
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 for me....
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 amazing, huh?
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, or someplace.
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.

Click here 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 ;-).


All the images have been captured or scanned by me. So please credit Memory for You, if you take any images or wallpapers, by linking back to me.

The copyright of the anime and the characters remains with Takaya Natsuki and TV Tokyo, respectively.

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