Fruits Basket (2019) Episode 4 – The Problematic Episode.

Hello Everyone! I’m back and back to watching anime once again, today I wanted to talk about the 4th episode to Fruits Basket. Now I don’t want to be overly critical or negative about something if I can but this episode was quite hard for me to watch. There was so many issues that I had with this episode but I knew this would be the case for me as I also had issues with the chapter from the manga also.

Why do I have an issue with this episode?

Why did I have a hard time watching it?

It’s mainly because of Kagura Sohma and the amount of violence that she uses against Kyo, now I know that this was added in for some light hearted humor but it didn’t sit that well with me. There was no need for her to use that amount of violence against Kyo at all and I didn’t even laugh through the episode, quite frankly I wanted to switch it off and skip it, I guess in a way it was a bit too realistic for me.

The whole reason for me hating this episode is because I sort of went through quite alot of abuse as a child and this just triggered me slightly. I felt alot of sympathy towards Kyo and alot of hatred towards Kagura.

I know that it’s obvious that it is the intention that, as a result in the contrast between Kaguya’s appearance (her slight petite frame, her big brown eyes, the way she holds herself) and her violent behavior, we as an audience are supposed to laugh. But is this abusive behavior something that we should laugh about? Would we even find it hilarious if it was the other way around, that it was Kyo beating Kagura instead.

Male-perpetrated violence is vilified in today’s society. Rightfully so. The seriousness of female-perpetrated violence, however, is always played down, as was the case with this episode; “Oh, that’s just how Kagura expresses affection.” This is not right and not a right way to show affection. We should hold women to the same standard as men in terms of violent behavior. If this were the case, then maybe domestic violence against men wouldn’t be so under-reported.

Fruits Basket tries to frame Kagura’s violence as indicative of just how much she cares for Kyo. To demonstrate, during a conversation in which Kyo calls Kagura a royal pain, Tohru counters by saying that it’s amazing to be so in love with someone like that. Don’t abusers often cite love as the reason for their violent behavior? This is a dangerous lie to tell, that violence is okay in a relationship as long as it’s motivated by love.

Kagura often blames Kyo for her violent outbursts throughout the episode, saying it’s his fault for disappearing for four months and not calling her. This is Kyo’s choice, if he wants to be off radar then it’s okay for him to be, aslong as he is safe, Kagura is a archetypal abuser, shifting the blame from herself to the person she is hurting. Yet not once does anybody ever call Kagura out on her appalling behavior!

Kagura is my least favorite character in Fruits Basket. Her only redeeming feature is that she’s unlucky in love, and I can see why with the behavior that she shows.

To end this blog post on a more positive side, we get treated to seeing a whole different side to Kyo and a very sweet scene between him and Tohru. After some gentle coaxing from Tohru, Kyo opens up and speaks about his love for martial arts and for the man who taught him to fight; his master. It’s the first time that we, and Tohru, get to see a carefree and happy Kyo. As a result of the conversation, Tohru resolves to learn more about the things that interest Kyo and Yuki and takes out a book on martial arts and a book on gardening from her school’s library. I am touched by the way Tohru approaches her friendships. It evokes an image of an avid gardener. To ensure that their garden thrives they devote time, energy, and the sweat of their brow to make sure that it receives enough sun, water, and nutrients. Their success is also dependent on their knowledge, as different plants require different kinds of soil, different amounts of sun, etc. Likewise, Tohru devotes time, energy, and a considerable amount of thought into learning about her friends and giving them just what they need, whether that’s understanding, an ear to listen to, or a safe space in which to be themselves. It’s no surprise, then, that her friendships positively flourish as a result!

Thanks for joining me again, As per usual what are/were your thought’s on this episode? What are/were your thoughts on Kagura?

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