Fruits Basket - Vol.16
Fruits Basket has so many flashbacks. There's just so much going on, in the present but also in the past. Last book, it was focused on Yuki, and a section of his childhood. In this book, however, the focus is on Kyo, who apparently met and kinda talked with Tohru's mom, Kyoko. (let's hope I don't confuse their names 😬)
So, most of this started simply because Kyo took a nap on the floor. This is why you don't nap on the floor. Sure, maybe it feels nice, sometimes, to lie on the floor, but if you're anything like me, you'll get stuck. Kyo didn't, but he doesn't have a busted hip, so he has that going for him.
So he was thinking back to when he met Tohru's mom, who started talking about her past. It's never really said why or when this happened, but I'll just think that Kyo forgot about the particulars. It seems like it happened when he was pretty young, so it'd make sense.
It seems like Kyoko's life was kinda similar to Uotami's life, in that her relationship with her parents was abysmal, and she often acted out. She got herself into a "bad crowd", and rarely went to school. Her dad was said to not think about his family, and her mom only did things to keep up with appearances. They never went out as a family, and Kyoko felt ignored and/or unwanted. It was a chance happening that Kyoko even ended up meeting Katsuya (who would later become Tohru's dad). She was at school, and she got called aside and put in a separate room, which is when they first met. She was yelling up a storm, and Katsuya wanted to know what she was so angry about.
This particular incident was shortly after her dad had basically told her that she should be more grateful for what she's gotten in life, to which she responded with "Who even asked me if I wanted to be born?", and this was clearly still floating around in her mind. As she continued yelling at Katsuya, it became apparent that what she was yelling at Katsuya was what she felt herself, which is why is made sense that she quickly broke down into tears. This was especially the case after he said that he thinks she does want people to care about her, and she does care about what people are saying (otherwise, she probably wouldn't be bothered by it). After all of this, Katsuya took her to a ramen place, just completely cutting class.
Kyoko was confused by Katsuya, but after meeting him, she started trying to better her life. It was mostly small things, like showing up at school. She didn't go to any of her classes, but she was at school (which sounds extremely boring to me, but whatever). She was able to talk to Katsuya a little bit more, but not a lot, seeing as he was a student teacher, he had things to do. When the time came for Katsuya's training to end, he revealed that he wasn't going to continue on to be a teacher, that he just didn't like it. This, understandably, bummed out Kyoko, because she was looking forward to seeing him everyday. Once he left, she would probably never see him again. Fortunately for the story (and Tohru's general existence), it wasn't. He ended up getting a job at a pharmaceutical place, and visited Kyoko on the weekends to help her with her schoolwork, and Kyoko tried to get back into school. The gang that she was a part of didn't like that much, and beat her up a bunch for trying to leave it. They beat her up so bad she had to go to a hospital, and wasn't able to get into high school. Her parents refused to visit her in the hospital, and after she was unable to get into high school, they completely disowned her.
Thankfully, Katsuya was nearby (presumably because he wanted to see if she was okay, because after she woke up in the hospital and learned it was too late to take the entrance exams, she didn't try to talk to him, thinking that his help and efforts were all for nothing), and overheard Kyoko's parents, and that's when he announced his intentions to marry Kyoko, which took both her and her parents by surprise. As they were walking away from Kyoko's parent's house, Kyoko still couldn't believe that Katsuya was serious, but he totally was. He said that he saw her as a very genuine person, particularly in their first meeting (which is, he said, when he fell in love with her, which I think is kiiinnddaa weird, but okay), and that he has full intention on marrying her. He wished that he could've made it a bit more of a happy surprise, but in the moment, it was basically the only way that he could guarantee that nothing bad would happen to Kyoko.
Kyoko bristled at the idea of a wedding, and apparently, so did most of the Hondas. There's probably a host of reasons, ranging from how Kyoko was eight years younger than him, to the fact that she used to be in a gang, but there was one person who was supportive of Kyoko and Katsuya: Katsuya's dad.
When Kyoko found out she was pregnant, she freaked out. She didn't feel like she could be a good mother, because of the way she was. How could a person with her background be a good mother? The way that her parents treated her as a kid was awful, and she was terrified that she would end up doing the same to her child. Katsuya pointed out that since she was already so aware of these problems, that she would do her most to avoid doing the same to her own child. They might make mistakes, but they would try their hardest to do their best. And so, Tohru was born. What a cute little round organism.
For a couple years, everything was happy. Katsuya and Kyoko both loved Tohru to pieces, it was great. Then, Katsuya fell sick, and ended up dying. This destroyed Kyoko, because there was such an emphasis on togetherness between the two, especially when it came to raising Tohru. She was completely desolate, almost angry at the world that it continued existing as if nothing had happened. She came out of mourning, a little bit anyway, after going out to see the ocean, and overhearing a mom and daughter talking to each other, and she realized that she couldn't remember if she had even talked to Tohru since Katsuya's death. She raced home, and saw Tohru sitting at the entrance, mostly asleep, and say "Welcome home". It was something that Kyoko and Katsuya used to say a lot, so it meant a lot to Kyoko.
The flashback concluded with Kyoko saying that, "Maybe the world doesn't need me. But there's still one person who's kind enough to need me. I only need that to live." Kyo then asked her if she still missed Katsuya, but Kyoko(why are their names so similar ;-;) didn't really respond. I mean, of course she still missed him, she probably missed him everyday, but she still had to get through life and raise Tohru. It was all about how she went on from that, that mattered.
Then we get reminded that this is, in fact, a dream that Kyo is having, because it swerves completely of track, and now there are bloody women on the ground, with other faceless women saying weird shit. I do not have really any idea who these women are, I assume one of them is Kyo's mom, and maybe the other is Kyoko? I don't really know, but the dream (at this point it's a nightmare) ends with Tohru, wounded and unconscious, in the place of the first woman, and there's blood of Kyo's hands. Whoa! What the fuck!
After he wakes up, he's pretty shaken (with good reason, like wtf, whoa) but after Tohru fretted over him, he just waved off the concern like "It's fine I'm fine I totally didn't have a freaky dream it's fine", which is the number one reaction to something like that, in case you were wondering.
Now, let's move completely onto a new topic: Machi. It starts with a callback to a brief scene a few books ago, after the Student Council had nabbed a whiteboard, and were yelling about what colors everyone was. It focused mostly on Yuki asking Machi what color she likes, and she couldn't answer him, because she couldn't imagine herself as anything other than "blank".
The Council had finished up a bunch of work, and they (mostly Kimi) were thinking of a way to celebrate, by going out to a shop or something idk what people do with their free time, and on her way out, Yuki called out to Machi, asking if she was going to come as well. She didn't really say anything about it, but Kimi gave her a slip of paper of the address and such, and they all went their separate ways.
Machi went back home, to the sound of a phone ringing. It seems to be her mom, asking what she's been doing, if anything's changed, then just kinda called her boring and dull, which is really nice of her to do. We see that Machi had to deal with higher expectations after Kakeru rebelled and stopped putting up with their family's bs, and that her room looks like a storm blew through it. Seeing as that seems to be the way she releases her emotions, it makes sense. And if she never has anyone over, why would she clean up? It'd probably be a waste of time.
After the call, she basically just passes out in her room, and wakes the next morning to shuffle off to go to the place where everyone is meeting up. She didn't even bother changing out of her school uniform the previous day. On her way to the meet-up place, she thinks about how she feels empty, and broken. The things that Yuki has said to her really seem to be making her think about stuff, mostly of her self-perceived lack of meaning, which she either never really thought about before or came to terms with, but after his questions (which were basically like "oh hey what's your favorite color"), she's gotten all confused.
Anyway, when she gets to the place where they're all meeting up (probably nearby a train station or something idk I don't know these things), Yuki shortly shows up, and she responds to his greeting by promptly collapsing, causing stuff to fall out of her bag, like a bottle opener, and that leaf that Yuki gave her as a souvenir of that one place from a while back,, the field trip. She's kinda embarrassed, because she put them in her bag after she had woken up, and so it showcases something most un-admirable: being kinda groggy and disorganized after waking up. When Yuki asks about the Leaf, she says it's nothing, it's not the same leaf, it is the same leaf, it doesn't matter, whatever! (is it important to say that she made it into a bookmark? idk, but that's how it wasn't torn to shreds: she made it into a bookmark)
Kakeru arrives to see Machi and Yuki wrestling over the leaf, one insisting that it's no big deal, and the other saying it was nice that she had held on to it. It was a pretty confusing scene, honestly. After everyone had arrived, Kakeru told Yuki that he'd never seen Machi act so flustered, which was pretty interesting.
I'll conclude this section with one thing: Machi likes the color red? Interesting. Red is a nice color.
Anyway, I'm nearly done! (When did these things start getting so long I gotta cut these down somehow I seriously doubt anyone would read these all the way to the end ;-;) It is nearly New Year's, and there are two things going on: Tohru is going to stay with Kazuma, and Yuki is going back to the main Sohma house, just for the one night. (Tohru is staying at Kazuma's place because Yuki is going to the main Sohma house, because,,,, reasons?? Idk)
There's nothing much of note for Tohru being at Kazuma's house, but Izusu is there as well, so maybe we can get some progression on the whole curse-breaking thing?? Hopefully?? Maybe not.
There is one moment at the Sohma house that I do want to talk about, and it happens between Akito and Yuki, where they're just sitting there, and Akito says something like, "You're not running away anymore? Cool. I forgive you for that." and Yuki starts to say that he forgives Akito as well, then says that he doesn't want to place blame on anyone, because, in the past when he's done that, it hasn't really helped him. He said that there are some things about himself that he would like to improve upon, and Akito swiftly responded to that by breaking a pitcher and scratching Yuki's face with it. Nice, Akito. Real nice.
Yuki gets help for it, but everyone kinda sat there like O_O for a few seconds (which, like, yeah. I'd respond the same way.) While Hatori is patching Yuki up, Yuki apologized to him for what happened back when Yuki was a little kid, with Hatori erasing all those kids' memories, and how he was only thinking about his own pain, and that he might have been blaming Hatori in a way, this whole time. Hatori waved it off, it was no big deal, but it was nice of him to do, nonetheless.
Okay, that was the end of the book. Finally. Why do I make these so long? Idk.
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