Fruits Basket: Episode 22 – “Because I Was Happy”

When I saw how light-hearted last week’s episode was, I knew we were headed for something more serious. It turns out I was right, because this episode is Hana’s backstory, which is actually rather dark. Originally, Hana’s backstory appeared much later in the manga. However, it really makes more sense to have it right here, to directly follow the episode with the Prince Yuki fan club girls going to Hana’s house.

It turns out that Hana was born with special powers, and as a child, didn’t know how to control them. Hana’s “wave power” had been used as a joke up to this point in the series, so it’s refreshing to see there’s actually more to them than comic relief, and to have this fact established earlier on in the series.

Even though Hana tried to keep her powers a secret, kids at her elementary school were bullying her anyway and calling her a witch. When the torment gets really bad one day, she thinks in her head that she wishes her tormentor would die, and then he suddenly collapses. While there’s no proof that Hana’s power caused this to happen, Hana believes in her heart that she was responsible because she had wished for him to die. The bullying continues, but Hana refuses to tell her parents about it because she doesn’t want to bother them. Unlike what we see with some of the Somas and how their families are ashamed or don’t want to deal with their children’s curse, Hana’s parents really care about her. And Hana sees her family as kind people, and that home is somewhere that she feels safe.

At one point, Hana’s younger brother says a prayer, hoping that someone outside of their family will come along and care for Hana as well. Not too long after this, a group of girls bully Hana and try to burn her with a match, but are caught by their teacher. But this ends up being too much for Hana’s parents, so they decide to move. And with her transfer to a new school, Hana meets Tohru and Uo. The rest of the episode sees how they become the friends that they are now. And near the end of this story, we get to see part of a conversation that Kyoko has with Hana. I love seeing how Kyoko had the ability to understand others and have the right words to say at the right time. Tohru also has her own way of reaching people, as we’ve seen countless times in Fruits Basket already.

By the end of this episode, though, I could feel the tears starting to well up. It’s another story in this series that tugs at the heart strings, which is something that Fruits Basket is known for.

I think I have a good feeling about what’s coming next and how this season is going to end. If I’m right, we really won’t be seeing much light-heartedness in the remaining episodes this season. I’m interested in seeing if I’m right on my guess, and to see how this reboot handles the particular storyline from the manga that I’m thinking of.

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