This episode sees Tohru, Arisa, Saki, as well as the high school aged Somas, starting into their summer break.
The main focus of this episode is on Arisa, who is working two jobs during break. At one of her jobs, she meets a young man who kind of reminds her of Tohru. The young man can’t stop thinking about Arisa after their encounter, and she can’t stop thinking of him.
As luck would have it, Aria runs into the young man again while on a lunch break from one of her jobs. He offers to buy her lunch, and the two start to get to know each other. The young man’s name is Kureno, and it turns out he’s nine years older than Arisa. It’s obvious that a love interest is being developed here, but that age gap makes me a little uneasy about it, since Arisa is still a minor. I felt the same way when I read this section of the manga as well. While they would make for an interesting couple, there’s still that age gap…
But there’s a big reveal at the end of the episode about Kureno that ties him in with the rest of the story.
Arisa’s story is the serious part of the episode. We also get an amusing storyline of Momiji taking Tohru and the other high school Somas to an obviously fake-looking haunted house at the department store. Tohru, however, is scared of haunted houses but still forces herself to go in. Her reactions to the cheesy-looking things in the haunted house are amusing. But even more amusing is when Kyo and Yuki fight over who is going to hold Tohru’s hand to help her through the haunted house, and then Momiji just swoops right in and takes her hand. LOL!
But it gets even better when Hatsuharu decides to help out by telling Tohru and Momiji that making up backstories for the scary creatures in the haunted house helps to make them less scary. He creates such a compelling story for one that when Hatsuharu breaks one of the animatronics, they tell the backstory to the person who runs the haunted house… and the guy is so moved by it.
But with this episode, all of the major characters of Fruits Basket are now in place. I love coming into this series each week, knowing that what I’m seeing is being presented in an animated version for the first time. Finally getting to see more of the story in this format feels so satisfying.
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