I think I just watched one of the best flashback episodes in anime ever. Damn, this was just so powerful.
This flashback focuses on Yuki, as he’s the one remembering events from his childhood. While we’ve been bits and pieces of this story throughout the series up to this point, we finally got to see everything about Yuki’s time with Akito. It truly sheds a light on why Yuki is the way that he is, and you realize just how much growth he really has undergone as a character throughout this series. We see some of Yuki’s early encounters with Kyo, the lead up to the incident where Yuki’s friends’ memories were erased when his secret was accidentally revealed, as well as the time he led a young Tohru home. And we also get to see the whole story behind the hat.
A lot of this episode, though, has quite a dark tone to it. Considering the events that happened, as well as Yuki’s outlook on that point in his life, this dark tone makes a lot of sense. But it gets heartbreaking when at one point, when Yuki was sickly, that he felt as if he should just disappear completely. Between Akito’s cruel words and actions, as well as his lack of friends and lack of love from his parents, it’s not surprising that he would feel that way. When he runs away from the Soma compound with no real idea of where he’s going, he happens upon Kyoko Honda, who is worried sick about her missing daughter. Yuki remembers passing by a young girl who was crying, and pieces together that this must be the missing girl. By helping Tohru, Yuki realized that someone in this world did indeed need him, which was the opposite of the hurtful things that Akito kept pounding into Yuki’s brain.
Right at the end, we return to the present and see Yuki and Kakeru where we saw them at the end of the previous episode. It’s made clear here that Yuki was thinking about his past, and is now just starting to open up to Kakeru about it and about his feelings for Tohru. Yuki’s final line in this episode makes it very clear the kind of feelings Yuki has for her. And the fact that Yuki is opening to Kakeru this way shows just how much more Yuki understands the guy and realizes they kind of have some similarities.
I nearly cried by the end of Yuki’s flashback, because it was that powerful and that well-written. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, you might want a hanky nearby, just in case. But among the darkness, though, we did get to see younger versions of several of the main cast, and they simply looked adorable.
This reboot of Fruits Basket continues to deliver each week, and I’m always eagerly awaiting the next episode. From what I’m reading, it looks like we only have a few more episodes left before this season ends. But from what I remember from the manga, there should be enough for another season (even if it’s a shorter one) of the anime. In which case, I’m interested in seeing how this season will end, and what note it will end on to leave viewers wanting to come back for another season.