Just as a note, this post will have tons of spoilers so please do not continue beyond this sentence.
More under the cut, as always.
With the remake of Fruits Basket airing in 2019, I ended up watching it again as this series is one of my ultimate favorite animes… ever. That’s saying a lot, right? It may not be for everyone but it’s definitely quite loved by many all the same.
Anyway, I just want to get on with my thoughts on here so there won’t be any recap of any sort. Also, these are my observations and opinions. I definitely would not say it’s “canon” or that it’s absolutely right as in the end – I am not the one who created this series. I’m obviously aware of that but I still can’t help but disagree with a creator’s decision when it’s to this extent. I may get kinda intense so don’t bother reading the rest of this post if you’re not used to hearing or accepting strong opinions from others.
Yes, Sohma Yuki clearly said he did not like Honda Tohru romantically. There’s proof. Clear… definitive proof in the manga. He talked about it with a friend/schoolmate (or was he a classmate…? anyway wtv). That’s what the mangaka has decided on, and that is how it should be. Also… I’m fully aware there are PLENTY of different people in this world and they all react very differently.
However… I just can’t accept that Yuki had NO romantic/non-familial feelings whatsoever… even from the beginning. Are you seriously saying he didn’t even just like her, had a crush or was infatuated with her??? Maybe it’s my definition of what “romantic” is. For me, as long as you want or feel things that goes beyond what one would feel towards a very beloved family member – then it has become romantic in nature.
Anyway, I just can’t accept it. There are still things that are universally similar in humans when it comes to attraction. It’s not all the same but… you can see it. What I don’t understand is that… I seriously don’t know what the creator was trying to do here when it comes to Yuki’s feelings towards Tohru. Let me explain myself a little (no, I lied – I mean a lot) and list reasons of why it confuses me.
- Do they really think there aren’t people that hold romantic love/affection for people who are somewhat like parental/brotherly/sisterly figures to them? There’s a freaking reason why Freud’s theory exists. It’s just a theory and it’s not proven but there are reasons as to why someone has even ended up thinking about it in the first place. Just as a note btw, I myself don’t accept his theory fully but my point is that there are people who think this way to justify certain behaviors. All I mean is that it just exists.
Sure, the creator could just say : Well, Yuki’s not one of them. In which I would say that then it’s very poor decision-making on your part when you thought up of their scenarios. Just remembering all those times Yuki kept acting differently/flirting with Tohru (WAYYY before he even apparently “really” attempted to flirt with her and then decided she was the mom he never had) is kind of disturbing if I had to be honest.
If Yuki himself was even appalled that he sees her just as a mommy figure then there’s something very odd there in and of itself.
- You know… it’s totally okay and it’s totally possible to realize that the person you thought you liked… doesn’t have what you need. Doesn’t have what they need to let each other grow. Isn’t the person who can make them feel like they’re actually contributing to the relationship.
Maybe he just felt that their relationship was all about him taking and taking from her. It’s not a “give or take” relationship, and it’s not what he needs or is looking for. They’re not on “the same level”. Maybe the imbalance makes him feel so insecure/unstable that he can’t fully or actually REALLY love Tohru to a greater extent.
- Love may or may not fade away in time. One could argue that if it fades away like that then it can’t be love. Remember, everyone’s different though and I honestly don’t think it’s right to be dismissive of things that aren’t to your liking. People will also have different capacities of how they show affection/love depending on their relationship with said person.
I think the idea of “love” fading scares a lot of people so it’s much easier to dismiss it as not being such. Welp, I’m sorry to say that just because someone loves someone… it doesn’t mean it’s going to be eternal… Aside from the few that actually have reasons as to why this may happen to them, most people are fickle creatures and they could change depending on what suits them at the time.
Is it selfish? YEP. Does that make it okay then? You still call it love? I never said it was okay. It’s only like that because most people think about themselves the most in the end even if they actually love someone. Most of them put themselves first. It’s sad but that’s just how things are. :-/ Obviously I don’t like those types of people but I shouldn’t deny their feelings all the same ‘cos it’s stupid to try and convince myself of something that isn’t the truth.
- For me though, familial love is VERY… very different. How Yuki reacts doesn’t seem just familial to me. I’m talking about from the beginning of the manga all the way to the end (before he accepts that Tohru is just a mom figure to him). There’s just no way he was not attracted to her in any way other than seeing her as a mother. If he even had to REALIZE this or had to analyze his actions, it just proves my point.
It’s really hard to explain though. Yeah, I know there are people that are super slow to how they feel but this… to me, it’s more of like Yuki seeing where they both REALLY stand in this relationship that they got and moved forward from there.
- It’s not that I’m saying Yuki was DEFINITELY in love with Tohru at some point. I just don’t understand why it wasn’t even “like”… or that he was infatuated with her… even for the wrong reasons.
In the chapter that Tohru chased after Kyo when he first became the cat demon, I noticed that from there on, he gradually started changing. It’s almost like the mangaka decided from then on that she should end up with Kyo. Even when I was super young, when I first came across this scene, I thought : wow, okay so she’s clearly going to end up with Kyo.
You can tell that Yuki’s starting to figure out more of himself (what is he other than being the ‘rat’ in the chinese zodiac, his identity), what he wants and needs and also to be truly independent (from the past as well as both literally and emotionally). He started to try new things.
So just because his feelings changed doesn’t mean it never existed. If he realized later on that their relationship is really more like a mom-son type of thing… then sure, fine. That makes a lot of freaking sense and it’s something I’d accept ‘cos that’s pretty much what happened here tbh.
The thing is… once he “realized” these feelings… why did the way he treat her change then? His demeanor totally changed. Their vibe freaking changed too. It just doesn’t make sense at ALL. If he has never ever seen her as more than that… then, why change this much?!
He was a whole lot more distant when this happened… anyway, it’s not like this series is perfect except for this. Nothing’s perfect – but nothing in there bothered me nearly as much as this. e___e; lol
Who knows, I might have just misunderstood the author’s intentions. Maybe it literally only meant he didn’t “love” her that way, not that he was never attracted to her. I do know that in Japan, they really treat the word “love” reallyyyyy seriously. Being attracted maybe is nothing at all in comparison so it’s negligible to mention and is thus, nowhere near important to consider it to be more than it really is. Eh.
Woops, I actually have so much more to say but I guess I should end here. My main point is just that… I’m not happy with the decision to dismiss past actions just ‘cos it doesn’t fit their idealized version of what ‘romantic’ feelings truly are. oTL