Meeting Date: 8/31/2019

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Content Warning: This installment discusses themes related to abuse.

Samantha Ferreira: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club! I’m Samantha, and I’m here with L.B. Bryant and Anthony Simpson

L.B. Bryant: Hello!

Anthony Simpson: Evening

Samantha Ferreira: Tonight, we’re back to the Soma house for Fruits Basket episode 22: “You will cry.”

L.B. Bryant: Not even going to try to lie, I shed tears at this episode.

Samantha Ferreira: I cried.

Anthony Simpson: I was misty eyed myself watching this episode.

Samantha Ferreira: God, though… that wasn’t just bullying Hanajima went through; that was literal sociopathy and abuse at points.

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L.B. Bryant: Here’s the thing that stuck out to me the most in this episode: throughout ALL of this shit that Hanajima was going through… her family stuck by her at all costs. That was amazing to me because it’s something that I have trouble relating to. In any other series, her family would’ve been torn apart by her powers but this one actually supported her with love and kindness. It’s almost bothersome how refreshing it was to see that.
Also, Megu = best little bro

Anthony Simpson: I have to agree that Hanajima’s family sticking by her was good to see. Plus too they are aware of her powers so its not like they they never knew about it once she wished died.

Samantha Ferreira: True that. I mean… in this series where we have family members literally disowning and forgetting their kids left and right, this was just… amazing to see

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Anthony Simpson: When Hanajima said about the police I just wanted to hug and tell her it was going to alright. I don’t have children but my paternal instincts were firing on all cylinders when I saw that.

Samantha Ferreira: Likewise. That girl needed a hug more than anything else at that point.

L.B. Bryant: Yeah, it was the match scene for me that was particularly tough for me to watch. Gave me flashbacks to jr. high when I first grew my hair out long and was told to cut it off or it was going to get burned off my head.

Samantha Ferreira: I mean, shit… the kids were objectively evil to her. They went beyond bullying when they force-fed her a live newt and laughed at her
… … … side note
Where the fuck was the teacher in all of that?!

L.B. Bryant: Agreed. I can only think of one series off the top of my head where a teacher actively intervenes into a bullying situation. Otherwise, it seems the common theme is that teachers don’t get involved which kills me every time I see it.

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Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. I mean, I know it’s a trope that teachers are generally useless

Samantha Ferreira: But when you have CHILDREN FEEDING OTHER CHILDREN LIVE ANIMALS there’s a problem

L.B. Bryant: Yeah, that’s just beyond wrong.

Samantha Ferreira: The scene with the matches, too. Jesus Christ.
“We know you don’t want to blame them” – IT WAS PRETTY DAMN OBVIOUS WHAT WAS HAPPENING

Anthony Simpson: Those two scenes were pure evil.

Samantha Ferreira: I would’ve loved to hear that these kids were, like, suspended or expelled or SOMETHING
That said, I have to admit that it made that first scene, where Tohru and Uo basically said “you’re our friend now, deal,” all the more heartwarming

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L.B. Bryant: Can’t disagree with that.

Anthony Simpson: Can’t disagree either.

Samantha Ferreira: It was just so sweet to see them insert themselves into her life like that. They were the outcasts, they got it, even if they didn’t get her situation

Anthony Simpson: Exactly.

L.B. Bryant: I could relate to Hanajima in that situation. She just wanted to build a wall around herself and live her life peacefully but Tohru and Uo pushed through without a moment’s hesitation. When you’ve been hurt by people in the past to the point where you don’t want to trust in anyone any longer, it can be very scary to meet people like Tohru and Uo.

Samantha Ferreira: Definitely.
That’s… kind of how I made most of my friends, lol
It was kind of interesting, how the episode showed her gradually opening up, though the past trauma brought the gates crashing shut again
The use of color in that part was just amazing, too
How it just went straight to that muted, almost greyscale palette once the revelations hit, and slowly bled into the vibrant hues again once Tohru and Uo made her realize that they were there for her.

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Anthony Simpson: It was great.

Samantha Ferreira: It really was
The team just got it. The drama, the music, the camera placement, that scene was perfect

Anthony Simpson: Everything was executed perfectly there. Just fantastic.

Samantha Ferreira: Agreed. yeah, it was a schmaltzy end, but it worked. They knew it and owned it

L.B. Bryant: Overall, I have to give Fruba kudos for building a supporting character that was strong enough to carry her own episode. Lots of series attempt to do this but very few pull it off as well as it was here.

Samantha Ferreira: True that.
Not just one
but two
Two-parters, both

L.B. Bryant: Good point.

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Samantha Ferreira: I really can’t wait to see the finale now. I know what’s gonna happen next, so I won’t spoil it

Anthony Simpson: I’m looking forward to see what happens now.

L.B. Bryant: Me too.
If they leave us with a nasty cliffhanger to make us tune into the second season (which I’m going to do anyway) I’ll be a little vexed though heh

Samantha Ferreira: Arrested Development Narrator: They probably did
Any final thoughts this week?

Anthony Simpson: Can’t wait to see what next week brings.

L.B. Bryant: Me too

Samantha Ferreira: Hehe, likewise. I guess that wraps things up for this week!
Til next time, remember: for the love of God, don’t use any of the kids not named Tohru, Arisa, or Saki as role models. Like… ever.
Have a great night!

L.B. Bryant: Night!

Anthony Simpson: Goodnight

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