WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Fruits Basket Season 2, Episode 8, “My Precious…” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Hope is precious. Hope is also fragile, easily stomped out by the world. That doesn’t mean we give up on it, though; it means we have to work as hard as possible to protect it.
Kazuma tried to teach Kyo this lesson ages ago, giving him the instruction to protect a solitary flower during their training. Back then, Kyo didn’t get the point of exercise. Now, after his vacation is interrupted by a surprise meeting with Akito, in which the family leader tries to instill a sense of despair, he finally understands: Tohru’s instilled in him a sense of hope, and he needs to do all he can to protect her.
Tohru’s extreme optimism is demonstrated at the start of the episode by her response to Kyo’s invitation from Akito. While Kyo is understandably fearing the worst, Tohru is excited that this means Kyo, always excluded from the Zodiac, is finally being welcomed in. This conclusion is obviously wrong, but considering she knows Kyo and doesn’t really know Akito, it actually makes sense where her hopeful conclusion came from.
The meeting between Kyo and Akito is an extensive guilt trip that takes up the majority of the episode. Akito sees Kyo as only a monster, and blames him for his mother’s suicide. If Kyo can’t defeat Yuki (and Akito is quite certain he can’t), then he’s to be isolated for the entirety of his adult life. The only “inclusion” Akito offers is possessive; Akito would be Kyo’s only human contact in such a lifetime of isolation.
Kyo denies being in love with Tohru to Akito. Akito says not falling in love is Kyo’s only wise decision. Once he leaves the meeting, however, Kyo can no longer hide his feelings. The scene in which he reunites with Tohru on the beach is a direct parallel to the Yuki kiss scene from two weeks ago, right down to the inclusion of flashbacks showing he’s known Tohru far longer than she remembers: whereas Yuki interacted with Tohru directly as a child, it was Tohru’s mother who provided support for young Kyo.
The structure of this episode relies heavily on flashback scenes and many still frames in the present, a practical decision for maintaining the art quality during this decidedly tough time for anime production. Even with these limitations, though, “My Precious…” is the most dramatically intense episode of Fruits Basket so far this season. It’s so good, you won’t even feel compelled to make a Gollum joke when Kyo finally utters the titular quote!
New episodes of Fruits Basket Season 2 premiere Mondays at 1:30 PM EDT on Crunchyroll. Dubs of these episodes are released three weeks later on FUNimation.
“My Precious…” is the most dramatically intense episode of Fruits Basket so far this season.