As the cast begins to resettle into a routine, Kisa drops in for hugs from Tohru.
Shigure: And how is school going since I last saw you?
Kisa: Good. I’m trying hard. I can try hard because my mom and all of you are there for me.
She’s still shy toward Kyo, but otherwise seems pretty comfortable. Speaking of whom…
Kyo: Are you all healed up?…From when I scratched you.
Tohru: Yes, completely healed! […] Not a mark on me!
Kyo: I see, good…but it ain’t like I’m trying to avoid responsibility here! It’s just, you know, girls shouldn’t get scars…what I’m trying to say is…I’m sorry for what I did then.
Kyo’s getting better at apologizing! The holes he digs aren’t nearly as deep!
Then Tohru runs into this charming young man.
Hiro: Based on all your experience, can’t you make an educated guess about the type of person who would come to see someone like you?
Tohru: A Sohma…one of the Zodiac!
Hiro: Took you long enough, stupid woman!
Hiro is at that unfortunate stage in adolescence where he conflates cynicism with maturity. He even manages to upset Tohru (by stealing a picture of her mom)! Why yes, he is kind of a brat.
Tohru chases him all the way to the dojo (he’s also a student of Kazuma’s), and Kyo is not happy. Fortunately for everyone, Momiji thinks to bring Kisa along.
Kisa: Hiro-chan, you have to give it back. It isn’t right for you to cause problems for Onee-chan.
Hiro: This is dumb. It’s not like I need this junk!
It’s not that he actually believes he’s smarter than everyone else – this is just how Hiro learned to cope with conflict, acting like he doesn’t care. I imagine he might have gotten some teasing for his hair, too…
Hiro: I know I couldn’t do anything to help you before…you were going through an awful time, and I couldn’t do a thing. But still, the way you go “Onee-chan, Onee-chan” all the time…I mean, I really worry about you too, Kisa. I worry a lot. (internally) It’s frustrating. She’s my favorite person in the world, and I want to be the only one she can rely on.
That’s a dangerous thing to want, but also a surprisingly easy trap to fall into. People need networks of support, because a single person will never be able to be everything for someone else.
Kyo: I don’t get what’s going on here.
Momiji: That’s because you’re too dense, Kyo. […] Hiro was jealous of Tohru. He may be tall, but he’s still only in sixth grade. Hiro’s tactless.
Tohru: […] So I was his rival in love, hmm?
Kisa: Hiro-chan, won’t you apologize to Onee-chan?
Tohru: Never mind that! An apology isn’t good enough! Hiro-san needs to be punished! […] Your punishment is a hug!
This was probably the episode that suffered the most from being placed before the finale in the anime. Since Kazuma hadn’t been introduced yet, they can’t congregate in the dojo, so instead they just run into each other in a random park or something. And Kyo just suddenly becomes super protective of Tohru and is totally nonchalant about the idea of hugging her.
Anyhow, this chapter is super adorable because it features the most adorable couple in the series being adorable and it is adorable. In case you didn’t notice.
Until next time…