I’ve mentioned before that Yuki tends to get his character development by hijacking stories “about” other characters, but it turns out that Tohru does much the same. That might actually be part of the reason why it can be difficult to pin down her character (or character arc) – because she rarely gets a chapter solely dedicated to her. This time around, she takes over Hiro’s story.
He’s still having trouble communicating his feelings (and generally being irritable about stupid things).
Haru: Hiro. You’re losing points with that attitude. Every time you get irritated, Kisa gets anxious. You oughta work on that.
Hiro: I don’t think you have any business saying that, Haru-nii!
Evidently Hiro knows something about Rin and Haru’s relationship – maybe even something Haru doesn’t know. And he seems to blame Haru for it…but he also knows that Haru is right about his attitude. Hiro is still jealous of Tohru despite his best efforts to “grow up”.
Kisa frequently feels the need to apologize to Tohru for Hiro’s behavior, which is honestly pretty understandable when he keeps referring to her as “stupid woman” until she actually responds to that moniker. Tohru doesn’t seem to take the abuse to heart (she’s more than willing to put up with it for Kisa’s sake), but there has to be a limit even for her.
Tohru: Oh, yes. That’s my mother [her picture].
Kisa: You always…take this with you?
Tohru: Yes, I’m always with her.
If you find this idea ever so slightly unsettling, you’re not alone.
Hiro: Why do you only carry around a picture of your mom? You lost both of your parents, right? But you don’t have a photo of your dad. I mean, with you, it’s always like “My mom” this and “My mom” that – you’ve got attachment issues with your mom, and that’s probably an understatement. Don’t you have anything else in life?
Hiro actually does make a good point, and that’s exactly why it hurts Tohru. But since she always does her best to hide her pain, Hiro isn’t able to see it (although Kisa clearly senses it).
Kisa: You shouldn’t talk to her like that.
Hiro: Huh? Like what? I don’t think it’s a big deal, and she didn’t seem bothered.
Kisa: How would you know if she was bothered or not? You don’t know…what she’s feeling deep inside. You don’t know…her emotions. So don’t say, “It’s no big deal.” Don’t make assumptions like that.
Hiro: Why should I? I don’t care about her feelings! Why do I have to tiptoe around her?
Kisa: Hiro-chan, why did you come here? Was it to cause problems for Onee-chan?
Why does this always happen?
Poor Hiro is still working on that whole “maturity” thing. He still needs to learn that just because he can’t sense an emotional reaction from someone doesn’t mean it’s not happening – at his age, it could just as easily be his own emotional sensitivity (or lack thereof) at fault.
Tohru manages to keep her pain from spilling out in front of anyone, but she stays up late recalling some painful memories involving her mom. She doesn’t seem to come to any conclusions, just stemming the tide of memories temporarily.
Tohru: It’s okay. It’s okay. We’ll be together…always.
Kisa and Hiro manage to make up with each other after their quarrel, but Tohru is still out of sorts.
Kyo: You…didn’t do anything to Tohru again, did you? […] I don’t know why, but she’s not her usual self.
Until next time…