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This is a very oddly layered, and sometimes difficult to watch episode.

First up: Sohma Kisa is the Tiger from the Zodiac and young enough to be a tiger kitten when transformed. Cute doesn’t begin to describe this character.

But… the Zodiac curse affects her human hair and eye colours and other children can be cruel to what is different.

Relentlessly so in Kisa’s case to the point where Coventry was as good as it got in the backstory to this episode.

By the time the episode starts the isolation has become self inflicted to the point where only Tohru’s unconditional love as a stranger can get through and give Kisa the confidence to speak again.

It gets worse. A letter from Kisa’s teacher is essentially a classic Blame the Victim that makes me go “ewwww”.

Fortunately this is quite explicitly lampshaded so the editorial position is quite clear.

There are aspects of the resolution that don’t quite sit right with me -too much of an external locus – but the cuteness helps the bitterness go down.

I don’t know how accurate it is in terms of bullying in Japanese schools but a lot of this episode resonates with memories of my own schooling that I could easily do without.

And at least an effort is being made to get the right messages out in popular culture forms.

And that’s far too long and spoilery a post for a 22 minute TV episode. Oh, it is fun to watch despite the serious elements. 🙂

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