It’s a New Years episode this week!
(Spoilers in this review)
So you can expect to see the usual shenanigans that are associated with that time of year: lazing around in a kotatsu, exchanging leftover food/goods with the neighbors, writing New Years greeting cards, visiting the local shrine while dressed in a kimono, partying to celebrate the New Year, watching the first sunrise, and the exchange of New Years money.
That about sums up the episode. My description of the events make it sound half-hearted, but it was nice seeing them act all buddy-buddy (aside from Elma and Tohru, of course).
I get the feeling that this is the calm before the storm, however. Yes, there were no true conflicts to be found in this episode. But Tohru continues to react weirdly to the word, “family.” She seems surprised that it’s considered normal to live away from your parents and to not visit them at every opportunity (with Kobayashi setting the standard here). Perhaps that wasn’t the case back home?
Kobayashi, see, is very much independent at this stage of her life. She lives by herself, is a working woman, gets enough money to pay the bills, and sees her parents every once in a while. Nevertheless, she still felt the influence of her mother and father, as seen in how she initially justified her decisions in earlier episodes (that were actually relatively recent).
In episode 8, Kobayashi drew upon her experiences as a child and cooked Kanna eggs and bacon since she remembered that her parents made that for her all the time when she was having a cooking showndown with Kobayashi. Unfortunately for Kobayashi, hamburger steaks always beats out eggs and bacon.
In episode 9, Kobayashi half-heartedly reasons that her parents never showed up for her own school festivals and that Kanna would have to accept that Kobayashi’s just too busy with work. During the episode proper, however, Kobayashi realizes that she shouldn’t blindly follow her parent’s example and that she should listen to her heart (cue cheesy music). As such, she works extra hard in order to get some time off so she can attend the sports festival and cheer for Kanna.
Meanwhile, Tohru seems to have not progressed at all in regards to family. In episode 7, she remembers a male dragon’s voice, presumably her father’s, telling her to kill all humans when Kobayashi mentioned that her own family used to take her to the beach during the summer time.
And in this episode, Tohru is taken back after Kobayashi brought up how she’s on good terms (and somewhat distant) with her family, as mentioned above. She also seems to envision a male turning his back on her in her mind. It is likely Kobayashi’s father.
tl;dr I think Tohru’s dad is going to show up sooner or later. It doesn’t help that one of the lines in Tohru’s (very unlucky) fortune said, “The one you are waiting for will arrive” or something like that.
By the way, Takiya and Fafnir went to Comiket without the other three this time (for those of you who don’t know, Comiket is held twice a year). Takiya and the people he was helping out managed to sell everything, but Faf-kun was unable to sell any of his Curse Anthopology II books. Being Faf-kun is suffering.