Joie (hymnia) wrote,
Joie
hymnia

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Furuba chapter 135

Boy, do I feel silly. I've learned my lesson about overreacting to early rumors of new chapters, that's for sure. Before I get into my reactions to the new chapter, I want to look back on all the things I was worried about in my post about the last chapter, and explain how either a better translation and/or the next chapter has cleared all of them up.


1. Yuki and Manabe failing their entrance exams. Ha! That was the result of a mistranslation. It turns out that Manabe's girlfriend was only asking them if they were worried about failing their exams, and they said no!

2. Yuki going away/distancing himself from his family and Machi. Well, Yuki is going away, which is what I expected, but not only is it clear that he's serious about things with Machi, but he also seems to be accepting his family's part in his life, too. In particular, it looks like he's letting Ayame help him get an apartment.

3. Ayame and Mine looking for a place to live together. This was another mistranslation. In fact, they were helping Yuki find a place to live.

4. Thanks to the new chapter, Kyo's plans for the future are more clear, and more sensible. He's planning on studying martial arts with a friend of Shishou's who lives far away. It's clear from what he says that he's not running away, and that he wants to--and wants Tohru to--hold on to their ties to all the others. He even says that he's sorry that asking her to come with him means asking her to leave people she cares about. And he still talks about wanting to inherit Shishou's dojo sometime, so he obviously doesn't plan to be away from home forever.

5. Kyo and Tohru "living together". Even before I was alerted to a little treat in the scans of the new chapter, I was feeling better about the interpretation that this was really Kyo's awkward way of proposing just from the better translation of 134 and the teaser summary for 135. But as if that weren't enough, there's a couple of panels on p. 4-5 of the new chapter that show a "flash forward" of Kyo's plan to take Tohru and study at the far-away dojo, and if you look closely you can see that they are both wearing wedding bands. YAY!

So that's all better now. In addition, the new chapter's ending, with Kyoko's last thoughts and the truth about her last words to Kyo is poignant and had me tearing up. Overall, it's a beautiful chapter and I'm very pleased.

Now, I do agree with what many others are saying that it would be nice to see some of the other storylines get a little more resolution instead of all this Kyoru (even though I love the Kyoru). And I think we will see a bit in the next (and probably final) chapter. But I don't expect everything to be fully resolved. I think there will be some loose--or maybe I should say slightly loose--ends left when the series finally ends. And I think I can make peace with that. The other day I was reading in f_ireworks's journal some principles of Japanese aesthetics, and this bit struck me:

*Irregularity: From Kenko, again, "Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting, and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth. Someone once told me, 'Even when building the imperial palace, they always leave one place unfinished.' " (Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko. Donald Keene, trans. New York: Columbia University Press, 1967) As a literary example, Keene mentions that Japanese writing that is not specifically under Chinese influence avoids parallelism, citing as concrete examples the tanka and the haiku, both verse forms with an irregular number of lines (5 and 3, respectively), in contrast with the quatrains that are typical not only in China, but in most of the world.

When I read that, I thought immediately of all the "loose ends" in Fruits Basket that we Western fans keep talking about wanting to see tied up. Well...I don't think we're going to get all of them. And it's okay. We don't need to know all the whys and hows of the curse, or what's to become of every single character and relationship; we don't need to see every desire fulfilled. I believe the way that Fruits Basket is ending is going to be suggestive of satisfying resolutions for all those things without actually spelling them out. Take, for instance, Akito. I don't think we'll see her confront Ren or get the old maid to come around; but what we've seen so far suggests that with time those things will come to a satisfactory resolution. I don't think we'll see Rin make peace with what Akito did to her; but I think what we've seen suggests that she will be healed. I don't think we'll see Momiji reconnect with his family; but the way things ended up in the last chapter that shows his mother suggests that he will find a way to make peace with that, too, even if it's only by watching over his mother and Momo from a distance (I think he'll do more than that, though). We probably won't see Kagura fall for some cool new guy (or Momiji for some cool new girl), but it's easy to believe that some day she will. Meh. I don't feel like I'm expressing myelf very well. What I mean is, since I read that bit about Japanese aesthetics, I don't really feel like I need to see every storyline come to a well-defined conclusion. I don't need all the questions to be answered, and, in fact, perhaps it's better and more meaningful if some uncertainty remains.

Joie
Tags: furuba
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