What .. a weird analogy. Whenever you get discouraged, what would be the first thing that you tell yourself? Is it that you’re unique, you have your own pace and own way of seeing the world? Or that you instantly motivate yourself to grow stronger to take down your goals and targets right in front of you? Tohru sees the world in a different way.

For her, if you can be described as a riceball, then your uniqueness along with everything great about you is a pickled plum, and it is on your back. Maybe everyone in the world has plums on their back of all different colors, shapes and sizes. No, I think that they do have, just some are buried deep down within layers of rice.

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And because it’s easier to see other people’s back, it’s easier to be jealous of others then improving on what we cannot see. Their achievements, their strengths – we dig it all up by ourselves and present it as a hurdle for us to conquer. It’s human nature to belittle ourselves and to aim higher, but sometimes along that fine process, we forget that everyone thinks of each other in the exact same way.

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Which is not true.

But it was, with this mindset that Tohru inspired herself whenever she feels disheartened as the same way we all have our own ideals or even nonsense that we instill on ourselves to keep going at the moments of breaking down. When she speaks to Kyo with this analogy, she is actually reflecting back on herself, to not cry even when she should, to bury her own feelings inside and be satisfied with what she has. These emotions eventually build up to the fifth episode with one of the greatest emotional moments in this whole anime which makes this analogy so much powerful than it seems.

So, the next time you ever feel down and discouraged that you couldn’t do it, turn back and take a look for yourself.

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End notes

Thanks for reading. In case you’re wondering, this is Fruits Basket (2019) and it drew my tears out with some of the backstories and insights of Tohru that is just heart-warming to watch. It’s ongoing, so I can’t wait to see more stories unfold!