you give me my courage

Kyoko is a character I’ve always been fond of whenever I reread Fruits Basket, marvelling at her unusually strong narrative presence and her wisdom. My favourite characters in the series are the ones I can deeply relate to (Yuki and Machi), which didn’t initially apply to Kyoko at all: Her role as an omnipresent invisible guide seemed to cement her as an adult who has their life sorted out — a sharp contrast to all the characters who are still stumbling to find their way.

It wasn’t until I reached the late chapters that depict her own adolescence that I truly grasped Kyoko as a person, and appreciated her for who she was and who she had become. Those chapters put all the volumes before into perspective, and Kyoko’s backstory coupled with her strong presence are, to me, representative of Fruits Basket’s messages as a whole — on top of being great writing.

Fruits Basket is a series that’s been with me for a long, long time, and it has given me so much over the years. So much of Fruits Basket is about finding a light in the darkness, finding hope in the misery, and finding a place where you are accepted and belong. It’s about the loneliness in yearning to be loved, and about the helplessness of not being able to manage things and face life on your own. It’s the journey through all those dark things in life until you reach the light at the end of the tunnel, and find someone or something that makes life worth living.

Selecting Kyoko to shrine seemed like a natural choice, as talking about her would allow me to talk about what the series means to me in its entirety.