I finally had some time to bisect this diff and found that
reverting the following line of code to the one that was present
in FreeType 2.8.0 fixes the error for me.

Is there any way this can go in?  This bug significantly affects
the legibility of Asian fonts, and while the diff is a one-liner,
I won't claim to understand what exactly the new memory allocation
function is doing differently than the old one.

-- 
Bryan


Index: ftutil.c
===================================================================
RCS file: /cvs/xenocara/lib/freetype/src/base/ftutil.c,v
retrieving revision 1.9
diff -u -r1.9 ftutil.c
--- ftutil.c    15 Dec 2017 19:29:12 -0000      1.9
+++ ftutil.c    2 Mar 2018 12:27:45 -0000
@@ -143,7 +143,8 @@
     {
       FT_ASSERT( !block );
 
-      block = memory->alloc( memory, new_count * item_size );
+//      block = memory->alloc( memory, new_count * item_size );
+       block = ft_mem_alloc( memory, new_count * item_size, &error );
       if ( block == NULL )
         error = FT_THROW( Out_Of_Memory );
     }

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