Welcome to Anime Rants. Due to my long break from anime and ani-blogging, there’s a lot of shows to write about. Most of them I’ll write short reviews for, but when it comes to Fruits Basket, I’d rather produce tri-weekly episode impressions. Let’s start at the start with the first 3 episodes.
In episode 1, we see Motoko, president of the Yuki fan club, trying to interact with her “Prince,” as well as coming to grips with reality. Yuki meets the new vice President and Secretary of the Student Council.
For episode 1, I wish to express what may be an unpopular opinion. I have a share of empathy for Motoko, the crazy fan girl of Yuki. Her obsession is unsettling. But I was like this with my first boy crush— or well, maybe not to that extent exactly.
We were all kinda shitty at that age, weren’t we? But we were trying our Best and coping with intense emotions and personal obstacles. Motoko is the same. I was proud of her for not spilling everything to Yuki, in the end. Its her way of giving Tohru a chance.
This was a bit of a weak intro into the season, if we’re being honest. However, with the intense finale of season one, there was still more than enough interest to continue on to more eventful episodes.
Tohru accompanies Kyo to the home of his surrogate father, AKA Shisho. While Tohru and Kyo make a meal, Shisho goes out on a mysterious and sudden errand.
As for episode 2, the most interesting part had to be Shisho’s interaction with Kyo’s biological father. For whatever reason, I sometimes forget my empathy toward Kyo and my interest in his character. But this scene made it all return to me, seeing how his father is so hateful, and being reminded of how he’s blamed for his mother’s death.
Also in the second episode we were presented with the theme of insecurity and anxiety about one’s plan for the future. Momiji already knows what he wants to do, which reminds me of myself at that age. Honestly, I wish I had been more realistic and cautious with the path I tried to take.
Tohru and Yuki both have many fears and worries for the future. Life is hard for the Soumas, what with the possibility of being denied a career or confined by the others. But life is equally tough for a human girl like Tohru, whose options are limited for a number of reasons. As usual I found all these characters easy to sympathize with.
Yuki goes to his brother’s craft shop, along with Tohru. There was plenty of comedy in this episode, but also some depth. Ayame and Yuki try to grow closer, while Mine (employee at the shop) enjoys dressing Tohru up.
Out of this first trio of episodes, I liked the third the best, finding it most relatable with themes of sibling interactions. I liked Yuki’s simple but significant line, “We’re fundamentally different people.” I have a lot of siblings and some of them are keenly different from me; even if we are close, our very core values differ. It’s important to accept this fact in order to get anywhere in honest communication.
In addition, I could empathize deeply with Ayame’s memory of turning his back on his brother, and his desire to make amends by becoming close brothers.
Thoughts on Show Overall
Fruits Basket continues to entertain with high quality all around. The characters and their designs are so memorable — even iconic. The voice acting is funny, cute, and well done.
The visuals are typical of modern slice-of-life and Shoujo anime, but slightly more detailed and polished, generally. In these episodes, I noticed a lot more of the comedic, cartoonish style with simplified character art and expressions. That does get slightly annoying to me at times, as do the prolonged shots of happy moments with bubbles and sparkles. Mostly, though, these elements help contribute to Fruits Basket’s particular aesthetic.
Other elements include the interesting (if not exactly exciting) story progression, the presence of comedy where needed, and the opening and ending songs. I’m a fan of both.
Thanks so much for stopping by at Anime Rants. May you have a peaceful day today and appreciate the beauty wherever you can see it.