Posted by SuperMario on 23 April 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fruits Basket (2019)

I believe it’s safe to say that one of the main concern for this adaptation of Fruits Basket isn’t about the source, but more about whether or not the current staffs have what it takes to bring this classic to life (while at the same time pleases the original author, but that’s beside the point), and after three episodes, Fruits Basket does it considerably well. It knows its main strengths: Fruits Basket develops its characters with insight and sensitivity, making them both multi-dimensional and relatable. These first three episodes focus on (assumably) the main casts: our lead Tohru, the rat Yuki and the cat Kyou, and already within only first few episodes they emerge into characters worth spending time for. As a minor criticism, Tohru’s character isn’t that fleshed out after episode 1, but I understand that is entirely by design. We learn about the Soumas’ circumstances through her point of view, thus it’s always more about the boys she interact with, rather than herself. But it helps that 1) the premiere did more than enough about her backstory, especially when it comes to her current situation and her relationship with her Mom (which I reckon to be her guiding light throughout the series) and 2) she’s still a pretty damn solid lead who we constantly learn more about her personality through her narration and the way she interacts with the Soumas.

And Fruits Basket did a magnificent job to flesh out both Yuki and Kyou characters. One fun bit of useless trivia, the Vietnamese Zodiac (which is a variation of Chinese Zodiac), has Cat within the Zodiac in place of the Rabbit, so we Vietnamese pretty solved this Rat-Cat dilemma (another trivia, many Chinese people think that “Rat” isn’t an accurate translation, “Mouse” is a better term). Throughout these episodes, you can see their personalities play out, but the trick of it is that we can see their inner insecurity after peeling their projected image. For Yuki, he’s the perfect model student with a calm demeanor, however underneath that he’s too aware of the distance between him and the rest. For Kyou, he’s desperate to get into the circle, at the same time is short tempered. They serve as a total opposite to each other, in which they never see face to face about the other’s action. Yuki tries his utmost to be free from the circle he’s in by attending a co-ed school, whereas Kyou doing anything in his power to get in. Yuki thinks before acts, yet keep people in the distance. Kyou is a ticking bomb, yet make friends without much problems.

In fact, one has something the other lacks, and in the process of learning more about these two, Tohru learns that they are jealous of each other’s ability. Yuki afraids that if people find out about his secret, they would be “sickened”. That proves to be wrong as Tohru doesn’t really mind about that, and accept him for who he is. Production-wise, Fruits Basket so far is only competent. It holds the story so far, although nothing really stand out much in terms of delivery. At first, I was skeptical of the use the Zodiac transformation smoke (in which some source says that it’s live action filtered in), but now I feel it fits the show well. The smoke adds to the weird (and to a small degree, deadpan) effect. I’m not sure if this is the end of Yuki – Kyou conflict so that we can move one to other members of the Zodiac, but I’m fine with whatever direction Fruits Basket will go next. The structure might be conventional so far, but the complex character writing more than delivers. At least, there are some characters that make a brief introduction in these episodes, and I expect them to deliver as well when it comes to their turns.

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