Posted by SuperMario on 6 May 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fruits Basket (2019)

For me, watching Fruits Basket is like watching a classic play. It’s the show where despite its familiar story beats, it still pulls out a satisfying emotional core because its heart is in the right place. This episode is a prime example of that. I know this will eventually happen, Tohru moving to Souma’s house has always been a temporary plan and it’s only a matter of time before she has to choose between this new family and her own. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, however, as it does just right after the introduction phase. Like a good old play, the plot is fairy predictable, but the lines are there where they needed to be, and the characters deliver those lines with so much weight. Take the scene-stealing character of this week, Grandpa, for example. He serves as a comedic relief; he mostly stays out of his family’s affair but when he decides to jump in, he more than delivers the blow. What makes his speech so great is that not only he points out the assholeness of his family (damn, they’re true bitch), but he allows Tohru to pick the one she feels like home. He might mistake her name to her mother’s, but he sure knows about her more than the rest of the family does.

This is the first time that the titular “Fruits Basket” comes into play, and it further engraves the core theme of the show nicely. The very theme of Fruits Baskets is the feeling of belonging, and the sadness of feeling left out. When Tohru plays the game as a child, she was labeled something that isn’t even a fruit, and thus waiting forever to get called out by her friends. It parallels to her current status where she doesn’t really have anything to belong (up until she knows about Souma’s family). To that extend both Yuki and Ryou suffer from the same sense of alienation. Ryou for not being an original zodiac and desperately try his best to be included, and Yuki for the exact opposite reason, him as a member of the Zodiac that is too “weird” and “exclusive” to even have friends. These main characters more often or not are too aware of their loneliness, and momentarily accepts that as their fate. Tohru has learn a big way to step out of that mindset, and “being selfish” for once. Because, being selfish means she does care about her relationship to both Kyou and Yuki.

It’s also nice to see Kyou and Yuki are both on edge with the departure of Tohru. Although vastly different in their personality, this week is the first time where they share the same things: not only their attraction to Tohru, but also their stubbornness to even acknowledge that they care. This is Fruits Basket as its most emotional satisfying (so far), and I can’t wait to see more of the supporting cast. I don’t know how the original anime handles the material, but this version succeeds because it honors the source material, by understand what makes the source great and faithfully transfer it on screen, even at the cost of the polishness of its production values.

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