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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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rizuchan
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 823
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:30 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if the review scores aren't being brigaded or something. I know that has happened in the past with fujoshi-centric shows, so it wouldn't surprise me if they went after a shoujo show with a really heavily female audience like Fruits Basket. I've heard nothing but positive things about this adaptation from people actually watching it, so I don't know where else these crappy scores would be coming from.

But I also wanted to say, I really hope you are able continue to do at least the majority of the reviews, Jacob. Not that I think Lynzee would do a bad job by any means, but I know how passionate you are about this series and it seems like you relate to it in a way that makes you able to provide a really unique perspective on it. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say about FB but I can't wait to read your reviews about the later episodes.
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Zzshcl



Joined: 21 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:18 pm Reply with quote
Is it my idea or this anime is full of haters? I mean episode 11 with 2.1???? You must be kidding me ANN community
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 218
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:24 pm Reply with quote
I liked the insight into Momiji's mother and her Zodiac curse-induced depression (almost like a long-term postpartum depression) in this review. I think it adds another layer to someone that could easily just be viewed as a monster. I don't know if I could be as strong as Momiji in a similar situation, but the analogy of his optimism being a result of day-to-day training feels accurate and fits with the whole "kindness isn't inherent" moral from a few episodes back. There are people who heal and remain hopeful after awful circumstances, but at the same time it can be hard work. What really got me during Momiji's story was cutting to Tohru crying over her mother's deathbed.

Fun (actually sad?) dub tidbit: Momiji completely dropped the accent in episode 14 when he ran into his mother and sister. Given that he didn't grow up in Germany, it seems like he adopted it in order to feel some sort of connection with his mother.

As far as the graveyard scenes, its just nice to see all this actually adapted.
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Collectonian



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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Location: Texas
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:54 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
Fun (actually sad?) dub tidbit: Momiji completely dropped the accent in episode 14 when he ran into his mother and sister. Given that he didn't grow up in Germany, it seems like he adopted it in order to feel some sort of connection with his mother.


Or it could be that he deliberately trained himself to drop it so she wouldn't wonder why she had one when he was supposed to be one of the "other" Somha children. Does he speak in German in the dub? In the original voices, he regularly speaks in German seemingly by default, implying it is at least one of his primary languages.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:21 pm Reply with quote
Collectonian wrote:
KitKat1721 wrote:
Fun (actually sad?) dub tidbit: Momiji completely dropped the accent in episode 14 when he ran into his mother and sister. Given that he didn't grow up in Germany, it seems like he adopted it in order to feel some sort of connection with his mother.


Or it could be that he deliberately trained himself to drop it so she wouldn't wonder why she had one when he was supposed to be one of the "other" Somha children. Does he speak in German in the dub? In the original voices, he regularly speaks in German seemingly by default, implying it is at least one of his primary languages.

Either or, both are pretty depressing Sad The only reason I assumed the accent was put on deliberately is because that just makes the most sense to me given how little time his mother seemed to spend with him. A natural accent doesn't seem likely. I could however totally buy Momiji pouring himself into learning how to talk like his mom. English Momiji also has the added German phrases sprinkled throughout his dialogue like in the Japanese audio, but also normally speaks with an accent.

ETA - After looking around, I found a video from the ADR Director talking about it for anyone who's curious.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6RFU7eurcs
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:11 am Reply with quote
I echo that it would be great to continue reading Jacob's reviews for this series, as his (your!) understandings and insights are really rewarding to engage with. At the same time, life and personal needs come first, so take care.

I chose to put off watching episode 14 for a while, as I re-read the corresponding chapter in the manga and realized what was coming up after Ayame's debut (which was admittedly pretty lackluster in this version of the show; I'm not sure I like the Japanese VA and his scenes really call for slicker editing). Momiji's story is probably the one that hits closest to home for me personally, and I had a feeling this adaptation would do it real justice, which just meant I would be clutching the tissue box. Lo and behold.

I do think what makes Momiji resonate as a character is that, while he is admirable in many ways, he's really not a superhuman: he is as emotionally complex as any other character in the show, and his personal trajectory has been shaped by his experiences like everyone else. As noted in the review, he signifies discomfort through flippancy: the flip side to the important work he's done to build himself up through introspection is that he's learned how to insulate himself from the immediacy of his feelings so that they don't cut too deep-- it's a defense mechanism similar to Kyo's fighting antics or Yuki's withdrawal tactics. The difference is that Momiji has a higher degree of self-awareness, and combined with Tohru's kindred perceptiveness, he knows he can't hide behind that facade with her. It's one of the reasons I love their dynamic, because it feels representative of the kinds of friendships that get built on almost unavoidably honest, intimate communication, as one of the many ways people find themselves in connection and support of one another. It never feels like Momiji is "unloading" on Tohru; some of the characters take her generosity of spirit for granted, but Momiji sees her pain too (it's no coincidence that he's always around her workplace with her literally trying to lighten her burden), and it's great how the episode frames the catharsis of the moment as equivalent for both of them. They both know what it's like to have buried feelings they need to dredge up and process-- we just haven't quite cut to the quick with Tohru.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:47 am Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if the review scores aren't being brigaded or something.

It hasn't been above a 3 since episode 9. Until Episode 14, which is currently at 4.6. Probably not coincidentally, the Your Ratings feature hasn't carried over all of the ongoing series, so there's no listing there for Episode 14 or 15. So the only way to rate 14 is on the review page, and there's currently no way to rate 15 yet.

Also, before the season ended, several shows wrapped up earlier but still had non-existent episodes appearing (likely automatically) on the page, and yet still had people rating them. So make of that what you will.

Also, count me as one who'd rather wait for Jacob's reviews if necessary, than have someone else step in.
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Collectonian



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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Location: Texas
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:50 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:

Either or, both are pretty depressing Sad The only reason I assumed the accent was put on deliberately is because that just makes the most sense to me given how little time his mother seemed to spend with him. A natural accent doesn't seem likely. I could however totally buy Momiji pouring himself into learning how to talk like his mom. English Momiji also has the added German phrases sprinkled throughout his dialogue like in the Japanese audio, but also normally speaks with an accent.

ETA - After looking around, I found a video from the ADR Director talking about it for anyone who's curious.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6RFU7eurcs


Good video Smile And true, both are pretty sad to consider. While his mom didn't spend much time with him, going by the flashback, he looks to be at least 4 or 5 before they actually do the wipe, which could be enough time for him to have established some accent and both languages. Presumably, his dad speaks both, though his mom is also shown speaking Japanese so could be she learned his language, or they are both dual language. His dad did say he'd love him enough for both of them, so he could also have encouraged Momiji to continue with German to honor that side of his heritage.

Going by Takaya's notes in the manga, he "went to an international school", for elementary and most of middle school, but it isn't really clear if that means an international school in Japan or studied abroad (in the English translations, Tokyopop went with the former, Yen Press with the latter LOL).

Either way, pretty fascinating to think about Smile
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:22 am Reply with quote
I really liked how this episode was directed, especially towards the end. Her just going through the motions while thinking back to that day in the Honda household, and not being able to really verbalize why it affected her so much... it just felt accurate. Its not like she had a sudden revelation and left the gang the next day. She hasn't even emotionally processed it yet.

Tohru still wearing her middle school swimsuit is just so sad. There have got to be some inexpensive swimsuits out there Tohru! Also, maybe this is just because of all the memes I've seen about Kyo's updated fashion choices, but I would have died if Kyo's swimsuit suggestion was an orange Adidas one.

I'm totally fine with the episode order change from the manga, and think its actually for the better. It breaks up the Soma family drama a bit, and exploring Tohru's relationship with her friends more makes sense in the season with more episodic content. Plus, it breathes a little more life into Kyoko as a character aside from Tohru's adoration.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Uotani's back-story is the highlight of this show for me so far, followed by Momiji's back-story. I don't care much about the Sohma and tire of the constant bickering and fighting between the boys.

Uotani must have felt the loss of Kyoko-san almost as much as Tohru. Here Uo-chan had finally found a place where she could be accepted, found people to love, and found people who loved her. All of a sudden Kyoko was gone. Without Tohru there, I suspect she might have gone back to her delinquent ways. I'm glad she reconciled with her dad.

Next, I'm waiting for Hanajima's back-story. She's such a mysterious person.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:15 am Reply with quote
I guess what I'm waiting for is to find out why Tohru is so self-effacing, like she doesn't deserve to exist at all. That's usually a sign of abuse or depression, neither of which seems to be her problem. Her behavior is just so at odds with her home life with her super positive and supportive mother, and her school life, which she seemed to enjoy and wasn't being bullied.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:17 am Reply with quote
@Gina Szanboti

Tohru was apparently bullied all through grade school. This is where the title of the series comes from. Uotani and Hanajima are apparently her first and only friends. I think being told repeatedly that you were not part of the group would affect anyone, especially in Japan.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:41 am Reply with quote
Did a little research on girl gangs or sukeban. They were apparently prominent in the 1970s and spawned popular titles like Sukeban Deka which influenced Kill la Kill. Trouble is, they seemed to have died out in the decades that followed again raising the question of when Fruits Basket takes place. I thought it was set at the time when the manga was released, late 1990s and early 2000s, despite the occasional smartphone, but Uotani's story seems to come from an earlier period. Confusing.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:03 am Reply with quote
@ Alan: Yeah, I kinda blanked out there I guess. I was mainly focused on this episode, where she seemed to be getting along fine.

Still, given the unconditional support and love she had at home, her constant submissiveness, even around her mother, still seems extreme to me.
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JacobC
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:28 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I guess what I'm waiting for is to find out why Tohru is so self-effacing, like she doesn't deserve to exist at all. That's usually a sign of abuse or depression, neither of which seems to be her problem. Her behavior is just so at odds with her home life with her super positive and supportive mother, and her school life, which she seemed to enjoy and wasn't being bullied.


It'll happen, but it'll take a whiiiiiiiiile to get there. (We got one tiny hint in this episode; Tohru's super-politeness was directly copied from her dad, even though she claims to not really remember him.) Hopefully the entertaining ride will be worth the wait.

As for the outdatedness of sukeban-style material, Takaya tries to lampshade this by perpetually mentioning how outdated Uo and her gang's aesthetic is, but it's just a detail you kinda have to accept. I think Takaya just loved classic girl gang stories from that era and wanted to tell her own, so it's a little out of time and place, but I think the extremely grounded emotional context works well enough to carry it.
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