Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


Goto page Previous    Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 2993
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:56 pm Reply with quote
I found Uotani's story the most compelling so far, followed by Momiji's. I'm fairly mixed on the Sohmas and find the constant bickering and fighting between Yuki and Ryu really tiresome. I'm not a big fan of Tohru either for the reasons Gina raises. Given her life Tohru is clearly strong-willed but way too self-effacing.

Looking forward to Hana's back-story.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1212
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:56 am Reply with quote
I've been staying away from this redo series after it seemed obvious that it was in every detail retreading the original anime. I checked out Ep17 because Uotani's story and connection to The Red Butterfly I found the standout story of the original and wanted to see what they would do to it. Hard to accept, but I think it's better done than the original and the epilogue...Crying is so embarrassing...

P.S. As good as the Japanese VA work is, the English VAs for Arisa and Kyoko and even the other "incidental" gang members notched this story up a level. While there were a few slight liberties with the dialogue, the acting subtleties and control just brought this to life! Not sure if I'll watch more, but Ep16/17 were so worth it...


Last edited by Hiroki not Takuya on Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doodleboy



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 246
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:16 pm Reply with quote
With Fruits Basket I just accepted there was going to be some soap-opera-ish unrealism to some of the events. Mostly the same way I accepted that some of the humor is going to be dated. Getting over that to get to the core of the emotional-truths to the series feels like a price worth paying.

Also amused me that when Kyoko went back to crimson-butterfly mode to beat-up some kids she looked like Ryogi Shiki in those shots.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 589
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
I've been staying away from this redo series after it seemed obvious that it was in every detail retreading the original anime. I checked out Ep17 because Uotani's story and connection to The Red Butterfly I found the standout story of the original and wanted to see what they would do to it. Hard to accept, but I think it's better done than the original and the epilogue...Crying is so embarrassing...

P.S. As good as the Japanese VA work is, the English VAs for Arisa and Kyoko and even the other "incidental" gang members notched this story up a level. While there were a few slight liberties with the dialogue, the acting subtleties and control just brought this to life! Not sure if I'll watch more, but Ep16/17 were so worth it...


Considering several of the rather notable departures from the original even early on, I'd recommend actual giving the previous episodes a second look. I'd hardly consider it a retread.

My only real complaint so far with this adaptation is that this flashback arc feels like it came out of nowhere and lays it on a bit thick with Uotani's narrating.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I just realized I used the same NGE comparison in a different Fruits Basket Ep. 18 discussion thread a few days ago, without remembering where that idea originally came from in the first place haha. Its an apt comparison though for me personally, with FB being so emotionally formative, more so than I even realized at the time. I also personally enjoy the long, deep-dive reviews, although I'm sure they're harder to write. I'm sorry you had to go through that growing up.

Fruits Basket loves to focus on the importance of those outside relationships and how much good they can do towards feeling accepted, and how isolating it can be when you don’t have that and are cut off from others. It is incredibly difficult to "love yourself" when you're alone, bullied, etc... especially so at Kisa’s age. All your good qualities become warped into negatives.

I agree that telling people to just “love themselves” as a fix-all can sometimes be an empty exercise and is often (not always obviously) said by people who don’t understand what someone is dealing with, or want to. One of the reasons I love this series is that it takes a more complex and nuanced look at topics/themes widely covered in these types of stories. Tohru’s whole “people are not born kind,” statement, or how she told Kyo it was "okay to keep hating Yuki is he needed to" are other prior examples that stuck out.

Dub Tidbits: Kisa's voice actress (Kate Bristol) returns for the reboot, but its especially noteworthy because she was originally cast at age 11. This is probably going to be the only case where one of the child actors gets to return as the same character (Hiro was played by a young boy).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TanyaTheEvil



Joined: 11 May 2018
Posts: 125
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:13 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely loved the review on the lastest episode. I can relate to much of these difficulties. However I really like Fruit Basket anime. It seems to touch our hearts in many ways
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michformer



Joined: 16 Mar 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Worcester, MA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:20 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The discrimination that the Somas face for being different from their peers has previously been swept aside in comical sequences like Haru's humiliation of Makoto Takei, but their odd looks are still bound to ruffle feathers in Japan's scholastic culture of conformity, which is notorious for systemic bullying issues that overworked teachers—who are often encouraged to emphasize the success of their whole class over individual students—are ill-suited to manage, especially when the bullying is carried out by larger groups of students than the more individualized harassment that kids in America are familiar with.


When the fear of the unknown’s allowed to run wild in people’s noddles and make them think that human nature must be a rigid science that leaves no room for outliers in lieu of the flexible art that enables self-actualization and the promotion of individuality (i.e. humanity), life can turn into a cruel brand of role-play, something the series hasn’t been shy about tackling.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
starlightshine



Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 58
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:55 am Reply with quote
I've been keeping up with the Fruits Basket reviews, though I haven't been commenting, but I really must comment on the episode 18 review - I love it. While I do think that anyone can enjoy and love Furuba, I also think that those who have had some similarities between their own childhoods and the Furuba characters will perhaps love this series more, if only because the characters' stories resonate with themselves. I think that perhaps this is why for some of us, Furuba holds a special place in our hearts. Thank you for writing these reviews, Jacob.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 244
Location: Mishopshno
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:09 am Reply with quote
It doesn't surprise me that Kisa is so popular; she's my sister's favorite Soma by far, and I've always loved this chapter/episode for being one of the strongest, yet understated, standalone entries in the series. It's one of those seemingly obvious stories that nevertheless seems to gain depth and meaning over time.

KitKat1721 wrote:
I just realized I used the same NGE comparison in a different Fruits Basket Ep. 18 discussion thread a few days ago, without remembering where that idea originally came from in the first place haha.

I can also echo this in that my first thought upon re-reading this chapter was to consider its themes in comparison with NGE. I like the way that Jacob describes them as yin and yang; my initial instinct was to juxtapose the two works (because I think it could be, ahem, very fruitful to do so) but contemplating it as a feminized take on similar issues feels equally appropriate. I do think the two approaches are more complementary than they might seem at first glance, and I can see how each has the potential to be empowering.

But seeing as I can't help myself, here's where I think the key difference lies, and why the Furuba answer is more resonant for me, personally. There seems to be an ongoing (re)asessment of Eva as arguably male-centered in its perspective on problems of depression and self-loathing, and while I think it has a broader scope of concern (and relatability) than that assessment might credit to it, I do think there is truth to the notion that it comes largely from a perspective in which the privilege of social access is assumed as pretext for its conclusions. That is to say, "learning to love oneself" is a whole heck of a lot easier when the society a person lives in is actively holding space for them and consistently promoting their engagement with it: for Shinji, who is basically a cis male stand-in, loving himself may indeed be the primary barrier to forming healthy connections with others-- the first step for a person like him may very well be permitting themselves to accept that there is a world of possibilities out there waiting for them if they can find their own justification for occupying it.

For a lot of us, however, the social scripts others take for granted are weighted decidedly against us, oftentimes for reasons we either can't control/suppress, or where it would be emotionally and psychologically self-injurious to do so. In this case, the source of self-loathing and internal shame may not be a person's integrated concept of themselves, but a vicious cycle enforced and perpetuated via a system outside of them-- whether that's a classroom, a family household, or broader political and societal constructions which force an impossible contradiction in terms upon us: in order to belong, we have to learn how to not be ourselves.

Needless to say, these are the kinds of obstacles placed in front of those who fall outside of the normative or tolerable social spectrum: women, queer people, and those who diverge visibly due to racial features, religious and cultural practices, or gender expression. This is reflected in the kind of creative output we tend to see from culturally "othered" folks, which often places an emphasis on the high value of safe spaces and found family-- the idea being that for us to effectively self-actualize, we first have to have (or make) the kinds of opportunities for congregation and interpersonal reflection which are otherwise typically unavailable to us. This is where I think Kisa's story hits the nail on the head: Kisa has no lack of self-awareness, and she knows that she is being bullied and ostracized for reasons which she can not control: as such, the only defense mechanism available to her is to withdraw and to stop participating altogether. Her eventual resolve to go against that instinct and make an attempt to connect with others, then, doesn't and can't draw from a vacuum of inner revelation; instead it comes from the provision of a source of comfort and strength which stands in defiance of the hopeless narrative she's conditioned herself to accept: she finds a place which is open to her, occupied by people who actually understand her. Through having her experiences validated by Tohru and Yuki, Kisa's conception of what is possible for her shifts in a way that enables her to take action: this is the basic premise of group therapy and why it can have such a positive impact on people who may not respond at all to one-on-one interventions. People need others to act as models for what is possible; that reliance can be a "weakness" in that it's a large part of what makes us vulnerable to abuse, but it's also a significant strength in that lends a unique strength to communal modes of healing.

In that sense, Furuba tends to stand apart as a decidedly "outsider" approach to examining questions of familial/communal integration, and how that impacts the formation of self-concepts on an individual scale. Indeed, the audience is very much left on the outside of its main protagonists' central dilemmas for the bulk of the narrative, gradually being introduced to (and misdirected from) them bit by bit, over time, as if getting to know a total stranger; whereas NGE conveys its themes through the visceral and heavily personalized lens of an individual in the immediate moment of crisis and follows its progression through them (and their progression through it), Furuba utilizes a broader and more diversified perspective to hammer home the thesis of belonging as the antidote to alienation.

KitKat1721 wrote:
Dub Tidbits: Kisa's voice actress (Kate Bristol) returns for the reboot, but its especially noteworthy because she was originally cast at age 11. This is probably going to be the only case where one of the child actors gets to return as the same character (Hiro was played by a young boy).

That's pretty cool! It's nice to know another member of the original cast gets to see their part through to the end: that must be kind of surreal for her in particular, having done the role so young and taking it up again at a totally different juncture in life.

Hiro was played by none other than Aaron Dismuke, pre-FMA. He made for such a good brat! I wouldn't mind if they found another role for him like they did with Brotherhood (at least that's how I understand it). Maybe spoiler[Kureno]?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
Hiro was played by none other than Aaron Dismuke, pre-FMA. He made for such a good brat! I wouldn't mind if they found another role for him like they did with Brotherhood (at least that's how I understand it). Maybe spoiler[Kureno]?

I'm definitely expecting Aaron Dismuke to be cast somewhere. I was actually thinking spoiler[Kakeru. I think Caitlin Glass may cast a little bit older for Kureno so he doesn't sound so much younger next to the other actors playing the older Somas in the same age range. To be fair though, I could see a ton of people fitting both those roles, so I really have no idea.]

Also, your above write-up on why Kisa's arc hits so hard was a really interesting read (I just didn't want to quote large chunks of paragraphs with little to add). I've never really thought about it in the way, but it reminds me of why I connected deeply with Scum's Wish, a series that covered some similar-ish topics to NGE, but mostly from a girl's POV. Thank you for sharing!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vikkio92



Joined: 25 Sep 2014
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:10 pm Reply with quote
Outstanding review of episode 18, Jacob!

I went through similar struggles myself and it took me a long time to realise the truth behind Yuki's speech, too.

One thing I will say is I think the Furuba way of loving oneself and the Evangelion way, while very different, are probably just hyouri ittai - two sides of the same coin. We can't do it completely alone, but, at the end of the day, we are the ones that need to put in the hard work - alone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2580
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:58 pm Reply with quote
19 episodes in and I feel confident in saying this anime may very well become my favorite version of Fruits Basket as a story.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15865
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:27 pm Reply with quote
While I do think that Ritsu fits well into the overall scheme of what the series is doing, I am one of those who is glad that we won't be seeing much more of him. I've never found that kind of shtick to be funny, and he gets tiring her very fast. That being said, I'd absolutely be up for a little follow-up later on showing that he and Misturu's editor are dating. They make an appealing couple.

What I did find funny was the reminders about how much of an utter bastard Shigure can be.

As for the review, the extra bit about how Ritsu's character may have been affected by the manga-ka's real-life health problems was very interesting. Keep those coming as the opportunities allow!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:33 pm Reply with quote
I agree with Jacob that episode 19 made some great changes, particularly regarding how Ritsu chooses to dress and all the jokes surrounding it in the original. I do hope we get little snippets here and there of Ritsu later on, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

When re-reading Fruits Basket at an older age, I think I sort of understood what Takaya may have been going for with the whole "Ritsu dresses in feminine clothes to help his anxiety, and its something he needs to get over," even if I can't help but see it through a gender identity lense. I think less is expected of Ritsu when wearing feminine (mind you very traditional Japanese kimonos at that) clothes because of the completely different expectations placed on an "ideal Japanese women" vs an ideal Japanese man. Its easier to hide behind a soft-spoken, humble persona, one where confidence isn't necessarily as valued.

That being said, I love that the reboot toned down the jokes, Shigure/Yuki/Kyo being so weirded out, omitting Ritsu changing into men's clothes, and just added a little more depth to his entire arc through his friendship with Mitchan. I also think toning down the zaniness made Ritsu's whole episode less annoying (no discredit to any of the voice actors, its just unavoidable when your dialogue is mostly yelling apologies over and over).

I'm not sure if I love some of the small changes surrounding Tohru's speech on the roof. I thought it was just a tad over-dramatic. I mean, girl FLEW down that roof and I actually think its out of character than neither Kyo or Yuki made a move to help her when she was literally hanging off the edge. I was freaking out more than they were (Shigure didn't even blink haha). I also missed not seeing Ritsu's monkey-like agility when he accidentally does fall and despite all the earlier antics, he has a serious look of complete concentration when pulling himself back up to safety all on his own. Overall though, I definitely prefer this episode over the original take(s).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 13386
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:00 pm Reply with quote
I am not familiar with any of the source material, the manga or old anime, so I can really only base what I see for my thoughts. And I am really not comfortable with just referring to Ritsu as "he". Sure there are special circumstances that Ritsu is dealing with in turning into a monkey on contact with females, but this episode really looked that on top of the anxiety Ritsu is transgender. It is nice to read that there were changes to the original, which could come across as insensitive to transgender people, and it kind of just has me thinking that it is not just a case of not to offend a community that looks like it, but maybe an update.

Had to look it up to be sure, but the manga went from the late 90s to the mid 2000's, and lets not pretend the world has not changed. Especially for a shoujo, could it just be that this was how people were seeing transgender people, as still their assigned gender, and just wearing clothes to look like their other gender as some sort of calming method? Like people were willing to give a chance of not just calling them a deviant, but it be easier sell to young girls to just say they have their reasons and are still a good person on the inside? But things have changed more recently, and it less okay to even make jokes that someone dresses like the other gender as some sort of trick, and it is perfectly fine to address them as the gender they present as.

The gendered words of "he" maybe removed from the dialogue, as that stuff is not in the original Japanese script, or teenage relatives that were always told what gender Ritsu is maybe could be explained. But there really did not feel like anything that pointed that Ritsu actually identifies as male, if anything it looked like Ritsu felt stressed from their parents for having to apologize for not being normal, despite how much better they felt presenting themselves as a girl. Not just clothes, Ritsu's hair and such were done up too. Also, in light of that, it feels kind of gross that Shigure still straight up revealed the fact to Ritsu's new female friend, as if she should feel ridiculous for asking a man to help them be more pretty.

In light of the changes already done, would it be ridiculous that they maybe change the direction of Ritsu's end. Rather than something like finding confidence to dress as a boy, maybe instead having the confidence to fully express themselves as what they always felt comfortable as?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous    Next
Page 9 of 14

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group