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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 152
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:00 am Reply with quote
These were an excellent pair of episodes, but there's a blatant mistranslation in episode 32 that honestly kind of bugs me: Momiji mentions that Satsuki said "I love sheep!" when Hiro was born, but the subtitles translate it as "I love goats!" even though Momiji clearly says "sheep" ("hitsuji") instead of "goats" ("yagi"). Not sure why they made that mistake when it's already made very clear that Hiro turns into a sheep and not a goat.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 227
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 2:11 pm Reply with quote
A Mystery wrote:
I do remember the polite dad speech coming up, but there were a few instances in the review where I felt spoiled about things. Like with Rin, we did see her wanting to get something from Shigure in exchange for intimacy, we know Haru's perspective about his relationship with Rin... but that's all the anime viewer really knows. I cannot infer that Shigure acted because of her. The show is quite fast paced and full of little meaningful scenes and details, but still I think with some information the reviewer writes about, you need to know the full manga in and out.
I didn't even register a Ren. Must've forgotten he was mentioned at all. Or she. It. And that Satsuki talked to Hatori.

O well just gotta rewatch these episodes I guess. It was so full of OMG good and dramatic moments.


Ren is spoiler[Akito's more insane mother.] Just FYI. lol
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catandmouse



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 4:07 pm Reply with quote
I’m amazed at all the little hints I’d forgotten from Fruits Basket that kinda get referenced in the Fruits Basket sequel. It’s fun when something pops up in this series and I can tie it up to the something that happened in the sequel.
As far as these episodes go, I was a little bothered by the “I love goats” . If I remember correctly his mom said “I love sheep” in the manga.
I want them to get back to school. I’m looking forward to Yuki’s interaction with the student council.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:47 pm Reply with quote
JacobC wrote:
It came up in episode 17, when Uo asked why Tohru always speaks in keigo (formal Japanese speech), even to her mother and friends. Kyoko clarifies that she picked it up from her dad, who also always spoke in keigo.


Okay yep, I completely forgot about that. I didn’t even think about it being mentioned in those flashback episodes.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Completely understandable that Jacob would step down, thank you Lauren for continuing these reviews in his stead.

One thing that stood out this week (and I'm happy Lauren brought it up) was the juxtaposition of Tohru and Kyo building a "home" next to Akito trying to hold on to his apparent idea of one. The sandcastle, only built by those two with no concrete foundation (I mean it is sand), is clearly imperfect and can crumble with some outside force, but they just rebuild it and get better at doing so. There's teamwork, mutual effort, and bonding behind its construction. Akito has a pretty sizable family with a strong, almost impenetrable dynamic (given the legacy, reach, and power the Somas have plus Akito's own amount of control). He invites everyone to stay and spend time with him, says how much he loves everyone, but its all so false, forced, and to paraphrase Rin "cringeworthy." Akito is so demeaning to even those he claims to favor and no one (besides maybe Shigure for reasons?) really wants to be there. Its just sad to watch, but could turn frightening the more desperate Akito gets to hold on to said this semblance of a home/family. Especially since we still don't know if/to what extent other Zodiac members can really push back against him.

Akito's behavior in these past few episodes in general is interesting. As Lauren mentioned, he's very aware of Tohru as a potential threat while trying (and failing) not to show it, but Kyo? Kyo is not even on his radar to the point that its unfathomable that anyone could be having fun just being around him. Its like Akito forgot he was even at the villa to begin with, that's how far down on the totem pole Kyo is. There's a depressing "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" mindset paired with general disgust when it comes to Kyo. Akito is also uncomfortably touch-y feel-y with multiple Zodiac members to the point where I'm no longer surprised going back and seeing certain moments from Kureno's introduction episode. Yeah, Kureno grabbing Arisa's face out of nowhere might be surprisingly bold, but given how he's constantly around Akito's to the point of isolation from almost everyone else, doing something like that (even towards someone he doesn't know well) makes a lot of sense.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 4:04 pm Reply with quote
I am very sorry to jacob about their situation, I will really miss their reviews for fruits basket 2019.

Personally I can't fruits basket without the english dub so....I am so far behind.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 12:39 am Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
I can't fruits basket without the english dub so....I am so far behind.

Good news in case you weren't aware, they have started those back up! I think episode 5 premiered on Monday. No set weekly schedule due to everything going on (just have to keep an eye out on Funimation's twitter), but according to ADR Director Caitlin Glass's livestreams, they've been steadily working on it.
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Gonna miss Jacob's reviews so much :'(

The review of the most recent episode might not be out yet, but seeing Kyo's internal monologue, his realization and decision regarding Tohru finally animated put my heart through the grinder all over again. Our dear, hapless cat has come so far, grown so much already as a person, so seeing him get shot down like that by Akito is just gut punching.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:47 am Reply with quote
Clematis wrote:
Gonna miss Jacob's reviews so much :'(

I completely understand and support his decision to step back from writing, but in the spirit of celebrating all that work, I'll miss them too. There was a lot packed into those reviews, and they served as really insightful companion reads. I love when you can tell a reviewer is really passionate about a series, and you felt that in spades with Fruits Basket. But I will still be reading and looking forward to Lauren's future reviews!

There's so much to take away from Ep. 9, its easily one of my personal favorites of the season. In the first five minutes, Yuki talks about how the Zodiac members don’t even have a choice in the matter regarding Akito and I think there are several ways to take this. One, Tohru's safety could heavily depend on their actions, so that makes a lot of sense on a surface level. Two, we don’t know every detail about how the Soma family operates within the confines of the curse (those purple ropes sure look like a morphed and grotesque version of the bonds seen in the premiere to me), so that leaves a lot of possible leeway. But most importantly, while there could be a concrete, story-specific reason as to why they can’t disobey Akito’s orders, some of Fruits Basket’s most prominent themes are tied to or surrounding abuse. Taking action against (or reaching closure from) abusive people or longstanding practices, especially when you’re up against a seemingly impenetrable wall like your own family (especially true in Japan) or a powerful systematic structure, might as well feel like shouldering a generation-spanning curse that prevents you from even taking a step. Its a process, one that Yuki is just beginning to take on while Kyo (understandably) simply can't.

That entire confrontation scene is the first time Akito and Kyo have ever interacted on-screen, and it pretty much gets crueler by the minute. Akito hits every sore spot in the book (his upbringing, trauma, guilt, failure with Yuki, etc...) and eventually beats Kyo down to the point where he paints himself as the only source of even a semblance of love Kyo will ever have in his life. He pulls that false, empty promise of love card with most of the Zodiac members, but the level of vitriol and disgust thrown at Kyo really stands apart from the rest.

Usually “ugly” is all Akito really has to go on with his Tohru-centric insults, but of course someone blabbed about that earlier true form incident (let's be honest, it was probably Shigure). So instead we get Akito parroting some viewers’ earlier criticisms of Tohru (“she’s too perfect, its unnatural), albeit in a much harsher manner. But Kyo’s lifeline wasn’t that Tohru simply accepted him in that moment because she’s “so perfect.” A “too-nice,” always accommodating Tohru would have left when he told her to get lost or obfuscated her fear later on to make him feel better. But there’s something about Kyo’s more detailed, honest recounting of events that really messes with Akito.

I don’t think anyone is surprised hearing how Kyo feels about Tohru, but unfortunately he has the world’s worst timing to figure this out for himself right in front of our series’ antagonist after the well of attacks seemingly ran dry. Kyo’s inner monologue towards the end is really sweet and uplifting, but amidst all that, two things really stand out: those extra flashbacks (is there more context behind his scene with Kazuma? How did Kyo know Kyoko as a kid? Etc...) and how completely resigned and fine he seems after going through that all that. He just wants to be with her while he can, which is heartbreaking.
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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 152
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:01 pm Reply with quote
Oof, this episode was a lot to take in. We get to see some of Akito's most insidious emotional (and some physical) abuse here, and it's not pretty. Oh, Tohru, if you only knew what was really going on in that room...
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:46 am Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
Clematis wrote:
Gonna miss Jacob's reviews so much :'(

I completely understand and support his decision to step back from writing, but in the spirit of celebrating all that work, I'll miss them too. There was a lot packed into those reviews, and they served as really insightful companion reads. I love when you can tell a reviewer is really passionate about a series, and you felt that in spades with Fruits Basket. But I will still be reading and looking forward to Lauren's future reviews!


Completely agree.

KitKat1721 wrote:
I don’t think anyone is surprised hearing how Kyo feels about Tohru, but unfortunately he has the world’s worst timing to figure this out for himself right in front of our series’ antagonist after the well of attacks seemingly ran dry. Kyo’s inner monologue towards the end is really sweet and uplifting, but amidst all that, two things really stand out: those extra flashbacks (is there more context behind his scene with Kazuma? How did Kyo know Kyoko as a kid? Etc...) and how completely resigned and fine he seems after going through that all that. He just wants to be with her while he can, which is heartbreaking.

And it only gets more heartbreaking as we learn of his past in greater detail. I felt for him so much when reading the manga, and I'm sure seeing it all animated will double down on those feelings. Ahh be still, my heart.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Time to attack and dethrone god, Tohru! Laughing

Can we give some credit to Tohru for not only figuring out Akito's role in the family herself (even if it was only a few seconds before being told), but also having the mindset to believe that Akito might possibly be just as bound by the curse as everyone else? Immediately after learning about the true nature of this family, her first thought isn't "I have to free everyone from Akito" but rather "I have to set everyone free." Its really a testament to not only her incredibly kind nature, but ability to see things at beyond a surface level.


Last edited by KitKat1721 on Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Ye, seeing her go "on the offense" and take the initiative by forming a firm goal in her mind, one that is completely unrelated to her mom (!!), is a great sight to behold, it's also the first big step in her growth as a person. Will this season have 12 episodes only? Gonna be hard going cold turkey on furuba again.
Also, good observation regarding Tohru's ability to look beyond Akito's ways with people. Her capacity for empathy is over 9000 :')
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 261
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:39 pm Reply with quote
Wow, the summer vacation arc came and went a bit faster than I expected, but I guess that's just the difference in perception of pacing between reading the manga and watching the anime. I really love how much the story has moved forward in both characterization and plotting in the span of these episodes, though: I think there was an understandable sentiment that season 1 felt like a lot of set up and some episodes became formulaic as a result, but it'd be hard to argue that this arc failed to deliver on both narrative momentum and hard answers to some of the series' central mysteries.

As always, I think the question about the degree to which certain manifestations of "the Curse" or the other supernatural elements of the series are intended to be taken literally is kind of besides the point; Jacob offered this perspective in his reviews and I think KitKat1721 said it well, too, that ultimately the magical trappings the series trades in are best regarded as coding for the ways people often experience abuse, trauma, alienation, depression, deep empathy, etc.-- extrapolated out into something more fantastical in the tradition of fairy tales and folk tales, taking a lived human experience and enmeshing it in symbolism to make it somehow more quantifiable and, arguably, universalized. Most people probably don't live with an actual God-type figure at the head of their household pulling the strings of their fate, but living in an abusive family dynamic can often feel that way, so it becomes a useful metaphor for articulating the experience. To that end, the series tends to remain vague on details and avoids hard distinctions as to what is "really happening" with the Curse/the Bond, so as to center the emotions underpinning the events in these characters' lives: what matters is what's "real" for them.

A more specific takeaway from this episode and this review which I think is worth noting is that, when Akito is referring to "that woman," it's actually not clear that Tohru is the (only) subject in question. Moments prior to that we have a veiled reference to a character named "Ren" who is stirring up trouble at the Main House (not to be confused with Rin, the Horse, who continues to hang around the margins looking *dashing* and mysterious), and Akito appeared to thrust some peculiarly accusatory barbs at Shigure during their time in that timeless room, hinting at a potential betrayal in their past which changed the dynamic between them (hence, "you used to look only at me"). Whatever game Akito has been playing at the summer estate has just been rudely interrupted by the demands of acting as the Head of the Sohmas, and it's that development which ultimately leads Akito to seek Tohru out in a fit of anger-- interesting that in almost every instance, Akito seems to specifically direct blame and frustration on women when things go awry for Akito's personal agenda, exploiting (or inventing) any reason to target people like Kisa, Kana, and Tohru whenever there's a disruption in the intended order as Akito sees it. As others have noted, that confrontation ultimately leads to Tohru to recognize that the Curse is something which may bind Akito as well-- but how could anything, or anyone, have power over a God? Wink

The voice performances in these episodes has been generally outstanding on the Japanese sides, I can't wait to rewatch these dubbed!

Clematis wrote:
Will this season have 12 episodes only? Gonna be hard going cold turkey on furuba again.

I don't think it was ever confirmed how many episodes the Second Season would run, but every indication seemed to be that it was going to go the full twenty-something like the first season. With the COVID situation now, though, who knows: I've been surprised that there haven't been any reported delays in production, but they might have had a big lead if they started working on it right after Season 1 wrapped up. I have noticed some slightly bothersome animation issues in recent episodes, particularly with character's faces slipping way off model, but that could be attributed to anything and I'm hoping they clean things up a bit for the BR (should also note that there's been a lot of really gorgeous animation going on too, ep 9 was a standout for me, so it's far from unwatchable or anything like that).

And it's super belated, but a warm welcome to Lauren for these reviews! I've read each of them as they've come out and they've all been insightful and added to the layers within the ways that this show can be viewed and engaged with (referencing the Missing Step as a way to identify Akito's behavioral role within the Sohma family dynamic was brilliant). It's going to be great to have these as a companion to the Second Season as it continues to plumb the depths of the emotional mythos it has constructed.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Clematis wrote:
Will this season have 12 episodes only? Gonna be hard going cold turkey on furuba again.


Its been pretty much confirmed for a full 2-cour season (since the six blu-rays have long been announced), but with COVID, no one knows exactly how many of those episodes we'll be getting. Caitlin Glass said during one of her instagram live watch-alongs a few weeks back that she had at least seen up to the halfway point of S2.
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