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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 4:06 am Reply with quote
Too much melodrama for me in the last episode. Characters were making such a big deal as if they would never see each other again.

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Obviously it's very early on, but Tohru is a bit too saintly for me to take seriously.

Well, there seems to be two types of viewers. Ones that like and don't mind her saintly naivety and ones that don't like her. She is just the type of sweet heroine that was popular 20 years ago, but now I think is rather old-school in shoujo.
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A Mystery
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:10 am Reply with quote
She's not just a saint. It's also a coping mechanism. Sort of an overachieving kindness to others in order to not be abandoned or cast away, where it would be healthier if she loved herself a bit more. But while her mother really seemed to love her, she never fit in anywhere else.
I don't think she's meant to be seen as a completely healthy person. I would like to see her get angry too sometimes.

And really, I think it is a dramatic thing to be living with people who treat you like a worthless slut. Not having any privacy and being constantly remembered that the one kind person already forgot about you is just the icing on the sour cake. Sure Tohru would be able to see Yuki and Kyou again, but I think it's not weird that she's sad to leave a place where she finally believed she'd be accepted.
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:03 am Reply with quote
A Mystery wrote:
She's not just a saint. It's also a coping mechanism. Sort of an overachieving kindness to others in order to not be abandoned or cast away, where it would be healthier if she loved herself a bit more. But while her mother really seemed to love her, she never fit in anywhere else.
I don't think she's meant to be seen as a completely healthy person. I would like to see her get angry too sometimes.

And really, I think it is a dramatic thing to be living with people who treat you like a worthless slut. Not having any privacy and being constantly remembered that the one kind person already forgot about you is just the icing on the sour cake. Sure Tohru would be able to see Yuki and Kyou again, but I think it's not weird that she's sad to leave a place where she finally believed she'd be accepted.

I can understand that she is sad that she needs to live with awful relatives, but the drama was too much for me, especially from Kyo and Yuki's side. I presume she was still living in the neighborhood and they would still see her at school, but they moped as if she moved to another city or country.
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Benisara



Joined: 14 Feb 2019
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 3:38 am Reply with quote
Really enjoying it so far, it truly is a trip down memory lane! I'm not looking forward to the intensely depressing parts of the series though, I already feel like it's going to mess with my emotions at some point.

Great adaptation and really faithful to the original anime. Even some of the dramatic/comedic beats are the same.

Still, given the nature of some of the content from the original, I'm wondering if they were temper and censor things for a modern audience. I think it would be very difficult to do that, considering how integral some of the relationship are to the plot overall. I really hope they don't take the safe route with this classic shoujo story.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:33 am Reply with quote
@Aylinn

If you consider episode five to be excessively dramatic, you will probably not like later episodes. While the show does have some comedy and some fantasy elements, it is basically a story of problems within a very ingrown family. It is definitely not a light hearted slice of life comedy.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:17 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:


Still a pretty good episode, but even with the better technical merits figured in, the original was better on this plot element.


Good, so it wasn't just me then. The original series just resonates more with me, not because it was done first but because it was done better. It's the difference between Tohru calling herself a fool or someone who doesn't think things through versus outright calling herself an idiot. One has a delicate, light touch while the other has to explain its emotional content as quickly and directly as possible. As soon Tohru is there living with her grandfather and her new family, we learn that help is already on the way. The first series let emotions stew while the new series is more interested in hitting plot points.

There's something I've suspected for a few episodes now... or at least when I read a comment about the first episode where someone said, and I paraphrase, the best change the new series did was show a hat where there wasn't a hat previously. Technical merits, directorial choices, acting, music, no, it was the hat.

I know nothing about any hat but I do know how to develop drama and this new series is depending too much on people knowing what they should feel rather than creating emotion through a combination of sound and images itself. Take the Fruits Basket scene... why choose to have it end with child Tohru running off with older Yuki and Ryo rather than her running towards faceless school friends which never happened- except that she wished happened? Older teen Tohru was called by her new friends, it has nothing to do with child Tohru.

And I didn't like the dementia implications that her grandfather keep mistaking her for her mother.... wait a minute, if he really thought that was Kyoko and he knew Kyoko can stand up for herself then why did he... THAT'S what was bothering me about the slap, it felt oddly out of place here even if ... having Kyo and Yuki.. watch it... what are the writers doing...
Either Tohru needs to be rescued or she doesn't. YOU. CAN'T. HAVE. IT. BOTH. WAYS. Is it a misreading of decades old shojo through modern eyes or is it an intentional change to the character?
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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:59 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
@Aylinn

If you consider episode five to be excessively dramatic, you will probably not like later episodes. While the show does have some comedy and some fantasy elements, it is basically a story of problems within a very ingrown family. It is definitely not a light hearted slice of life comedy.

I know I have read the whole manga years ago and I am watching this remake to see what I will think about it after so many years.

I am not even having problem with a lot of drama, I just think this episode was excessively dramatic given the circumstances. If, for example, there was some very dramatic event like massacre, rape, etc. and a character involved didn't make much out of it. I would not see it as good either unless the story established that there is something out of ordinary concerning this person. For instance the character was desensitised by previous equally dramatic experience.

So far the biggest difference for me is that it seems I can stand Tohru now. Years ago when I was closer to her age she annoyed me to no end with her naivety. Now I still see her as a naive girl, but it is easier for me put it to her young age and the fact that she was just lucky that Shoms are decent people.

I will keep watching to see what I will think about Shigure this time. He was my favourite character back then.
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 169
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Key wrote:


Still a pretty good episode, but even with the better technical merits figured in, the original was better on this plot element.


Good, so it wasn't just me then. The original series just resonates more with me, not because it was done first but because it was done better. It's the difference between Tohru calling herself a fool or someone who doesn't think things through versus outright calling herself an idiot. One has a delicate, light touch while the other has to explain its emotional content as quickly and directly as possible. As soon Tohru is there living with her grandfather and her new family, we learn that help is already on the way. The first series let emotions stew while the new series is more interested in hitting plot points.

There's something I've suspected for a few episodes now... or at least when I read a comment about the first episode where someone said, and I paraphrase, the best change the new series did was show a hat where there wasn't a hat previously. Technical merits, directorial choices, acting, music, no, it was the hat.

I know nothing about any hat but I do know how to develop drama and this new series is depending too much on people knowing what they should feel rather than creating emotion through a combination of sound and images itself. Take the Fruits Basket scene... why choose to have it end with child Tohru running off with older Yuki and Ryo rather than her running towards faceless school friends which never happened- except that she wished happened? Older teen Tohru was called by her new friends, it has nothing to do with child Tohru.

And I didn't like the dementia implications that her grandfather keep mistaking her for her mother.... wait a minute, if he really thought that was Kyoko and he knew Kyoko can stand up for herself then why did he... THAT'S what was bothering me about the slap, it felt oddly out of place here even if ... having Kyo and Yuki.. watch it... what are the writers doing...
Either Tohru needs to be rescued or she doesn't. YOU. CAN'T. HAVE. IT. BOTH. WAYS. Is it a misreading of decades old shojo through modern eyes or is it an intentional change to the character?


Without going into spoiler territory. The grandpa is actually fully aware that Tohru is NOT Kyoko. He has his reason (Tohru is unconsciously aware of this).

The old anime Tohru is barely scratching the surface of her actual personality. She has her own problem.
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catandmouse



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 108
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 3:21 pm Reply with quote
My two cents on episode 5 being too dramatic.
Under normal circumstances, yes, I agree, Yuki and Kyo are being too fatalistic. It's true that they will continue to see each other at school and such, but even then, things wouldn't be the same. There is a certain dynamic with her living and being friends with them under the same roof and them being friends outside of the home. Also, we need to take into consideration that all 3 are emotionally damaged, so something that might not seem like a big deal to some, might be for others.
I'm twice as old as the characters are, and I had forgotten how much I like this series. The new anime is making me remember. I can't say it is my favorite story ever, but I liked it then and I find myself still enjoying it now (Kagura notwithstanding. She was never a favorite of mine).
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:16 pm Reply with quote
@Aylinn

They are all high school kids. At that point most emotions are dialed up to 11. You will hear proclamations from normal teenagers of "I hate you" and "you ruined my life" because a parent wouldn't let them go to a specific party. If anything, the emotional moments in the episode went by too fast. There should have been more time spent showing how unpleasant her new living situation was.

Also keep in mind that Tohru is the first real friend outside the family for both boys and acts as a buffer between them as they reside in the same household. The low key leaving made sense. Often you don't realize what you have until it is gone. I doubt either Yuki or Kyo had specific plans when they set out.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 7:46 pm Reply with quote
Upon reflection, one thing that I think this version is subtly emphasizing more than the original - and I think is an improvement - is something that Jacob alluded to in one of his reviews: Tohru's self-loathing. That was to a certain extent present in the first anime but I've seen a few places in this version where slight tweaks in wording and emotional presentation are allowing it to leak through Tohru's generally soft, upbeat persona more often. This is something I plan to keep an eye on as the series progresses.
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thebond&thecurse



Joined: 18 Apr 2019
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 8:21 pm Reply with quote
I have considered the opinion of some people that it felt weird that everyone was so emotional about Tohru leaving after such a short time of her being gone and that she broke down about it after having only been at her grandpa's for a less than a day - and that the (2001) anime was better for having shown her being there for several days and not fitting in, how things had changed at the Sohma residence, awkwardness at school, etc. I thought about it, I rewatched the episode ... I thought about how I've always felt reading the equivalent chapter in the manga ... I thought about the story as a whole. And ultimately I have to disagree. Especially given everything I know about the characters, their hangups and backgrounds and motivations and development going forward, I think it makes perfect sense and actually adds to the overall meaning for it to be such a short burst of emotions and events.

Also, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing that it makes more sense to me knowing things about the story going forward, because it never was too strange to me reading the manga the first time, it just means more with more knowledge, which everything does in Furuba - it's a series meant to be reread.

Without spoilers about that later knowledge of the characters, I think the perspective to have is how much everyone didn't want Tohru to leave (Kyo, Yuki, Tohru herself) and yet didn't say anything. The point of this moment in their collective lives is not that Tohru left and they all realized after a while how upsetting it was - it was that it was already upsetting and they didn't do anything about it. Everyone was bottling up their emotions so well - Tohru insisted on making dinner as usual, then packing up her things, then leaving in the morning without even saying goodbye. And Yuki and Kyo just stayed literally silent the whole time.

spoiler[(Shigure was perceptive about it all, but he didn't say anything for his own reasons ~spoilers~) ]

It adds to the feeling of letting something slip past and happen so easily without saying a word, when saying something was all you needed to do, for it to be such a quick series of events. And that includes the outburst of emotions so soon after it happened. Kyo and Yuki became agitated after her leaving quickly enough to immediately go try to bring her back because they had already wanted to say something to keep her from going in the first place.

Tohru, who is dealing with the loss of her mother as shown in the opening scene of remembering her and in a myriad of ways that are impacting her that the story hasn't gone into yet, already didn't want to be in that house and would have preferred to keep living with the Sohma, something that was uplifting her for the first time since her mother's death in a genuine way. She was bottling up her every feeling of depression, isolation, and hopelessness and it only took a few cruel words from her relatives and kind words from her grandfather for it to all burst out. And then burst out again when Kyo told her something she really needed to hear and that reminded her of words from her mother, as well, and the great relief that she was getting out of situation she already didn't want to be in.

It makes perfect sense to me, looking at it from this viewpoint, which with knowing everything about the characters going forward already, I believe is the way the situation is supposed to be interpreted.

I don't fault any viewer who hasn't read the manga or is understanding the characters through the lens of the first anime (which is really completely different from the manga in all these regards) to find something strange or at fault with the way this played out. But I do think a bit of patience and benefit of the doubt is needed. I don't think it is altogether so odd as to be completely not understandable or unemotional as some are saying. Maybe we are just too conditioned to expect a certain route for storylines and character emotions - it seems more obvious that this should be about the shift in circumstances that makes it upsetting, not the bottling up of feelings you already had and circumstances you already fully knew you wanted or didn't want - and will judge things if they don't play out the way we expect, rather than letting it pique our intrigue as to what it will deepen and reveal about our characters later on.
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AntiKuro



Joined: 01 Aug 2017
Posts: 82
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:59 pm Reply with quote
My only big complaint about this series so far, and it might just be an issue with the dub, is that some of the voices are super low in volume. Specifically Yuki.

I've had to adjust my sound, and put on headphones at least once, in order to hear what he is saying. I like his English voice, but I really wish I could make out what he is saying sometimes.

Otherwise I find being a fan of both the original anime, and manga that I am just as giddy as I am the first time around watching it. I did get a little excited when I saw the hat.
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Rika Hue



Joined: 19 Dec 2015
Posts: 133
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 8:32 am Reply with quote
More a comment on the reviewer: I don't read a lot of reviews, but Jacob, I was surprised when I got to the end and saw you were the author. In a good way. There was only a faint trace of the author of the review, if that makes sense. Sometimes the voice of an author can be loud, but I liked this review. It was good.

Anyway, I actually came here just to say that any series that can make me cry by episode 5 (queue The Girls Are Alright) I will like. It's a good thing that I have a bad memory, as I watched the original easily 5+ years ago and can't remember much. Also not bothered to look it up. Just gonna enjoy the ride raw, with a side of informative bits like this review.
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Collectonian



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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Location: Texas
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:33 am Reply with quote
Meongantuk wrote:

Without going into spoiler territory. spoiler[The grandpa is actually fully aware that Tohru is NOT Kyoko. He has his reason (Tohru is unconsciously aware of this).]


That's a pretty big spoiler for anyone who hasn't read the manga as it is not revealed until much later on.
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