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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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Clematis



Joined: 16 Feb 2017
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:32 am Reply with quote
Glad the relationship between Tohru and Yuki has been explained in great detail by other posters so that it can be appreciated for what it is, rather than completely misunderstood, because comments like 'gross out' and 'mommy issues' are about as unwarranted and off the mark as it gets.

Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed the most recent episode, and found myself rewatching it a number of times, always chucking at Hanajima's Cinderella and feeling for Arisa and for Kyo and Tohru, who are starting to confront their feelings as the story goes into overdrive.

On a side note, I miss Alexis.Anagram and their posts here.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 101
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:32 pm Reply with quote
This season was so good!

I really need to catch up with the manga.
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Oggers



Joined: 29 Nov 2017
Posts: 196
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Somehow, this episode did a lot to make me more emotionally invested in Kureno than I was when first reading through the manga (even though I'm still not a huge fan of him being paired up with Uotani). I think the visuals and the way his lines are delivered have something to do with it.

Also, just a minor correction, but Akito is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto in this anime, not Yuka Imai. Imai only voiced Akito as a child back in the 2001 anime.


Last edited by Oggers on Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Quick note of episode 49:

Quote:
Yuki has evolved hugely as a character, dwarfed only by his previously chilly and now doting brother. Ayame is a bit of a disappointment here. I loved seeing him stand up to their mom for Yuki's sake. But even he won't dare talk back to Akito? He's still just the comic relief.


I think it's be bit more complex than that. With their mother, Ayame acted when Yuki looked to be going back into his shell. On top of that, she clearly cannot handle Ayame, so that helps matters to die down. This was all done within a direct familial unit. The Akito incident is an entirely different beast. First Yuki never wavered, and he did not expect Akito's reaction to be what it was. Yuki was just talking to Akito frankly, and if it wasn't for Akito's fear of a repeat of information that we would find out in episode 50, her reaction probably wouldn't have been so violent. It was a shock to everyone. Second, if it were so easy to stand up to Akito, then things might have turned out differently for the Somas. But with the curse of this otherworldly bond they have no control over, acts of direct defiance are difficult.

Episode 50:

I am probably the only one that holds this opinion, but I love Akito. I loved her earlier in the adaptation because the the way the animators and VA depict her malice and venom is just too good to not enjoy. With this last episode of the second season, I realized that Akito is probably the most troubled character within the curse, and also the one most tied down by it. Of course this doesn't excuse her emotional and physical abuse she inflicted on the others, but it does help to show a possible reason that she turned to such destructive and manipulative acts.

According to Kureno, for Akito, the bond between the Zodiac and her is everything. While there still is a lot we don't know about Akito, the way she is displayed at the end gives off a very different image of her that contrasts to her tyrannical, domineering facade. The key difference between her and the other cursed Somas is the level of freedom and humanity they truly have, they can create bonds. From what we have seen, all of the Zodiac have some sort of life outside of the family, a life that can help them to grow and prosper (even if some of their live are closer linked to the Soma estate and family than others). If their curse were to be cut, they would in theory be just fine, finally breaking out of the cage. The same cannot be said of Akito. For her, if the curse were to break, she would have nothing, because for multiple reasons, some known and some unknown as of now, she lacks all ability to create bonds.

The last image we see of her in this episode is that of a doll, and that image works well to describe how she is within the Soma family. While she has left the estate a number of times in the series, it is always to see the Zodiac. She seems to have no life outside of her role as God. Now, we don't know how much of this is intentional on her part, but we see how she was in the past before she became abusive, and even then she didn't look like she had any freedom of her own.
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25thchestnut



Joined: 14 Sep 2020
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Episode 50 was incredibly well done, because it has continued to leave an active impression on my mind even after I watched it two days ago. Kureno's decision to stay by Akito's side because he still fundamentally sees her as that crying, terrified child, despite all the abuse and violence she's inflicted, felt so raw, honest, and surprisingly real in a way that I wasn't prepared for. A perfect conclusion to season 2, as I'll continue to be thinking about this episode and its connections to the rest of the season overall for a long time.
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DuskyPredator
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:48 pm Reply with quote
I really don't know what to do with the information about Akito presented at the end of the second season. Like the fact that Akito is AFAB would probably mean more if sex and gender being so distinct. And for whatever reason I had already grown suspicious of what sex or gender Akito was, that my running thoughts were of a transman or something, although considering how it acted with the likely transwoman it should be clear that it would not be handled that sort of way. It was also noticeable that Akito was more possessive of the boys and I think jealous of the girls, in how she dolled out abuse to them.

I really don't like Akito, and don't like the idea that the show might to to explain why they are the way they are. And on the topic of gender and things, I think that there are some odd parts that I don't know how to feel.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:28 pm Reply with quote
So we have one Zodiac Member who's curse not only broke, but broke years ago fairly inexplicably, with no obvious rhyme or reason. That was such a huge twist for me back when first reading the story and puts the concept of the curse itself in a new light. Its funny looking back at Kureno’s shot in the first S2 OP, his Zodiac animal was just a photo, rather than a real-time reflection like everyone else.

Given Uotani’s very light comparison between Kureno and Tohru from early on in the season, its interesting that he almost seems to be the extreme result of Tohru’s self-sacrificial nature/obfuscating tendencies here, and what happens when its not only never addressed but relied on and taken advantage of. Kureno originally took on a huge, unfair burden to protect someone (his guilt of being freed while everyone else is still bound by the curse only exacerbating that burden) and lived such an isolating existence to the point where now in his mid-20s, he can barely spare a thought for what he wants in almost any capacity. Sure, Tohru was never in that type of situation and has been consistently encouraged by others to be more selfish and not to ever hide what she’s feeling. But its not difficult to imagine someone like her becoming as emotionally repressed as Kureno is now if she was given similar choices under similar circumstances at a young age. That being said, I think Shigure's comments about his actions enabling Akito's behavior and making things worse aren't out of nowhere either (even if Shigure's JPN voice actor sounds way more biting and bitter than usual tbh). There's just a lot to unpack there.

As for that ending with Akito, I feel like its one of those "worst-kept secrets in manga/anime" for a few reasons haha (a really popular series that's been around for almost 20 years, a reveal like that generally works better in print than with voice actors, etc...) so I'm more curious what newcomers thought about it. I will say I couldn't recall with the subs (which thankfully Lauren did), but I do know the dub occasionally dropped male pronouns instead of just "Akito." I know Tohru used it back in S1 at least a couple times.

Oggers wrote:
Somehow, this episode did a lot to make me more emotionally invested in Kureno than I was when first reading through the manga (even though I'm still not a huge fan of him being paired up with Uotani). I think the visuals and the way his lines are delivered have something to do with it.


Can I just say how much I agree with this. I always felt like I just appreciated Kureno's role in the story more than I actually really felt for or even cared as much about him (at least compared to multiple other characters). But the anime has made me root for him way more than I expected, even way back in early S2 (in both sub and dub). The direction and performances have really elevated his material for me.

ETA: Almost forgot, thanks for covering the season Lauren, I've enjoyed reading your reviews each week!
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 197
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:03 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:
As for that ending with Akito, I feel like its one of those "worst-kept secrets in manga/anime" for a few reasons haha (a really popular series that's been around for almost 20 years, a reveal like that generally works better in print than with voice actors, etc...) so I'm more curious what newcomers thought about it.


Newcomer reporting in. Anime hyper Fruits Basket became a thing when I took a very long break from anime and manga, and only kept up with a few series. This remake is my first experience with it.

With that said, the reveal was... anti-climatic maybe? Not because I predicted it. Rather, I assumed Akito was genderfluid and barely gave her identity any thought. Ayame, Momiji, and Ritsu along with that wannabe delinquent who was smitten with Uotani in season 1 already conditioned me to see this show from that perspective; where I otherwise wouldn't have for a nearly twenty year old shōjo story.

So when Kureno dropped the reveal I was just like... "okay... and?" >.>

The implications for Akito's characterization when Kureno's history with her was revealed impacted me a lot more. To the point I almost resent the story for making me feel even an ounce of sympathy for a character that has only spread misery since her introduction. I'd physically tense up whenever Akito appeared, and now I'm supposed to feel for her to at least some degree? Damn you for being so good, Fruits Basket.
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Birriaman



Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:34 pm Reply with quote
Finally! Been waiting for this scene for 50 episodes, and like the rest of the series it did not dissapoint. I stand by what I’ve said: this iteration of Fruits Basket is the best remake of any series out there, and is one of the best adaptations of a manga, period.

Only a few things keep me from giving it a 10/10. (1) I guess it’s just a wee-bit below my personal favorites and it comes down to personal preference because I just don’t know how they could improve this show, (2) the sometimes over the top drama, straight from the manga, is sometimes off-putting, and (3) Kyon’s true form reveal back in S1 was a bit meh. Nevertheless, I don’t have enough words to praise it. The translation has also been a bit lacking but that’s not the original work’s fault.

Which reminds me, after reading all the comments about Kureno’s strange line in the previous episode, I went back and actually paid close attention to it (don’t know how it got by me the first time I watched it, guess I was lazy and read the text only), and it is indeed another translation mistake. He very clearly says “Akito mo, omoishireba ii” which can only be interpreted as “That Akito, if (he’d) only let [me] know [what (he’s) thinking/feeling]”. Not really sure how the error went by a professional translator, especially when it changes the entire context of the scene and Kureno’s relationship with Akito, and especially in light of the big reveal in the next episode.

On a side note, I’ve been a Maaya Sakamoto fan since her debut. But I hate Akito with such a passion that I never really bothered to check who the seiyuu was. The voice was so well acted and so out of character for Maaya that I really didn’t recognize her until today, and only because I watched Re:Zero right before and Echidna had had her moment. By the time Akito began having her tantrums I actually had to stop and replay the scene to make sure I was hearing right. Then I actually read the credits and, well... let’s say that that was my shocker today.
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Tenbinzan



Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:13 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
... to the fact that the subtitles pointedly don't use gender markers to refer to Akito. (Despite this, I have referred to Akito with he/him pronouns throughout my reviews, because otherwise my sentences get really clunky and can make you wonder why I'm bothering, which could itself be a spoiler.)

Huh. I could've sworn that Akito has been referred to as he/him in the English sub before. But either way, Akito uses a masculine personal pronoun in Japanese (boku) and wears men's kimonos, so you're good; there was never any reason to avoid using he/him in your reviews.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 272
Location: Auburn, AL
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Tenbinzan wrote:
Quote:
... to the fact that the subtitles pointedly don't use gender markers to refer to Akito. (Despite this, I have referred to Akito with he/him pronouns throughout my reviews, because otherwise my sentences get really clunky and can make you wonder why I'm bothering, which could itself be a spoiler.)

Huh. I could've sworn that Akito has been referred to as he/him in the English sub before. But either way, Akito uses a masculine personal pronoun in Japanese (boku) and wears men's kimonos, so you're good; there was never any reason to avoid using he/him in your reviews.


I've seen in the subs, yes they have considered Akito male.

However, I hate to burst your bubble if you believe Akito is transgender or queer. That's not the case at all. The reason everyone thinks she's a he is (And I hope you've read the manga for this spoiler) spoiler[Her mother forced her to live as a guy because she felt threatened to have another woman in the area since her late husband had been the God, Akito was born and took over and she didn't want a woman in the way. Also Ren threatened to abort Akito if she was not raised a he and her husband had to agree. Only the older males know this secret up until Kureno tells Tohru.] Also, the first anime ended before it was told that Akito was female in the manga, so that's why she remained a he in the beginning anime.
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proper1420



Joined: 13 Mar 2016
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:37 am Reply with quote
Tenbinzan wrote:
Huh. I could've sworn that Akito has been referred to as he/him in the English sub before.


The most significant such reference I've found is by Yuki in S2E7 at 7:45 in the CR sub: "He would tell me pitch-black things..." This is significant because it's by someone other than Tohru; otherwise, one could suppose without contradiction that only Tohru didn't know that Akito was a woman.

The only other reference I've found (I've only looked through S2E7, and I've used the episode summaries on wikipedia as a guide to where to look) is a series of three references by Tohru in S1E12 at 21:40 in the CR sub: "He struck me as a very unusual person. Is he one of the zodiac, too? To be honest, I felt a little scared of him."

On the other hand, in S2E7 at 13:40, the sub has Kyo rather awkwardly repeat "Akito" twice rather than use a pronoun: "I can only think Akito's here to put a damper on things. Akito's always been like this. Akito enjoys ridiculing others." Interestingly, at this point in the Japanese dub, I don't hear Kyo say "Akito" even once.
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