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EP. REVIEW: Fruits Basket


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thebond&thecurse



Joined: 18 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:58 am Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
thebond&thecurse wrote:
I know it's easy to forget what isn't obvious/common knowledge early on in the story after having read it a thousand times over ... spoiler[ sometimes I forget things like that it's not apparent that breaking the curse will be a plot point until the back half of the story or legit forgetting that people don't know/wouldn't guess that Akito (or anyone in the family) is God, cause of course there's a God of the zodiac, they're mentioned in the legend told in the very first episode! But no, that's a big surprise! ]

spoiler[What??? And here I thought Akito was the Rooster!] Wink


No, No, per some guesses I saw the past few weeks spoiler[ Akito must be the dragon, cause the dragon is the most mysterious and powerful of the 12 animals. It's so clear! ] Wink Enjoy next week's episode everybody!
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Alexis.Anagram



Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:19 pm Reply with quote
thebond&thecurse wrote:
No, No, per some guesses I saw the past few weeks spoiler[ Akito must be the dragon, cause the dragon is the most mysterious and powerful of the 12 animals. It's so clear! ] Wink Enjoy next week's episode everybody!

That's awesome, haha. I love that there are (somehow?) anime fans in the world who haven't been spoiled on this series. It's like this reboot waited for just the right time.

I got to catch up on the English dubbed episodes with my sister today, and I'm really glad I chose to watch the series this way and take in each episode twice. I definitely enjoyed them more the second time around, with some distance in my mind from the way the manga and the 2001 adaptation went about structuring things. I still think episode 5 was (unfortunately) the weakest of the bunch just due to the way its emotional arc is interrupted (everything before that happens is perfect, including that brilliant "visit" from Kyoko), but I liked episodes 3 and 6 even more! I guess Laura Bailey is just the Tohru I connect with best, and the emotional beats land better for me in English.

Momiji's VA is laying it on a little too thick and they could stand to pull back from the accent-- there are moments here and there where it drops into something more subtle than the impression given by all the "YAHHs" and such, and if they can stay there it would be preferable. Otherwise I think it's a fun choice and tonally the voice fits the character so it works. For some reason Megumi Han's take on the role isn't working for me right now, so hopefully it settles in over the next episode.

Super glad Kent Williams is back as Hatori, his casting is spot on and I can't wait to see where he takes the full story.

Mm, on the nitpicky end, some of the newer FUNi standards on script adaptation didn't quite work for me. I'd prefer if they just use English terms like "classmates" to stuff like "senpai," especially because they have Tohru pluralizing it incorrectly as "senpais" anyways so...like are you having her use Japanese or...? Also when she says, "I have two wonderful friends whose names are Uo-chan and Hana-chan," again, it just sounds awkward. Just call them Uo and Hana, the nicknaming is self-evident.
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
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Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
thebond&thecurse wrote:
No, No, per some guesses I saw the past few weeks spoiler[ Akito must be the dragon, cause the dragon is the most mysterious and powerful of the 12 animals. It's so clear! ] Wink Enjoy next week's episode everybody!

That's awesome, haha. I love that there are (somehow?) anime fans in the world who haven't been spoiled on this series. It's like this reboot waited for just the right time.

I got to catch up on the English dubbed episodes with my sister today, and I'm really glad I chose to watch the series this way and take in each episode twice. I definitely enjoyed them more the second time around, with some distance in my mind from the way the manga and the 2001 adaptation went about structuring things. I still think episode 5 was (unfortunately) the weakest of the bunch just due to the way its emotional arc is interrupted (everything before that happens is perfect, including that brilliant "visit" from Kyoko), but I liked episodes 3 and 6 even more! I guess Laura Bailey is just the Tohru I connect with best, and the emotional beats land better for me in English.

Momiji's VA is laying it on a little too thick and they could stand to pull back from the accent-- there are moments here and there where it drops into something more subtle than the impression given by all the "YAHHs" and such, and if they can stay there it would be preferable. Otherwise I think it's a fun choice and tonally the voice fits the character so it works. For some reason Megumi Han's take on the role isn't working for me right now, so hopefully it settles in over the next episode.

Super glad Kent Williams is back as Hatori, his casting is spot on and I can't wait to see where he takes the full story.

Mm, on the nitpicky end, some of the newer FUNi standards on script adaptation didn't quite work for me. I'd prefer if they just use English terms like "classmates" to stuff like "senpai," especially because they have Tohru pluralizing it incorrectly as "senpais" anyways so...like are you having her use Japanese or...? Also when she says, "I have two wonderful friends whose names are Uo-chan and Hana-chan," again, it just sounds awkward. Just call them Uo and Hana, the nicknaming is self-evident.


i really dont think its a big deal though. some series like the original series as well as index/railgun are better off NOT using honorifics due to timing and lip flapping issues, but this version is much suited since its more faithful to the manga.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 4:36 am Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
Mm, on the nitpicky end, some of the newer FUNi standards on script adaptation didn't quite work for me. I'd prefer if they just use English terms like "classmates" to stuff like "senpai," especially because they have Tohru pluralizing it incorrectly as "senpais" anyways so...like are you having her use Japanese or...? Also when she says, "I have two wonderful friends whose names are Uo-chan and Hana-chan," again, it just sounds awkward. Just call them Uo and Hana, the nicknaming is self-evident.

This is my biggest nitpick with the dub, one I pretty much love so far (I'm coming around more to Momiji's accent as the actress gets more comfortable with it, and there seemed to be an improvement based on the most recent episode compared to the first few lines). Very rarely do honorifics work in English, and most often are distracting at best. An exception would be something like "Kacchan" in My Hero Academia, since it just sounds like part of the nickname. MHA also shares the same ADR scriptwriter as Fruits Basket (2019), so I figured they wouldn't be there, but some Caitlin Glass-directed shows use them so who knows why? I guess I should just be thankful its not overbearing (looking at you ef: tale of memories)
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:45 am Reply with quote
There are some subtle plot points associated with the use of honorifics. Tohru is still addressing Yuki as Soma-kun while she addresses Kyo as Kyo-kun. This is one of those stories where the names and honorifics used are important.
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Mugen1style



Joined: 26 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:25 am Reply with quote
I think the new adaption is good , and I liked the original as well for slightly different reasons. In the original anime I found the slap stick humor a good way to lighten the mood of fairly long heavily emotional expositions. In the new anime it seems to me they are shortening the emotional scenes and packing a little more of the story line in. I would assume this so they can cover all the content of the manga. Either of the shows gets the point across for me at least. I have never read the manga and to be honest I am not all that concerned on how accurate the anime is to it. I just want to escape into a good story where I can be emotionally involved in the story, and I know so far the new adaptation is doing a fine job of that so far. With Tohru I think the thing that has always drawn me to her character is her ability to be optimistic in the face of great adversity. Her ability to see the good in people who are not broadcasting there good traits very well. Most importantly complete acceptance of people where they happen to be as a person the truest form of love that can ever be in this world. We all need a Tohru in our lives imo. I am glad I get to see this new adaptation and I hope all will come to love this franchise the way I have.
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thebond&thecurse



Joined: 18 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:50 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
There are some subtle plot points associated with the use of honorifics. Tohru is still addressing Yuki as Soma-kun while she addresses Kyo as Kyo-kun. This is one of those stories where the names and honorifics used are important.


True, but the dub is translating those subtleties. Tohru is just calling Yuki "Sohma". Everyone calling Tohru "Tohru-kun" instead of "-chan" is supposed to be significant because her name is masculine, but she's just being called "Tohru". The undoubtedly biggest plot point related to honorifics is Yuki calling Tohru "Honda-san" (a centerpiece of the final scene that Takaya said was her first inspiration for the entire story), yet it's being translated into "Miss Honda".

These aren't necessarily bad translations, but it does make you wonder ... if they're not keeping the honorifics for the things that actually matter, then why are they are keeping them for ultimately inconsequential things like "senpai" or "Hana-chan" and "Uo-chan"? It's a bit odd.
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Alexis.Anagram



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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:29 pm Reply with quote
thebond&thecurse wrote:

These aren't necessarily bad translations, but it does make you wonder ... if they're not keeping the honorifics for the things that actually matter, then why are they are keeping them for ultimately inconsequential things like "senpai" or "Hana-chan" and "Uo-chan"? It's a bit odd.

Yeah, it's the selectivity and inconsistency with which it's being applied that I'm not loving. I'm with KitKat1721 in that I'm totally fine with Japanese phrasing being retained when it sounds natural and organic to the script/characters, but this dub is a little too all over the place and so it becomes distracting. There are adapted lines in the show that I do like, though, and in general it hits all the right points for me as a Furuba dub redux, so it's not a deal breaker by any stretch.

*whooo* OK Episode 7. I have thoughts:

As much as I liked this episode on the whole, I think it once again represents...problems with the approach this team is taking to the story. Problems mainly, I think, of convenience, but also some kinda baffling decisions that knock the material down a notch from where it should be (imo, which is based on the ridiculously high standards I've set for my fave manga, ymmv). Mugen1style mentioned that the show is shortening the emotional scenes to make room for plot, and I think that's true and informs some of my complaint here, but I also think it's more than that: in the framing of a lot of key scenes, we're losing not just the emotional content, but also the emotional context (and subtext) that makes them feel dramatically logical.

As an example, this episode uses the exact same adaptation approach as the 2001 version in consolidating the Hatori/Kana subplot into one episode (it appears over two separate chapters in the manga) but misses a lot of the components that made that work in the 2001 show by at once trying to remain oddly faithful to the manga while also making changes that seem questionable. In the 2001 anime, Tohru's main experiences while at the Sohma estate occur primarily in Hatori's house, and having both his transformation and his recollection of his time with Kana take place in that context keeps the focus where it should be: on his emotional arc. When he wakes up, Tohru is seated on his porch, which is the same place that she and Momiji had their conversation earlier; it's all very insulated and intimate, with a clear trajectory as to why the characters are where they are. In the manga, Tohru runs into Hatori by happenstance after her visit to the Sohma estate, and when she notices it's snowing, she slips and falls into him, so they end up at a park on a bench. This version tries to do both? and it becomes a little arbitrary: they have to move Tohru and Hatori outside in order for Hatori to have the moment where Kana passes by him (which is axed from the 2001 show IIRC) , but there was really no need for them to leave the house, and it's not really clear why Tohru doesn't just take Hatori back there (yes, it's a big estate, and sure, she might have gotten lost, but that requires planting that set up before attempting to execute the approach). Much like the scene with Kagura and Tohru walking down a random street as opposed to sharing a quiet moment in the Sohma household, I think the choice to keep the manga's framing of this scene but not the timing of it kind of robs it of the impact it should have: the characters end up in a pretty random location for arbitrary reasons during a scene that ought to represent the dramatic throughline for the whole episode. It's not ruined or anything, just...less good. In an episode where I demanded perfection. I did this to me.

My bigger problem is with the scenes involving Akito. This is where I think Daichi, for whatever reason, managed to look at the material and make some creative choices as a director that enhance and amplify what the manga mostly insinuates, so it's probably unfair to take the 2019 anime to account for that buuuut I just really feel like 2001 Akito by the end of this episode was solidified as this extremely antagonistic force in a way 2019 just didn't do for me, due to some subtle but notable differences. First of all, I just generally like the use of color and angles in the 2001 anime during that scene and the scenes that follow: it feels like it exists almost in a dream-space (consistent with Hatori's sleeping state and choice of vocabulary in describing his time with Kana) which lends to the nightmarish tone of everything that happens during and after in terms of fallout. The scene itself also starts on a quiet note, with Hatori's simple request to marry Kana, before suddenly, violently turning operatic in scale, keyed in with Akito's fury: the shock of it is visceral, from seeing the instrument Akito uses to injure Hatori in its moment of impact to the sharp cuts between Akito's enraged insistence at Kana's fault to her own frightened expression, followed through with interspersed sequences of Akito engaged in peak gaslighting matched with Kana's internalization of the narrative. It paints a clear picture of Akito as a person with an indomitable will, one which both the Sohmas and those in their orbit, for whatever reason, can't act against: and that power is what makes Akito so dangerous.

This episode maintains the flurry of the Akito/Kana/Hatori confrontation, but dilutes the clear throughline of action & consequence. Hatori seems to get injured entirely by accident (and I'm not really sure how a mirror you fall backwards into is meant to cut the front of your face deeply enough to leave you half-blind in one eye...), and Akito's insinuation of blame on Kana's part seems more opportunistic than intentional. There's a certain plausible deniability ascribed to Akito that seems like it's straining too hard to give the character the benefit of the doubt (for, sigghh, reasons), and I don't get the sense of Akito as this dangerously toxic, manipulative person. It's more like Akito is just reacting, and Kana is an incidental casualty in all this, rather than the intended target of a certain, characteristic acrimony and resentment on Akito's part.

And then, nitpicking again, but the choice to put Akito in a car at the end seems rooted in too strong a focus on maintaining a superficial sort of logic at the expense of an otherwise evocative moment. In both the manga and the 2001 show Akito peers out at Tohru from a window, and Tohru has a kind of sixth sense about it that causes her to look towards the window, after which Akito draws away. It's pure goosebumps material, and when Tohru turns to Shigure and asks, "What is the curse?" the weight of that question is just...yikes. I guess with this adaptation they thought Tohru wouldn't have a "reason" to see Akito in a window from the gates of the estate but it's kind of goofy of them to set the scene there, in that case. It honestly felt a little goofy.

Jacob mentioned in his review for episode 5 (I believe) that the underlying story of Fruits Basket is strong enough that it shows through with this adaptation, and I totally agree with that. But ultimately that's a cop out for excusing what this show doesn't seem to be doing, which is drawing on the source material to tell the story in the best way possible, by identifying and amplifying its strengths in the way I think Daichi was able to do. He was working with the heart of the series, not the ornamentation of its particulars, and sometimes an adaptation needs that level of objective distance. I don't like every choice Daichi made by any stretch (and I can see why Takaya would have been thoroughly frustrated with him as a creator), but I feel like the 2001 series was better at accessing the essence of Furuba due to the really clear vision Daichi as a director had for it. It was always apparent where he wanted to place emphasis and what the audience should be paying attention to: this series feels more haphazard despite being toned down, like the director is trying to juggle the plot points with the challenge of conveying the emotions underlying them, and it just doesn't have that same sort of resonance.

But it's not anywhere near as bad as FMA: Brotherhood, so there's that.
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vonPeterhof
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:12 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
This episode maintains the flurry of the Akito/Kana/Hatori confrontation, but dilutes the clear throughline of action & consequence. Hatori seems to get injured entirely by accident (and I'm not really sure how a mirror you fall backwards into is meant to cut the front of your face deeply enough to leave you half-blind in one eye...), and Akito's insinuation of blame on Kana's part seems more opportunistic than intentional. There's a certain plausible deniability ascribed to Akito that seems like it's straining too hard to give the character the benefit of the doubt (for, sigghh, reasons), and I don't get the sense of Akito as this dangerously toxic, manipulative person. It's more like Akito is just reacting, and Kana is an incidental casualty in all this, rather than the intended target of a certain, characteristic acrimony and resentment on Akito's part.
Yeah, speaking as someone getting to know the story for the first time through the current anime adaptation, the scene was so hilarious it almost ruined the emotional impact of the whole episode. To be fair, it never once occurred to me to give Akito the benefit of the doubt, but the whole thing still reeked of Code Geass-level contrivance, and I don't think even Lelouch ever managed to gaslight someone this thoroughly in the span of 20 seconds Laughing
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steelmirror



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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:02 pm Reply with quote
Alexis.Anagram wrote:
But it's not anywhere near as bad as FMA: Brotherhood, so there's that.
**Heavy breathing**

As to the rest of your post, all I can say as a first time watcher is that I didn't feel at any point that Akito is anything but a manipulative, horrible person. I hate him thoroughly, though I do get the sense that the show is going to want me to feel empathy towards him at some future point. It's gonna be a tough sell. For now though, complete toxic asshat, and the main thing I hate is how everyone else around him is always enabling his bullshit instead of like...sending him to prison.
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Alexis.Anagram



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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:48 pm Reply with quote
vonPeterhof wrote:
Yeah, speaking as someone getting to know the story for the first time through the current anime adaptation, the scene was so hilarious it almost ruined the emotional impact of the whole episode. To be fair, it never once occurred to me to give Akito the benefit of the doubt, but the whole thing still reeked of Code Geass-level contrivance, and I don't think even Lelouch ever managed to gaslight someone this thoroughly in the span of 20 seconds Laughing

Yeah, it just seems like this adaptation is asking us to lean more into the drama by neglecting to sufficiently parse its own dramatic set-ups: Hatori gets injured, but it's sort of an accident; Kana submits to despair, but it's in a kind of vacuum; Akito is bad, but... It's not that the material has been changed, but the way it's presented doesn't feel as pointed. A few too many contrivances in the details, I'd say.

steelmirror wrote:

As to the rest of your post, all I can say as a first time watcher is that I didn't feel at any point that Akito is anything but a manipulative, horrible person. I hate him thoroughly, though I do get the sense that the show is going to want me to feel empathy towards him at some future point. It's gonna be a tough sell. For now though, complete toxic asshat, and the main thing I hate is how everyone else around him is always enabling his bullshit instead of like...sending him to prison.

I'm glad it seems to be working for you. All I want is for this series to be successful and for people to fall in love with it so it can carve out the same semi-legendary space in the anime canon as the original did. It's just, having seen the 2001 adaptation so many times, and knowing where its flaws are, I feel like it shouldn't be that hard to accomplish everything it did and more, and yet there are times where this version seems to duck away from its own potential, specifically as an adaptation. There are a lot of times where it could and should dig deeper and go for the gut, only to swerve into "generic shoujo" or just plain "generic anime" territory and follow that track in service of a less than inspired interpretation.

In many ways, it seems kind of like it's doing the manga justice at the expense of the story, which is the exact opposite of the problem the 2001 version had, haha. That's not to say the manga is bad, because it isn't, but where the manga is strong, this show is strong, and where the show is weaker, it usually diverged from or adapted something from the manga. I don't feel like 2019 Furuba has much of its own identity.
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capt_bunny



Joined: 31 May 2015
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 12:52 am Reply with quote
Oh booooy. I was waiting for this episode and how they would treat Akito. As someone who read the manga; I was wondering how the first time watchers/viewers introduced to the show to see how they would react.

Considering the manga and.... spoiler[I wonder if fans are going to forgive Akito later on in the anime since Akito does change a lot. Doesn't change the fact of how much Akito has hurt others but yeah. More of me thinking if first timers watching the series think Akito deserved a happy ending.]
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Radrappy



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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:05 am Reply with quote
Hey, I’m 6 episodes in and as someone who loved the original 2001 adaptation to bits I’m really enjoying this remake. I’m also reading the manga for the first time alongside this release so that I can see what’s been changed and why.

That said, I think this remake is sorta weak in terms of direction, comedic timing, and general emotional execution of some key scenes. I don’t think it’s going to hurt any first time viewers because the source material is so dang good and these characters are lovable in any form they take. More than anything though, I’m excited to see this story finally finished in animated form.

God I missed these characters!
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SnowWarren



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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:07 am Reply with quote
thebond&thecurse wrote:

These aren't necessarily bad translations, but it does make you wonder ... if they're not keeping the honorifics for the things that actually matter, then why are they are keeping them for ultimately inconsequential things like "senpai" or "Hana-chan" and "Uo-chan"? It's a bit odd.

https://twitter.com/FUNimation/status/1130533875283894275
In this video, Caitlin Glass explains why Momiji has a German accent, but one thing to note is Caitlin explains that Momiji calling Hatori "Hari" is the type of nickname a Japanese person would never come up with. Only someone familiar with a Germanic language would use that type of nickname. By that logic, it's possible that the dub is still having Tohru refer to her friends as Uo-chan and Hana-chan because that is the type of nickname a Japanese person would come up with. It might be an attempt at getting into the characters heads more.
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Mohawk52



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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 4:01 pm Reply with quote
It's been a few years now, but in the original anime spoiler[Akito threw a flower vase at either Kana or Hatori, but it was Hatori who received the injury like in the manga.]
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