Buckle up, folks. Maybe grab a drink or a snack or something, because this is going to be a long one. I’ve finally been able to catch up with seasonal anime lately and it’s definitely time to catch you all up on my opinons of Fruits Basket. (Not that they’ve changed.)
[Author’s Note: This has actually been in my drafts for the longest of time, but with moving back to the UK, seeing family, starting volunteering and a weekend in London, it kinda got pushed back slightly… Sorry!]
Because I’ve it’s the most logical way to go about this, we’ll go through each episode separately in chronological order, starting from episode 10 and finishing with episode 12.
So, to recap: episode 10 saw the pig of the Soumas – Kagura – returning. Why? Because it’s Valentine’s Day and she wants to spend time with her darling Kyo, of course! In ways I can’t quite remember how, she ends up going on a double date with Kyo by her side and Yuki and Tohru joining them. How cute.
That wasn’t the most interesting thing about the tenth episode, however, in my opinion. What I found most intriguing was the meeting between Hatori and Shigure, and the introduciton of Shigure’s plans. The episode clearly indicated that he’s planning something yet we don’t really know what. The mystery surrounding this definitely adds yet another dimension to Shigure that I can’t actually remember seeing in the original anime series (although, that’s more than likely my memory simply being bad) so I am quite excited about this additional plot line.
Initally, I sort of felt like Kagura and the double-date story just took away from Shigure’s plotting. The double date was portrayed as being the main part of the episode, obviously due to Valentine’s Day being a major part in this episode, yet I feel as if adding another dimension to one of the main characters was probably more important. It’s nice to know, however, that we would still be getting hints of this plot as the series continued.
Within the episode, we were also introduced to yet another character! Although quite a minor role, we meet Shigure’s editor for the first time and she makes quite the entrance. I almost feel sorry for her, considering Shigure’s laid-back personality, although, at this point, I don’t exactly know how much we’ll be seeing her in the future, so I won’t say too much about her for now.
I definitely had mixed opinions about episode 10. Of course, it was a good episode, but I couldn’t help but wonder whether the priorities of the two storylines present in the episode were slightly mixed up or not.
The next episode – episode 11 – was an onsen episode. I will be honest, onsen episodes are typically something I dread, but there wasn’t really anything to be annoyed at during this one. If anything, it added elements to the story that are going to be important later on.
Yet again, another new character. This series really does keep us on our toes, huh? The owner of the inn is, of course, another Souma, but it’s her son that will probably be more important in the future, for he is the one with a curse. It’s certianly a hint that we’ll get another meeting soon. How soon, I don’t know, but it’s definitely one I’m anticipating to see.
We also learn that Momiji is quite the story-teller. His story of the traveller was a surprisingly emotional part of the episode. I really enjoyed the animation sequence for the story and the story itself was really quite impactful. It actually made me reflect on a lot of things, including the ways in which I’m quite similar to Tooru. There was definitely a bit of an ache in my chest afterwards, that’s for sure.
If the episode was just a trip to the onsen and Momiji’s story, honestly, I would have been quite satisfied. It would have been a nice little, easy-going, part-filler episode and it still would have been enjoyable to watch. Of course, there’s actually no need for Fruits Basket to have filler, but hypothetically speaking, I would have been content.
However, they just had to include the moment Yuki gifts Tooru the ribbon, didn’t they? Oh, boy. This moment reminded me of why I liked Yuki in the original series. He’s so gentle and kind… In this adaptation, I’m honestly struggling to like him as much as I did back then, but this episode really hit me. My little fangirl ships were sailing, let me tell you.
I loved the eleventh episode. It was so relaxing to watch, yet so emotional at the same time. The balance between everything during this episode was fantastic and I closed the tab feeling so happy about everything.
Yet, no matter how much I loved that episode, nothing would prepare me for how much I loved episode 12. Call me biased by all means. If my reivew of episodes 8 and 9 didn’t make it explicit enough for you, Hatsuharu is definitely my favorite Souma. Seeing him make such an impact in the twelfth episode as well? I was all over it. (Actually, I’m very happy at the amount of screentime this precious ox is getting…)
Episode 12 saw Hatsuharu and Momiji joining the school that Tooru, Yuki and Kyo attend. The Sohma group just keeps getting bigger! But wait… who comes to a school in such a nice car?! We find out later that it was Akito who came to visit and, whilst Yuki is angry at Akito’s sudden appearence and whilst Tooru is somewhat nervous around them, they surprisingly don’t do anything too drastic to either protagonist, if we exclude how they brought back some bad memories for Yuki. Quite traumatic ones, really.
The scenes with Momiji, Hatsuharu and the student council, however, have to be my favourite scenes within Fruits Basket thus far. The amount of comedy between each of the characters and the timings of the dialogue work really well to create a really memorable scene. It’s scenes like this one that make me fall in love with the characters even more.
What I will mention that it’s within this episode that we see some incredible art within the characters’ facial expressions. Whether it was Yuki’s shock or Kyo’s glare, there were lots of noticeable facial expressions in this episode and every one of them looked great. Perhaps I’m slow to notice them, but they are great and do deserve praise. Facial expressions are something that we use to communicate and I do believe that how they’re drawn and animated works really well in Fruits Basket – an amazing balance between comedic ones and serious ones make the show very fluid and ‘natural’ looking, in my opinion. (I’m sure there’s a better way to express that, but my words are failing me at the moment…)
Sure, I’m still a little bit behind with the series as of this post being published, but I do believe I’ll be back to making weekly posts about everyone’s favourite zodiacs before long. It is, after all, such an easy series to binge watch. I don’t think I’ll mind having to watch two or three episodes in one go!
Missed my last episode review? You can read it here!