They’re animals, but very human
Episode two of Fruits Basket continues the soft and easy charm presented in episode one. Visually it is superior to the previous iteration of the anime in every way and the music for the OP and ED are well matched to the overall tone.
While Yuki and Kyo’s rivalry feels a little forced and overblown, it did in the original as well, and I know that over time the background will fall into place so for now it is enough to know that the cat was tricked by the rat and so they just don’t get on. Whether you enjoy their antics will entirely depend on whether you find it acceptable to send someone flying with a single kick or not, but if you just go with it, there’s an easy charm to the clumsy interactions between these characters and a lot of the joy in the story comes from the way they slowly learn to deal with one another.
More of the mystery of the Soma’s is revealed but it is still tantalisingly playing out mostly off-screen with Tohru only really aware of the edges of it at this stage and the audience likewise being kept in the dark. This is definitely helping the story to feel a little bit more interesting than the standard high school rom-com/slice of life even though very little has yet to be revealed.
Basically, the story is working well at drawing the audience in with slow reveals and setting up interesting characters. With some decent visuals and excellent music, there’s very little to actually complain about with this adaptation so far and the sheer joy of seeing this story again with all the upgrades is still very much working in its favour. Hopefully it can continue to charm and I’m really looking forward to seeing the story unfold.
For those using the three episode rule, episode 3 of Fruits Basket will indeed make or break it as we get into the sickly sweetness that is Tohru Honda’s personality. As she learns more about Kyo and Yuki and tries to reassure both of them that they are kind people, it is almost cavity inducing and yet there’s something about this show and these characters that rings true even when it goes into pure saccharine mode.
The clear contrast and yet similarities between Kyo and Yuki are well displayed during the early parts of the episode and their interactions at school. I’m enjoying how the classmates and Tohru’s friends are slowly developing in the background and the school scenes continue to be lively and entertaining.
The other thing episode three does well is introduce two additional characters without actually introducing them. Tohru encounters one at her work and then at the end of the episode another character shows up at the house. This definitely gives us something to look forward to.
Visually, this adaptation of Fruits Basket continues to be superb and the music is fantastic for the tone of the show. Three episodes in and there’s little to complain about as this story rolls out and I’m very much looking forward to meeting more of the characters. If there was anything to complain about this episode it might be that Shigure was barely in it, but even that would be a petty complaint when there was more than enough going on with the characters we had.
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Images from: Fruits Basket. Dir. Y Ibata. TMS Entertainment. 2019.