Fruits Basket 2019 First Impressions

It’s finally getting a reboot, but has it delivered on fan expectations?

Another remake of a classic and like previous ones (the Sailor Moon reboot and the Cardcaptor continuation), I cannot help but be excited while at the same time feeling a little wary about what the results might be this time around. I’m pleased to say that episode one retains all the charm of the original anime series, with superior character designs and animation in general, and it even toned down the silliness of the fan club. So, you could say so far so good.

Fruits Basket - The Prince's Fan Club

In point of fact, it is a gorgeous first episode. Very screen capable as it introduces the core cast and establishes their base line relationships. The music and sound should also be applauded as being very affective and overall this is a first episode that manages to deliver for anyone who is already a fan of the franchise and has been wanting to see the reboot.

Fruits Basket - Tohru and Hanajima

What it perhaps doesn’t do so well is have any real hook for those new to the story. The happy girl down on her luck is a trope seen many times (even before the original Fruits Basket anime) and Honda Tohru here works well enough but isn’t charming enough on her own to be a selling point within this first episode, nor pitiable enough to invoke any kind of empathy. Instead she’s very much just being set up in her role which those who know the story will anticipate her growth and development but those who don’t will simply see a fairly standard and maybe not-so-interesting lead character.

Fruits Basket - Honda Tohru

Likewise the mystery of the Soma’s is established here and I’m very keen to see this version of the anime as the original really dropped the ball here (leaving me with a read the manga conclusion which I certainly did but I’d love to see the story actually play out in anime). But again, I’m not certain this first episode really does justice to where this story will go.

Fruits Basket - Yuki and the rats

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Is a beautiful but by-the-numbers opening necessarily a bad thing?

Not really. It was a wonderfully pleasant introduction to the series and the conclusion with the ‘reveal’ for the handful of people who didn’t know all works quite well. However, most of my excitement here is still coming from my general anticipation of what is coming rather than what was delivered in episode one. Everything here works but it isn’t anything exceptional.

Fruits Basket - Honda and her mother.

Here’s hoping this adaptation grows into the charming and emotional experience this story could easily become and at this stage I’m still very optimistic. I did however take a lot of screen caps because it is really good looking.

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Karandi James
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Just Because Episode 4: When You Break Through A Wall, Sometimes All You Get Is A Broken Wall

Review:

I remember when Tsuki ga Kirei was on and how many people kept saying how real and relatable it felt but I never really got that vibe. That’s probably because I’m catching it from Just Because. Watching Soma build up again to a confession is painful but the show isn’t. This is seeing the pointless and the awkward moments of high school play out with a group of teens that aren’t going to change the world, aren’t actually falling out of society, but a lot of them are just going through the motions and accepting their normalcy for what it is.

Because4a

There’s a lot to like this week as the characters all take seem to take a step and the end result is a lot of crushed toes (well, hurt feelings is probably closer to the reality). It isn’t that they have all failed. It is just that life is going one way and they tried to go another and the end result was pretty predictable.

Because4b

What I think I liked most this week was seeing Eita lose his aloof and stoic self in the face of Natsume’s blatant self-denial. It didn’t get him anywhere and Eita losing his cool is kind of like normal Eita with the minor exception being that he lets more of his hand slip than normal. Just enough that he regrets it after the fact. It will be interesting to see the fall out of this episode next week and which relationships remain in tact and which ones become strained.


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Sagrada Reset Episode 24: Kei is Everyone’s Hero

Review:

As this is a final episode review I’m not worried about spoilers so if you are concerned, please go back and read some of the reviews of earlier episodes.

I know with absolute certainty that writing a full season review of this is going to be really hard. There are some things about this show that I have loved (and that’s why I made it through all those very long feeling episodes), but the glaring flaws of the series haven’t gone away. They carry through right to this final episode and are actually emphasised by the fact that a lot of this episode returns us to the thoughts and feelings we had back in those first few episodes nearly six months ago.

Sagrada24a

Having resolved the whole power loss thing and the future of Sakurada (or at least found a temporary solution so things can go on hold) the majority of this episode focuses on the inter-relationships between Kei, Misora and Soma. Though, we do get flashes of pretty much every other significant character from the series so we can see that they all in fact got a more or less happy ending. It is a blink and you miss it nod to the fact that other characters exist.

Sagrada24c

Despite the fact that the main plot resolved itself, I actually found this ending reasonably satisfying because the story started with this trio and has been shaped around their relationships, so giving a final episode to properly provide closure here didn’t feel like an added extra. It actually felt like the writers had carefully considered what the main story was and realistically it was always about Kei, Misora and Soma as the whole powers getting taken away crisis only really came up toward the end of the run.

Yeah, I’ll get to a full review soon but right now I’m feeling pretty happy with how this played out even if the actual viewing during the mid-season became incredibly frustrating.


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Karandi James.

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Sagrada Reset Episode 21: Decisions and Consequences

Review:

There’s a real sense of tension in this episode and it is a feeling that has been lacking from the majority of the season. Suddenly it feels very real that Kei might lose because for once resetting is not going to solve the problem and the witch has run out of tricks to help him. That said, Kei has always found a way before even if his methods are questionable. He was described by Urachi this episode as ‘insane’ rather than ‘honest’ and I have to say that some of his earlier action probably support that analysis of his character.

Sagrada21a

Soma has given her last hint to Kei and is now trying to not be a liability. This leads to her nearly taking her own life, which of course leads us back to the question of the swampman and whether or not this current Soma is actually Soma or just some program Soma set in motion. It’s interesting because there is no answer and ultimately you are just looping through rationalisation which has kind of been the reason I stuck this show out. It makes me think things through but doesn’t simply drop an answer on your lap if you wait long enough.  That said, it hasn’t made individual episodes any more exciting to watch, but suddenly all of the characters have come together and are choosing a side. Will Sakurada still have people who can use abilities in a few days time or not?

Sagrada21c

It seems that Kei came to some sort of decision by the end of this episode but as usual he hasn’t bothered to let anyone else in on his thoughts so the audience are pretty much in the dark. Though Urachi did make me really curious about what he has written in his notebook.


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Karandi James.

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Sagrada Reset Episode 10

Review:

This show is incredibly frustrating. Sagrada Reset this week took us back to Kei’s first experienced reset and his first time realising his ability as well as his first encounter with the Bureau. That in and of itself is more than enough information for an episode if they deal with any of it but instead it is more a check list that we go through before rushing on to the apparent point of this episode which is bringing a dead girl back to life by bringing her out of a photo.

Sagrada10d

There’s also plenty of discussion around the MacGuffin, the idea of writing a plot or program, stories and protagonists, and motives but ultimately we’re still completely in the dark about anything except that the girl did die but she died knowing she’d come back to life so didn’t really seem to care.  Oh, and all the discussions about robots, swamp people etc came back because why not throw every confused conversation into one episode, not develop it any further or confirm anything, but kind of give every character a knowing kind of look like any of them have a clue what is going on either.

So, frustrating.

Sagrada Reset is available on AnimeLab.


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Food Wars Episode 11

Review:

From a story point of view, this episode is more interesting. We have a new challenge with new rules in a new location and we seem to be progressing beyond just creating great food and now we’re actually focussing on practical cooking. And there in lies the problem with this episode. Erina. She so would have been fired if she pulled that attitude off in any restaurant. It does not matter how good you are. The chef should have shown her the door, causing her expulsion and thus ending any further need to deal with such an arrogant and unlikable character.

Soma was paired up with Arato (the secretary) and I really don’t like Arato as a character but I found the two of them worked well together and quite enjoyed the parts of the episode that followed these two.

I am looking forward to the next placement.

Food Wars is available on Crunchyroll.

Food Wars Episode 10

Review:

If you don’t know who won, stop reading and go watch the episode.

Is it wrong that I’m glad Akira won the election? Soma winning would have been ridiculous given the skill gap from the beginning. And then the do over. Serve your final dish in the first place. With Ryo, I just don’t like him very much as a character. Although, he and Alice do get some great moments. Her punching him in the back when he lost, him screaming at her, and then Alice storming off in a huff was one of the better moments in the episode. It was nice that Soma’s dad contacted him though I still have to question his method of parenting.

Lastly, see if we can finish the thought below.

Food Wars10b.JPG

I know the answer the show gives us but I started laughing when this line came along because I thought of a lot of ways this could be finished off.

Anyway, Food Wars is available on Crunchyroll and after 10 episodes we have finally finished this particularly cooking competition. It was kind of starting to remind me of The Asterisk War.