Fruits Basket (Season Two)

Fruits Basket 2 Title

For summer vacation, Tohru gets invited to join the Somas at the vacation house by the beach. It’s a great way to spend some time with her friends and make fun memories… or it would have been if Akito hadn’t shown up!

What did you watch?

That was the second season of Fruits Basket, a show that I originally had no intention of watching, let alone reviewing, but here we are. The first season began in the Spring 2019 anime season and the second season ended in the fall of 2020. With fifty episodes so far, it would appear that I have spent an entire year with Fruits Basket in my life and what a year it’s been! I’m not quite sure how I’m going to sum up the second season, but I’ll give it a go. Of course, there will be spoilers, especially since I predicted one of them…

Fruits Basket Episode 27 Shigure surprises Kyo and Tohru

What happened?

Not long after arriving at the Soma vacation home, the group discovered the Akito had come as well. Of course, Akito doesn’t stay at the regular home. Instead, the rest of the Somas are invited (ordered) to visit with Akito daily, leaving Tohru and Kyo to stay at the vacation home alone. Finally, Akito invites Kyo to visit and insists on having a one to one discussion with him. When none of this is enough to dampen Tohru’s spirits Akito goes to see her in the night and after beating on Momiji, Akito turns on Tohru telling her that she will never compete with a god!

Once the summer is over, they all return home and head back to school where Yuki is taking over the role of Student Council President. He’s incredibly nervous but determined to make Tohru proud and stick it out. His team are more eccentric than he probably hoped for, but that could end up being a good thing. Meanwhile, Arisa has met someone and can’t get him out of her head, however, he too turns out to be a Soma and not just any Soma, but Akito’s favourite. When Tohru tries to let him know how Arisa feels she inadvertently learns something surprising about Akito.

Fruits Basket Episode 49 Machi watching Yuki and Kakeru

What did you think?

My feelings about Fruits Basket haven’t changed much as the series has progressed. It continues to amaze me with its ability to draw you in and then knock you over with characters that you might have just met or only briefly seen before. In fact, some of the side character episodes are even more powerful than the main characters. I’m looking Tohru’s teacher, Mayuko and her love of Hatori and Arisa and Kurome. Not to mention Yuki’s council members, especially Kakeru and Kimi. This series is simply a work of art. The writing is incredible and something that deserves a lot of attention, but on top of that, the entire production is stunning.

Fruits Basket Episode 31 Shigure and Rin

What was your favourite moment?

So, part of me desperately wants to mention the moment it was revealed that Akito is a girl, but that’s not because it surprised me. It’s because I predicted it way back in episode seven. This is when you let off the streamers and cheer. I know, it’s pretty impressive, right? Well, unbelievably, there was a moment that topped that, several actually.

I feel like I should mention the school play – It’s Cinderella-ish which was hilarious and left me laughing all the way through. Saki was an inspired choice as the ambivalent and aloof Cinderella, while Kyo matched that with his angry and uninterested Prince. The play was so much fun, I could watch it again and again. However, this isn’t the moment, I’m thinking about.

No, the absolute best moment for me was when Rin was at Shigure’s house and Tohru tried to comfort her. Rin freaked out and didn’t want to burden Tohru or use anyone else in the way she believed that she had used Haru. However, Rin tripped as she tried to run from the house and as she sat on the ground, Tohru crouched down behind her and placed her hand on Rin’s shoulder. It was as if all of Rin’s defences came crashing down at once. She spun around and threw her arms around Tohru and gave in. All the while, Shigure, Kyo, and Yuki stood on the doorstep of the house in stunned silence.

What was your least favourite moment?

It’s going to be a near tie from any one of the scenes involving Akito. She is a monster, plain and simple. My biggest concern for the series going forward is how they will deal with Akito. I very much doubt that this will turn into a revenge story and Akito will get her just deserts. It seems more likely that they will somehow try to paint everything Akito has been through as a sad and painful story, justifying her bat-shit crazy and villainous actions. Much like season one, where Momiji’s back story was my least favourite, in season two, it was Rin’s and it all came to a head when Akito threw her out of a window. Akito should be in jail, end of story.

Fruits Basket Episode 43 Rin after falling from the window

Who was your favourite character?

I love Shigure, but I felt like he was a little underutilized this time around as they fit more and more of the Somas in. That seems to make this selection even more ironic, as my favourite character from this season was Kakeru. I’ll admit that I didn’t warm to him instantly, but the more and more we saw of him the more interesting him became. His outlook on life is excellent and just the thing that Yuki needed to bring him out of his shell. It was amazing that he managed to get Yuki to talk about his feelings towards Tohru and how that opens up even more paths for the story. I feel like I have to mention Kimi too, as she was also great.

Fruits Basket Episode 47 Kimi catching Kakeru with a sucker punch

Who was your least favourite character?

Oh wow! I wonder who this could be. That’s right, it’s Akito. I do love a good villain and while Akito really is a monster, it is very much a case of Akito being a spoilt brat who’s never been told off or even opposed and not being an interesting villain. I’m sure it will come to pass that it either wasn’t her choice to pretend to be a male or that she felt it was necessary for her to be able to command the respect of the zodiacs. At present, it’s hard to see things from her point of view and justify her actions. I thought it interesting that when Kurome broke the curse, she basically guilted him into doing as she asked anyhow.

Fruits Basket Episode 33 Akito

Would you like some more?

There is one more season of Fruits Basket and based on the leaked information during season one, I believe it will only be thirteen episodes long. How can that be? It’s going to be hard enough saying goodbye to the series, but to only give us half as many episodes… So, to summarize, yes, I would very much like some more. I have absolutely loved this series and can only hope that I’ve been taking everything in and processing it to use for my own works. I don’t think it matters what genre you write in, there is so much to learn from this series.

Fruits Basket Episode 40 Mayuko and Shigure at Tohru's career discussion

What have you learnt?

What is it about this series? Well, after a brief discussion with Crow from Crow’s World of Anime, I think it’s largely down to show versus tell. There are so many characters in this series and yet each of them is given the time for us to get to know them. We see their struggles and experience the pain or joy that they have been through. It gives us the chance to experience what they experience, it makes us bond with them. Maybe we’ll see similarities in their journey. It might just be something small, but it’s enough to make the connection and that makes everything else feel that much more real. I’ve always been a big fan of “show, don’t tell” and this series has pretty much cemented that idea in place.

Fruits Basket Episode 48 The Narrator and Kyo

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  1. “It was as if all of Rin’s defences came crashing down at once. She spun around and threw her arms around Tohru and gave in.”

    That moment was just magnificent.

    “Well, after a brief discussion with Crow from Crow’s World of Anime, I think it’s largely down to show versus tell. ”

    Thanks for the mention!

    I’ve been thinking about our discussion a lot. On one hand, saying “show versus tell” sounds so easy! Then I think of how hard it is to come up with interesting, compelling “shows” for the novel I’m perpetually (it feels!) trying to write. Without the scene feeling stilted. Or boring.

    And this show makes it look effortless.

    I’m all kinds of impressed.

    • Yeah, that was just such a powerful moment in this series for me. Tohru has an unbelievable ability to calm and nuture.

      Being able to show without bogging the audience down in the details is a truly impressive ability.

      I’m reminded of something I heard once about how you focus on the small things that will have the most impact. For example, instead of trying to describe an inner city battle zone, just focus on a bloody sock or burnt stuffed toy. The image should tell everyone whats going on pretty quickly.

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