As expected, this week’s episode of Fruits Basket (2019) was considerably less eventful than last week’s. That being said, I still absolutely adored it! It touched upon two of the main themes of Furuba’s first season (more on that later), whet our appetites for its second season, and gave us one last look at many of its characters. So, all in all, it was an awesome episode to end an amazing first season on!
Following his brief, but eventful visit, Kyo says goodbye to his master, Kazuma, vowing to, from this point forward, face up to his problems and become more independent. Though it was already pretty evident, from the reverence with which he has always referred to Kazuma, Kyo thinks of him as his adoptive father, given how he took him in shortly after his mother’s death and was the first person to have ever accepted him. In a show full to bursting with god awful parents, I’m really grateful for characters like Kazuma. Even though Kyo and Kazuma are only distantly related, he took the young boy in without so much as a second thought. Though this may have been motivated by guilt over his treatment of the previous cat (at least at first), Kazuma more than made up for this by sticking with Kyo in spite of what other people had to say about him and Kyo’s tendency to get himself into trouble. Not to mention that, were it not for his intervention, let’s face it, Kyo would have never revealed his true form to Tohru, something that helped him begin to accept that side of himself.
During the next day, Yuki, who witnessed Kyo’s transformation (both into the cat monster and into somebody significantly more healed and whole) corners Tohru. He starts the conversation by listing all of the ways in which he has changed too. This was my favourite scene this episode. It was almost as if Yuki was saying: “Look, Tohru, I’ve changed too! Aren’t you proud of me?” While he played this conversation totally cool, it definitely had this uncharacteristically needy undertone to it, which was hella cute!
The above scenes touch upon two of the main themes of Furuba’s first season. The first, the theme of parents – how they’ll either mess you or set you up for life. Furuba has no shortage of crappy parents, like Kyo’s unstable mother and abusive father, Uo’s deadbeat mum and alcoholic dad, and Momiji’s mother, who wished that he’d never been born. But it has some awesome ones too, like Kazuma, Hana-chan’s surprisingly supportive parents, and Kyoko, who became a mum to every lost lamb she met. The latter group demonstrate two things. One, that perfect parents aren’t the be-all and end-all. Even if your parents fail you, there may be somebody willing to step in to fill their shoes. Two, that all kids really need is love, acceptance, and encouragement. Many of the characters’ issues stem from a lack of these three things. Fortunately, Tohru has plenty of love, acceptance, and encouragement to go around, which explains the Sohma’s tendency to be drawn to her like bees to honey.
Both the first and the second scene touched upon the theme of change – how it’s a good thing. Our characters have changed significantly since the beginning of the show. Yuki’s come out of his shell, Kyo’s become more even-tempered, and Tohru’s learned to be more open about her feelings. As a result, they have all grown as people and in their relationships with each other. That being said, they’re not done yet! Yuki wants to get a better handle on his feelings, whereas Kyo wants to become braver and more independent. I can’t wait to watch Furuba explore these two fascinating themes in more depth during its second season!
This episode also did a great job at getting you excited for Furuba’s second season. It gave us a good idea of the direction that Yuki and Kyo would like to head in as people, it teased the introduction of not one, not two, but three very important characters, and it all but hit you over the head with the suggestion that something big is on its way right around the corner. Without spoiling anything for you, here are a few tidbits that ought to get you even more pumped for season two: we’ll soon learn more about the zodiac curse, it won’t be long before we meet the remainder of the Sohma zodiac (the horse and the rooster), and the series’ main villain, Akito, will soon be getting substantially more screen-time, resulting in the show taking a considerably darker tone. Ooh, I can’t wait!
In case you can’t tell by the sheer volume that I’ve written about it, I have thoroughly enjoyed Furuba’s first season. I’m toying with the idea of writing a more in-depth review of it (though part of me thinks that I’ve probably written enough about it already), but on the off chance that that doesn’t materialise, here’s what I loved the most about it…
Even though Furuba has a huge cast of characters, almost every single one of them has been given the room to grow and develop. This means that even its least likeable characters manage to endear themselves to you.
Furuba has also managed to accomplish the impressive feat of being both fantastical and down-to-earth. As a matter of fact, sometimes it felt a little too real, hit a little too close to home, particularly around the topic of parents. Many of the issues that the characters faced in relation to this subject, e.g. neglect, abuse, and rejection, are things that I, too, have experienced. But seeing these characters wrestle with and overcome these things helped give me the courage I needed to do the same. So I’m massively indebted to the show for that.
Finally, I love how this reboot managed to improve upon the original series. I’m not just referring to the new and improved soundtrack, art style, and animation… No, I also loved how it made time for characters who were overlooked in the original series. Take Hana-chan, for example, she amounted to little more than comic relief in the original series, but during this reboot, she was allotted two whole episodes to flesh out her backstory and character. This meant that, where I completely overlooked her before, I now consider her to be one of my favourite characters in the series!
Phew, that turned into quite the essay! Thank-you if you managed to plough through all of that – and the rest of my posts on the series! I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. I’ll probably continue to cover Furuba once it resumes airing next year, so stay tuned for that! So, what did you like the most about the series? Was it a certain character? Or a certain scene? Or maybe something else entirely? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
First time watching Furuba. It was surprisingly good! I cried…
Will definitely watch S2 when it comes out.
Come to think of it, this might be one of my all-time favourites.