So we are currently halfway through the revamp of Fruits Basket and…I am sobbing!
Oh Gosh! Tohru-kun is the most magnificent human being on Earth (beside Akari Kawamoto from March Comes In Like A Lion). The two of them should get together for tea sometime. I’m sure they would hit it off!
But besides that, let’s talk briefly about the first half of Fruits Basket 2019!
Fair Warning: May be a spoiler or two.
Don’t get me wrong I saw this series when I was a child when it came out in 2001 and I was emotional but looking back at it as an adult, there’s not only this nostalgia to it but a greater depth to it. I’m sure when we watched this in the early 2000s we thought it was cute and appreciated the concepts of the series but seeing it eighteen years later really allows you to reflect on how powerful it really is! There were so many things I took for granted eighteen years ago being a child. So many things that happened in this show that I just looked beyond (traumas, relationships, finding people who really love you, etc) because I didn’t know what any of that meant at six, seven years old. But going through life and looking back eighteen years later, I’m able to say, “Yuki. I understand why you feel the way you do. Kyo, I see why you are so aggressive and won’t let anyone in. Because you have been hurt and you both have shields!” Like I get it now.
If You Haven’t Seen Fruits Basket…
Let me give you a brief introduction to the plot.
You see the girl above? That’s Tohru Honda. Not long before when the series starts, she loses her mother (her sole caretaker) in a fatal car accident and has lived on her own in a tent in the woods not too far from her school. One day, she stumbles upon this household nearby that is actually the household of one of her classmates, Yuki Sohma. Little does she know that household and neighborhood hosts the Sohma clan. What’s unique about the Sohmas is that twelve of the members are cursed as the living embodiments of the Chinese Zodiac. For example, Yuki is the Rat. They can only be converted into their Chinese Zodiac form when they really embarrased, very ill, or hugged by the opposite sex.
This may seem cool or glamorous but all that glitters is not gold. Because of this curse, the members of the Zodiac have never been able to have friends outside of the Sohma clan. Some have been ostracized at school, beaten by their own parents, and abused by the head of the family for being different but having nowhere else to go because no one would “understand” them like the Sohmas would.
So after being found out about her tent living, Yuki and Shigure Sohma offered Tohru to stay with them. And from their the emotional journeys begin.
We have, of course, met Shigure, Kyo, Yuki, but also the adorable Momiji
The deeply devoted Kagura who loves Kyo with all her heart but expresses her love by fighting and kicking his ass.
Hatsuharu who is a force to be reckoned with. Super mellow and low key with his punk rock attire half of the time but then can be super angered, pretty forceful, and flirtacious the other half of the time.
And Hatori who is definitely an ice queen but for his reasons.
We have learned their pasts and how they feel about each other. But the main thing we learn from the past twelve episodes is why the family loathes their curse so much.
There’s a few reasons why, but it all roots to one person: Akito Sohma (head of the Sohma clan). Akito is very jealous of anyone not in the Sohma clan and quite selfish. To the point it is destructive to other people. He has used the Sohmas curse as an excuse to keep Yuki close to him. Implanting in his head since childhood, that no one would love him because of his curse. That his life could never be normal. For example, when Yuki was around the age of six, he was playing with this girl. The girl accidentally fell on him causing him to transform. She freaked out and thought he was weird, so Akito ordered for her to have her memories of Yuki erased and for them to never speak again. Let’s not forget how Akito tormented Yuki when he was a child! Locking him in a room for days as “punishment”. He couldn’t, and still to this day, handle the thought of Yuki being with someone else besides him. I already know why but I don’t want to give it away, so you’ll have to keep watching to find out.
However, Yuki isn’t the only Sohma Aktio has traumatized. There is also Hatori-san. Hatori fell in love with a woman who loved him unconditionally despite the curse, but when they asked Akito for approval in their marriage, Akito snapped and nearly blinded Hatori’s left eye, grabbed the woman by the hair, and shouted how she would never be good enough for Hatori or to break the curse. That reaction was… very disproportionate compared to the request. Sounds a lot like jealousy to me. So, he ordered for the woman’s memories to be erased and for Hatori to never speak to her again.
And now here we are with Tohru, who has been the first person ever to have seen everyone in their Zodiac state and accept that. Besides freaking out or calling them weird, she actually thought they were cute and wanted to be in their lives. That’s not the only heartwarming action Ms. Honda has done. She has been able to bridge the tension between Yuki and Kyo with the powerful insight her late mother gave to her and in turn she gave to them. She’s brought the two closer to each other with their common interest to always protect her. Having her memories erased is something that Yuki and Kyo definitely does not want to see. It’s like, “Dude, you’ve already taken away my happiness before with regular people. Please, don’t rip it away from me now that I have found the perfect person who accepts me for who I am when you know good and damn well that there is no one in this world who will accept us like she will.” Fortunately, Akito didn’t order for her memories to be erased. This awesome on one hand, but on the other hand, Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure are left thinking, “What else does Akito have in store for Tohru.”
And most recently, our girl, Tohru, finally met the man behind all the action herself.
Their meeting was very ominous. He appeared nice to her and she thought of him as a pretty good guy at first…until Yuki came into the scene. In that moment, Tohru saw the look of terror in Yuki’s eyes when Akito whispered in his ear. The atmosphere was unsettling and without thinking Tohru pushed Akito away from Yuki without even thinking and said, “We have to go to class now.” Akito walked off but not without getting the look of hatred from our boy Kyo.
I don’t know about you. But that to me looks like the look of, “if you lay one finger on her, I’ll kill you without hesitation.”
In that moment, Tohru realized that there was something about Akito that was darker than she expected and she wondered if a storm was approaching, however, being the awesome happy-go-lucky Tohru Honda, she grabbed everyone for a game of badminton to get their minds off of that.
We find out that Akito thinks Tohru is ugly. He actually rants on about how she is hideous, has a terrible personality, and that he has nothing to worry about. Because soon Yuki will come crawling back to him once he realizes this. Meanwhile here I am like…
From what it sounds like, Akito, again, is jealous of Tohru for being so close to Yuki and healing a lot of the wounds in the Sohma clan left by him. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance but he’s projecting to make himself feel better. What does he have in store for Tohru? We don’t know yet (unless you watched Fruits Basket in 2001), but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to seeing Tohru defy the odds and beat Akito at his own game.
As for the game of badminton, this probably was the most heartwarming scene of the series thus far. We were able to see Tohru, Saki, Arisa, Haru, Kyo, Momiji, and Yuki all play badminton together. This may sound pretty mundane but for the Sohmas that is a HUGE turning point. To be able to be around people outside the Sohma clan and have fun…to not be judged or worried everyone will have their memories erased and be alone again…this is something Yuki had always asked for but never in a decade thought it would come to life. And who can we thank? Tohru! For being the bridge connecting all of these amazing people together to just enjoy life.
There are things that I wanted. Things I pictured to myself. Parents who would hug me. A home I’d want to return to. A place where everyone smiled. A me that everyone wouldn’t leave… A warm place. A warm person. They really exist. They’re real.—Yuki Sohma
😥😥He said this as he was playing badminton and looking at Tohru!!
This series is only going to get better and open more knowledge on the Sohma past including Akito’s motive, our main characters’ connection with the rest of the Sohmas, and the cursed form of Kyo. I cannot wait until more of the series unfolds. For now, keep watching and I’ll be back to talk more!