Fruits Basket is an old story getting a new anime adaptation. This series has been a huge hit back in the day, not only in Japan but also overseas. It was also one of my first series I read when I was in middle school over 15 years ago. The first anime adaptation aired when the manga was still running, so the ending is different to the manga. This new version, however, has promised fans to stay true to the manga by Natsuki Takaya and tell it from beginning to the end. And oh boy am I excited. I went to the premiere screening because I couldn’t wait for the series to air. After reading this review, you can check out the stage event report of the premiere screening I wrote here:
Fruits Basket Preview Screening Event Report
Please be aware that I will not keep these reviews spoiler-free. Proceed with caution and read them only after you have watched the episode or don’t mind being told every little detail about it.
Japanese Title: 行ってきます (Ittekimasu)
Episode 1 – I’m Going
Tohru Honda is living in a tent. She has lost her mother, and even though her grandfather took her in, he asked her to stay with a friend because his house is being renovated. Since she knew too well about the situation of her best friends, she didn’t ask them and decided to move into a tent. One morning she explores the area she put her tent up in and finds out that her school’s prince, Yuki Soma, is living close by with his cousin Shigure. Even though the two guys are confused about why a girl would be living in this area that belongs to their family, they don’t say anything until they find her that night walking back to her tent. Kindly enough they take her in, just in time before her tent is buried under a landslide. Shigure decides to take her in to help around the house, cook, and clean. He just starts to wonder if that was a good idea, when Kyo, another member of the family, breaks through the roof and wants to fight Yuki. As Tohru tries to stop Kyo she slips and hugs him, which turns him into a cat. When she stumbles over Yuki and Shigure in her panic, who also turn into animals, the disaster seems perfect.
Highlights? This is hard. Very hard. Can we just say the whole freaking episode? Okay, let me try to break it down and keep it as short as possible.
The comedy in this episode is spot-on! Hana-chan with her wave power. The classical music and slow motion when they turn into animals. Shigure laugh-crying at Tohru in a tent. The two of them laughing when they think the landslide couldn’t have been around Tohru’s tent. Yuki smashing his school bag on Shigure’s head (who asks if he carries a dictionary in it? Yes, two actually.). Tohru cleaning and the ladies drinking and enjoying the time off they get thanks to her. Tohru repeating that her name’s not Kyoko… Do I need to go on? So much comedy. Loved it.
Yuki and the leaf
Just thinking about it, I am squealing. Hard. When he holds up the leaf and looks at Tohru. Gosh. Over 15 years later and I am once again standing before the same problem: Do I prefer Yuki or Kyo? After this episode it would be Yuki. Let’s see where this goes in future episodes…
Yuki and coolness
Yuki has so many faces! When he is talking to Tohru and Shigure and classmates and then Kyo… The cool Yuki is when he talks to Kyo, who dares to challenge him. That was another moment where my heart skipped a beat.
Hanajima and Uotani
Two best friends ever! I love that they accept each other unconditionally. Tohru when she thought ‘If I told Uo-chan about it, she would drive her motorbike straight into my grandfather’s house.’ Not a single bad thought about it! Just that she would do that to protect her. And Uo-chan telling Hana-chan to stop her waves, as if that was the most normal thing in the world. Their friendship, I’m already envious…
Creepy but good, as the dogs howl to Shigure and the rats gather for Yuki-kun. These were some great scenes!
Isn’t she the biggest highlight of it all? How cute is she? The cutest moment was when she said she would stop being a dog zodiac and become a cat one. Right into the face of the dog. I had to laugh out loud.
Can’t forget the sadness of the scene where she explained her true pain. Not the fact that her mother died but the fact that she didn’t send her off. Precious little Tohru. I’m crying for you. T_T
Comments & Trivia
The story is really sweet. If you try to remember the order in which the zodiacs have arrived at the banquet, you’ll be able to remember what year comes after the other! The rat arrived first, so the cycle starts with the year of the rat followed by cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Maybe as we get to meet the different zodiacs, you’ll be able to more easily remember the order of them (if you ever want to memorize it).
Sending someone off
Since it was a big thing in this episode, I thought it is only right to explain about sending off and welcoming someone home in Japan. The four important words are: Tadaima (I’m home!) which is usually answered by the person already being at home with Okaeri (Welcome home!). If you have ever been welcomed with that kind of phrase, you might understand how warm it can feel and that not being greeted with the usual words can be really sad. In the case of this series, it was about sending off. The person going out says Ittekimasu (I’m going!) and the person closing the door – or at least shouting from the other room – answers with Itterasshai (Safe trip!). Of course Tohru is being superstitious with her assumption that her mom died because she didn’t send her off, but it does feel really good to be sent off properly, so if you have a family that likes Asian culture, try teaching it to them!
COMING NEXT: They’re all animals
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Original Series Review
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