Fruits Basket (2019)- Episode 2
The unfortunate thing about ‘season 1’ for a lot of old fans is that it is going to retread a lot of ground we are already familiar with. Though I can already tell that we are moving at a faster pace then before, during the week i’ve been re-reading the manga and watching the 2001 anime to pass the time in anticipation for the next 2019 episode.
Episode 2 of this new season, ends at what was the middle of episode 3 in the original anime and the end of chapter 3 for the manga.
In this episode we get properly introduced to Kyo Sohma, the cat Zodiac spirit. We also get to see Akito for the first time, and hear a little of Yuki’s backstory. We end episode 1 with them transforming and pick up episode two with Tohru appropriately freaking out about it.
Shigure explains that Yuki, himself, Kyo and ten other members of the Sohma clan are cursed by the spirits of the Chinese zodiac. When they are under large amounts of stress or they are embraced by someone of the opposite sex, they transform into their animal forms. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with any particularly cool powers besides being able to summon and relate to their corresponding animal, of course, after a while they turn back into people, but they’re naked.
I’m not sure what it is about that fact that is able to make me laugh all these years after first seeing the series.
After this, Tohru and Yuki go to school after Shigure informs them that he will be telling the head of the family, Akito, about Tohru finding out their secret. After classes are over, Yuki confronts her about this and tells her that there is a chance that her memory of the Sohma family, himself, and the curse might be suppressed. It has happened to him before, he’d been playing with a group of kids on the Sohma estate when he was young and wasn’t being as careful as he should of been.
They all had their memories suppressed.
Tohru being the sweetheart she is, not only accepts that this is a possibility but asks of Yuki one simple request. If her memories are suppressed, she asks him to come and be her friend again.
Though for whatever reason, Akito decides not to suppress her memory and continue letting her live with the Sohma family. Yuki suspects a dirty plot shared between Akito and Shigure, and I honestly can’t blame him for his skeptical attitude.
The rest of the episode is more Kyo focused. As he tries to apologize and make right all of the mean and horrible things that he keeps saying to Tohru. He also gets tricked by Shigure into taking a school transfer exam and starting his first day at Yuki and Tohru’s school.
It’s honestly fascinating to look back on some of these earlier scenes from the standpoint of someone who’s finished the manga and try to guess what they were truly thinking at the time. I imagine it would be fun with even only the knowledge from the 2001 anime.
Kyo snaps at Tohru at school and she thinks that he absolutely hates him. Which isn’t the case at all, still, he doesn’t really know how to interact with people right now. “He’s like a feral cat” is something a new watcher said to me while we watched this episode. The tone for Kyo’s growth really begins with his talk with Shigure in this episode, as he ponders for the first time what he’ll do if he meets someone who truly says they love him.
To which Tohru almost immediately later says that she adores the Zodiac cat, she wants to be Kyo’s friend and that she always wished that she was born in the year of the cat.
“There is nothing good about the year of the cat”
I feel like that’s such a powerful line, it doesn’t have a lot of context now, but even as we roll through the early content, you’re going to get a feel for what he is talking about with this line.
Episode 2 also provided us with the shows opening. Which is absolutely gorgeous! The name of the song from the opening is ‘Again’, and it very much carries that same relaxing and soft-tone that we got from the original opening. I’m beyond glad to see that they went in that direction, though I can’t help to be curious to see how ‘season 2”s opening will look, will it still be soft or will it darken to match the content of the show. I’m getting ahead of myself though. This episode was wonderful, it hit all of the right emotional notes and continued to carry us along this crazy journey.
Next episode “Let’s play Rich-man poor-man.” is going to be a Yuki centric episode and the memory of younger Midnight couldn’t be more happy. Though, since chapter 4 is important to Yuki’s character, I’m not sure they really have enough to drag it into a full episode. So we might be seeing the next Zodiac member as soon as episode 3 this time around.
Notice: Next weeks episode review will be released Monday, April 22nd. Because I’ll be at Anime Boston over the weekend, hope to maybe see some of you there.