Fruits Basket Volume 2
Fruits Basket is one of those rare hidden gems of anime that somehow manages to garner a massive hidden appeal. It sounds and looks like a very ‘sickly-sweet’ anime for girls and hence, not exactly the typical thing for an action junkie like myself. Yet, for whatever reason, I’ve slowly become enthralled by the series. I love the characters; each with their own different personalities and funny little quirks. I love the comedy, which can often be laugh out loud funny, and then more than anything else, I love the story; Tohru’s upbeat look at life, Hatori’s tragic past and then there’s the extreme rivalry between Yuki and Kyo.
It’s just so much fun to sit down and watch Fruits Basket; and I challenge you not to enjoy it. It’s a reassurance that anime can achieve great drama without needing to resort to pointless fan-service or outrageous plot developments.
And so, without boring you with yet more praise, I’ll get straight into describing what actually happens in this volume.
During ‘Volume 2: What Becomes of Snow?’, we introduced to perhaps the darker (and therefore more important) members of the Sohma family.
Hatori, the Sohma family doctor, also happens to be the member of the family with the rumoured ability to erase the minds of the people that learn of the zodiac curse. After discovering that Tohru knows the big family secret, he takes her to one side and strongly advices her to finish her friendship with Yuki and Kyo immediately. Only at this point do we discover just why he seems so against Tohru, with a flash back to Hatori’s tragic past; revealing how painful an ‘outsider’ can make life in the Sohma family.
It is during these flashbacks that we get our first proper glimpses of Akito, the Sohma family head who seems more than a little insane and power crazed. Apparently prone to violent mood swings and bouts of debilitating illness, Akito bares a good resemblance to Yuki. And while we are yet to see what Akito’s true intentions are going to be in the show, he looks to be a character full of regret and a frightening envy.
Aside from Akito and Hatori, we also meet Momiji Sohma, a young boy that looks a lot like a girl (and even dresses like one, too) and Haru Sohma, a white haired ruffian who seems to have a long running grudge against Kyo. Used mainly for comic relief and perhaps a reality check to point out just how much Yuki and Kyo have changed since Tohru arrived, these characters add to growing list of different personalities in the Sohma family.
Other memorable events include the New Year celebrations. It’s going to be Tohru’s first time seeing in the new year without her mother and since all the Sohma’s have been invited (or rather forced) to go to traditional family party at the main Sohma household, it promises to be a sad and lonely time for Tohru. And so despite reassuring her friends she will be okay on her own and that they should all go out and have fun at the party, Tohru begins to prepare for a lonely evening in by herself; no doubt a time when she needs her friends and family the most.
And so the curtain is drawn on yet another outstanding volume of Fruits Basket; no doubt a series that has managed to change my perception of anime-based light-comedy/drama.
Despite thinly treading the line between heart warming and an overly simplistic look at life, I can’t help but recommend this series. It’s just been so outstanding so far, and while I can see the upcoming episodes starting to get a little darker and more serious, I still can’t wait to find out what happens next. If you haven’t bothered with Fruits Basket yet, you’re missing out. Seriously.