Fruits Basket Volume 3

Reviewing an anime series like Fruits Basket is something of a daunting prospect for me; it’s just so damn perfect in nearly every way that I find it extremely hard to pin down exactly what I like about it. Predictably, volume #3 continues this trend, with us being drawn further into the (strangely) uplifting lives of Tohru and the gang.

This volume begins with Tohru, Yuki and Kyo beginning a new school year, along with Momiji and Hatsuhara, who have just joined the same school.

Due to all the excitement surrounding the inauguration of Momiji and Hatsuhara, the likes of Shigure and Hatori are making the effort to attend the school’s opening ceremony.
However, the Sohma’s are in for a bit of a surprise, because unbeknownst to them; Akito (the revered Sohma family head) also made the trip.
Upon meeting Tohru, Akito is uncharacteristically polite and welcoming; only after bumping into Yuki, are the true depths of his jealousy and cruelness revealed.

Veering from the downbeat, sad story told by Momiji to the crazy escapades of the ‘Prince Yuki Fanclub’, Fruits Basket #3 continues to expertly cover a range of realistic human emotions. Tragic situations are never bluntly explained to the viewer, with us instead seeing through the eyes of the victim, narrated with a warm, child-like sense of optimism.
Throughout the entire show resounds a strong ‘never-say-die’ attitude. Despite suffering from several personal tragedies, the likes of Tohru cling to their thin threads of hope, refusing to give in, and this is what ultimately makes Fruits Basket so heart wrenching and very involving.

The strong bond between Yuki, Tohru and Kyo will only re-enforce these feelings.
I admire how Kyo is afraid to show his true feelings, often preferring to hide behind thinly veiled sarcasm and one-word responses. There is something so realistic in these characters (maybe it’s their flaws) which creates a real feeling of attachment between yourself and the story.

While it’s hard to fault such innocent optimism, Fruits Basket can become a little too fluffy at times. Of particular note here is Kisa (a new Sohma character), who is suffering from being bullied at school.
This episode felt a lot more forced than the others, preferring to educate (rather than suggest to) the viewer in moral stance.
Kisa’s side-story is tied up well, but it felt a little jarring to see important aspects of her life resolved in such simplistic and emphatic fashion.

Despite a brief early appearance at the beginning of volume #3, we are still yet to really meet Akito and understand why people are filled with such fear whenever even his name is mentioned. He seems like a very bitter and twisted bloke, but due to these all too brief cameo appearances, I was left feeling a little unsettled towards the end of the volume; expecting something to happen but never did.
We are fast approaching the last disc, and with little-to-no idea of what will happen next, I’m left pondering what role Akito has to play in that.

In Summary

Fruits Basket #3 continues to be a really funny series, but it’s the human drama that again takes the spotlight in this volume. Both sad and uplifting at the same time, Fruits Basket is a series that shouldn’t be missed for the world. I approach the final volume with a real lump in my throat, hoping that everything turns out okay for Tohru, Yuki and Kyo.

9 / 10


Washed up on the good shores of Anime UK News after many a year at sea, Paul has been writing about anime for a long time here at AUKN and at his anime blog.

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