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Fruits Basket (2019) Key Visual

Source: CrunchyRoll

We’re starting to see some structural differences in the story, albeit ones that I think are driven from the greater emphasis on comedy in Fruits Basket Deen.

The Second Episode

The second episode starts with a panicky[1] Tohru holding three transformed Sohma boys and then having to deal with a mail/parcel delivery. Fortunately the secret is not disclosed but shortly afterwards the Censor Transformation Steam ™ is[2].

Transformation Steam!

Censor Transformation Steam!

From here the show transitions into a bit of an infodump scene, admittedly for Tohru’s benefit as well[3], before demonstrating that that Kyo really is, well, unsocialised at best and a Jerkass at worst.

In a nice Ranma ½ reference[4], Kyo ends up in the pond when Yuki gets angry at Tohru getting slightly scratched.

From there to school and again the antics of the Prince Yuki fan club have been toned down considerably in the Fruits Basket TMS edition. The scene where Yuki accidentally transforms whilst telling Tohru that she might have her memories erased is moved from a hallway to an empty classroom, which makes a lot more sense.

The business with the memories, and the first mentions of Akito, play out well to establish Yuki’s essential loneliness, although he is trying to overcome it. That Tohru isn’t repulsed by his transformation really is the foundation of the Tohru-Yuki part of the romantic triangle.

The biggest difference in the two episodes comes the next day on what is presumably Sunday. A comedic scene of Tohru conducting an epic kitchen clean is mostly dropped, although the post cleaning reaction scene is kept.

This leads into the first scene of Kyo at school where the presence of so many girls, combined with him acquiring a certain level of status for being in the same family as Yuki causes him to panic somewhat[5].

That’s where the Fruits Basket Deen episode ends, the Fruits Basket TMS episode goes on to cover a confrontation between Yuki and Kyo as to why Yuki’s at a co-ed school. Plus another accidental transformation when Tohru turns up and tries to stop them fighting.

Harsh words are said before Tohru flees. At home Shigure slips into the role of the responsible parent and actually provides decent advice to Kyo, although there’s still a bit of mockery there to be sure.

This leads into a sort of reconciliation when Tohru meets Kyo whilst walking home from work. That’s the foundation point for the Tohru-Kyo part of the romantic triangle: that Tohru still likes the idea of the Cat in the Zodiac, and still wants to be friends. For someone as horribly unsocialised at Kyo, this is a revelation.

One that he doesn’t know how to handle yet.

Roll end credits.

The Openings

Now that we’ve seen them both, here’s both openings. First up is the late Ritsuko Okazaki’s For Fruits Basket for Fruits Basket Deen:

And here’s Beverly’s Again for Fruits Basket TMS:

The interesting thing is about Again is that whilst I don’t like it as much as For Fruits Basket yet, I almost instantly felt it was the right OP for the new incarnation of Fruits Basket. I don’t know why that should be yet, but I think it just seems to fit the tone of the new show.

Commentary

Curling Irons In Class

Curling Irons in Class

I think it’s now clear that Fruits Basket TMS is taking a more serious approach to the story. There’s still going to be comedy, but I think it’s going to be somewhat downplayed, and more in the line of subtle touches like the image above.

Yes, that’s a picture of Hanajima pulling out curling irons in the middle of class and no one, not even Tohru, comments on it.

Hanajma is FAST

Hanajima is FAST

Apparently Hanajima’s good enough to do about this much of Tohru’s hair in 20 seconds or so:

Don’t examine this too closely.

In particular I think the Prince Yuki Fan Club are going to get a lot less screentime, mostly through Hanajima turning up a lot faster, and this will bring dramatic scenes forward in the schedule.

So I may have to separate the episode synopses soon. I am actually slightly surprised to see structural changes to the pacing this soon. And on that note:

Question of the Post: Did any of the changes in this episode surprise you? Did you like the changes?

[1] Can you blame her?

[2] Well it IS a TV series after all. Although it’s pretty clear that Tohru is catching an eyeful every so often…

[3] As a general rule “As you don’t know Bob” scenes work a lot better than “As you know Bob” scenes for viewers as well.

[4] That’s my line and I’m sticking to it.

[5] For values of “Panic” equal to “Jump out of a 3rd floor window”.