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Fruits Basket (2019) Key Visual

Source: CrunchyRoll

A wild Kagura appears! She is very timid and very fierce.

For the first time I am sharply disappointed in Fruits Basket TMS for not toning down the comedic material from Fruits Basket Deen, especially some of the problematic material in this episode.

Fruits Basket Deen: Here Comes Kagura

There is a thundering sound heard from outside as Kyo attempts to flee only to be pinned down by Shigure[1]. Tohru goes to the door to find the very timid Kagura partially hidden behind a tree about 10 meters away asking if Kyo is here.

A tearful re-union[2] ensues that also includes the curious tidbit that two members of the zodiac can embrace each other without transforming. Kagura and Kyo are also apparently fiances in her mind, although Kyo remembers it as being threatened with a boulder until he said yes.

However shortly after this Kagura blames Kyo for “abandoning her” and comedic violence ensues. Well, right up until the moment when Kagura notices that Kyo is hurt and wonders who could have done such a thing[3].

Much of the episode is made of this over the top Yandere driven violence from Kagura to Kyo, and related incidents with ruining the clothes washing[4] and the kitchen, all whilst breaking more of Shigure’s house[5].

There are some quiet moments such as the first of the rooftop chats between Tohru and Kyo[6]. Granted that this does include the utterly cringe worthy line from Tohru of “What’s more, marriage is, after all, the greatest dream girls have.”

There’s also some good moments of connection between Tohru and Kagura, particularly when she converts Kagura’s uneaten bento into onigiri and helping her patch the shoji paper screens.

On Kagura’s departure the next moment there is of course an accidental encounter with a paper boy and she is revealed as the Boar. Fitting for her personality I guess.

Here Comes Kagura is fun to watch but the comedic violence was in retrospect way overdone. The one-size-fits-all approach to girls’ dreams also grated; there are other options you know.

So, in view of the relative restraint of the previous Fruits Basket TMS episodes I was quite looking forward to the changes.

Fruits Basket TMS: What Year is She?

Oh dear. I will say that I like Kagura’s character design a lot better in the new version.

The ridiculous violence was actually amplified in Fruits Basket TMS. To the point where Kagura can apparently spin Kyo around overhead so fast that she’ll lift off like a helicopter.

I’m not making this up:

The Kagura Copter!

Lifting Off!

And slamming down!

And slamming down

I think I’m sharing Tohru’s reaction at this point, but more from disappointment at the relatively restrained Fruits Basket TMS suddenly going so far over the top.

The image to the right shows how far Kagura got into the air before throwing Kyo down:

And, then, Shigure excuses the violence with this:

Yes, they went there

Ugh. No.

In terms of new elements, this episode followed up on a couple of things that Fruits Basket Deen didn’t. This is in line with bringing the themes in early, and foreshadowing more that I observed last week. The brief mention of Kyo’s true form does not go unnoticed by Tohru, and it looks like Shigure had a bit of an “oh crap” moment when that came out as well.

Similarly the mention of the two other female members of the Zodiac includes an offer from Shigure to tell Tohru about them, which she declines. She’s the sort that doesn’t want spoilers apparently.

The laundry sequence is deleted in favour of Kagura competently cooking a huge meal which is subsequently ruined by more violence[7].

The rooftop chat is basically the same, complete with cringe worthy line (“And after all, marriage is a girl’s greatest dream.”).

The last bit of violence from Kagura as she leaves is replaced by Tohru checking out books on martial arts[8] and gardening[9] from the school library. She is then called to the faculty office to receive the phone call telling her to move back in with her grandfather.

This is an episode that would really have benefited from the style of changes made to the previous three. I was looking forward to seeing them, only to be disappointed.

The Endings

Here’s a look at the endings for both shows. Fruits Basket Deen had an Evolving Credits where Ritsuko Okazaki’s Chiisana Inori played over inset footage from the episode. The video below is probably from the episode next week:

And here’s Vickeblanke’s Lucky Ending which as far as I can tell hasn’t changed in any of the episodes to date. Which does mean it reveals most of the cast.

Oddly enough my reaction to Lucky Ending is very similar to my reaction to Again: I don’t like it as much as the original ED yet but feel that it is right for this version of Fruits Basket

Commentary

This was the first time that I really felt disappointed by Fruits Basket TMS. It had been establishing its own voice, its own tone, and I was quite starting to like both as a fresh take on the Fruits Basket story. For TMS to double down this week on the ridiculous elements of Deen was quite an unpleasant surprise.

And on that note:

Question of the post: Were you expecting Kagura to be toned down some? If not, why not?

[1] Shigure is evil at times. I approve.

[2] On Kagura’s part at least. Kyo very much wants to be somewhere else.

[3] Shirgue deadpan snarks “That would be you”

[4] She used all the detergent. Cue comedic scene of detergent bubbles escaping the laundry in a tidal wave.

[5] Which Shigure duly, and rightfully, complains about.

[6] I seem to recall these being regular features in Fruits Basket Deen.

[7] And more damage to Shigure’s house. And table. And TV.

[8] Because Kyo.

[9] Because Yuki.