‘Fruits Basket‘ concluded its penultimate season in 2020 with a lot of highs, lows, and exposition regarding some of the characters. The show is based on Furūtsu Basuketto manga written and illustrated by Japanese author Natsuki Takaya. The show is produced by the Tokyo-based TMS Entertainment, with Funimation doing the English dubbing. This review will focus on the dub.
The kind-hearted high school student Tohru Honda (Laura Bailey) has since become a staple in the lives of the Soma family. She still lives with Shigure/Dog (John Burgmeier), Yuki/Rat (Eric Vale), and Kyo/Cat (Jerry Jewell), keeping the “Zodiac Curse” to herself. During a school break, she accompanies them to their summer home where she and Momiji/Rabbit (Mikaela Krantz) are confronted by the cruel and sadistic family leader Akito (Colleen Clinkenbeard), who taunts Tohru. From this point on, Tohru vows to break the curse, especially when her friend Arisa (Elizabeth Maxwell) falls for Kureno Soma/Rooster (Ian Sinclair). In the background, Shigure, Yuki’s brother Ayame/Snake (Christopher Sabat), and family doctor Hatori/Sea Dragon (Kent Williams) set things in motion to secretly help Tohru, but is it too late?
The first half of the season focused on Tohru getting to know other members of the Zodiac family and spent a great deal of time on the horse spirit Isuzu, voiced by Brina Palencia. This character was obviously meant to contrast to Tohru, who is sweet, kind, lacking selfishness, and is a bit spacey. Isuzu is judgmental, stubborn, rude, and can come across as cruel, but we get to know her and her motivations. At first, you are angry with her, but after seeing the tragedy of her life, you come to understand.
Like in season one, we see how the Zodiac Curse impacts each member of the Soma family, whether they be adopted because of their curse or were born into it. Some had it rather good while others, including their loved ones, had it way worse. This was the most interesting part of the show and really helped to flesh out the story.
The latter half focused more on Yuki trying to find some semblance of a normal life, though this creates some tension between his mother and especially with Akito. However, his flamboyant brother Ayame finally steps up, regretting treating him poorly when they were younger. This encourages him to get more active in school while his rival Kyo is counting down the days when Akito locks him away for good. When it was focused on this, it was interesting, thrilling, and even heartwarming. I did find them veering off to look at the lives of the character’s classmates a bit dull. I would prefer it had focused more on Tohru and the Somas till the end, it would have been a bit more cohesive.
I will say, my favorite episode was “Shinderera ppoi mono” or “It’s Cinderella-ish.'” When the characters are forced to do a rewrite of Cinderella when they find the class to be less than able to handle their parts, especially Tohru’s friend Saki, voiced by Jad Saxton, who is forced to play the princess opposite of Kyo’s less than charming performance as the prince. It was funny and had all the hallmarks of a high school play gone wrong.
One of the sad things about this is that Fruits Basket is entering its final season in 2021. While I shall miss Tohru’s adventures with the Somas, I know that all good things must come to an end at some point. Here’s to the next step and for us to see how this show will come to its end.
Check out the DVD teaser below:
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