‘Fruits Basket: Prelude’ Review- Flawed, but Heartwarming

Yoshihide Ibata directs ‘Fruits Basket: Prelude‘ a compilation film that features a prequel to popular anime series. The movie was produced by TMS Entertainment and distributed by Avex Pictures with Crunchyroll handling the English dubbed version.

After a summation of the series, Kyoko (Miyuki Sawashiro) is a rebellious teen who is emotionally abused at home. After a violent outburst at junior high, she meets teaching assistant and intern Katsuya Honda (Yoshimasa Hosoya) who seems to understand her loneliness. This encounter changes her life and they grow closer. After graduating high school, she is beaten by her gang when she tells them she wants to leave to go to college, causing her to miss entrance exams. Her parents force her out, but Katsuya confesses his love for her and after meeting his “Pop” (Ken Uo), they get married and have a child Tohru (Manaka Iwami). Their story is one of love, hope, tragedy, and legacy as Fruits Baskets goes forward.

The only issue I had with the film was that they took way too long reprising Fruits Basket. I think they could have just told the story of Kyoko and Katsuya as a standalone story without a summation of the television show. With the extra time, they could have focused on the main plot which would have served it better.

With this in mind, the story was a beautiful one. You definitely connected with the characters on a human level, feeling their triumphs and their defeats as they go through life. It was a good prequel to the show in that regard as we see these characters grow and change. They also added a little epilogue to the show that I thought was nice.

I also loved the animation. They took the style of the anime and matched it with the film, but also enhanced it. Throughout the show, Katsuya’s face was often hidden, so revealing him in this film was an excellent idea.

Bottom line, Fruits Basket: Prelude is a film that tugs at your heartstrings. It was flawed with its execution, but it is still heartwarming and one that pulls you in.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Some foul language, Disturbing images involving abuse

FAVORITE QUOTE: Welcome home.

Check out the trailer below:

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