Maybe My Favorite Anime Ever – Fruits Basket S2 Anime Review

“A year has passed since Tooru Honda began living in the Souma residence, and she has since created stronger relationships with its inhabitants Shigure, Kyou, and Yuki. She has also grown closer to the rest of the Souma family and has become familiar with their ancestral secret, having helped them with many of their personal issues. The closer Tooru gets, however, the more she begins to realize that their secret holds a darker truth than she first presumed.

Summer is approaching and Tooru is invited to spend her days with the Soumas, mainly Kyou and Yuki. Tooru wishes for an easy-going vacation, but her close relationships with the two boys and the rest of the Soumas may prove to cause trouble. As they grow more intimate, their carefree time together is hindered by older hardships and feelings from the past that begin to resurface. The Eternal Banquet also dawns on the members of the zodiac, and they must tend to their duties alongside the unnerving head of the family, Akito Souma.

With the banquet approaching and a plethora of feelings to be solved, will Tooru’s life with the Soumas remain peaceful, or will she find herself in a situation from which she cannot escape?” – MAL Synopsis

Episodes: 25 – Dub/Sub – Aired: Spring 2020 – Finished – MAL Rating: 8.54 – Genres: Slice of LifeComedySupernaturalDramaRomanceShoujo

I’m honestly shocked at how good this series is. At least in recent memory, I can’t recall a better anime show’s season than what I just watched. Coming into season 1, Fruits Basket was just this anime that I saw get high praise and had an interesting concept. I come out of season thinking wow this is great, I really love this. This season completely floored me in a good way. This is one of the greatest anime I’ve ever watched and this season might have made it my favorite ever.

This season immediately struck a chord with me because our main cast is closing in on their last year of high school. So with that comes gigantic life decisions. The early episodes and some of the episodes in the middle of the season touch heavy on what our characters are going to do post-high school. That feeling of not knowing that a lot of them have is what really emotionally hit home with me. Then there’s Kyou and Yuki who as Soumas kind of have a path that, while completely different, they in a way don’t feel like they have a say in. So for me being 20 and graduating high school almost 2 years ago to date. Those feelings that they have towards their future feel awfully familiar and even to this day I still feel some of that. There’s also this feeling of time flying by so quick during school. Time went by pretty fast in the first season but by like episode 24, this season it’s already New Years’ again. So while probably unintentional, this show really reminded me just how quick school flew by. And the Summer arc really made me reminisce on my high school summers as well.

The whole crew

Speaking of that summer arc, it was so good. The first half-ish of the show takes place during summer break. Tohru and some (well a good chunk actually) of the Souma’s go to their beach vacation house to enjoy the break. There’s a lot of feel-good summer shenanigans and funny moments. All of those moments are mixed in some phenomenal character moments that build upon the entire cast and their relationships. All of that comes to head with one of the tensest episodes of anything I’ve ever watched. One of this show’s greatest strengths is being able to convey any tone it wants without anything conflicting. It’s straight-up great writing. I loved the Summer arc but after that, it’s back to school and while I loved the first half of this season it’s a 10/10. The second half is as close to perfection as you can get. Fantastic character moments. Amazing game-changing reveals (we finally get a full answer as to what the curse is). Astounding but downright heartbreaking character backstories. Extraordinary (I’m running out of ways to say fantastic) character growth and story pay off. The second half of this season is perfection.

Cinderella-ish

This season we get to fully meet all the zodiacs so that mystery is now over but that leaves room for the story to fully explore all of its characters. I don’t think I’ve seen a show give so much love and attention to so many different characters and not have it feel out of place with the main story or bog down the pacing. Outani, Minatawa (the leader of Yuki’s fan club), the members of the student council that get introduced, Mayuko (Tohru’s teacher), all get dedicated episodes and arcs dealing with their own issues, and it’s great. Those arcs also blend really well with the main story. It never takes away from the main plot there’s always some connection. But among the characters, backstories that I loved the most this season are Rin, Mayu, Momiji, Tohru, and Yuki.

Rin

With Rin, Momiji, and Yuki. While the details are different, the overall theme of bad parenting is very prominent in their backstories and even current lives. It’s a theme that is heavy in this show. There are so many bad parents but it never feels over the top or exaggerated. The parents, sadly, felt like parents in real life. The forms of abuse are sickening but again a sad reality. They range from verbal and emotional to straight-up physical abuse. It’s sad to see how the Zodiacs we’re treated. And not only do they receive that abuse from their parents, but also from the person to who they have an irresistible bond. Which is Akito.

Aktio

Akito is a scene-stealer this season. The mystery around Akito last season was interesting but mainly played a background role but here Akito is fully present. The hold Akito has over the Somas is ridiculous and even more so the hold over the zodiacs in particular. There were glimpses of the abusiveness last season. We get to see a lot more of that this season. Akito is vindictive, bratty, misogynistic, and just generally evil. I couldn’t help but hate dislike Akito, but at the same time, I loved all of the scenes Akito was present in, and by the end of the season I actually kind of felt bad for Akito. With what the zodiac curse is and all of its members being fully revealed this season. There’s a big reveal at the end that had been swelling up throughout the whole season. The reveal opens up a whole new can of worms that I can’t wait to see explored next season. But what it really did was add more depth and kind of made me sympathize with Akito. It made it abundantly clear that Akito is just as much affected by the zodiac curse as the rest of them, which made a sad situation even more so. (p.s it’s so hard to write without using gender pronouns.)

Yuki and student council

Yuki goes through the most noticeable character development. It was such a joy to watch throughout the season he makes real friends through the student council. He finally figures out and comes to terms with how he truly feels about Tohru and the complexity of their relationship is actually quite shocking to me but very welcome. On the surface, and especially during the Summer arc, it seems like it was going to be a sort of love triangle between Tohru, Yuki, and Kyou. But it’s truly much much deeper than between the three. The feelings that Yuki has for Tohru and the way he initially misconstrued and overcompensates for them were written so well. On top of that, we get to see how he truly feels not only about himself but also about his relationship with Kyou and their turmoil stemming back from when they were kids. The episode dedicated to Yuki’s backstory was peak Fruits Basket and almost brought a tear to my eye. I loved Yuki and his character progression this season.

Kyou and Tohru

Tohru & Kyou’s relationship gets some major development which is always great to see. Tohru is still the best main character out. She finds some new determination and is actively trying to help the Soumas break their curse. I’m really interested to see how all of That’s going to unfold next season. Outside of that, there are a lot of glimpses into her past this season. And I think a recurring theme this season is a lot of things are deeper than they appear. Her relationship with her mom, her dad, and the circumstances in which they died are deeper than how to cut and dry it seemed last season. Once again Tohru is a beacon of light for basically all the zodiacs. Her interactions with them are great. Specifically, this season, her interactions with Rin, Kyou, Yuki, Momiji, Kuereno really touched me. Tohru is still my favorite anime character to date, and everything that I loved about her last season is maintained and even more developed this season. Speaking of Kyou though, it was great to see his character continue to develop. Although it’s a lot more subtle than Yuki, it’s definitely there. Once again I really loved how the main trio’s relationship dynamic is getting defined as really all three of them are understanding more about how they truly feel. An aspect that bled over from last season is Kyou starting to come to terms with why he hates Yuki so much. Yuki’s backstory episodes and the subsequent episodes show us as the audience why that is and eventually while he doesn’t say it. Kyou definitely comes to the same conclusion. Once again all of the characters this season are amazing and the writing and character development continue to be top tier.

The animation & Soundtrack this season are great as usual. Once again there are some beautiful shots here and there and overall the animation is really good. The soundtrack is amazing this season. Specifically, the second opening and ending are the best this series has to offer yet. The music during the heartfelt, heartbreaking, and tense scenes fits perfectly and adds a lot to those scenes. I watched the dub again and once again it’s the best out. This season’s stands outs are Tohru (again), Akito, Rin, Shigure, Yuki, and Kureno. All of them brought more than their A-game this season and the emotion that they portrayed these characters brilliantly. This kind of a footnote in my last review but it felt like a more prominent aspect this season. I love how every character has their own distinct fashion style and how it’s really well portrayed. I loved a lot of the outfits this season. Specifically, Rin, Haru, Tohru, and Shigure were dripped out for sure.

So yeah that’s Fruits Basket S2. I don’t think the right term is that it improved on season 1. Cause season 1 was already great. But it took what season 1 did and picked right back up where it left off. I think that’s the biggest pro to adapting from source material that’s been complete for a while now. It seems easier to adapt a completed series and have the final product as a whole be consistently great throughout. But also a lot of that credit should be given to Natsuki Takaya (the mangaka) for crafting such a well-written series in general. I loved this season of Fruits Baskets. It reached some high points that I wasn’t expecting and the character development is pristine. Season 1 had this show knocking on the door of my top 10. Season 2 might have propelled this show to being maybe my favorite ever.

Fruits Basket S2 – 10/10


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