Fruits Basket Prelude Review: A fitting coda to a popular series | Pro Club Bd

In the anime and manga industry, few other romantic dramas have wowed fans of the genre quite like Natsuki Takaya’s fruit basket. Since then, the series has become iconic in shoujo drama, and fans of the series have become emotionally invested in the evolving relationship and journey of personal growth of Tohru and Kyo, and the members of the Sohma household.

Its touch of the fantastic adds a layer of intrigue while human relationships are at the heart of the story and the compilation and prequel film by animation studio TMS Entertainment Fruit Basket Prelude offers a satisfying conclusion to the 2019 TV anime reboot. Although the film could afford to resort to the film’s “compilation” element, the plot meat surrounding the origins of Tohru’s parents and the touching epilogue at the end make up for it essential for longtime anime and manga fans.

An incremental start

For anime fans, particularly in the TV realm, the practice of airing “recap” episodes is nothing new, although it’s a bit tiresome for those waiting for weekly episode premieres for their favorite series. The film achieves what it sets out to do once the story picks up steam and to be fair Fruit Basket Preludeit is marketed in part as a recap/compilation feature, in addition to being a prequel to the main story following Tohru and Kyo.

Nevertheless, the series review seems to be sluggish to a certain extent with the runtime allotted to it. It could also mean for seasoned series fans that these otherwise pivotal moments in Tohru and Kyo’s unfolding dynamic won’t be hit as hard, as it’s a whole lot of well-known information re-enacted in a smash-cut format in the be presented in the style of a highlight reel.

However, to be fair to TMS Entertainment and director Yoshihide Ibata’s creative direction, this early portion of the film can be largely skipped as the story portion serves as the main viewing draw Fruit Basket Prelude would not suffice to flesh out its 88-minute running time. Likewise, it’s also possible that they felt that padding Kyoko and Katsuya Honda’s stories with original content would not do justice to Takaya’s beloved manga source material.

Thankfully, though, this is a minor setback that will at least come in handy for audiences as they experience some sort of “greatest hits moments” from the 2019 anime series that doesn’t spoil the storyline of Kyoko and Katsuya. And to the roughly 30-minute recap portion of the film’s credit, adding Kyo’s narration of the events of the three-season series is an admittedly nice touch to make it more palatable.

Raw love drama

Kyo and Tohru hold hands against the backdrop of the shimmering ocean in Fruits Basket -prelude-.

While the synopsis takes up a good portion of the film, it flows into the main part of the story fairly seamlessly, keeping the context and importance of Tohru’s parents immediately relevant. After those 30 odd minutes that Fruit Basket Prelude Kyoko and Katsuya’s turbulent but heartfelt origins are impressively handled with the remaining running time.

How these two come together, as well as the events leading up to Kyoko’s tragic accident and death that sets the events of the main series in motion, is portrayed with a grounded and raw sense of emotion. This is especially true for Kyoko’s side of the story, as her point of view lends both her and Tohru’s story much more resonate in the present.

Kyoko and Katsuya on the beach together at sunset in Fruits Basket -Prelude-.

Kyoko’s upbringing is presented through a lens that emphasizes themes that show what neglect by proud parents does to a child, the negative effects of growing up in a socially strict dynamic, and the inexorable consequences of dealing with the death of a loved one. It’s easy to fall prey to overplayed tropes in the romance-drama genre, but her bittersweet story makes a legitimate showing of Kyoko’s empathetic humanity without feeling like a series of dramatic tropes pieced together for shock value.

“Raw” is perhaps one of the best adjectives to describe the portrayal of Kyoko’s life story, and the film doesn’t fail to highlight the truly heartwarming and rewarding fruits of her life-changing labor.

Perhaps the only downside that somewhat softens the impact of certain moments between Kyoko and her parents’ strained relationship is that the latter pair hardly ever gets faces to emote. Her proud, callous, and cruelly unforgiving father and submissive mother, who are obsessed with how their peers view their family picture, are both relegated as unimportant anime supporting characters without eyes, partially spoiling the immersion during Kyoko’s select screen time with them. Those few scenes are otherwise suitably tense, well acted, and provide important context for why Kyoko starts out as a troubled youth, why Katsuya is introduced as a man feeling empty in life, and what pays off from their coming together.

A well deserved lap of honor

Kyoko and Katsuya’s emotionally empty past, blossoming romance, and untimely destiny make up the bulk of it Fruit Basket Prelude‘s emotionally fulfilling story, but the epilogue, which leaps back to the present with Tohru and Kyo’s determination, is a tasteful curtain call.

An original segment written by Takaya himself, this finale of the film brings the Kyoko/Katsuya dynamic into a heartwarming circle with the Tohru/Kyo pairing. It’s an appropriately quiet and intimate scene that gives the whole a decent arc fruit basket Story.

While the fast-paced highlight reel feels like it goes a little beyond its welcome, the film’s core plot and satisfying original epilogue make the film an overall well-deserved victory lap for this popular anime series adaptation.

Directed by Yoshihide Ibata, animated by TMS Entertainment and distributed by CrunchyrollFruit Basket Prelude is available in select theaters in the US and Canada on June 25th, 28th and 29th.

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