The episode begins with Motoko, the president of the Prince Yuki fan club, admiring Yuki from afar… and getting upset when she sees Tohru interacting with him. After the opening credits, we get a recap of the previous season that’s narrated by Tohru. Since it’s been roughly six months since the final episode of the previous season aired, it made sense to include this recap to help the audience remember what led up to this point. The recap was done in such a way that it didn’t feel dry and boring.
While there’s not a lot of plot progression that happens with this episode, that’s OK. But we are introduced to two new characters who will be under Yuki for the student council. Kakeru Manabe is the vice president, and Yuki comes to realize how much his personality resembles his older brother, Ayame. Poor Yuki was so broken when he made this realization. Machi Kuragi is the treasurer, and she comes across as quiet and emotionless. Yuki finds himself wondering how he’ll be able to work with these two. As a viewer, I was definitely left with less than stellar feelings about Kakeru. Machi, on the other hand, was nowhere near as obnoxious or annoying.
This episode also focuses on Motoko’s obsession with Yuki. She’s bound and determined to find out whether or not any of the new council members under Yuki will be female. The outgoing student council president won’t give out that information to her, and refuses to budge no matter how much she hounds him. Not only is Motoko going through her usual behavior of jealousy, she’s also realizing that before long, she will be graduating and won’t be able to see Yuki for much longer. In a lot of ways, I think this realization of hers is only to intensify the jealousy she feels about the idea of other girls getting close to Yuki.
Motoko’s storyline climaxes when she and one of the other members of the Prince Yuki fan club go to sneak into the student council office and find Yuki is in there. It’s awkward, but Yuki comments that Motoko’s formal way of speaking is kind of cute. However, what she doesn’t get from this is the comment… it’s the fact that he’s smiling to easily when he hadn’t been since the time Motoko began watching him. She realizes that it’s Tohru helping him change and not her. She blurts out the things she wants to say to Tohru in front of Yuki and is embarrassed when she realizes what she does. After bursting out of the room, Motoko has a moment when she comes to realize that she only hates the girls who get close to Yuki, but she hates herself as well. Even though she has this epiphany, she won’t give up on Yuki after he approaches her and talks to her.
This episode, I think, will be a turning point to Motoko. Yes, she’ll still have her obsession with Yuki, but I believe we’ll see her characterization toned down. We’re at a point in the series where the mood will be getting more serious, and the comic relief of Motoko’s obsession with Yuki won’t fit in with what’s to come. Yes, I’ve read all of the manga, but it’s been years since I read this material and I don’t remember all the details of the later part of the series compared to the material that appeared in Fruits Basket Season One. But from what I do remember, I seem to recall that Motoko will have a more minor role from here on out.
I’ve wanted to see the rest of Fruits Basket animated for years, and I’m glad to finally have this opportunity to see the entirety of the story in an animated format. I honestly can’t wait to see the next episode of this reboot.
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