Anime Spotlight: Fruits Basket Season 2

Fruits Basket Season 2 picks up the reboot of the Fruits Basket anime left off. This season was produced by TMS/8PAN and was directed by Yoshihide Ibata. The episodes of the second season of the Fruits Basket reboot aired on Japanese television from April 6-September 21, 2020. As of this writing, both Crunchyroll and FUNimation hold the North American rights for the series.

The second season of the reboot picks up where the first season left off. The very first episode of the season has a story that ultimately puts Motoko and the others in the Prince Yuki fan club more in the background than they had been in the first season. Motoko ultimately realizes that she hates herself as well as any girls that get close to Yuki. Even while having this epiphany, she insists that she won’t give up on Yuki. Considering how much more serious the story gets over the course of the second season, it’s not surprising that the members of the Prince Yuki fan club become background characters to bring on the occasional comic relief during scenes at school.

The next few episodes provide some very important character development for Yuki, Kyo, Ayame, and Hatsuharu. Early in the season, the final member of the Zodiac, Kureno Soma, is introduced. He meets Arisa, and their meetings and interaction end up playing an important role right near the end of the season. In Episode 5 of the season, the viewer has no idea how much of an impact these two characters meeting would have on the plot later in the series.

A lot of the first cour of Fruits Basket Season 2 takes place at the Soma beach house. A lot happens during the episodes at the beach house, such as Tohru meeting Rin Soma, Tohru and Kyo starting to become closer, Akito’s interactions with the Zodiac members, and Yuki starting to face his fears toward Akito. While Kyo realizes that he’s in love with Tohru, he won’t try to make her his own. Instead, he plans to stay by her side until Akito imprisons him for the rest of his life. But as we see in the second cour, Tohru starts realizing that she has feelings for Kyo, but can’t bring herself to say anything to him.

The big incident at the beach house, which takes place near the end of the first cour, is Akito confronting Tohru. Akito tells Tohru about the futures for Kyo and the other Somas with the curse, and this makes Tohru realize there’s something different about Akito. Akito confirms her suspicions, while at the same time, scratching Tohru’s face. Oh, and during this scene, Tohru officially meets Kureno. Akito had intended this confrontation to chase Tohru away… instead, it had the opposite effect. Tohru becomes determined to break the curse, and this is an important plot point that follows through the rest of Fruits Basket Season 2.

Shortly after the trip to the beach house, Kagura has an epiphany about her feelings toward Kyo. She realizes that she’s not truly “in love” with him, which now removes her from potentially getting in between Kyo and Tohru.  Like with Motoko and the Prince Yuki Fan Club, Kagura needed to be relegated more to the background with the tonal shift that the series experiences during the second season.

There’s also important character development for Mayuko, the main characters’ teacher at school. It was good to see the relationships between Mayuko, Shigure, and Hattori, and I appreciated having an episode that didn’t focus on the main characters and gave Mayuko the chance to become more of a character than simply “the school teacher.”

The second cour focuses on Yuki becoming part of the student council and getting to know the other members. Kakeru and Machi both become important characters in their own right, with Kakeru becoming an unexpected friend and foil to Yuki. When we first meet Kakeru, he annoys Yuki like crazy and it seems unlikely they would ever get along. But, as the second cour progresses, as Yuki gets to know Kakeru more, he realizes they have more in common than they realized. And near the end of the second cour, when Yuki comes to realize how he truly feels about Tohru, Machi becomes someone that Yuki starts to notice more. Right near the end of the second cour, Machi starts to slowly come out of her shell. Yuki also gets some strong character development in the second cour, especially when it comes to finding the strength to start standing up for himself to both his mother and to Akito.

After Tohru hears Arisa talking about a guy she met named Kureno, who she keeps hoping she’ll see again, she thinks she might be talking about Kureno Soma. She decides to sneak into the Soma compound to try to find him. When she does, she meets Momiji’s little sister, Momo, who helps her sneak in. This is a wonderful episode that provides a moving story for Momiji, as well as Tohru finding Kureno and determining this is the same Kureno that Arisa met. Like I said earlier in this piece, Arisa and Kureno’s connection is important, especially after the school play “It’s Cinderella-ish.” Arisa, as the prince, blurts out that she wants to see someone again. Tohru and Momiji, knowing exactly who Arisa is referring to, make a DVD copy of the performance that Momiji recorded. Momiji gets the copy to Kureno, and this leads to Kureno meeting with Tohru and dropping a couple of major bombshells that serve as a cliffhanger for the season.

That was the perfect way to end Fruits Basket Season 2. The revelation about Akito made the perfect “hook” to make viewers want to come back and watch the next season. The next (and final) season is supposed to premiere sometime in 2021, and I can’t wait. I’ve loved this reboot of the Fruits Basket anime, and I’m happy to finally see more of the manga finally being adapted for anime. The premiere for the final season of Fruits Basket can’t come soon enough.

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