Fruits Basket: Prelude highlights the evolution of Kyo and Tohru’s relationship, as well as presents the backstory for Tohru’s parents. This release includes both an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Fruits Basket: Prelude
English Publisher: Crunchyroll
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: November 8, 2022

The film opens with a half hour recap of the important moments that show the evolution of Kyo and Tohru’s relationship. While this recap is needed, it seemed to take up a lot of room at the beginning for a film that was being promoted as focusing on Tohru’s parents, Kyoko and Katsuya. I think it would have been stronger if the order of the elements was rearranged, because it would have gotten the focus on Kyoko and Katsuya a lot earlier, and it also would have made it possible to show the whole story in chronological order.

When the film does get to Kyoko and Katsuya’s backstory, it was rather well-done. Kyoko’s rough life was clearly established early on, and the relationship that develops between her and Katsuya doesn’t feel forced. My only real issue with this, though, is the age gap between the two of them. They meet when Kyoko is a middle school student and Katsuya is a student teacher (so he was likely in his early 20’s), and the two of them get married while she’s still a teenager. With that said, though, this was better than what she could have endured, since Kyoko’s father kicked her out and disowned her.

I liked getting to see Tohru during the point in her childhood where both of her parents were still alive. All we ever saw of Tohru’s childhood in the anime series are events that happened after Katsuya passed away. One of the most heartbreaking scenes in this film is seeing Kyoko almost committing suicide after Katsuya passes away. Fortunately, as fans of the franchise know, she didn’t go through with it and something that happens at that point makes her realize how important Tohru is to her.

There is one new scene of Kyo and Tohru at the end of the film, which is set about two to three months after they graduated from high school. It was a nice little scene, although I kind of wish we could have had a scene of the two of them after they have their son (which we know they have because of the Fruits Basket Another manga). This would have been a nice “circle of life” moment.

Fruits Basket: Prelude is a decent film, but I think it would have been stronger if the execution had been just a little different for the order that the backstory and recap were presented in. Even though this film wasn’t quite as strong as it could have been, I would still recommend it to fans of the Fruits Basket reboot anime series.

For the Blu-ray in this release, it has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native) video. For audio, it has Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0, while the DVD has English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo. I had no complaints about either the audio or the video quality of this release.

For bonus features, all this release includes is two promo videos for Fruits Basket: Prelude and a textless version of the ending song. Considering what this film is, I guess it makes sense that Crunchyroll didn’t bother to produce any additional extras for this release.

If you’re a fan of the Fruits Basket reboot anime series and want to own everything from this reboot in your anime home video library, then you need to acquire this release of Fruits Basket: Prelude.

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