A laboured recap and unsettling romance frustrates a potentially engrossing plot in a coda that might be offputting to newcomers and the fanbase alike
A coda to a hugely popular manga and anime series, Fruits Basket: Prelude steps away from the supernatural elements of its preceding iterations while aiming to retain their emotional lyricism. The first half-hour of this “prelude” functions as a recap of the series; this lengthy prologue revisits how Tohru Honda, a sensitive orphaned girl, falls in love with Kyo, a teenage boy who is cursed to transform into a cat when touched by a member of the opposite sex. These events, absorbing enough when told over the course of the series, are a bit of a slog when conjured up in this clipped format. Simply checking off the high points of their relationship is going to be confusing for newcomers and all too familiar for ardent fans.
But when Fruits Basket: Prelude finally kicks off its narrative thread, which follows the life of Tohru’s mother Kyoko, who dies in a car accident, becomes serviceably engrossing. The romantic elements might raise some eyebrows – Kyoko and Tohru’s father meet as student and teacher in a junior high school – but Kyoko’s transformation from a lost delinquent to a doting mother is rather movingly done.
Continue reading… July 18, 2022 at 01:41PM Phuong Le