One of my favorite genres and a genre that many have disapproved of is SoL. Yes, watching high school students with their melodrama. ( which is weird if I phrase it this way ) But over the years, SoL has evolved and is now providing more than just a mundane life experience. The genre is always spiced up with some cringy romantic moments, bones-tickling comedy or a bit of inspirational leassons.
Now, don’t get me wrong. SoL has its own charm, but gradually, it’s reached a stagnant stage. It has again and again, proven that without grand adventure or a bumpy hero journey, just within your comfort zones, interesting things could still happen to you, to everyone and anyone. Nothing more, nothing less. Until ReLIFE and A Place Further Than The Universe appeared to change my view on this genre, but these were made years ago.
So I thought that was it.
I’ll need to stick back to the generic plot SoL has with the characters keeping their feelings all to themselves and just going about their daily lives with laughs and cries. And then comes the reboot of Fruits Basket. For the first time in recent years, I’ve never been happier to find out that I was so so wrong.
Because Fruits Basket not only enhanced this genre but also refined its efficiency in drawing emotional context out of the characters from their stories that makes them ‘alive’. With the merit points of ‘One Step Closer’ song and silly comedic scenes, it is much more entertaining. The story works in a way that doesn’t just let us sympathize the characters, but also to understand why we should empathize them. Their sweet storytelling method with flashbacks played a huge role to boost this and these moments of resonance are made better with the cheerful and loving protagonist Tohru.
She is painfully honest to others, but never to herself.
She cries for others, even when the pain isn’t hers. This is why she could help them to embrace the feelings stacked inside. Her kindness, her optimism shine lights on others’ darkest state without her realizing it, and this could make us feel the care she has towards other characters, Yuki and Kyo especially.
Her mother instilled wisdom into her when she was young, which made her a stronger person on the inside that wouldn’t cry even if she should, burying her emotions and always thinking of others when she doesn’t need to. But because she’s experienced the pain before, she doesn’t want anyone to go through that stage alone, this is the root of her kindness and it created a warm atmosphere for the whole story.
Her takes on the world changes just about everything.
It’s proven that shoujo, blending with SoL is not such a bad mix at all. In fact, it’s equally entertaining and touching if you could get the ratio just right. While still keeping the story progressing, little experiences that each zodiac had, has or having are revealed for the sake of better knowing the characters. These little stories, together with Tohru’s involvement are the definition of a slice out of many life stories out there, which makes Fruits Basket much more mesmerizing.
Overall, Fruits Basket has introduced me to the junction of a world of shoujo and slice of life that bring the best out of each other. With drapes of realistic and a bit more emotional entanglement, you might find yourself dropping tears and your heart, warmed when you least expected it.
If I could just describe it in one sentence, it would be
No, I’m just joking lol. It would be this
Fruits Basket is breathtakingly beautiful and painful.
Thanks for reading.