Fruits Basket (2019) 03 (Chapter Scramble)

Fruits Basket (2019) 03
フルーツバスケット 03
Furuba episode 03

Story Summary/Synopsis

Fruits Basket (2019) 03Tohru’s class prepares for the upcoming school cultural festival. It is decided that they will have an onigiri shop. Kyo’s suggestion for “battle onigiri” gets him teased. When a bunch of cats appear around him, he flees. Tohru finds him on the school roof and they talk a bit. Sometime later in class, Tohru suggests they play the Dai Hin Min (Rich Man Poor Man). Kyo is not interested, but Uo-chan triggers his competitive nature. Together with Hana-chan, the four play the game at Kyo’s desk.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03Meanwhile, Yuki turns down a girl who confesses to him. He returns to class to see Tohru and company playing the game. Kyo loses, thanks to Hana-chan. After class, Kyo is stuck cleaning the classroom solo. He turns down Tohru’s offer of assistance and goes off on Yuki. As a result, Yuki kicks him in the chin and leaves. Tohru heads to her job cleaning an office building. After work, she encounters a German kid who seems to know her and kisses her.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03Tohru leaves the building, where Yuki is waiting. They walk home together, where Yuki is accidentally turned into a rat again. However, the two talk about things. Before they can get him, it starts raining. Since a typhoon is coming, Tohru helps Yuki protect his vegetable garden. While doing so, the two talk some more through the night. The following morning, Tohru makes various onigiri. One has nira (chives or leeks) in it, which Kyo grabs and eats. Kyo hates nira.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03Tohru is impressed that Kyo can make onigiri. The two talk a bit, where Tohru expresses her admiration for Kyo. He returns the favor, though in a more reluctant fashion. Yuki comes in and is surprised that Tohru didn’t sleep. He forces Kyo to eat one of the nira onigiri. Tohru imagines what it would be like if Kyo and Yuki got along. Meanwhile, the doorbell rings. When Tohru answers, she sees no one. However, a girl shyly peeks out from behind a tree, asking for Kyo.

Thoughts/Review

Anime adaptations sometimes have to make certain modifications to the source material in order to get it to fit into the time constraints of a TV episode. That said, Fruits Basket (2019) 03 takes chapter 4 and most of chapter 8 from the source manga, then re-crafts things to make it seem to be a natural thing. As someone well versed in the manga, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Trying to Understand the Change Reason

Since the anime adaptation of Fruits Basket is only taking two chapters per episode, sans episode 1 due to its high page count, Fruits Basket (2019) 03 would need to do the same. However, the source manga sees Kagura introduced in chapter 5, which the anime adaptation is punting until episode 4. So maybe they are wanting to pad out the anime adaptation of Kagura’s introduction since this early in the story, she’s a pretty funny character.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Otherwise, I’m not sure what the benefit was in reformulating the story elements of chapters 4 and 8 into something new.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Breaking the Flow: Kyo

Because I know the source manga so well, the moment Fruits Basket (2019) 03 started, I knew we’d skipped material. I was not happy. The episode starts with the elements at the start of chapter 8. So to me, it is weird seeing everyone palling around with Kyo when he’d only been around them for a few moments. I think TMS felt that because Kyo fled again, it would make sense to go ahead and put the chapter 8 intro at the start of episode 3.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

However, the flow-break happens when Tohru finds Kyo. In the manga, she knew to find Kyo on the roof ’cause she’d found him on the roof at Shigure’s house when he fled a situation. In Fruits Basket (2019) 03, TMS keeps the line in about her knowing she’d find Kyo on the roof. But this begs the question of how she’d know to find him there. Without the previous encounter, it doesn’t really make sense to me.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Also, the reason that Kyo’s classmates feel free to tease him and pal around with him in chapter 8 is because of the Dai Hin Min game Uo-chan triggered Kyo into playing in chapter 4. So the anime presentation of the this didn’t really work for me because the natural flow isn’t there.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Breaking the Flow: Momiji

Next up, we have Momiji (unnamed in Fruits Basket (2019) 03) being introduced before Kagura. This flow-break is a bit less of a problem, but I still have some issues with it. In the manga, by the time Momiji meets Tohru, she’s already known by Kagura. Further, the first “crisis” in the manga’s story has been dealt with by Kyo and Yuki, to say nothing other events that happen (which I won’t spoil).

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

So to me, it doesn’t make as much sense that Momiji would already be aware of Tohru as he is in the anime episode. That alone could be brushed off though. It is Momiji’s excitement at meeting Tohru were the flow-break really exists. If Momiji heard about all of the events as they happened in the manga, then yeah, he’d be excited to meet this magical Torhu.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

But as it is now, she’s just a girl whom the Sohma family have allowed to live at Shigure’s house. That would be enough to spark interest in Momiji, but I’m not sure that alone would be enough to make him all excited to meet Tohru.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Breaking the Flow: Tohru

This next flow-break is kinda weird. The typhoon story shown in Fruits Basket (2019) 03 comes from chapter 4 of the manga. The onigiri stuff comes from chapter 8. The manga clearly indicates that some passage of time has past from the end of the typhoon until Tohru prepares a meal for everyone that includes nira. (I’ll discuss nira later.) As such, there’s no question of sleep.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

However, the anime adaptation decides to remove the meal and just go straight into Tohru making onigiri. Even TMS had to address the fact that even though Tohru had been up all night, for some reason, she didn’t need sleep and thus could spend all day making onigiri. This seems weird to me and I didn’t buy the fact that Tohru didn’t need sleep.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

English Adaption Issues

I really have a pet peeve when adapters/translators use “rice ball” for onigiri. Onigiri is not a rice ball. It doesn’t look like a ball. If anything, it is a rice tetrahedron. And if you want to order onigiri in a Japanese restaurant or store (assuming it is sold there), you’d most likely order “onigiri” and not “rice ball.”

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

To me, it is like the tidal wave/tsunami situation. Because there are folks who apparently feel Japanese words used in English is a crime, all Japanese words MUST be translated, even if incorrect. The scientific community has been trying to get people to stop calling tsunamis “tidal waves” since a tsunami isn’t a tidal wave. And for me, it is much the same thing with onigiri. Call it what it is and not some incorrect “localization”.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

I really didn’t like that Kyo is being called “Carrot” in the subtitles. He’s being called “Orange” (or as the manga put it to match the phonetic way it is being said in Japanese, Orangey). For me, this is a case where the English adaptation goes to far. And it’s why I don’t like “localization.” I want accurate but readable, not rewritten ’cause, “Well, I think it’s funny if they call him a vegetable. Tee-hee!”

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Finally, it bothered me that the adaptation couldn’t decide if “nira” should be “leeks” or “chives.” Nira is a garlic chive.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

In the end, Fruits Basket (2019) 03 fairly faithfully adapts the various scenes from chapters 4 and 8 of the source manga, but then crafts them into a different order. For me, this causes flow-breaks in story and logic. I don’t know if my negative feeling about this is due to knowing the source material so well. As such, I don’t know how I feel about this modification. But in other aspects, the episode is good.

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

If you are being introduced to Fruits Basket via this new anime adaptation, I really want to hear your thoughts. Did anything stand out to you that made you question things? And if you are a fan of the manga, how’d you feel about the changes made to how the story flowed?

Fruits Basket (2019) 03

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4 Responses to “Fruits Basket (2019) 03 (Chapter Scramble)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about them rearranging stuff.

    As soon as the episode started I knew something was off. I went to check my volumes, and sure as hell, they went straight to volume 2 and left out half of the first volume. Weird.
    Maybe the studio thought it would be too early to bring up the “drama” with Tohru returning to her family’s house?

    Momiji showing up was no issue to me. He doesn’t play much of a role this early in the story.
    I was kinda blind to the Kyo on the roof stuff until you pointed it out here. It’s probably because I’ve read the manga, and was like ‘of course Tohru knows Kyo would be on the roof’.

    I like the minor changes the studio made to Furuba, but a compelling reason for the chapter rearrangement escapes me. It’s baffling. It’s pretty offputting to me as a fan of the manga.
    I wonder how the Japanese fans reacted, since they, and especially the hardcore types (i.e. otaku), are much more outspoken about stuff like this (especially online). I wonder if the studio got blasted for the changes they made here.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      As soon as the episode started I knew something was off.

      Haha! That was me to, including grabbing volume 2.

      Maybe the studio thought it would be too early to bring up the “drama” with Tohru returning to her family’s house?

      I hadn’t thought of that, but maybe that’s partially it.

      a compelling reason for the chapter rearrangement escapes me. It’s baffling. It’s pretty offputting to me as a fan of the manga.

      Yeah, totally hear ya. I wish I did know why they made the changes. And I have to believe that Takaya-sensei approved them as well.

    • NullApostle says:

      I wonder how much Natsuki Takaya is involved in this adaptation. Maybe the changes were her decision?

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        I suspect that Takaya-sensei may be a consultant. So they may have run things by her, including an explanation of why they were doing what and she approved.

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