Fruits Basket is iconic. It’s a franchise that launched a love of cat boys and the pure emotional damage that can come from supernatural shoujo romances. Fruits Basket Prelude (Stylized Fruits Basket -prelude-) is the prequel to the 2019 anime series based on the award-winning shoujo manga Fruits Basket, written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya and published by Hakusensha from 1998 to 2006. This feature film comes from those involved with the 2019 series, which includes director Yoshihide Ibata, a screenplay by Taku Kishimoto, character design by Masaru Shindō, art direction by Tamako Kamiyama, and music composed by Masaru Yokoyama, as well as animation from TMS Entertainment and 8PAN.
I never expected in my entire life to have an opportunity to get to Japan for the first time in my entire life. I considered myself, one of the luckiest people on the whole, to get a chance to see this film. And in the end, it was worth it. I’ll just make a quick review of this film.
Fruits Basket: Prelude is a new film made by TMS Entertainment, from a new story of Natsuki Takaya, and covered some chapters that didn’t include in the final season. The story covered the summary of the three seasons, the story arc of Kyouko and Katsuya, and the aftermath story of Kyo and Tohru after the events of the final season, written by Natsuki Takaya, respectively. We all know that having a recap from a show is entirely useless. But some recaps are bearing to watch and they can find it enjoyable. This is one of those shows, that had some recaps. But do you think it was worth it?
The Season 1
The first act of the film was the recap of all the seasons of the TV series. I think it lasted half an hour or less? Well, watching this recap made me remind the recap version of the entire Clannad series. It was pretty good for a recap, even the pacing was like a rapid-fire. I certainly felt some emotions, but it’s not the same feeling as I felt from the TV series. The execution of this recap is better than Orange Mirai movie, in which the recap from that movie was poorly executed. I understand why they had to condense it. Because the movie will be short if they didn’t include the recap. Overall, it was a good nostalgia for those who cherished the TV series. Guess who was the narrator for the recap? Just wait and see.
The Season 2
The second act of the film was the arc where the real magic starts. The story of Kyoko and Katsuya. For those who are saying this is a controversial story, may I remind you this was written way back in the 1990s. Well, it’s your judgment if you find this pretty bad. So back to the topic, this story is one of the most beautiful, yet very tragic stories I’ve ever seen. I read this part from the manga but seeing this on the big screen made my heart flutter but at the same time, my heartaches. It’s because I knew where this is going. Katsuya is a cool teacher to his students, especially Kyoko, But seeing him make Kyoko turn from a violent and problematic student to a better person and a better mom to Tohru was very heartwarming and touching. You may need a box of tissues for this.
The Season 3
So the final arc is the aftermath of the TV series and it’s written by Natsuki Takaya. In the final act, I’d got to see again the main couple of the series, Kyo and Tohru, the epilogue of their arc. I didn’t expect what happened in this arc but it was so lovely. Seeing those two being together made me tore a bit, after those many struggles they had faced, as they sought many answers. In the final episode of the final season when the two held hands like an old couple, I got to see it again but from a different angle. Although the final act was not as long as I was expected, It’s still pretty solid and worth the wait.
The animation and the sound were still the same from the TV series, but they added a few details, especially the beach scene from Kyouko and Katsuya’s story. The art was very stylish and sparkling. The amazing soundtrack from the TV series brought back the rollercoaster ride of emotions in every scene. Just like the emotions that I felt from the TV series.
I would give this film a grade of 4.5. While the previous seasons were very amazing, I wished this film could be longer than its initial time run. I hope many people watch this film on the big screen because it was an amazing experience. If you’re going to watch this, kindly bring a box of tissues. Because most of the parts were tear-jerking. Thanks for reading and once again, hands down to Fruits Basket and Natsuki Takaya. It’s a two thumbs up for me.