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Fruits Basket 2nd Season

Fruits Basket 2nd Season
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If you’re here, you may be asking: “What’s all the hype about this anime?” It’s not exactly action-packed like Attack on Titan, or over-the-top with political caricature as in Hetalia. It isn’t a brilliant cat-and-mouse supernatural thriller like Death Note. So what exactly has people talking about a slice-of-life fantasy anime where people get turned into animals?
 

Assuming you’ve seen season one already, (and if you haven’t-- you should watch it like, yesterday,) then you should be familiar with the basics. Tohru Honda finds herself entwined with a cursed family- literally cursed in the sense that thirteen members transform into animals of the zodiac when embraced by a member of the opposite sex. We learn their names and zodiac spirits, and we learn about Akito, the feared and revered head of the family. Season one ends with Tohru discovering the first of many better kept secrets about the Sohma clan.
 

Season two picks up by shining a blacklight on some of the darker breadcrumbs from the first season, and begins to show us what this series is really about. If it at all went over your head in season one, it won’t miss again this time around as the message takes front and centre.
 

The Sohma family is completely dysfunctional. Each and every member cursed by the zodiac is bound by a larger, invisible chain of abuse which begins and ends by Akito’s hand. Kyo struggles with his own self-worth, is shunned by the rest of his family, and fights to change his fate despite a growing sense of helplessness and guilt. Yuki feels unheard, unloved, and trapped, having been gaslit by Akito from the very beginning into believing the only way to justify his existence is to live under her cruel thumb. Not even the contagiously cheerful Momiji is safe from tragedy, forced to watch his own family from afar after his mother’s traumatic rejection and attempt on her own life.
 

The series becomes more and more emotionally charged every episode, coming to a climax when we finally meet Rin and learn of her mission. Yuki’s shell begins to collapse. Beautiful friendships come to form as Tohru's influence emboldens the zodiacs to reach out. We see love budding in the margins, some a long time coming, and others a complete surprise. We see Tohru begin to awaken to the fact that something has to change in all of this. And, above all, a looming sense that walls are crumbling and long-standing traditions are breaking as Akito desperately tries to keep it all from unraveling.
 

If it isn’t obvious by now, Fruits Basket speaks to victims and survivors alike of abuse and trauma. It is, at times, heartbreaking to watch as the Sohmas experience situations you may find all too familiar, whether that be yourself or through someone you know. Akito’s crimes against the zodiac members begin to mount from episode one, and can be identified as real-world tactics used by perpetuating abusers. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, the anime does manage to install a sense of hope in the form of Tohru- the outsider who will bring the cycle of abuse to a reckoning. There isn’t a single anime out there brave enough to address this quite like Fruits Basket does, and for that reason, this is absolutely a must-watch anime.

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