Fruits Basket Episode 1 Review

Fruits Basket Episode 1 Review

It’s good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. That’s what challenges you and makes you grow. It forces you to learn new things and experience other perspectives. For me, that means going outside of my Shonen bubble. I’ve done it in the past and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. I’m expecting the same to happen here, as I’ve heard that Fruits Basket is a very good anime. If Fruits Basket episode 1 is any indication for how the rest of the anime is going to go, I think I’ll be pretty happy.

Where can I watch Fruits Basket episode 1?

There are numerous places that you can go to watch this anime. The only place that I didn’t see during my search was Netflix. Well, Netflix did pop up as an option but they don’t currently have it in their library, at least not in my region. Don’t worry! There are still plenty of options.

I found the first episode of Fruits Basket at Crunchyroll. That’s my main anime streaming service and I was ultimately going to pick a series that was already on the site. If this anime wasn’t there, I’d probably be reviewing something else. As of the time of this review, Crunchyroll has all episodes of Fruits Basket available so you can binge watch as much as you want.

Not to be outdone, Funimation also has every episode of this popular Shojo anime. If you’re more familiar with Funimation, go watch it over there. I’ll probably join you over there when I pick back up Kingdom again. Funimation does have some anime that Crunchyroll doesn’t, so go give their site a look.

Are there any other places to watch?

There are several other sites that also carry Fruits Basket. At this point, it’s starting to remind me of Naruto with how many different streaming services carry the anime. You can find this one over at VRV and Hulu to go along with the options I mentioned above. If you’ve spent any time at this site in the past, you’ve seen those two streaming services as options before. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, with Hulu probably being the least desirable option, but they’re still options.

There is also another level of streaming services where you can find Fruits Basket. I typically don’t mention them as I don’t want to spend too much time on this section. You should at least be aware of them but I won’t be linking to their sites. Anime Lab and Anime Planet are the sites that I’m referring to. I seldom go there because I have no reason to, but they might work out better for you.

Watch Fruits Basket Episode 1 at Crunchyroll, Funimation, VRV or Hulu

How was the story in Fruits Basket episode 1?

It took only one episode and I’m already invested. What episode 1 gave us was nothing too unique to anime, but it was done a lot better than what I’ve seen elsewhere. Tohru Honda is the main character and she’s an orphan who’s currently living in a tent in the woods. From what we’ve seen so far, she’s a good mix between the ditzy female who’s too dumb to ask for help and the strong, independent female who doesn’t need anyone. That’s a compliment, by the way.

Yuki and Shigure finding out Tohru lives in a tent on their land.

Tohru is relatable because while she’s impressive with her determination to live on her own and not bother others, she’s still not perfect. You can tell that while Tohru has been able to survive, she’s in desperate need of a helping hand. She’s been made out to be sympathetic while not being too overt about it.

The other characters that we’re introduced to, cousins Yuki and Shigure Soma, are interesting enough. At first there’s a hint that something is up about their family, which is later confirmed right at the end. The two cousins appear to have a good relationship. There’s some playful banter back and forth, but nothing that indicates that the two dislike each other. It’s fun to watch them play off each other.

What about the over arching theme?

Fruits Basket episode 1 lets us know that Tohru is an orphan who’s living in a tent because her grandfather’s apartment is getting renovated. Tohru didn’t want to inconvenience any of her friends’ families and her grandfather didn’t want to do the same to other members of their family. That’s the reason we’re given for Tohru to be living in a tent on land owned by the Soma family. In my eyes, that’s a pretty weak argument.

You mean to tell me that Tohru and her grandfather refused to seek help from others out of an abundance of concern making their friends and families lives harder? I don’t buy it. I also don’t buy that Tohru’s grandfather temporary living arraignments wouldn’t raise questions about where Tohru is staying. Do you expect me to buy that a family that fought over who would take care of Tohru after her mother died would forget about her now? That’s a big ask.

Now this might be a difference in perspective because I’m a Westerner. It’s possible that an Eastern audience, specifically Japanese, would better understand the feelings of Tohru and her grandfather. If that’s the case, then this situation is perfectly fine. I just know that from a Western perspective something seems off.

Fruits Basket Episode 1 - Tohru's grandfather asking if she has anywhere to live.

Does that ruin the story?

Not at all. The reason that Tohru’s living situation and what it ends up causing has little impact on how I viewed Fruits Basket episode 1 is because I loved watching the characters interact with each other. The dialogue flowed naturally, the character design wasn’t annoying and most importantly of all, I became invested in what was going on. That’s what Fruits Basket episode 1’s story did.

I wasn’t really expecting that either. I know Fruits Basket is a really popular anime, I’m just more of a Shonen/Seinen anime fan. Give me action, powering up, good comebacks and everything that Shonen gets right (I’ll pass on the bad stuff). A show about a girl living in the woods being taken in by one of her classmates? That’s not really my style, but it’s quickly becoming just that. If anything it’s a good change of pace.

What did Fruits Basket episode 1 get right?

My favorite part of this anime so far is how Tohru Honda isn’t an extreme of any one type of anime stereotype. She’s determined, good natured, hard working and just slightly silly. In other words, she’s a normal person who could exist. Yes, Tohru has a tragic backstory like a lot of other anime characters, but she’s different in that her perspective on those events motivates her to take what she can get. She’s not out for revenge or to reclaim her dead parents’ honor, Tohru just wants to honor their memory by living the best life she can. I like that.

I’m also a fan of how Tohru interacts with Yuki and Shigure. It feels like they get along well, even though Yuki and Shigure don’t have the most noble reasons to invite Tohru to stay with them. They just want someone to be their mom/maid. From my perspective, that’s not a terrible tradeoff considering Tohru’s current living conditions.

Fruits Basket Episode 1 - Yuki Soma

I know to some it might appear that Yuki and Shigure are being misogynistic. After all they just want a woman to cook and clean for them. I don’t see it that way. They’re slobs and they realize that they have an opportunity to make a fair deal with Tohru. Tohru has the skills that Yuki and Shigure need while they have the accommodations that Tohru needs. It’s a win-win situation.

Was the supernatural stuff a positive?

Coming into Fruits Basket episode 1, I wasn’t expecting what we got with the zodiac animals. I thought this anime was going to be a straight up Slice of Life anime. Having Yuki, Shigure and Kyo all get turned into animals was light-hearted and fun. Despite it being a big deal, Fruits Basket treats it as no more than an inconvenience. At least for now.

Yuki and Shigure didn’t seem too upset that their secret was out when Tohru caused Kyo to transform. I can only assume that they thought something like this could happen. I hope we don’t go the route of Twilight where the lead female character has to keep everything secret and everyone’s moody. That would be the wrong direction to go in my opinion. From what it appears so far, Fruits Basket is going to stay on the more upbeat, lighter side and that’s a positive.

What did Fruits Basket episode 1 get wrong?

The landslide that took out Tohru’s tent was a little too convenient for my liking. Of course it would happen right when Yuki and Shigure invite her to stay at their house and do their chores. You’d think something like that would happen during the typhoon that we were shown. You know, when the soft soil was saturated with heavy rain. To have a landslide on a perfectly fine day with no outside influences? That’s questionable at best.

Tohru trying to dig out her mother's picture.

I’m not here claiming to be some expert on geology and how landslides are caused. All I’m saying is that everything was timed a little too convenient. It’s almost as if someone was writing a story and they thought up something that would force Tohru to move in with Yuki and Shigure. We all know that would never happen though!

Is Fruits Basket episode 1 worth watching?

Yes. Fruits Basket episode 1 is worth watching. Even if you’re a big Shonen fan and you love anime heavy in action, you should at least check out this first episode. If anything it’s a nice change of pace. From time to time that’s important. You don’t want to get burnt out watching the same stuff over and over again. I’m one episode in and I’m already wanting to find out more about Tohru, Yuki, Shigure and everyone else. Thankfully I just have to hit “Next Episode!”

Now go watch some anime!

Fruits Basket Episode 2 Review

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