There are some shows that you start to watch as a joke, because they’re so ridiculous that you wonder what drugs the writer was on when they decided to type it up.
And then you fall in love with them.
(The shows, not the drugs.)
Fruits Basket is one of these. An Ouran-loving classmate recommended it to me last year during a discussion about anime. She didn’t tell me the premise, but instead told me to give it five episodes and see how I felt. The twenty-six episode series was on Netflix, so I didn’t have any excuse not to at least humor her.
The first episode felt somewhat reminiscent of Barbie of Swan Lake. I hated it, hated it, hated it, thought it was the most stupid and mindless plot I’d ever seen and the protagonist was an airhead and the supporting roles, although filled by very hot young men, were shallow. I stopped at the end credits.
Said classmate, a few days later, asked me what I thought of the show. I told her the truth. (See above.) She laughed and repeated herself: “Give it five episodes. THEN tell me what you think.”
That weekend, when I was bored and had nothing else to do, I tried the second episode.
It was better. Still terrible, but better.
By episode three, I started to kind of like the main character, a girl named Tohru. And I had a bit of a crush on one of the other characters, a guy named Kyo.
On the fourth episode I laughed at the gags and felt my heart tug a little in the emotional scene.
By the fifth episode, I was completely, insanely, irrevocably hooked.
It turns from some shallow little kids’ show about friendship and trust to a tragic comedy about people who overcome their dark pasts to find redemption and happiness. The twenty-six episodes that once seemed a chore were now a gift.
Granted, there’s still the silly, off-the-wall “what the heck?” moments. But they seem justified, or even necessary, to offset the darker undertones.
This will probably sound more ridiculous than a plot summary of the show, but Fruits Basket changed me for the better. Tohru was so honest, kind, and pure, and everyone gravitated towards her. She helped others no matter what situation she was in, always thought the best of people, and she never had any hidden agendas. What you see is what you get.
Kind of the opposite of this jaded blogger hiding behind the anonymity of the internet– but see, that’s what makes you think. People I’ve talked to about the series, they all want to be more like Tohru. Fruits Basket has a real impact in their lives.
That’s the end of the cheese factor. Now, I’m not going to tell you what the show’s about, or the best episodes, or the funniest gags, or the hottest guys.
I’m just going to say one thing:
Give it five episodes. Then tell me what you think.