Fruits Basket Prelude is an incredible new story for the popular anime. The various arcs of all the characters are a delight to look at, and long-time fans will be excited to see the cast return, including Tohru Honda and Kyo Soma. However, the main focus of the film is Honda’s parents, Kyoko and Katsuya, a topic briefly discussed in the show.
Katsuya Honda is a student teacher trying to please his father, while Kyoko is a student who rarely attends classes. Although their age difference is taboo, they slowly fall in love and do whatever it takes to make their relationship work. I found myself immersed in their relationship as the two coped with many challenging situations and the eventual birth of their daughter, the anime’s main character.
If you’re not too familiar with the anime, don’t worry, the first 30 minutes is a compilation of scenes in Fruits Baskets to give fans and newcomers a recap. In this short story, Tohru and Kyo are at the beginning of their relationship, but it doesn’t take long before they finally get together.
I haven’t seen too many anime where romance is a major factor, so it’s refreshing to see the characters actually kiss and show passion for each other (something I’ve rarely seen in other shows). The story takes you on a journey through their lives as they fall in love. This part can be a bit confusing for newbies as it quickly steps through the scenes, so I would recommend watching at least the first and second episodes of the Fruits Basket anime to get a general idea of the characters.
Tohru and Kyo are the classic foes-to-lovers tropes, which works well for the show as it’s exciting to watch as events unfold. I fell in love with the characters almost immediately and was rooted to their happy ending, which showed many difficulties and the deep care they have for one another, much like Tohru’s parents’ relationship.
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Fruits Basket Prelude: Tohru’s parents’ relationship.
For example, when Kyo looks back on his past, he remembers his father’s harsh words and feels like a monster. But even in his desperate state, Tohru holds him tight and assures Kyo that she will take care of him no matter what. This unconditional love really shows why this is known as one of the best love drama anime.
Having these love stories side by side is almost like a reflection of each other. I watched mother and daughter learn to love despite their insecurities; the same goes for Kyo and Katsuya, two men with many similarities and differences.
Fruits Basket Prelude: Kyoko is an amazing mother
The pace slowed as the plot reached the story of Tohru Honda’s parents. In Fruits Basket, Kyoko is an amazing mother figure to her daughter, and Tohru holds her in high esteem throughout the anime. Also Fruits Basket Prelude shows a very different side of the character, especially when she is shown as a punk rebelling against her parents.
Shortly thereafter, Kyoko meets Katsuya, and the two are complete opposites who are somehow a perfect match. But of course, the concept of their age difference is still an interesting dramatic element for Fruits Basket Prelude. We know these characters aren’t meant to be together, and yet their love for one another is inspiring, especially when Katsuya’s father explains how happy his son is since Kyoko came into his life. With that in mind, I started to look past the age difference, which made me think differently about this topic. However, I am glad that minor characters in the film see the relationship as forbidden.
Having also seen the show, knowing the fate of the characters creates a much more impactful story. It’s nice to see a deeper look into their past as Kyoko and Katsuya are not present in the anime.
Kyoko is by far my favorite character in the film, as her portrayal is incredibly vulnerable and raw, especially when dealing with her depression and loneliness. Even though she is fictional, she is portrayed in such a real and realistic way with her willingness to want to stay tough despite what her parents and peers have said about her. But unfortunately, she’s still human and cries when something gets too much for her, and that’s when Katsuya starts noticing her because she’s not a fake like everyone else.
Even though Katsuya is older, he respects and cares for Kyoko no matter what, mainly when he stands up to others who oppose the love of his life. I’ve seen many male leads in anime, but I’ve never seen anyone like him; Katsuya is honest and confident enough to change Kyoko’s outlook on life. She goes through so much in this story that it makes me think of her differently when I watch the anime. The same thing happens with Katsuya, since he has little presence in the show, and now we clearly see them both in this film.
Tohru and Kyo are still involved in the story for fans who want to see more of the anime’s main characters. Rather than being teenagers, they are curious children with a deep love for Kyoko, and there are additional scenes where we see Katsuya as his daughter’s father, an alien subject in the show. These special moments show the love both parents share for Tohru, and since parent characters don’t always appear in anime, it’s comforting to see those deeply loving their daughter.
The ending of Fruits Basket Prelude is both bittersweet and endearing, making you want to watch the entire anime to explore the easter eggs and clues presented throughout the story. The more I saw Tohru, the more I saw the characteristics of her parents, and even if Kyo isn’t related to Kyoko, he still grows as a character in their little moments.
The overall experience of watching Fruits Basket Prelude is an emotional rollercoaster of joy and sadness, showing a realistic grasp of human existence. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newbie, this standalone prequel film is undoubtedly a wholesome story that can bring you to tears. Furthermore, you should not miss this visually stunning and sincere film which continues Kyoko and Katsuya’s love story with Tohru and Kyo.