But today is Reviewsday! So we have a review of Fruits Basket another 2! And right when everyone's excited about the new Fruits Basket anime coming up! Anyway, here it is! Spoilers ahead!
It was quite a journey to get to this review. First of all, we're four reviews behind, which we think is a first. Usually we only have a backlog of three. And I will tell you why we got such a backlog--we decided to take way too much time off for Memorial Day. I mentioned on LJ that we thought we would be able to get one first draft done on the train to our destination and one first draft done on the way back, but that goal was very far from realized, so when we got home we had so much work to do that the only way to get it all done was to lose sleep over it.
And that all being the case, we started this volume of Fruits Basket another before Memorial Day. Memorial Day was two and a half weeks ago, and we've had so much crammed into our brains since then that the continuity of the FB process is all a blur; all I know is that we started it before Memorial Day and we finished it afterwards. Then we had so much other work to catch up on that we are only just now getting to the review, and I have no idea if I'll be able to remember anything that happened.
The one thing I remember off the top of my head is that Sawa met Shiki. And they both seem to be very concerned about each other, to the point where I feel like they are somehow destined to be together, but I'm not sure if it's in a romantic way or if they're somehow related. I would think long-lost siblings, but it really doesn't make sense that Shigure would have had an affair...at least not at the point in time that would make Sawa younger than Hajime. But there has been no sign of her father, so I haven't ruled out the possibility that she's Kureno's daughter.
Okay, to make sure I don't forget anything, I want to go over the sequence of events. First everyone was all congratulating Sawa on how well sports day went, and she was so unused to getting compliments that she was afraid she was going to get a swelled head over it. I feel like I can relate...but thinking about it, I'm more the type to accept compliments but not necessarily believe them. Also, as Athena points out, we don't need compliments to get swelled heads; we already have them. Which reminds me of Mutsuki. I think it's very interesting that the main character of this series is trying so very very hard to avoid causing any trouble for anyone, so she doesn't have any friends. Meanwhile, you have Mutsuki, who is constantly making life harder for everyone around him, and yet he has plenty of friends. I think there's some truth in that. We had some roommates in college who would have people come over to visit them, and while the people were sitting in our living room, our roommates would continue to stare at their computer screens for...maybe not hours, but very long periods of time. Sometimes Athena and I would stay downstairs to talk because we felt like visitors shouldn't be neglected. But the point is, our roommates were always having people to visit them, and we rarely had anybody over. But! that's because as soon as classes were over, we'd be right back in our apartment. And the moral of the story is, if you're too afraid of people to make friends, you won't have any. (That's not necessarily why we didn't make friends. Part of it was introversion and the other part is that we really just like being at home.) And also, people are generally pretty nice and aren't as quick to hate others as they may seem.
And I already forgot the sequence of events. Sawa's friends invited her to hang out outside of school! Gasp! So she needed to buy clothes, and that's why she was outside when Shiki happened to be sitting on her street trying to survive heatstroke. So she works up her courage to offer to help, and Shiki accepts her offer to walk him to his destination, which *gasp* is the Sohma house. I think that somehow Kinu has taken after Shigure. Athena points out that at least one of our nephews seems to take after us, so it's not entirely unthinkable. But Kinu's way of convincing Sawa to stay was...very strange. But hey, whatever works.
So Sawa stays for lunch and then even goes so far as to borrow clothes from the Sohmas! What! How can she be so presumptuous!? Well, they offered, for one thing. Seriously, now that the curse is gone, the Sohma's are like the nicest most helpful family in the whole world. Was it the pain of the curse that taught them to be like that, or was it Tohru? Maybe it was both. Who can say? Anyway, the other reason is that while Sawa is afraid of causing problems for other people, she's even more afraid of incurring the wrath of her emotionally abusive mother, and this is where we go, "Aha! There's the Natsuki Takaya we know." I mean, Takaya-sensei is pretty darn good with the comedy, and the Fruits Basket zaniness is still intact, but you knew there had to be some sort of theme of abuse, because there always is. And I'm jumping ahead here, but I really appreciate how Hajime asked her about it and reacted to it. He could tell that she was reluctant to say anything because, contrary to the first series, the Sohmas are the poster children for World's Happiest Family, so he said, "Don't worry about us being all scandalized about someone actually hating a family member. I hate my grandpa, too." And I just really love it when people acknowledge that their paradigm is not everyone else's paradigm (not that I'm always the best at that myself, but I try).
...Did anything happen before Sawa met Mina? Oh, of course! There's the story of how she met Mina. Well, first she had to hang out with her friends. Oh yeah! And she got a job! That's important, because we learn that Ayame actually has two children...and one of them is exceedingly normal. I mean, I'm not disappointed like Ayame's fangirls, just mystified. Like, how can you grow up surrounded by Ayame, Mine, and Hibika, and still turn out to be normal? Athena says he's the white sheep of the family. I mean, he's not totally normal. He's short-tempered and not afraid to yell at people. But other than that, he seems like a pretty reasonable guy. His sister, on the other hand... Yeah, she definitely takes after her parents.
We do meet Sawa's abusive mother, and...I was going to say she's a real piece of work, but I feel like she's actually pretty standard as far as abusive mothers go. Not that that diminishes Sawa's plight in any way. All I'm saying is that sucky people tend to suck in pretty similar ways. She's definitely pretty awful. I don't really have any more to say about her than that.
And the reason I remembered Sawa's job is that I remembered her telling her friends that she met Megumi's nephew. Rio Mosca. We know that his father is not Japanese, but we don't know his nationality. And I'm really curious about what Megumi meant when he talked about his brother-in-law coming on a plane to marry his sister. Did he mean to imply that she used her supernatural powers to summon him? Like, without even knowing who he was, just kind of a, "Bring my loved one to me..." sort of wishing well kind of thing? Or did she see him on TV, maybe? It's a mystery! And I'm pretty sure it's going to stay that way.
So then Sawa has to return the clothes, but she doesn't get a chance to wash them because of dealings with her mother. Sora runs into her when she's trying to figure out what to do about it, and she comes up with a brilliant plan! Which was just to return the clothes without washing them. The whole thing was just so amazingly done. It's the smallest thing, but because of all the personalities involved, it turns into brilliant comedy. And of course, because the Sohmas are the friendliest most helpful people ever, Kinu's totally fine with it. I mean, when you think about it, it's not like it's that hard to toss it in with the rest of the laundry. But it's still the considerate thing to do to wash them yourself, so I totally get Sawa's reaction, too.
And while Sawa's at the Sohma house again, she meets Mina, whose name is actually officially spelled with a Mi and a dash, but her Japanese name is just Mina with no elongated vowels. Because she has German heritage, you see. She's pretty cute, and I love her by association because Momiji was the best, but I'm not sure I like her as much as I like Momiji. He was just too the best. And they all hang out together and talk about parents and stuff, and that's that. I do love how Mina was all, "If you need a lawyer..."
Finally, there's talk of going to the Sohma's villa for the summer. I'm pretty sure we translated this as summer home in the original Fruits Basket series, but since there's a fancy-shmancy new translation, we don't know how it was for that. This time, we like villa, so it's what we went with, but of course we left a note to make sure it matched Fruits Basket Proper. The point is, Sawa doesn't think her mother would be too happy about her going, so Mutsuki comes up with the best plan to get her mother to let her go without too much trouble. And now I'm really wishing we'd thought to use the word "devious" when describing Mutsuki's plotting. I think it's okay, though. Crafty is pretty good, too, and has a better noun derivation. I always like to see people using their smarts to solve problems.
And now the stage is set for the grand finale, which I assumed is going to take place at the Sohma villa. Will we find out how Shiki injured Sawa's elbow? Tune in next time to find out!
Wow, it feels like so long ago that we translated that (Athena points out that it was like half a year). I'm so glad we haven't been totally forsaken by Fruits Basket, because it really is a great series. And I like the sequel, too, so there!
Anyway, this week's new releases have two of our favorite series! Hatsu*Haru volume four, and our favorite favorite favorite series, Noragami 19!!! Woohoo!!!! Get to the bookstores, everybody!
And tune in on Thursday for our review of Land of the Lustrous 7! Wow, so much awesome manga!
Today I'm thankful for getting to try the Jungle Julep (it tastes like grape Skittles!), reminders of the loveliness of Fruits Basket, getting to see Farley and some of our Farley-friend friends, also having plenty of time to play Kingdom Hearts, and more Noragami for everyone!