This review is spoiler free.
‘Expecting someone to smile and say thank you to their family, when that “family” is stepping all over them- that’s just abuse. It’s just a curse.’
Series: Fruits Basket Another
Published: 2018, by Yen Press.
Genre: Sequential Art, Manga, Romance, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Shojo, Fantasy
Contains: Neglect, Abuse, Child Abuse, Mentions of Divorce, Anxiety, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Panic Attacks, Anger
In this second volume of ‘Fruits Basket Another’, Sawa Mitoma’s life appears more steady, no longer in an endless pit of anxiety whenever she approaches school. She’s making friends, achieving in her lessons and handling her school council duties well. The only thing that needs aligning in her life is her finances, which Mutsuki believes he can solve.
I decided to pick up this volume shortly after completing the first, wanting to keep the lighthearted story in my mind long enough to recall all the characters; plus, this series is such an easy read, it’s perfect for the holidays. As expected, I loved it just as much as I did the first.
In this volume, Sawa’s life is looking up. We see her interacting and enjoying education more, regardless of her insecurities, which was wonderful to see. The elegant illustrations are so well done, clearly showing improvements from the initial introduction to the character. Sawa’s interactions improve also, having clear lines of dialogue between stutters and opening up more about her life to members of the Sohma family. This attention to detail when writing about an insecure character is vital representation; anxiety isn’t just nerves or overthinking, and it was great to see that visually in this form. Aside from the character development, Sawa’s story also progresses as we’re introduced to her mother and the source of her insecurities. Although, it was only brief, the immediate understanding we’re given with the interactions between the two gave a deeper understanding to the direction the story is heading in. The first instalment left us with so many questions, which were thankfully answered in this book.
However, my favourite scene from this volume is the final bonus chapter. Featuring Mutsuki as a child, we’re treated to a small glimpse of the beloved Yuki Sohma, where he explains his childhood to his son. This was both heartwarming and breaking to read, briefly mentioning the struggles he faced in the prequel series involving the family curse. This scene alone proved itself that this isn’t a simple epilogue to the brilliant Fruits Basket series, having so much potential to stand on its own and show just how hard the initial generation are working to prevent a repeat of their mistakes with Tohru.
Overall, I love this series. Although, I may be slightly biased as Fruits Basket is something I hold very dear to me, ‘Fruits Basket Another’ is proving to be more than just a little sequel.