The Quintessential Harem Anime // Fruits Basket Ep. 5 Review
I’ve Been Fooling Myself: Fruits Basket Episode 5
Fruits Basket episode 5 was a quintessential example of what a harem anime strives to be. It really hits a lot of the notes of how important the MC is and how the love interests should react to a changing situation. Tohru leaves to return to her grandfathers house and chaos ensues.
Tohru got a note in the last episode letting her know that her grandfather’s house is finished in its renovations and she can return home. Its bittersweet because she has come to see the Soma family as her new family. Shigure’s home has become her home in this turbulent time for her. She is not the only one disappointed by this discovery.
The Kyo and Yuki are also depressed by Tohru leaving. Both try very hard not to reveal that, but they give off a negative vibe that even Shigure picks up on. Kyo mopes around outside like a cat, while Yuki tries to distract himself with books. Its not enough to fool the audience or Shigure.
The Honda Family
Once Tohru leaves, without much fanfare as Shigure notes, we get to meet the rest of her extended family. We already learned that they aren’t great people from an earlier episode. They fought over who didn’t have to take her in before, leaving her with her old grandpa. This episode we get to see first hand how petty they are. Not even a minute into unpacking, Tohru’s cousin impatiently drags her downstairs. Her aunt has apparently hired a private investigator to check in on the Soma’s and their living situation. They chastise Tohru for being a “live-in girlfriend” for the men of the Soma clan.
The rest of the Honda family is definitely setup to be the bad guys in this situation. Even grandpa who goes to defend Tohru can’t even get her name right. He keeps calling her Kyoko, Tohru’s mother’s name. Kyo says what we are thinking later when he complains about her family leaving her when the house was being renovated. It really is ridiculous that they would pull a stunt like that and assume all is well when she returns. Tohru shows her compassion not taking the rest of the family to task.
Naive not Dim
At one point in the episode Tohru is very self-deprecating, calling herself dim for believing she could be a member of the Soma family. I would argue that she is only naive to believe and not dim. It isn’t irresponsible to see a family environment where you are having a positive impact on, and wanting to continue to be a part of it. It is naive to think it will last forever, but she is not an idiot for wanting to be a part of it.
Congrats on Capturing the Princess
The boys can’t seem to handle not having Tohru around. Yuki strikes first going out to find Tohru and convince her to come back. Kyo makes an attempt at being subtle, but ultimately rushes out to catch up to Yuki in their quest to save the princess.
Shigure says it best when he congratulates the boys on capturing the princess. This half of the episode really drives home how much they care for Tohru, and how she really completes the family dynamic. Without her they are just a couple of boys aggressively needling each other into attacking the other. With Tohru they can call it home.
The best part of Fruits Basket episode 5 is that there are no supernatural shenanigans and almost no mention of their spirit animal. The episode thrives solely on the budding relationships between Tohru and her new family. Its the mark of a great slice-of-life harem anime.
[Sources and Further Reading]
[Episode 4 Review]
[Images via Crunchyroll]