Fruits Basket depicts a uniquely Japanese lifestyle as the mundane revolves around completely different consumption patterns. An aging mother, Kaoru, turns into a lonely widow, just when her son Jurai comes back home with his pregnant fiancée and moves into their small apartment. During a routine trip to the supermarket, Kaoru encounters another older woman who steals her newfound love, Yayoi, away from Jurai’s sight. Yayoi moves into their home to take care of Kaoru after her husband dies. Kaoru manages to keep Yayoi in her life even after she has become a mother to her own children, who she raises alone. Fruits Basket offers the relationship of a mother-and-daughter-in-law to the people of Japan as a regular plot, despite the exaggeration of the situations. The main focus is on the mothers, who are portrayed as fairly old and content with their lives. By adding a villain that is as much of an enemy as a mother-in-law, the stories become even more unexpected and leave the viewers with mixed
The main focus is on the mothers, who are portrayed as fairly old and content with their lives. By adding a villain that is as much of an enemy as a mother-in-law, the stories become even more unexpected and leave the viewers with mixed feelings about the sheer unpredictability of the situations, from the bad mother-in-laws to the funny villains.
Those who have watched more Japanese movies will easily be able to appreciate the qualities of Fruits Basket. It doesn’t focus on a single topic or stereotype, but on the typical images and stereotypes of Japanese women and mother-in-laws. While the action scenes, good acting, and a couple of plots can satisfy a typical viewer, the film ends up being somewhat repetitive, simply because there are already so many films that reflect the same idea. Regardless, the film is definitely worth watching.
Overall, Fruits Basket is an immensely satisfying movie, despite its somewhat repetitive elements and lacking detail. If you like foreign movies, you will enjoy watching it, especially because it might make you realize that Japanese mothers are not always a villain, but actually a normal aspect of the lives of many women. Just like in real life, some mothers turn into grandmothers and go through similar situations. The mothers in Fruits Basket might be some of the most funny women on the screen. While the main focus is the mothers, we also see some regular people who give us an insight on Japanese life.
Whether you want to watch a mother-in-law or a mother-and-daughter-in-law-drama, Fruits Basket provides the right ingredients. The performances and the narration create a unique atmosphere, with a beautifully vivid scenery.