Fruits Basket Another Vol. 3 by Natsuki Takaya

My Rating: 4 stars

This is the third and final volume of Fruits Basket Another, and it is by far the best. I finally get to give it a full four stars! The story truly comes into it’s own here. We finally get an explanation for everything that’s confusing about the first two volumes. And yes, it’s just as heartbreaking as you would expect from Takaya. And yes, I did cry. Shiki, Shigure and Akito’s son, gets a lot of character development, and I loved his relationship with Sawa. Oh, and I reiterate that Sawa’s mother is awful. She makes Yuki and Ayame’s mom look warm and fuzzy. Honestly, I think she’s about on par with Ren Sohma, so you know it’s bad.

I think the most interesting thing about this series for me is how it looks at generational trauma. Even though this is the next generation, the consequences of the Zodiac curse still affect them. It doesn’t stop just because the curse is broken; there are years worth of trauma, hurt, and hate that keep existing. And even though our original cast has clearly grown into loving parents, it’s inevitable that some of this will reach the kids. Shiki takes a lot of abuse from his grandmother and some of the older Sohmas because of his mother’s actions. The knowledge of the past weighs heavy on Hajime and Mutsuki. But we also get to see the trauma slowly healing. I just think it’s really beautiful. (And yes, I’m crying as I write this review. Leave me alone. I have a lot of feelings.)

The biggest problem is that the series ends here. As I said, this is the volume where it finally becomes it’s own story. It stops feeling like a watered down rehash of the original series and develops it’s own storyline. And then it’s over. I wish the first two volumes had spent less time on the fanservice stuff so we could see more of these characters’ story.

Overall, Fruits Basket Another doesn’t match the original series in brilliance. It was never going to. And that’s okay. It’s still a fun and emotional ride, and I’m looking forward to the one-shots about these characters Takaya is planning.

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