A Funny Ayame Episode of Fruits Basket Still Hits You With the Feels

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Fruits Basket Season 2, Episode 3, "Shall We Go and Get You Changed?" now streaming on FUNimation and Crunchyroll.

Here's a great example of the difference in approach between the old Fruits Basket anime and the new one. "Shall We Go and Get You Changed?" adapts the same manga storyline as episode 20 of the 2001 series, "Ayame's Secret Life." Both are particularly funny episodes in which Tohru and Yuki visit Ayame's fetish costume shop. Where the two adaptations diverge is in the emotional substance.

The old show, being more comedically-inclined and less interested in the darker parts of the then-unfinished story, kept the emotional aspect of Yuki and Ayame's relationship as brothers to "opposite personalities learning to get along." The new version, in contrast, digs deeper in just why Yuki hates his older brother, and why Ayame is trying so hard to please. Basing the new anime on the entire manga, and being able to combine elements of non-consecutive but thematically related chapters, allows for it to form a richer emotional perspective as an adaptation.

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Fruits Basket 2-03 yuki ayame flashback

Up until now, viewers could assume Yuki's problems with Ayame were that he was too overbearing, too dramatic, too obnoxiously trying to insert himself into his life. Surely, these aspects of Ayame's personality do annoy Yuki, but the root of their strife goes back to when they were younger. Back then, Ayame was far more emotionally distant and barely acknowledged his brother. Yuki reached out for Ayame's help when he was being abused by his mother. Ayame rejected his pleas.

Ayame now deeply regrets his former callousness towards his brother, and his desperate attempts to reach out since are clear attempts to compensate for that callousness. He's clearly behind in terms of emotional intelligence, but he recognizes this failing within himself and is trying to improve. In the episode's sweetest moment, he tells Yuki just how much he admires and looks up to his open emotionality and vulnerability.

Fruits Basket 2-03 tohru yuki ayame

Even with all of these serious heartfelt moments, this is still one of the funniest episodes of Fruits Basket so far. Ayame's exagerrated over-dramatic nature makes him one of the show's funniest characters, who always plays off the other characters in amusing ways. Yuki's annoyance with his brother's antics still makes for solid comedy even with the tragic backstory. Tohru's naive innocence makes her a perfect foil for Ayame's more perverse inclinations, especially in the context of his line of work.

This episode also introduces Ayame's seamstress and business partner Mine Kuramae, one of the few people outside of the Sohma clan to maintain a regular relationship with one of the cursed Sohmas. Both she and Ayame have a similar eccentric enthusiasm for their work. She also has an obsessive-compulsive desire to dress up any girl she deems "cute," in this case Tohru.

Naturally, Tohru is adorable in her fancy new dress. Yuki is completely smitten with her, and of course Ayame has to tease him about it. If this season keeps up its current pattern of alternating between Yuki-centric and Kyo-centric episodes, expect the fandom ship wars between Team Kyo and Team Yuki to heat up (even though manga readers know how it all ends).

New episodes of Fruits Basket Season 2 premiere Mondays at 1:30 PM EDT, dubbed on FUNimation and subtitled on Crunchyroll.