The story of Sawa Mitoma and the new Sohma clan comes to an end in Fruits Basket Another Volume Three. This abrupt, bittersweet ending to Natsuki Takaya’s spinoff of the beloved shojo classic demonstrates the reality that bad things happen to good people. However, it nevertheless provides readers with a ray of hope, showing that better days will come.

As the Sohma family secret unravels, Sawa must come to terms with her forgotten past to move forward. Sadly, this action becomes difficult with the presence of her neglectful mother. Can Sawa maintain all her positive changes or will her mother’s influence revert her back to before?

The Story Concludes In Fruits Basket Another Volume Three

Fruits Basket Another Volume Three begins with Sawa joining the Sohma family at their cottage during summer vacation. Knowing her mother would ruin it, Sawa decides to keep her vacation a secret. Every Sohma child attends the gathering, and Sawa, slowly but surely, indulges herself in their company. Sadly, she is unable to completely enjoy herself as the thought of her mother haunts her.

Fruits Basket Another Volume Three
Fruits Basket Another Volume Three | Yen Press (2019)

Nevertheless, the cottage visit with the Sohmas reinvigorates Sawa. She admires just how far she has come since first meeting them and how much happier she feels. Sawa even finds herself looking forward to events like the school festival they planned as part of the student council. Essentially, for the first time in a long time, Sawa finds herself on top of the world. That is until she reunites with the childhood friend who abandoned her years ago.

Sawa at the Sohma Cottage in Fruits Basket Another Volume Three.
Fruits Basket Another Volume Three | Yen Press (2019)

Believing she was naturally unlikeable, thanks to her mother’s constant belittlement, Sawa learns the real reason behind her friend leaving – Sawa’s mother ran her off. This truth shatters Sawa, threatening to bring her back to the dark place she was before. The revelation also leads back to a forgotten memory in her past involving the Sohmas, whom she believed she had no connections with. Will Sawa overcome this obstacle and maintain her relationship with the Sohmas or will the truth break her?

Sawa Mitoma’s Overall Character Development & Conflict With Mother

In Fruits Basket Another Volume Two, readers witness Sawa’s character development as she changes into someone confident. Volume three continues that development but enhances the influence of her main obstacle – her mother. Sawa’s mother comes off as more villainous in this volume. The lengths she goes through to bring down her daughter’s confidence are extraordinary. Her mother purposefully sabotages all the relationships her daughter has and the reason behind her actions never receives an explanation.

Sawa and Shiki talking in Fruits Basket Another Volume Three.
Fruits Basket Another Volume Three | Yen Press (2019)

Throughout Sawa’s childhood, the one person who should have been her greatest ally caused her the most pain. At first, the manner in which Fruits Basket Another Volume Three portrayed the mother’s villainy came off as over the top. However, after taking a deeper look at their relationship, it becomes clear Fruits Basket Another wants to portray the reality of familial toxicity.

Living With A Toxic Parent

In Volume Two, we discussed how toxic Sawa’s relationship with her mother is and how the series pushes the idea that it is okay to not forgive one’s abuser. However, what volume three does differently than in Fruits Basket Another Volume Two or in the original series is that it covers the harsh reality of living with a toxic parent: having to deal with it.

Now, Volume Three could have embraced the usual shojo-manga trope and have Sawa escape her mother or have the Sohma family whisk her away. Instead, the series covers this sensitive and serious issue by displaying the harsh fact that not every child can easily escape their toxic family. The sad truth is many children in these situations must bear with their predicament until they are old enough or financially independent enough to leave. This is Sawa’s case.

Sawa cannot afford to leave her mother at this time. She will have to be patient and endure her mother’s presence until she is old enough to escape her. It is due to this sad reality that the series pushes the importance of a proper emotional support network. In Fruits Basket Another Volume Three, this is key to Sawa being able to make it through these trying times.

The Importance Of Supportive Friends

While people often use the phrase “blood is thicker than water” when weighing the importance of family to friends, Volume Three shows the value of friendship and how, at times, it really can outweigh family, especially a toxic one. As covered in volume one, the Sohma Clan in Fruits Basket Another evolved drastically compared to the one in the original series. The new Sohma children display how supportive they are to Sawa and care about her predicament. In the series, they come off more like her family than her actual mother.

The new Sohma Clan supporting Sawa.
Fruits Basket Another Volume Three | Yen Press (2019)

Representing friends as an emotional support network is important because society often pushes a family-first narrative, undermining the benefits of friendship. For example, in the original Fruits Basket, the Sohma Clan oozed toxicity. While they were actual family, they mistreated each other. When they met Tohru Honda, someone outside their family, i.e. a friend, they found comfort and emotional support through her. Tohru’s influence rippled throughout the Sohma Clan who then passed down her teachings to the new generation who share it with Sawa.

The Conclusion Of Fruits Basket Another Volume Three

Fruits Basket Another breaks away from its predecessor in volume two and becomes a solid story in volume three. In volume one, the series felt more like fan service by showing who in the original series got married and had children. In all honesty, this series hardly bears any resemblance to Natsuki Takaya’s original work. While the series references Fruits Basket and features cameos from certain characters, it can pass as its own story. There is also the con of the series being so short. It adds too many characters within its few chapters, making it difficult for readers to care or even grow to know the new Sohmas.

But for what it is, Fruits Basket Another provides readers with a mature story about personal growth. The story ends abruptly but on a positive note: life can be hard but with the right group of friends, you can get through it. While it does not add anything to the original Fruits Basket, Fruits Basket Another is still a fun story, and Sawa and the gang will be sorely missed.

Fruits Basket Another Volume Three is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Rightstuf. For more Animanga reviews and analyses, visit The Daily Fandom’s Animanga page.