This is my first time ever reviewing an anime. I might end up spoiling some plot points, so if you don't want to be spoiled, you may want to stop here.
I didn't watch the original, nor have I read the manga. I was told that I should watch it, but I didn't really dig the art style of the original, so I always just set it on the back burner for when I had some extra time. I can honestly say that at this point, I'm glad that I did it that way.
Being able to watch this story unfold, without prejudice or knowledge of where it's going, has been such an amazing experience. It's pretty safe to say that I am always going to be a fan of this show.
The things that they've set up in this season, and the things that they've delivered to us already are extremely well written. The execution is also really well done for me as the anime is beautifully drawn and edited. The music choices have all been poignant, and well thought out. I think I've listened to "One Step Closer" over 50 times on Spotify.
The characters in this anime are so full of depth. Even when a character has only minutes of screen time, you can get a really good feel of the type of person they are. Tohru and Kyou are easily my favorites out of them all, with Hatsuharu rounding out my top 3. I know people say that Tohru is too perfect, but I think the last episodes of the season prove that she is not perfect. Kyou is probably the best tsundere that I've watched since Aisaka Taiga. Hatsuharu is such a gentle soul, and I really appreciate his duality.
Arisa and Saki's side stories punched me in the gut so hard, along with Momiji's. There are so many characters in this anime, but the fact that they spent multiple episodes on these two really helped flesh out more of Tohru's character arc as well. They also allowed us to see more of Tohru's mom, and the kind of person she was. Momiji's story, and his mom having her memories taken so that she forgot about him just broke me into 1000 pieces.
I don't think I've cried so much for an anime series before. Out of 25 episodes, I cried for 20 of them. I'm a bit of a soft touch, but there is just something about this anime that just speaks to me on a personal level. I'm middle-aged, and have lost both of my parents. So Tohru's determination just strikes me as so profound, because I've gone through the things she has, and I did not remain as strong as she has.
Overall, this anime is something truly special, and I cannot recommend it enough for anyone that likes the genre.