The Fruits Basket Reboot Does A Classic Manga Justice

Fruits Basket is where a lot of tween otaku picked up their first few otaku-isms: baka, neko, kawaii desu. A late ’90s slice-of-life manga that was adapted into an early ’00s anime, Fruits Basket is a gem of the shoujo canon, the quintessential anime that’s cringy to describe in hindsight but close to the heart of those who grew up with it. Right now, a reboot of the anime is rolling out, and so far, it does the original every bit of justice.

Fruits Basket is about a relentlessly optimistic high school girl named Tohru Honda who is raised by a single mum. After her mother dies in a car crash, Honda makes do in a tiny tent by herself until she stumbles upon the sprawling Sohma estate on the way to work. The Sohmas aren’t a normal family: They’re possessed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac. When a member of a different sex hugs them, they turn into that animal. That goes for Honda’s peers Yuri and Kyo Sohma, rival cousins who are respectively the tranquil rat and the volatile cat. This is the family that takes her in.


The growth Honda and the Sohmas undergo together is the reason so many anime-loving youth whiled away summers flipping through Fruits Basket in the aisles of Borders Books. The show appears light and bubbly, but it quickly becomes apparent that dealing with trauma is a central theme. Between heartfelt moments are well-paced accumulations and releases of tension via fight scenes and comedic bits.

The Fruits Basket manga and its original anime adaptation are rich with tear-jerking highs and lows. The new anime, which is on its fourth episode, improves on that formula by updating the series for modern tastes and doing away with the saccharine voice acting and music of the original. The art style is polished without seeming sterile. The voice acting is more mild. The backgrounds are detailed and beautiful.


Part of why the new Fruits Basket is so tasteful is that the manga creator, Takaya Natsuki, is advising it. Word is that she wasn’t a huge fan of the original’s storytelling style. Better yet, it will go through the entire 23-volume

manga this time, whereas the original anime stopped after just one season. It isn’t a total departure from the first animated adaptation, though. As some fans have pointed out, the new anime does recreate scenes from the old series, adding another layer to enjoy for longtime fans.

Without nostalgia glasses, it’s hard to say exactly how hard-hitting Fruits Basket would be to a newcomer. Yet for anyone hoping to understand the power of the shoujo classic, it’s a great entry point (aside from the manga).


Comments

    I quite enjoyed the original "saccharine" voice acting and theme songs thank you very much. It was a great balance of comedy and seriousness when required. And i personally found the op/ed themes perfectly captures Tohru's warm fuzzies she gives the Hondas desperstely lacked.

    The original animation style was great for its time so the new stuff done with modern anime can only improve on the new reboot. If anything the best part with this new one is how it expands on more character stuff that was glossed over by the original director and with the original manga ka on an advisory position will stick more to the original mangas later arcs which was substantially altered in the anime.

    I gave ep 1 and 2 a go myself a few weeks back and as someone with nostalgia glasses on from my early days of anime fandom it pretty much captures that lovely combination of comedy, drama and slice of life all over again. Ive put off watching the rest till the end of this season as this is one series Id prefer to binge watch all the way through!

    PS. For the love of all that is mighty fix these damned barrage of sequential loading ads! I do not appreciate being tricked into tapping on ads THREE BLOODY TIMES because the ads load below AND above the reply box.. therefore pushing it down whilst in between loading so i think im tapping on the reply box and no sorry you just tapped on a stupid ad that just pushed it down last second... cresting a pop up in new tab i have to close.. and then going back to this tab.. reloading and repeating process again

      @alexwalker Apparently they are trying to make it so that the ads go below the comments so they are less intrusive

        Meanwhile they’ve introduced banner ads on images, sliding bar adds at the bottom of screen, and pop-in video ads from the side of the screen. Im hoping this is the old “it’s gonna get worse before it gets better” rule, because damn it’s worse than ever on mobile.

          This is something being actively chased up. I was told it would be resolved, and it clearly hasn't been, so I'm pressing on a daily basis for answers. I understand the disruption it has - it affects me as well - so I hear you all, truly.

            Oh, for sure. I hope it didn't sound like I was suggesting that you were dragging your heels or are responsible for the formatting of the ads. I know you've got our backs, and appreciate that you're following it up for us!

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