If you haven’t heard of the Fruits Basket manga, I’d like to assert that you’re losing out.
It’s a cute manga that starts out with shape changing zodiac members that grows progressively darker throughout as the curse and their ‘God’ are explored more fully. You get to see the characters at their best… and then at their worst. I was SO invested in this series as it came out, and I have the entire series of manga. I’ve heard that further issues were released in Japan, but I never found those in English.
The main character, Honda Tohru, is sweet, earnest, and occasionally dense, but I love her so much. When I was younger I wished I could be like her, but a friend pointed out that it was an false ideal that wouldn’t work in real life, and that I was fine just the way I was. (Thank you to that friend, by the way! I still love Tohru, but I’ve learned to love myself too.)
Everyone I know that has read it was captivated, with strong reactions to the various characters. We all have favorites, we all have An Opinion on who Tohru should end up dating, and we were fascinated by the depth of the character portrayals. This manga was a huge hit in both Japan and the English speaking world. In fact, my first glimpses of it were the Japanese copies that my housemate brought back with her from when she studied abroad in Japan. Even then, I flipped through them and read what I could because it was so charming.
HUGE hit with everyone I know, and if someone asks me to suggest a manga for their kids to read, if they’re old enough, I suggest Fruits Basket.
A while back, in 2001, an anime was made for the series, and there was a lot of hype. I, of course, bought and watched it immediately, but I was so disappointed with how it was portrayed and came out. It somehow lost the spirit of the manga, and it stopped at such a weird place. Yeah, did not like.
In 2019, a new anime came out for it, and based on my prior disappointment, I didn’t watch it.
This was a major mistake.
My best friend recently talked about the series, and her family was watching it and enjoying it. At this point, two seasons had been released, and I took a moment to go to the Funimation website to watch the first few episodes.
Ya’ll, I was missing out!
This series is SO good and closely follows the manga, something anime tends to fail at. I can visualize each scene in the manga as I watch it and everything from dialogue to humor to where the characters stand or what they wear is accurately portrayed. The voice actors aren’t bad, and the art design is spot on.
I love it! I signed up for Funimation’s free trial solely so I could watch this series. (You can find the series HERE, if you want to check it out.) So, if you haven’t used up their free trial already, it’s there and waiting for you to sink into this anime.
If you have some time and want to binge watch two seasons of a cute-yet-dark anime… 10/10 would recommend.