Fruits Basket Review

Fruits Basket was first released as a manga on July 18, 1998, by Natsuki Takaya. Ever since then, the series has received widespread popularity and has 23 tankōbon volumes. The manga series also has a spin-off series called Fruits Basket: Another, where it featured the children of the main cast in the original series in 2016.

In 2001, Fruits Basket received its first-ever anime adaptation. However, when the anime came out, it got a massive amount of backlash and criticism from fans, including the creator of the original series. This version lasted only a year and did not receive another season. 

Then in 2018, the entertainment company Funimation announced that Fruits Basket would be rebooted and follow the original material. When it came out, it was met with positivity from fans. The anime lasted for three years and ended on June 28th, 2021. However, is this series as good as described, or is it an anime that has received too much hype for nothing extraordinary?

The first episode of season one introduces Tohru Honda, the leading female character of the series. She is seen living in a tent with a photograph of her deceased mother, Kyoko Honda. Tohru then finds a place near her tent where two people live, Shigure Sohma and Yuki Sohma. She gets acquainted with them and, later in the episode, begins staying with them after a landslide topples her tent. Near the end, another character is introduced named Kyo Sohma. Kyo breaks through the roof and wants to fight Yuki. When Tohru tries to stop him, she slips on a broken piece of wood and hugs Kyo. When she gets up, she sees that he turned into a cat. Confused, she tries to take him to see a doctor until another piece of wood hits her head, causing her to fall on Shigure and Yuki, turning them into animals as well. The next episode explains that the Sohma family are a part of the zodiac, and when they are hugged by the opposite sex or overly stressed about something, they turn into the animals of their zodiac. Kyo, however, is technically not a part of the 12 zodiac animals since his zodiac animal is cursed due to God placing a curse on all of the owners of the zodiac cat.

The first two episodes give the audience an overall idea of the anime: a romantic comedy, slice of life, and supernatural show. It mainly focuses on Tohru’s relationship with the Sohma Clan with a “love” triangle between Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. The interactions between the three are enjoyable since Kyo and Yuki are enemies while Tohru wants them to get along. Eight other zodiac members and the head of the clan Akito are introduced in this season as well. Akito does not appear much in this season but plays a vital part in the events throughout the series, especially with Kyo. Kyo’s character is the highlight of this season since he is fascinating to learn about. The final two episodes are his best episodes since this is where the season gets exciting. Kyo’s adoptive father and master, Kazuma Sohma (otherwise known as the BEST father in the series), visits and makes Kyo face his fear of the curse. Overall the first season has its good parts, but it is pretty average. It is purely introductions and getting the audience to understand the relationships between everyone. It was also pretty slow getting to the conflicts.

The second season is probably one of the best seasons since many characters are more fleshed out, and conflicts arise, especially with Akito being more of a problem in this season. The final two zodiac members, Isuzu “Rin” Sohma and Kuerno Sohma, are finally introduced. Two other characters named Machi Kuragi and Kakeru Manabe, also help Yuki break out from his shell and express his emotions.

This season is the best because of the conflict arising in this period, such as Akito finally being more of a threat in the story. It shows how awful Akito is by showing everything they had done, such as pushing Rin out of a window and their treatment of all of the other members throughout the years. They even cause harm to Tohru and reveal what will happen to Kyo after graduation. Tohru and Kyo’s relationship grew a lot, so Tohru learning about Kyo’s imprisonment motivates her to help break the curse even more. One complaint about this season is that Kuerno and Tohru’s best friend Arisa Uotani’s relationship progresses fast. They should have included more interactions between the two instead of having them immediately attracted to each other. Other than that, this season is well done!

In season three, conflict is much more severe, relationships are formed and broken, and many secrets are revealed. Words can not describe how exciting and heart-wrenching season three is! Everything the series has built up for finally shows. Not much more will be said because watching it for yourself is better than having it be described. This season would be number one, but it has many flaws that prevent that from happening. For starters, the opening and credit scenes reveal what happens in the end! It is so infuriating because they show what happens and make the actual reveal feel lack-lustered. As a recommendation, skip the intro and credits until the final episode. Another flaw is that they cut out so much story from the finale season compared to the other seasons. It made the season seem rushed compared to the previous seasons. Although there are many critiques toward this season, it is still a spectacular season and ends nicely.

Looking at the series as a whole, I would give it 8/10. I wish that season three was longer and could develop some of the character’s relationships more so it did not seem rushed. I also wished that the whole “hugging the opposite sex” part of the curse was more solid since there are times where someone would bump into the opposite sex and turn into their animal form. However, I highly recommend watching it since it is enjoyable to watch. I hope they adapt Fruits Basket: Another since I would love to see how Funimation adapts it. Even if you do not like anime, it is still lovely to watch! Take it from someone who did not even watch anime until Fruits Basket.