Tooru Honda has always been fascinated by the story of the Chinese Zodiac that her beloved mother told her as a child. However, a sudden family tragedy changes her life, and subsequent circumstances leave her all alone. Tooru is now forced to live in a tent, but little does she know that her temporary home resides on the private property of the esteemed Souma family. Stumbling upon their home one day, she encounters Shigure, an older Souma cousin, and Yuki, the "prince" of her school. Tooru explains that she lives nearby, but the Soumas eventually discover her well-kept secret of being homeless when they see her walking back to her tent one night.
Things start to look up for Tooru as they kindly offer to take her in after hearing about her situation. But soon after, she is caught up in a fight between Yuki and his hot-tempered cousin, Kyou. While trying to stop them, she learns that the Souma family has a well-kept secret of their own: whenever they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
With this new revelation, Tooru will find that living with the Soumas is an unexpected adventure filled with laughter and romance.
Another Shoujo series brought back to life is Fruits Basket with furor and craze surrounding it. Fruits Basket despite having done a couple things right is not.
As a starting story Fruits Basket is catchy and interesting. I see what all the hype is about. If I was younger I would go nuts over it too. However, being older & wiser I see Fruits Basket suffers bad writing, art, music, tone, comedy, & editing making it one of the cheesiest series of the year.
The allure of the show appears to be in characters. However, I see them as two dimensional at best.
The lead, Tohru, is the queen of showing happy facial expressions, acting all cute, & being overly friendly. However, this is artificial. Nobody, especially a teenager, is that much of a saint. Tohru is presented as perfect thus what is the appeal to watch? Tohru has no goals outside this new family. It's as if her life was a haze of nothingness until she entered a house to become a maid. Definition of a Manic Pixie dream girl. Only around to be a self insert for those lonely fans & service the males instead of focusing on her aspirations.
The supporting cast is generic. Kyo is a hothead & Yuki is a prince. The story is these super model humans have a zodiac curse where they turn into their associated animal if hugged by the opposite sex. Everyone has a miserable past but I don't care because its used to manipulate my emotions. Weak series use sob stories instead of making characters interesting. Fruits basket has terrible characters who use sad pasts as a crutch when they are the equivalent to sandpaper.
I don't know what possessed the writer to make this so boring. The dialogue is dry. The humor is lackluster. For example they show how awkward Tohru is when she interacts with any man. As if she's never spoken to men in general. The show uses this joke every episode excessively. At a point it makes you question if Tohru is mentally impaired do to the way she talks to people.
The visual effects are bland. It looks like playing a lame visual dating game. In other words, it takes you out of investing in the story when elements are unrealistic & lazy. The art does nothing creative. Anime gives artists opportunities to create interesting perspectives in story telling that otherwise couldn't be done through live action. This show is treats itself like a live action drama with low budgets.
The opening & ending themes are not good. The opening is a dry uninspired song that makes me brace for impact of the boredom that will occur. I watched the previous show recently. It had similar problems but they were handled better. For one the humor exceeds this show by miles in visual gags, dialogue, & voice acting. The Opening and Endings songs are beautiful. The music soundtrack is overall fantastic. The characters have a bit more personality. Yet I found out the creator hated it & got it cancelled. What a cow. Now she has full control over this mess. Good job you made your series awful. What an accomplishment.
Overall: Fruits basket is dull & uninteresting as most modern romance anime's. I couldn't stay interested. It's exactly what I thought it would be: A basic slice of nothing happens with sides of forced romance & tragic backstories. Yay insert me into Tohru so hot men will fawn over me! Woo Hoo! Pathetic.
Romance Anime Recommendations: The Tatami Galaxy, Kare Kano, Kodocha, Macross, Princess Tutu, Kaiba, Chobits, Full Moon, Rose of Versailles, Daddy Long Legs, Nana, Paradise Kiss, & Hana Yori Dango. Watch those to get your romance fix. Support quality series.
Story - 2/10
Art - 4/10
Sound - 2/10
Character - 2/10
Enjoyment - 2/10
Life cares not for our emotions, as tragedy strikes without a moments notice. Due to our finite existence, we are bound to lose someone special. But we mustn’t allow ourselves to become trapped by emotions. Life moves forward, and so must we. Despite the uncertainty in her volatile life, Tooru Honda remains optimistic in the face of despair. Her daily struggles are physically and mentally taxing, yet she persists. Pressing forward with determination of mind and body. Turning an unfortunate circumstance into a springboard to cultivate a new life
A joyous life. An endearing life. And a life full of laughter.
‘Slice of life’ has always been a misnomer in the anime industry. In the strictest sense of the definition, it involves the depiction of mundane experiences to capture the essence of ‘real life.’ Anime/manga, however, rely on melodramatic — exaggerated — scenes to elicit a desired reaction. This becomes evident in “Fruits Basket (2019)” when Kyou challenges Yuki to a martial arts match on the fly, resulting in a humorously quick victory for Yuki. Or when the piggish Kagura displays her love for Kyou by twirling him at such a speed to self-propel herself like a helicopter.
This, however, brings up an interesting question: how did Kagura attain upward thrust without a tail rotor? Clearly, Issac Newtown’s third law of motion states, “to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” Without an anti-torque system to oppose the torque reaction, upward thrust would not be generated.
But despite this aerodynamic contradiction and genre misclassification, “Fruits Basket (2019)” is a hilarious show with plenty of heartwarming moments. The success relies on its fleshed out characters. Now, to be honest, they are rather tropey. But unlike the majority of anime that hinge their entire plot on character tropes, “Fruits Basket (2019)” slowly unravels the tapestry that is our main characters to provide a rich experience.
In contrast to Tohru’s naive, awkward personality, she excels at giving advice to others. Several episodes display reminiscent visions of Tohru’s mother, Kyoko Honda, as she imparts wisdoms in her daughter. Tohru’s passing of knowledge to her friends shows her caring nature and her willingness to tacitly accept her mother’s passing. Remember. Although she exhibits positivity, Tohru is attempting to live for herself despite her unselfish personality.
Yuki, “The Prince,” is a reserved individual that feels isolated from the other adolescents his age. While his good looks garner a lot of positive attention, he feels incapable of ‘opening’ up to others; hence, why he envies Kyou for his ease of developing friendships. Kyou, on the other hand, sees his disposition as unfavorable, due to his estrangement from the Sohma family.
And this is the appeal of “Fruits Basket.”
Underneath its silliness, there are real problems that need to be confronted. Each member of the zodiac is shown to be ‘broken’ in some sense. Hindering their ability to express their true self to the world. And “Fruits Basket” does an excellent job of piercing through their barriers to talk to us on a personal level. Chances are, you’ll discover a character of the zodiac that you feel akin to, and you may learn something from their struggles. It can be heart-wrenching to watch, yet so beautiful. Combine this with the improved animation and wonderful OST, and you’re in for a real treat.
This anime is so heartwarming and so darn cute! The art is outstanding, the music is good, everything is so colourful and it brings me so much joy!
I am very intrigued by all the zodiacs. Seeing how cute they are when they transform into animals, I would hug them all day long. This teenage rom-com is everything I could ask for. Tohru is a precious cinnamon roll who must be protected. I love Yuki, he is definitely my type. I ship them.
Kyo is cool and I love cats, but in this case, I prefer Yuki because I love grey haired anime boys who are
sweet. The male tsundere might seem cool and new at first glance, but I grew tired of it. I mean, Kyo is ok, but his personality is sometimes irritating for me personally.
In conclusion, a great story to enjoy when you want something cute and heartwarming.
This review is coming from someone who read and watched the original run manga and anime.
When I was first introduced to Fruits Basket, it was supposed to be a cutesy, slice of life series with what I thought were realistic themes. Almost 2 decades later, and me having much more experience in the world, I've found that that's not the case. Far from it.
Now that I know the producers are taking the exact same themes from the manga, that makes everything to come so much worse. The author introduced many sexist themes—from matriarchy being a bad thing, to women with mental illnesses being irrational
and/or violent—this is a recurring theme with almost every Sohma female character. Matriarchy was written like it’s a bad thing—a sexist ideology because it assumes women are incapable of being the head of anything/anyone.
There are unrealistic gender expectations (ex: boys must be hyperaggressive, girls must be selfless homemakers). Kyo and Yuki are violent in their own ways—they manhandle Tohru, they forcefully touch her whenever they feel like it, and they express their emotions aggressively or straight up yell at her altogether. Men yelling at and touching women should not be normalized. Tohru is constantly sacrificing her autonomy for this fuck of a family. She always throws herself in physical danger for the Sohmas, her comfort is always dead last on her list of priorities, and she goes on A LOT of monologues about how she smiles through the pain—she is literally a walking TedTalk for the entire Sohma family. It’s not good to teach girls to be a mother figure to everyone—it’s overdone and it’s exhausting.
In the first episode, it’s established that the family curse consists of members being unable to hold someone of the “opposite” sex so straight sex with people outside of the bloodline without revealing themselves is not possible. Hence, the multiple incest (shudders). All of the themes I’ve mentioned are really dated and doesn’t make for good writing. It’s been so long since I’ve seen an anime that pumps out these archaic ideologies. I thought we had moved past this, but I guess not. The fact that I know the horrifying things coming doesn’t help; I have an expansive list which you can see a link to on my profile (major spoilers). The only positive thing that came from this Furuba reboot are the cast and animators. They did a wonderful job. I will praise them and nothing else.
I don't know why I expected better from a 2019 remake as opposed to the original manga and anime runs. I don't mind these themes being explored but, if you're going to write them, you need to write them with nuance and respect for the subject matter. I really hoped this would improve on the basic idea without all of the convoluted ideologies and violence. It would have been a great series otherwise. It’s the exact same thing as the manga—they took everything verbatim. If any anime should get a reboot or continuation, I have many suggestions. For starters: Chihayafuru, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, and Cowboy Bebop. Fruits Basket should have remained buried, along with its outdated themes.