Marcus Grant | Managing Editor
This past week, I decided to go back and rewatch one of my favorite shows, Fruits Basket (2019). The manga that the show is based off of was written by Natsuki Takaya from July 1998 to November 2006, culminating into 23 volumes. The plot follows Tohru Honda, a girl who just lost her mother and is living out of a tent. Upon exploring the land around her new home before school one day, she stumbles upon a house. There, she sees one of her classmates, Yuki Sohma, who lives with his older cousin, Shigure. Circumstance leads Tohru to live with the Sohma boys and she learns of the curse they bare. It was originally made as a 26-episode anime in 2001 and got a 63-episode reboot in 2019.
I was originally drawn to Fruits Basket because of the aesthetics. I’m usually pretty picky about animation (though I’m not one to shy away from anything experimental) so when a show or movie does it well, I find myself really appreciating it. While I can admit that there are some points where I found myself noting a particular pose, Fruits Basket is largely very clean-looking and the animation is quite smooth. Visually, it’s bright and colorful, with beautiful locations and shots. Each character also has their distinct outfits that accentuate their personalities and is very fun to see. The music is also generally upbeat and appealing.
One of my favorite parts about the show was the characterization. This is one of my favorite pieces of media in terms of characters. Takaya does an incredible job at creating well rounded characters, all with their own goals, fears, and pasts. Watching the different characters as they tell us the moments that shaped them into the people we see in the show. My personal favorites to learn were Momiji’s, Uo’s, and Tohru’s. I often found myself moved to tears hearing about some of the things these characters had gone through – their experiences felt very real and brought the characters off the screen. It was also fun to see the characters warm up to Tohru and watch them all get close.
The plot is also worth mentioning. I found that as I watched the first time, I was often surprised by the way paths connected even before the characters in the show were aware of each other. It was even more interesting watching it for the second time – there were many places where I saw cool pieces of foreshadowing that I hadn’t the first time. It really allowed me to appreciate the effort that must have been put into it as the story was being crafted.
I encourage anyone who is interested in comforting slice-of-life or comedy to watch Fruits Basket. I think the show has a lot to offer even for people who may not be a fan of those genres. It’s been very fun to rewatch the show and I have no doubt that I will watch it again.