Anime Spotlight: Fruits Basket Season 1

Fruits Basket Season 1 is a reboot of the Fruits Basket anime series from 2001. This reboot is being overseen by Natsuki Takaya, the author of the manga. The new anime is being produced by TMS/8PAN and is being directed by Yoshihide Ibata. The first season of the reboot aired on Japanese television from April 6-September 21, 2019. As of this writing, both Crunchyroll and FUNimation hold the North American rights for the series.

When comparing the original anime and this series side-by-side, the first few episodes tell the same story with the same storyline intact. However, the two series begin to diverge after this, since the sequencing of some of the events changes between the two tellings. In fact, with the reboot, these changes also diverge from the order of events in the original manga. Considering that the author of the manga is heavily involved with the reboot, I suspect she decided that the story would be stronger by moving some things around. Overall, I think that the change in sequence helps to make the series stronger, especially having the backstory for Hanajima appear this early in the anime adaptation. To me, I think this helped to make Hanajima an even stronger character at this point in the story compared to this same point in either the manga or the original anime adaptation.

When comparing the two series, I have to give the reboot credit for having an overall better tone and feel to it. The original anime isn’t bad for what it is, but the director seemed to try to make it more light-hearted and more of a comedy. The reboot has its humorous moments, to be sure, but the overall tone is more serious and dramatic in nature. In that respect, there are times when the character of Kagura comes across as more “over the top” than she did in the original anime, since the humor involved with her character can sometimes clash with the more serious tone that the reboot is aiming for.

And I also have to give the reboot higher marks in its art style. Again, the art style in the original Fruits Basket anime wasn’t bad for what it was and the feel the director was going for, but I believe that the reboot gives the characters a more “realistic” look to them. Even though there may be more fantastical elements like the Soma clan curse of changing into the zodiac animals and Hanajima’s wave powers, the story is still set in a realistic version of our world. The more “realistic” look for the characters and their surroundings help to cement the fact that this story is taking place in the real world.

I was happy to see that the final episode of Fruits Basket Season 1 starts to bring in the story and story elements from the manga that were never included in the original anime, because it was being produced at a time when the manga was still ongoing. And with the way the final episode of this series ends, it’s making me look forward for Fruits Basket Season 2 and what it will have in store. As of this writing, all we know is that the second season is scheduled to premiere sometime in 2020. Whether it means there will be a one cour break or having to wait almost a whole year for the next part remains to be seen.

Additional post about Fruits Basket:

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