My Review of Fruits Basket 2019

Uncategorized / May 15, 2019 / 0 Comments
Fruits Basket 2019 review

If Sailor Moon was the first gateway drug anime for us all, Fruits Basket was the next door after that. 18 years ago the original Fruits Basket aired for the first time, and it honestly stole my heart despite Tohru’s eyes being potentially the largest anime eyes known to that era. Now it’s being rebooted, but how does it live up?

Before I get started, I want to mention the era of reboots we live in. While Hollywood hasn’t always found such good success, the nostalgic anime reboots, remakes, and continuations we get have fared very well in my opinion. We’ve gotten Sailor Moon Crystal, CardCaptor Sakura: Clear Card, and others with glowing applause, and then there’s series like Berserk which some fans found insulting to the original.

The good outweighed the bad, however, and fans welcomed a Fruits Basket remake with open arms for very obvious reasons; they were going to do the whole manga. What! The idea of a Fruits Basket reboot wasn’t as exciting to me as Sailor Moon, but when the opening came on the screen for episode one, I actually found myself more giddy with excitement than I ever was for Sailor Moon Crystal.

Let’s start with the opening.

Sweet, sweet Kyo ❤

The original anime OP was soft, nostalgic feeling on its own, with a calm and serene feeling that still got you very excited for the episode. The reboot takes that feeling and transports it into a 2019 version, with a little more passion and oomph. Almost as if its saying, “Hey, yeah, we know you love this series. We want you to feel it in this opening.”

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The Art and Animation

While the cover art of the manga shows Tohru’s eyes being as large as they are in the original anime, I think most the actual inside drawings are very much like the new reboot style.

Tohru’s eyes are tame but bright, and Kyo’s are, well, BISHOUNEN AF. Let me tell you, my OTP is always putting the protag with the most “obvious” choice of partner, in which case I feel the original anime really sets her up to be with Yuki. Looking back now, I think that was kind of dumb considering Kyo is the bad boy tsundere type which is pretty obvious, but again, I was new to anime. (Watched it on AnimeCrave, anyone remember that? The players that hardly seemed to work for me!)

My biggest “complaint” is that every single character is perfectly designed, except for Tohru. When I look at Tohru, I remember everyone’s complaints about Sailor Moon when Crystal came out. Specifically, her eyes. While not as devoid of life and character as Sailor Moon’s was in Crystal, it still gives me that kind of feeling. They seem very KyoAni-esque, very tame, and could be a little brighter and more full of life. Still, very minute detail.

The animation is superb, which is to be expected with a high budget well anticipated classic anime reboot. It was going to be amazing no matter what. But I was just especially blown away with how gorgeous the males are in the reboot because while the original art still made my 13 year old heart swoon over 2D characters, they are very…2000’s looking now.

Literally, just ugh, LOOK AT HIM. SO FRIGGEN CUTE.

The First Three Episodes

Now people can be really torn on how they want their reboots to go. Do you do it panel by panel? Do you try to stay true to the original, but put your own spin on it? Just how do you do an anime reboot justice?

I think a Fruits Basket reboot was always going to be more of the panel by panel type because they cut off so short in the story. I finished the manga and without spoilers, I will say the anime is able to take a very light-hearted, sweet approach on such a melodrama.

The biggest note:

All the characters have been stripped of the (very 2000’s) excessively dramatic character traits. They are still themselves, Tohru is still a warm hearted, silly klutz, and Kyo is still a bad boi. But Kyo seemed so excessively angry in the original anime, perhaps that is why I didn’t catch on to him right away. I also watched it in English the first time and now seeing the reboot in Japanese, it still very much feels like them, but with a more mature atmosphere.

The scenes are still very scene by scene similar, with minor differences. If you want to know the exact differences, here’s a great Reddit post breaking it down.

Overall I think it’s my favorite reboot thus far, but since the anime never got very far in the story we get an extra special treat. Of, you know, the story actually continuing.

Now. If only. We could do the same. FOR SKIP BEAT!!!!!!!!!!