One of the most popular shoujo manga/anime series out there is Fruits Basket. Anyone who loves shoujo and fantasy manga and anime can tell you all about how wonderful this series truly is.
There was an anime adaptation done back in 2001, but it never got a must-desired second season. However, a revamped adaptation of the classic manga series debuted in 2019 and is still coming out each week. The original voice actors from the 2001 anime even perform in this adaptation as well. The second season is currently airing and can be viewed on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
This new version has done an even better job at capturing the essence of the manga series as a whole and has done a wonderful job reflecting the stories of each character. Every episode is as breathtaking as a movie. If you haven’t had the chance to watch the new version of this series, check it out. It’s well worth the watch.
What makes Fruits Basket so timeless
So, what about Fruits Basket makes it so timeless? First, let’s look at the plot.
Fruits Basket is a story by Natsuki Takaya about a fifteen-year-old girl named Tohru Honda. At the beginning, she’s living alone in a tent near the home of her school’s aloof “prince,” Yuki Sohma. Her mother recently died so she tries to make herself not be a burden on others. However, when Yuki discovers this, he and a couple of his family members decide to take her in.
The big twist at the beginning that kickstarts the whole series is Tohru discovering that the three men in the house she’s now living in are members of the Chinese Zodiac. When she falls onto any one of them (any that are of the opposite sex), they turn into their corresponding animal. For the rest of the series, Tohru helps each of the many family members in the Sohma family in ways he or she needs. She does this by being a ray of positivity, and a loving heart, to whoever she meets. Her kindness and selfless actions are the key to saving this family and their curse.
An enthralling slice of life comedy
The story in and of itself is very enthralling. There’s comedy, slice of life moments, and moments when time stands still. What makes Fruits Basket timeless, though, is its depth. This series deals with hard topics. Abuse, loss, negligence, heartbreak, and feeling that you’re alone in a world that is filled with sorrow. This only scrapes the surface, too. With each character, there is another tale of sorrow and struggle.
One might think that dealing with all these hard topics would cause the story to feel forced, messy, stressful, or just too much. However, this isn’t the case. The pacing throughout the series is flawless, and each volume of the manga—along with each new anime episode—at one point or another, is dedicated to an individual character in the series. This helps the pacing of the story’s development and reflects the themes and thoughts the creator wanted to get across while not feeling forced. We also see just enough in each character’s story to understand each one and see his or her depth without straying too much from the main storyline. A common thread in each of their stories is Tohru. Tohru is more than a character in this series. She is lifeline and a guardian angel.
Above all else, Fruits Basket is about hope
Although there is a main plot that unravels, Fruits Basket is primarily made up of long strings of character stories. This aspect creates such beauty throughout the series and allows you to dive inside each new chapter and capture the gems far past the shallow waters. Just about every character is covered, including Tohru’s best friends, Saki Hanajima and Arisa Uotani.
Arguably, above all else, Fruits Basket is about hope. It’s about getting through the hard times and believing they will come to an end and turn into something beautiful. This sentiment is perfectly captured when one of the members of the Sohma family, Hatori, has a touching interaction with Tohru:
“What do you suppose comes of snow when it melts?” he asks. After some thought, Tohru replies, “When snow melts, spring comes! No matter how cold it is now, spring will come again. It never fails.”
No matter what happens in life—no matter how hard it gets, or how hard the storm is raging—the snow will always melt, and spring will come.
A story-rich, classic series
Stories rich with depth, beauty, and uplifting life lessons unravel in each volume and episode of this fantastic series, and it is all tied together and wrapped up in a bow at the end of the manga. It is amazing how Natsuki Takaya does this, and it is one of the ways this story is well done and so popular. She tackled hard issues and made the story come to an end in the most beautiful way. Just about every type of despair out there was covered, so everyone can relate to it in some way. Even if the situation isn’t exactly the same.
It will be interesting to see how the anime continues to adapt the original manga. So far, the creators have been doing a phenomenal job. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure: with each new episode, we are sure to experience a roller coaster of emotions from this timeless series.
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