Just a few months shy of 18 years since its original run, “Fruits Basket” has returned to the screen. Originally airing from July 5, 2001 to Dec. 27, 2001, the hit shoujo series that took Japan and the world by storm has gotten the long-awaited reboot that fans desired.
Episodes started on April 6 and should be airing on Crunchyroll or Funimation’s websites every Friday with a new episode.
Several changes have been made since the original anime hit the airwaves, most of all the animation and the people behind the series. The new anime is produced by TMS Entertainment, directed by Yoshihide Ibata, written by Taku Kishimoto and the music is by Masaru Yokoyama, none of which were involved in the original production.
It is now licensed by Crunchyroll and it has been renewed by Funimation as well. Currently, the series airs on TV Tokyo, TVO, TVA and AT-X.
The first version of the “Fruits Basket” anime had 26 episodes and covered around six volumes of the manga, which is only about a fourth of what the whole series ended up being.
The manga is a full 23 volumes with publication of it running from July 1998 through November 2006, making it impossible for the anime producers to keep up with and follow the series as it was written.
“Fullmetal Alchemist” also had this issue upon the anime’s initial release and had to create the second version later when the manga was complete.
The author is Natsuki Takaya and the series was published by Hakusensha in Japan. Outside of that, Madman Entertainment published to Australia, Yen Press to North America, Chuang Yi to Singapore and Tokyopop to the UK. When it ran as weekly chapters, it was in the magazine Hana to Yume.
The series falls under the demographic of Shōjo, which means it is aimed at a teenage girl audience overall.
“Fruits Basket” is the story of a high school student named Tohru Honda who, after her parents have died, lives with her grandfather.
Unfortunately, due to family members that treat her with less than kindness and her current home being renovated, Tohru decides to strike it out on her own by living in the woods in a tent.
However, her new home comes in the form of a classmate’s house that resides in the woods. Her curiosity leads her to examine zodiac figures that are out, encountering her classmate’s cousin, Shigure.
She learns that classmate, Yuki Soma (who is incredibly popular), also lives there and offers to walk to school with her.
After an incident that buries Tohru’s tent, she is invited to live with the men before the time is interrupted by another cousin named Kyo breaking in through the roof. To stop the fight, Tohru tries to grab his arm… and accidentally hugs him, turning him into a cat.
She learns the secret of the Soma family; that they have been possessed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac and that a hug from the opposite sex will turn them into their respective animals.
Ever since its release, “Fruits Basket” has taken Japan and the world by storm and is considered one of the top-selling manga series of all time. The fifteenth volume’s release took 15th place on USA Today’s Top 150 Bestselling Books, the highest position a manga had ever achieved.
The final volume was in the New York Times manga bestsellers list for three months straight.
Allen Divers of the Anime News Network said, “The entire series of Fruits Basket proves to be a true emotional roller coaster, hiding truly deep and heartfelt drama behind a candy coating of fun and humor. Deep down, it explores many aspects of emotion as the various characters search for their place in the world, gaining strength from each other.”
As the anime will be following completely with the manga, fans of the series will no doubt love seeing the storyline they fell in love with come to life.
Arts and Entertainment Editor