Fruits Basket, the adaptation that finally does justice to a classic

Fruits Basket was published for the first time in 1999. It is a manga illustrated and written by Natsuki Takaya, based on an interesting and simple premise that could have gone unnoticed like any other shoujo , if Takaya had not known how to write his characters in a vulnerable, honest and, above all, realistic way.

The protagonist is a 16-year-old girl named Tohru Honda, who, after the death of her mother and a landslide that destroys her temporary home, moves to live with members of the mysterious Sohma family.

The plot

After a series of events, Tohru discovers the secret of the Sohma: they suffer a curse, which dictates that family members who are hugged by members of the opposite sex, will be transformed into animals of the Chinese zodiac. Little by little, the protagonist gets to know the other members of the family, entering their lives in an unexpected way that could cure the insecurities, pain and suffering that the curse has made them feel.

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Takaya takes this premise and makes it totally human and realistic, because despite the existence of said magic, it seems to be the only papable vestige of it. This makes the characters tell truly tragic stories, related to what could really happen if a person who loves you cannot hug you because you turn into a random animal, without any explanation.

Topics such as mental illness, depression, self-improvement, love and trust are treated with a silk glove that makes the series rise beyond being a reverse harem and become a milestone with something else to tell. . But, we must not forget the point that we believe could be the strongest determinant that makes Fruits Basket a true gem: Its protagonist.

The true strength of Fruits Basket

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The problem with reverse harem shoujos is usually quite simple but difficult to solve or ignore, and that is that the protagonists have no personality. Tohru Honda does not suffer from this stereotype. She is a character who has suffered a lot and has had to mature very quickly, but that does not make her petty or cruel, but rather makes her expect more from humanity and from those around her, which is like a breath of fresh air for a family that is full of accumulated rancor for having an authoritarian matriarchal figure that does not allow them to have normal relationships due to their status as creatures of the zodiac.

On the other hand, despite having typical anime characters, such as the tsunderes , the story also transforms many of these typical characteristics and shows you the other side of the matter. A certain darkness can be expected from a character who seems friendly, just as one with a steel exterior can harbor within himself a loneliness that he cannot help but suffer.

How about this new adaptation?

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Now, focusing on the anime of 2019, justice has finally been done to such a beautiful classic as Fruits Basket . The first adaptation was quite popular, but it was done in an old-fashioned style that didn’t age well, and needed an urgent update that would also do the Brotherhood treatment of FullMetal Alchemist , that is, complete the manga’s story to find out what happened. It took place after the “last” arc of the original anime.

The animation is beautifully updated with a more modern, beautiful style that will last better than the previous edition. At the request of Takaya herself, they did not call in the same voice actors and a complete update of the soundtrack was done, and the new opening and closing songs are spectacular, even though “For Fruits Basket” is a work of art itself.

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It is worth seeing this new adaptation because, despite the fact that it expands on the information that was given to us in the original anime, it also gives the same severity to the topics touched on, staying totally faithful to the manga’s history and to the characters, their stories, their pain and trauma. Every character, even the one that seems the least important, has something to tell, and once you enter the universe of Fruits Basket and its immense cast, it is impossible not to leave with your heart committed to at least one of the characters.

Finally, the first season concluded during the summer season, and the second season that will cover the missing arcs of the manga, will come out in 2020. We can’t wait to see the continuation of such a beautiful series, to discover the end of the story and accompany Tohru to repair as many hearts as possible.