After doing that whole week of reviews, I feel like I have not done a review in a long time. Maybe that is some of the motivation that I need. Hahaha. Well we will see. Anyway, I was looking for my next anime to review so I was looking though my life of anime that I have watched. Yes I keep track of all of that. I was scrolling down the list when I spotted one of the first anime that I watched completely on the internet. Why does this matter, you ask? Well it does not matter. I just saw it and remembered watching the whole thing on my family’s almost 10-year-old computer. So I thought that it would be fun to do. It is also a favorite anime of mine.
Here I am with my 19th Anime Review!! A show that is surprisingly a lot older than I thought it was: Fruits Basket.
As I mentioned before, as I got ready to write this review and see when the show originally aired I was shocked. The first time that I watched Fruits Basket was probably back in like 2008 or 2009. That was back before I had my own computer and my family still had a computer that we bought in like……2003. That is not relevant to what I am trying to say so I will just continue. Anyway, so as I started this review I looked up to see what year Fruits Basket originally premiered in Japan. I was expecting something close to the time that Ouran High School Host Club was released in Japan. I do not know why I thought that but it is just what I expected. I was shocked when I learned that Fruits Basket premiered July 5th………2001. Yeah…that’s right…..2001…….what? That just blows my mind. I found this show when I was 12….and it premiered when I was……4 almost 5 years old. It just blows my mind.
Moving on…..so Fruits Basket premiered on July 5, 2001 and ended December 27, 2001. The show had 26 episodes and only lasted for one season. Although I know a lot of people out there would love to have a second season of the show. The anime ended but the story did continue on in the manga. In my opinion though, it did end at a good point. I will talk about that later though. Moving on!!
The plot of Fruits Basket revolves around the young high school girl Tohru Honda who recently lost her mother and was supposed to live with her maternal grandfather. However, due to house renovations and some not so nice relatives she ends up living in a tent in the middle of the woods. After some crazy accidents Tohru ends up living with the “Prince” of her school, Yuki Sohma, as well as his cousins Kyo and Shigure. But the Sohma family is not your average family. They are cursed. Twelve members of the family are cursed to change into the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. This also includes Kyo, who turns into the cat (not a member of the zodiac). They change into their animal form when they are weak, stressed, embarrassed, or when they are hugged by someone of the opposite gender (the most common reason). The story continue to follow Tohru as she lives with the Sohmas and learns more and more about the family curse.
Our main character, Tohru, is a kind young girl who has gone through a lot in her life. She thinks of others before herself, is always polite, and stays positive no matter the situation. Even when told about the curse of the Sohmas, Tohru declares that she is going to do whatever she can to help them. I like Tohru’s character a lot, although sometimes she can be a little frustrating at times. I like her though because despite all that she has been through, Tohru never fails to but others before herself. She sees the Sohmas as her family and cares about every single one of them deeply. When she finds out about the darker side of the Sohma curse, Tohru just vows again to break the curse no matter what. Her positive attitude is contagious and you cannot help but root for her the whole time.
Next is the so-called “Prince” of Tohru’s school, Yuki Sohma. Yuki is cursed by the rat of the zodiac. He is a very attractive, kind, reserved, and mysterious young man who a lot of people look up to as a role model. These people usually call Yuki “Prince Yuki” or “Prince Charming”, even having a fan club at the school. Despite being adored by so many, Yuki is unsure how to act friendly with other people. This was caused because as a child Yuki had a terrible childhood, having been bullied by the head of the family, Akito. Yuki goes through some good character development as the show goes on. He goes from not really being sure how to be friendly towards other people or even how to have them, to being a lot kinder around people and opens up to the people around him.
Next up is Kyo. Now Kyo is probably my favorite character in the entire show. He is cursed by the cat of the zodiac. Now the cat is not technically a member of the zodiac, but a member of the family is always cursed with the spirit of the cat. There are other “issues” that go along with being the cat but I do not want to go too much into that. I am afraid I might spoil something. Anyway, so Kyo comes to live with Shigure and Yuki shortly after Tohru moves in. He is quick-tempered and charismatic, but is initially really awkward around other people. He is driven by the desire to beat Yuki because he was promised that if he beat him he could finally become a member of the zodiac. It is your typical Cat vs Mouse rivalry. You know like Tom & Jerry!! Kyo is very competitive and excels in martial arts. He too lived a very rough childhood and still struggles with it. As I said earlier, Kyo is my favorite character. I cannot really explain why though. To me it was always more interesting when Kyo was on-screen. He is pretty funny and is an entertaining character. Along with Yuki, Kyo also goes through a lot of character development as the show goes on and he matures quite a bit by the time the show ends.
The final character I will talk about is Shigure. He is important because….well….it is his house that Yuki, Kyo, and Tohru live in. Along with that, Shigure also acts as the guardians to the three of them. He works as a writer and has written quite a few books under his own name and other pen names. Despite acting as the “adult” in the house, Shigure takes nothing seriously and is very lazy and dirty-minded. The anime version of Shigure is very different from the manga version. In the manga he is much darker and is shown to have ulterior motives. This does not exist in the anime and Shigure serves as a comic relief character. Sometimes he can be annoying, but Shigure is still a fun character to watch.
The other characters of the show include Tohru’s family, the Sohma family, Tohru’s friends from school, and of course the other members of the zodiac. We get to meet all the members of the zodiac except for two. All of the characters interact with one another very well and, except for some members of Tohru’s family, I enjoyed all of the characters. I like all the members of the zodiac because even though they have this terrible curse over their heads, they still try to live their lives to the best of their ability. Which is not always easy. I really liked the cast of this show.
The soundtrack is okay….neither the opening or ending (well technically they are the same thing) made it onto my iPod. There was a Japanese version and an English version (which was sung by Tohru’s voice actor) but I just was not a fan of the song. The animation, however, was well ahead of its time. For being made back in 2001 it is not bad at all. In fact it could compete with shows that came out many years later. Animation has gone pretty far in 14 years, but Fruits Basket‘s animation gets credit for being well ahead of its time. It was simple and nice to watch.
Something else that I would like to point out is how this show ended. No spoilers!! I promise!! I just wanted to mention that while the anime was being produced, the manga that it was based on was still ongoing. The anime ended at the manga’s halfway point, and this usually means one of two things. 1) A new ending is created or 2) We are left with a “read the manga to find out what happens” ending. However, Fruits Basket was different. The anime ended at a good point in the manga where every issue that was currently going on was resolved. Sure if you wanted to know what became of Tohru and the Sohmas you did have to with the manga, but you could also watch the anime and still get a happy, satisfying ending. Well I did anyway.
So in the end, I award Fruits Basket with a B. It is a cute little show that has characters and a plot that I love!! It always kept me entertained. The plot was different from anything I had seen before and all of the characters interacted very well. Sure the soundtrack was not my favorite but it still made up for it in a lot of ways. The show ended very well and I am happy that I fought with my old computer to watch it!! What it lacked, it made up in different areas. It is definitely a favorite show of mine. I remember watching it very fondly.
Well that is all that I have for this time!! What do you guys think? Is there a show that you were shocked was older than you thought it was? Did you watch a show on a really old computer like I did? Leave it down in the comments below!! And as always, if there is a show that you would like me to review, leave that down below as well!!
See you next time!!