Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 Review

Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 Review
フルーツバスケット Season 1
Furuba Season 1

Back in 2007, the original Fruits Basket anime was a massive hit for FUNimation. The source manga was also a big hit for TokyoPop. As such, there was a huge demand for an anime sequel. However, the word from Japan was that Takaya-sensei was very unhappy with the anime adaptation. And as I speculated back then, this was likely due to how the anime adaptation cut things like the hat and turned the zodiac story into something very different.

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As such, when it was announced that Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 was being created and that the new Fruits Basket anime series would have multiple seasons to cover the entirety of the source manga, I was stunned, but happily so. Now to see how TMS did in terms of the adaptation.

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The Story, In Brief

For those who don’t know, Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 covers the original Fruits Basket source manga from volume 1 through most of volume six. Certain chapters are also plucked from seven, eight, and nine in order to fill the twenty-five episode count of the season.

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The story tells of a teenage orphan girl named HONDA Tohru. Her attempts to live in the woods on the private property of the large but secretive Sohma family are discovered. She accidentally discovers the zodiac curse on the Sohma clan, whereby certain members are possessed by a zodiac spirit. As such, when they embrace a normal person of the opposite sex, they transform into their zodiac animal form.

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Tohru is allowed to live with SOHMA Shigure, who’s a novelist. Tohru’s classmate SOHMA Yuki is also living there. They are soon joined by SOHMA Kyo, who’s determined to beat Yuki. As time goes on, Tohru meets most of the other zodiac members of the Sohma clan. Things culminate with her learning one of the darkest secrets of the zodiac curse.

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The Adaptation

When it comes to anime adaptations of manga or light novels, I want things to be as accurate as possible. For Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1, TMS mostly does what I want and provide a good adaptation. But there are some notable exceptions that I’ll get to in a moment.

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When TMS goes accurate, they knock things out of the park. Indeed, during their faithful story adaptation, they end up actually making minor improvements to the Furuba story. Usually, this comes in making it clear which character is having a monologue, which sometimes could get lost in the manga. Or things might get fleshed out just a bit more to fill time, but making the experience an overall better one.

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I was disappointed, though not surprised, that TMS decided to take some chapters out of order. After all, I was fairly sure TMS would want to end Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 with the dramatic story in volume 6. That turned out to be the case. However, there were some weird choices made. Some disparate chapters might be merged together and cause minor flow-breaks in the story.

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I was very disappointed that Ritsu’s story got compressed to a single episode. Not only that, it takes place in a single day. In the manga, Ritsu is at Shigure’s house for a couple of days minimum. The only thing TMS did better with his story was his relationship with Mitsuru.

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But for the most part, TMS did a fine job with things.

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FUNimation’s subtitle treatment for Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 is kind of all over the place. On one hand, they do include Japanese honorifics, including -dono, and brother/sister honorifics. However, they are very inconsistent when doing this. For some reason, during introductions, honorifics tended to get dropped. Further, if a brother/sister term was used as an honorific, then that showed up in the subtitles. But if Kisa calls Tohru “Oneechan,” then suddenly that has to be translated ’cause “reasons.” 🙄

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What’s even more weird is that the subtitles actually used “Shishou” and “Shihan.” I highly approve of this. I just wish things had been consistent on using the honorifics and titles.

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While there were some places where “localization” trumps accurate but readable (which always annoys me a bit, the most egregious localization things was Kyo’s nickname. In the anime (and the source manga too), Kyo is often called “Mikan” (a Japanese orange), or he’s actually addressed as the English word “Orange.” That’s because he has orange hair. However, the localization turned “Mikan” and “Orange” into “Carrots” ’cause “reasons.” That always triggered my rage-o-meter.

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Bottom Line

On the whole, Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 is a pretty good adaptation of Takaya-sensei’s Fruits Basket manga. TMS is mostly pretty faithful to the source material. FUNimation does an adequate job on the subtitles, th0ugh they could be better. As such, I’m looking forward to the second season coming in 2020.

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5 Responses to “Fruits Basket (2019) Season 1 Review”

  1. X_M_X says:

    I assume you’ll be watching the Fate/Grand order anime this season? Also did you hear about the Oh My Goddess! sequel manga?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I assume you’ll be watching the Fate/Grand order anime this season?

      I will be now. I was thinking this FGO was a special, not a series. 😅 So thanks for the head’s up.

      Also did you hear about the Oh My Goddess! sequel manga?

      I did. It isn’t being written by Fujishima-sensei as best as I remember. So I haven’t been reading it. Have you?

      • X_M_X says:

        I haven’t been reading it, and I never really got into Oh My Goddess! I just saw it while on Amazon Japan and remembered seeing some of your reviews for it, so I thought I would bring it to your attention in case you hadn’t heard about it.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I do appreciate any kind of notice about that. As busy as I am, there are a lot of things that escape my notice. So thanks for letting me know., 😁

  2. NullApostle says:

    TMS did a pretty good job with Fruits Basket. The animation itself was solid, and the story was adapted adequately. Some hiccups here and there, but overall well done.
    I took more issue with some of the changes in the earlier episodes than you did, not minding the stuff in the second half so much. I wasn’t bothered by Ritsu getting shafted, seeing how he’s literally the most unimportant character in the story.

    As for the subtitles, I’m pretty much used to them being shit now. Funimation and Crunchyroll both have produced some truly excruciating subs over the years.

    If I had to give this season a grade, it’d be a solid B. Competent overall, with (for me) some minor issues.

    See you for season 2 next year! (Probably spring season again, what do you think?)

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