Fruits Basket (2019) Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression: Talk about nostalgic! It wasn’t even five seconds into the show, and I was already crying. I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t expect the tears to come out as early as they did! But what surprised me the most, was despite already having watched the first adaption and read the manga (like a decade ago!), it felt as though this was my first time dipping my toe into the series, which is a pretty awesome feeling when you think about it. Not often do you get to have such an experience. A classic favourite scene of mine was of course when Kyou finally appeared by of course attempting ambushing Yuki by smashing through the roof! No matter how many times I see or read this, it never ceases to make me laugh! Of course the best follow up is when everyone is busted when Tohru starts panicking when she accidentally makes contact with Kyou and then the rest. Seriously, I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t breathe!

And it certainly didn’t take me long to fall in love with the characters all over again, especially Tohru. I have always adored her. While it’s heartbreaking how she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, and has a bad habit of keeping her troubles and concerns to herself, her determination to be independent (from doing part-time jobs to pay for her own tuition to living alone) is admirable to say the least. She also happens to have two amazing friends, Saki and Arisa both are fabulous characters, Saki being my favourite because of her psychic abilities. She never ceases to amuse me, especially when she’s onto the Souma’s folks.

As for Yuki, I must say he looks so damn fineeeeeee~, and his new voice suits him a lot better than the previous adaption. In fact that was one of the reasons why I actually preferred the English Dub (which is a rarity for me, but goes to show how amazing it was. I will have to be sure to check that out later this weekend since Funimation is simultaneously releasing the English dub as well). However on the flip side of things, I am feeling iffy about Tohru’s voice. It’s one of those types that will take some time for me to get used to because of the pitch, but I digress.

Overall, not too much happened in this premiere as it focused on the primary introduction of Tohru’s current predicament of having lost her mother in a fatal accident, left homeless because she has no place to go because she doesn’t want to burden to others. (Also take a moment realize: Had Shigure and Yuki not seen her, depending on how long she took to take her bath, she could have possibly been caught and buried alive!) They also told us a bit about the old zodiac folkstale, and briefly touched on how the Souma family’s curse is tied to that,  as we saw at the end of the episode, when embraced by the opposite gender, they will transform into one of the zodiac animal (that’s why Yuki goes out of his way to avoid the girls at school). Better yet, the animation is looking fresh and gorgeous and the soundtrack already has me excited for what’s to come.

As it has already been confirmed this will be the first season,  I wonder how many episodes it will be, and how they will go about it. I suspect either there will be intervals of seasons through two cours (24 – 26 episodes) or split cours (12 – 13), because I would be genuinely surprised if they intend to having it air all year round.

Anyhow, the fact they are going to cover the entire series is something to be excited for. Buckle up everyone, whether you are a new viewer or a lifelong fan, this remake of Fruits Basket is going to take us on an incredibly emotional rollercoaster!

Possibility of Covering: Moderate (I know there are others who are extremely passionate about this series, so it’s likely I will leave this to them!)
Possibility of Watching: GUARANTEED 


Midnight’s Impressions

I have cried twice now about this show. Last week, I went to see the premiere of episodes 1 and 2 of the show in theaters. As soon as the episode started, I was in tears and again today as I watched it again. I was watching Fruits Basket back when I was in High School. I folded a paper crane in hopes of a second season and now all of these years later, my wish has finally been granted. I could not be more happy with it, in this episode alone you can see the passion behind this project. The backgrounds are so amazing detailed, there are paint chips on the wall. You can see the particles in the air of the room around Tohru and Yuki in the moment before Kyou bursts in through the roof.

The things that struck me the most though were little old fashioned touches. The depression lines, the anger marks, the notes to clarify a piece of dialogue. These are things we just don’t really see in anime anymore, of course, they were in the manga and it really does stick to that.
Speaking of sticking to the manga, the boy with the hat. Something missing from the original anime, I was so happy just to see the hat in the tent when the episode started. Much less seeing the boy placing the hat on young Tohru’s head in her flashback and fever dream. That is such an important piece of the plot that proves to me that they do actually intend to show us the entire story this time. It’s certainly a key element to Tohru’s character that was missing this last time.

Now, I actually have yet to watch the sub. Both in theaters and today, I watched it dubbed. While the core cast is the same, there are some things that come off as different. Tohru’s voice actress, Laura Bailey, gives a softer performance and sounds a little younger then the voice she originally gave to Tohru. Shigure’s actor, John Burgmeier, provides a more serious performance then what we received in the 2001 anime while still holding true to the more playful nature of early Shigure’s character.
Eric Vale and Jerry Jewel play their characters in a similar manner to before, but change it up just enough that it seems right at home with the new animation style. It’s a real treat to watch and I strongly suggest that any fan of the original dub give it a look.
Though having seen the cast interview for the subbed version, I am actually very much looking forward to hearing those voices as well. I agree with Eva in the idea that the old Yuki was a little hard to listen to, hearing the seiyuu for Sailor Mercury playing a boy was a little jarring. Now we actually have a boy playing Yuki, and he seems like he’ll be perfect for the role.
The voice of Kyo for the sub, played Ash Lynx in Banana Fish. So I am honestly really excited to hear him as Kyo, since they are decently similar characters in their general deposition.

While episode 1 only provided us with the boy with the hat in the way of new content, it makes an impression as a completely new beast despite being strongly nostalgic at the same time. From what i can surmise from the ending theme and the trailers that we have been shown, I feel like this first season will be covering a lot of ground that people who watched the 2001 anime are already familiar with. Which is to say, that I think it will roughly be covering the first five or six volumes of the manga. I can’t make a guess at how many episodes we are looking at, but we’ve been shown footage up to Ayame’s first appearance which was episode 14 of the original anime.
If it continues at the pace it is now, to cover the same amount of ground. We’re looking at a twenty four episode season.
I could be wrong though, who knows. All I know is I can’t wait to explore this series again. As I saw Yuki turn to look at Tohru, I could feel a younger me falling in love with his character and with this series all over again.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Covering: Guaranteed

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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2 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    Fruits’ mangaka specifically requested this adaptation to be done anew; new studio, new anime staff, new voice actors, new everything.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-11-19/natsuki-takaya-full-comments-for-new-fruits-basket-anime/.139699

    She even directly supervised the anime production to ensure all details were exact to her manga, down to character colour design.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-03-29/fruits-basket-creator-comments-on-character-hair-color-change/.145187

    You’ve likely heard of the rumours she hated the 1st anime; I heard most of it due to the 1st’s director changing key elements of some character personalities, and especially a key point of the family curse plotline (in fairness, that plotline was still a work in progress during the anime’s run). She did love the 1st’s voice acting and music though.

    She even recently made a pointed comment on the plot liberties the 1st took:
    “There are no people involved in the (current) production that will just make selfish decisions about the characters and story and move forward. I’m so relieved…since not everyone is good at that.”

    Some viewers however, feel the 1st director’s story changes were acceptable – that he helped spotlight the manga’s strengths and downplay its weaknesses, and did their best adapting a plot that still hadn’t finished yet. (Even the studio at the time supported Akitarou’s efforts.)

  2. CeeJay says:

    I honestly forgot how much I loved this anime. I haven’t watched the older version or the manga in quite some time and it was honestly sooooooooooo nice to see the characters again, especially Tohru. I cannot believe I forgot how much I adored her. So looking forward to seeing this.

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