Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

The iconic shoujo manga, portrayed to perfection in its second anime adaptation

The Very Best

9.0

TV Show

Japan
Japanese
Animation, Comedy, Drama
2019
Ai Kakuma, Aki Toyosaki, Atsumi Tanezaki
24 min

TLDR

Oh, to be as kind and optimistic as Tohru Honda!

What it's about

After moving in with some members of the reclusive, traditional Soma clan, recently orphaned Tohru Honda discovers that her friends carry a curse that transforms each of them into animal spirits from the Chinese zodiac when stressed or when hugging someone of the opposite sex. She decides to help them lift the curse to restore peace in the family.

The take

On-screen, we’ve seen downtrodden Cinderella-esque leads, we’ve seen humans transform into animals, and we’ve seen whole families cursed, but Fruits Basket takes all these plot devices and transforms them into something completely different. As Tohru Honda gets to learn about the mysterious Sohma family, and she and friends gets into fun and wacky hijinks with the curse, the series takes the legend of the Chinese zodiac as a unique and effortless means to discuss systemic, generational abuse and resulting trauma that can occur within a family. The classic shoujo manga was first adapted into anime in 2001, but we’re recommending the later 2019 adaptation, which goes more in depth and depicts the complete story.

What stands out

The Sohmas. The family ensemble are all fleshed out and also so traumatized that we can't help but wish for the curse to end (and maybe a lot of family therapy for all of them).

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