Fruits Basket picks last fruit for its finale

by Sebastian Gordon

Image by Funimation

Fruits Basket is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. The manga was first adapted into a 26-episode anime television series in 2001 by Studio Deen and directed by Akitaro Daichi. However, it ended after one season, leaving fans with no true ending.

With such high demand, a second anime television series adaptation, produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Yoshihide Ibata, premiered in April 2019, with its first season lasting until September 2019, its second season airing from April to September 2020, and its third and final season airing from April to June 2021. 

Fruits Basket revolves around Tohru Honda, an orphan living in a tent in the woods. Yuki and Shigure Soma find her and inform her that her tent is on their property. With nowhere else to go, they allow Tohru to move in with them. 

She starts living in a house nearby with the two Somas. Another member of the Soma family, Kyo, also lives at this house. However, the Somas have a family secret. 

Tohru learns that twelve members of the Soma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak, stressed, or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a spirit of the zodiac. 

The series is wholesome and based around Tohru meeting the various members of the family and cultivating relationships with them. As the series progresses, audiences learn the hardships and pain faced by members of the Soma family. Tohru works on helping them heal their emotional wounds and sets a goal of freeing them from the curse. 

Watchers also learn the deeper meaning of the story and the complex ideas it brings to the table about human behavior. The series is specifically identified as a shoujo, slice-of-life, romantic comedy, and supernatural anime. 

The final episode was released on June 28th, 2021.It was a bittersweet ending for all fans. MyAnimeList.net gave the final season a 9.18/10. 

An online user writes, “Fruits Basket is not only one of the best stories ever told in the medium; it also could serve as the catalyst needed for a revival of the shoujo genre.”

Many watchers enjoyed the beautiful art, compelling story, unique characters, appealing music, and stunning animations/visuals. So many fans were glad to finally have a proper ending to the series. 

I also loved the new adaptation. However, some things could be improved. I feel like in an effort to rush production, TMS Entertainment left some key parts of the manga out.

Sometimes, the story jumped around and left important information out, which made the flow of the story a little weird at times.

The other topic that is relevant when judging this anime is how it portrayed characters. Many of the characters in the show have trauma and/or mental illness. However, instead of accepting that they did wrong and realizing their actions were unjustified, the anime validates some horrible behavior. 

This is not something that should be normalized because when younger audiences watch it, they will think it is okay to excuse their offenses by blaming their misconduct solely on their past experiences. 

Instead of putting the characters on a pedestal while glossing over their terrible deeds, I believe they should have shown their struggle to connect with the people they wronged rather than trying to redeem themselves.

It is just not realistic for some of the characters to automatically forgive those who wronged them, and some of the specific topics of the character’s grievances should be reprimanded (even if it is fictional). 

Another personal issue is just the amount of romantic relationships that became a canon at the end. It felt like all the couples got together very suddenly. Even with these slight issues, it was still completed well.

It’s still a great anime and manga. Overall, I’d give it an 8/10. For fellow fans of more upbeat anime, I’d definitely give this one a watch!  

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