‘Fruits Basket’ final season wins ‘Anime of the Season’ for Spring 2021—and it’s totally deserving!

TrueID Click

July 21, 2021


Photo credit: Fruits Basket Official/Facebook

By Ica Hontiveros-Cheng

Still remember Fruits Basket from 2001?

Based on the Natsuki Takaya penned and illustrated manga, the anime series follows the story of high school orphan Tohru Honda living with the Sohma family. Tohru quickly discovers the family’s secret: That some members are possessed with the spirits of the Chinese zodiac, transforming into their cute animal counterparts when stressed, sick, or, yes, hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Dog, ram, rabbit—name it. Ever wondered about the ferocious “dragon” and “tiger” being part of these cute transformations? The series is way ahead of you with characters Hatori (“dragon”) turning into a seahorse and young girl Kisa (“tiger”) becoming a tiger cub instead. The characters all change through a pull of smoke. Witty. Hilarious. Think 90s hit Ranma ½.

Yet, as the story unravels, Tohru learns of the hardship and “abuse” the Soma family has gone through, especially from the hands of the zodiac spirits’ leader Akito. Tohru then becomes the fam’s spark of joy, reaching out to them, helping ease their pain, and setting out on a mission to free them.

The original anime version had 26 episodes. A reboot followed in 2019, concluding with a final season released June this year.

Safe to say Fruits Basket has become a fan favorite over time. This, despite coming off as a shojo offering that revolves around a girl’s romance. In the series, Tohru has found herself in a love triangle between Yuki (“rat”) and Kyo (“cat”). (No such thing as a cat in the real world’s Chinese zodiac, right? Not in this series.) But the issue would get resolved eventually!

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Photo credit: AniTrendz/Twitter

The latest season of Fruits Basket culminates with the curse being lifted. The satisfaction comes in seeing the characters, whom everyone has come to love, finally be free to touch, hold, and hug just about anyone. Come to think of it: The arc somehow follows reality with the pandemic being the “curse” and prohibiting intimacy among people.

Perhaps, it was this heartfelt finale that encouraged the fans to vote for the series’ third season as the Anime of the Season for Spring 2021 at the ​​8th Anime Trending Awards (ATA). Perhaps it was also how Fruits Basket has given its fans a unique viewing experience that consisted of (high school) romance, drama, comedy, and fantasy altogether. Note that while there’s the running transmogrification theme, the series rarely used this as it refocused instead on the relationships and the humanity that bound the characters together.

Fruits Basket has also bagged Favorite Couple/Ship (Tohru and—spoiler!—Kyo), Favorite Supporting Male Character (Momiji Sohma), Best in Voice Cast, and Favorite Romance and Slice of Life Anime of the Season at the 8th ATA.

Congratulations are thus in order for the entire Fruits Basket franchise!

To the fans, here’s something to excite you even after the finale season: A prequel centering on Tohru’s parents (Kyoko and Katsuya) is already in the works! The new series will be titled Kyoko to Katsuya no Monogatari, premiering in 2022!


Photo credit: Fruits Basket Official/Facebook

While waiting for the new series, fans of the same genre as Frui might also enjoy Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits. The series features a character who is forced into the supernatural realm to marry an Ogre! Stream it for free on the TrueID app!

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