Like many romance drama series, Fruits Basket 2019 is a slow burn, especially in the first season. Just as with the source material by Natsuki Yakaya, it takes its time introducing the viewer to each character in their own dedicated episode. However, what makes this pacing feel right is that, in each episode in which the main character Toru Honda meets a new member of the Sohma family, they use this new character to develop both the new character and already known ones.
For instance, in episode 7, where Toru meets Hatori Sohma, the family doctor, we not only learn about Hatori’s backstory but learn more about Toru’s outlook on life, and by extension, move Hatori’s character forward a small bit. At the same time, due to the way the show conveys the characters’ thoughts, we also get a foreshadowing of the background of another character whom we met earlier. Suffice it to say, Fruits Basket 2019 is a show that you can’t look away from for a second, or you’ll miss important moments, especially in the first season with all the new characters being introduced.
When it comes to the characters themselves, even in just the first season, they all have aspects of themselves that they don’t acknowledge for various reasons. They look fine on the outside, but as Toru and the viewers continue to learn, people are much more complicated than appearances would make it seem at first. Things might look fine and dandy, but inside, there are hidden monsters, or “closed lids” that people don’t want to, or can’t, face alone. Thankfully the animation of the show does not fall under this category.
Those who have seen the original 2001 version may pick up on how similar many of the shots are when comparing the two series. However, being almost twenty years later, Fruba 279 has a clear advantage and superior animation. It is much more detailed and polished, but with animation by Studio TMSEntertainment, I don’t exspect anything less. Some shots have been slightly altered, others removed, but the whole series has a very high standard of quality, unless a scene calls for a more simplified style, usually for humore. The music by Masaru Yokoyama, along with the fantastic voice cast, both in Japanese and English (Funimation), makes it a great feast for the eyes and ears.
If you like romance and comady anime, I highly recommend it. The animation is gorgeous. The story is one of, if not the best, romances I’ve personally ever seen, and you’ll want to give all of the kids a hug. However, if you’re prone to tears, I highly recommend bringing tissues.