Tohru, a high school girl, is living in the woods in a tent. She does this because her parents are gone, and she doesn’t want to inconvenience her relatives. As it happens, the woods she’s living in belong to the Soma family, including one of her classmates, Yuki. A bout of anemia brought on by insufficient sleep and attending school and work, followed by a landslide that wipes out her already meagre possessions, and she ends up taken in by the Somas to live at their house. As it turns out, the Somas have a zodiac-themed secret, as Tohru is about to find out.
It’s hard not to be biased about getting a Fruits Basket remake… so I’m pretty much not going to try. I really enjoyed the original 2001 version, and this new one has captured the feel of that original while making the whole thing look really good. As familiar scenes played out and familiar characters were introduced, it felt nostalgic, like I was seeing friends from a long time ago.
I was also impressed by how faithful even individual scenes were. When Tohru’s mother’s photo appeared on screen, for example:
Or even the Prince Yuki Fan Club:
They’re still the worst, and it was delightful to see them be awful again on screen. I could point to a number of other items, but suffice to say they got it right, at least as far as decades-old nostalgia can verify.
As for the content itself, it’s a good mixture of normal happenings, shojou romance, and humor, with just a little serious business sprinkled on top. The humor isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but I was consistently smiling.
On the romance side, we’ve already been introduced to Yuki, who this time around seems a little less cool and aloof and a little more friendly.
Of course, no amount of extra friendliness is going to be enough to unseat Kyo from being the obvious best boy of the show.
By the end of episode one, everything’s in place (Tohru’s in her new home, friends and rivals at school are introduced, the two primary interests are on screen, and even the family’s secret is revealed), so the show is moving fast, but it didn’t feel rushed. They’ve got a deft touch, and it seems like the remake I never asked for is going to be one I’ll be enjoying quite a bit. Come and join the Soma household!