I won’t lie — I wasn’t hyped to see one of my all-time favorite shows (I blame nostalgia) remade. Though, after watching this first episode, I’ve completely changed my mind and want to fast forward time to next week.
Seeing how it’s been nearly two decades since Fruits Basket finished its original run back toward the end of 2001, you can bet I barely remember anything minus the general plot and the fact that Tohru has one hell of an experience waiting for her. Which is precisely why I was super happy when I realized that the show was going to ease us into things with one of the better first episodes in recent memory. From explaining Tohru’s unique living situation to quickly reminding me about how much I dislike the Prince Yuki club, I was very appreciative that this first episode took a very similar approach in how it got the ball rolling.
Now, seeing how this is a remake, it’s tough for me to figure out how I want to tackle this post. Especially when I went back and rewatched the original first episode just to see how much of a difference there was (or wasn’t). For this introductory post though, I think it’ll be safe to just draw some general conclusions since both episodes could be considered near perfect copies. And by near perfect copy, I mean a copy that also takes decades of advancement and technology to make something that feels like the original but is slowly taking on a shape of its own. That said, it makes me wonder just when and where this remake will make its stand and demonstrate to us that it’s its own thing. If I were to point out one thing thus far though, I have to profess my love for how much more the remake is animating instead of leaving up to static images that employ a basic parallax effect.
If I were to pick something that did catch my attention though, the difference in voice actors really caught my ear. With a lot of big names appearing in the first 5 minutes, I must admit that it was a little jarring not to hear Horie Yui’s voice coming out of Tohru’s mouth. Fun fact, one of the biggest reasons why I even watched Fruits Basket originally was just to hear more of her after watching a crap ton of Love Hina. Tiny disappointments aside, I couldn’t find a fault in any of the casting especially if the showrunners are trying to help appeal to an even wider audience by giving Yuki a much deeper voice.
Overall, I still can’t believe how much I loved this first episode of the Fruits Basket remake. With near perfect character designs be it people or animals to the way the episode captured the spirit of the first episode, I don’t think we could have honestly asked for more — except maybe a double length episode ala how Sword Art kicked off Alicization. In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where we’ll get to see Kyo just be Kyo as we take a nostalgic trip down memory lane. See you then!
ED: 「Lucky Ending」by ビッケブランカ (Vickeblanka)