Outerhaven Anime: First Reaction – Fruits Basket (2019)

Fruits Basket was one of those shows I was told to watch but never did. Thankfully, the show is getting a remake where it is said to be following the source material a bit more closely. This works out for me because I can include this in my seasonal shows I’m set to watch and that’s exactly what I have done! For most, you’ll be going into this show having already read the source material and/or seen the original broadcast. For me, this means I’m going in completely blind with no prior knowledge of what this show is about. Am I about to jump on board with the people who said I should have watched this show the first time around?

Let’s Go!

First Impressions

Tohru Honda lost her mother when she was young. She is taken in by her grandfather but his house is set to undergo renovation. Taking this as a chance to live on her own, Tohru buys a tent and sets it up somewhere in the mountains with only a photo of her mother to keep her company. One day, she’s walking home with Yuki Soma, a popular boy at school when she’s late for work. Later that evening, Yuki and his brother Shigure are in the woods and notice Tohru wandering about. They follow her back to her tent where they discover she has a fever. They take her into their home to rest but when they go back to the tent, there was a mudslide that buried everything. Yuki gets her belongings as she rests when suddenly, he’s attacked in his home by a boy named Ryo. Tohru bumps into Ryo and he turns into a cat. She then accidentally falls into Yuki and Shigure and they turn into a rat and a dog, respectively. Our first episode comes to an end.

Okay… I admit that I haven’t read the synopsis alone. I went into this show just on a blind recommendation so I had no idea what to expect. From the way things started out, I thought I was heading into a slice-of-life romcom but then the ending happened and I’m just left sitting here asking myself WTF I just watched. Although, I wouldn’t go so far as to call this “out there” because I’ve seen enough anime in my time to know that the WTFery in this show is extremely mild compared to some of the other things I’ve watched.

I immediately picked up the fact that there are a lot of references to the Chinese Zodiac and I’m already starting to see that in Ryo, Yuki, and Shigure as their animal forms are different Chinese years. What role these will play is left a mystery to me but apparently, they can control animals that share their year as was hinted earlier in the episode when Yuki went to go dig out Tohru’s belongings and they showed a bunch of rats as a symbolic way of saying he would call upon them for assistance.

What looked like a slice-of-life romcom has turned into a bit of a battle anime? Either that or Ryo is just a hot head archetype that loves to pick fights. Still, I have to say that it has a pretty cool hook and has me interested.

Worth Watching?

YES – For a show that started off as something on the average side, really cranked up the interesting factor in the end. Consider my curiosity piqued. As much as this show was recommended to me, seeing the twist at the end of the first episode is a good indication as to why it has been recommended to me so many times. Needless to say, I want to see more of this show and I look forward to doing so. If you’re someone like me who hasn’t seen Fruits Basket and it was always on your radar, I will say that it’s safe to pick this show up. This looks to be a good one!