Funimation Flashback: A Look Back at Fruits Basket (2001)

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By Cheyenne Ewulu

Oh yes. The feels. You know we had to take it there. I’m not crying. YOU ARE!

Welcome to Funimation Flashback, the series where I, Cheyenne, revisit some of my favorite anime titles from my childhood! So that means anime from the late ’90s through the early ’00s! But before we jump into today’s topic, be sure to follow Funimation everywhere for more anime content like this.

In today’s installment, we’re going to be bringing back ALL the feels with this throwback. We’re talking cats and mice. No, not Tom and Jerry. Today’s blast from the past is Fruits Basket, the 2001 animation.

Fruits Basket 2001

Life for 16-year-old Tohru Honda is flipped, turned upside down when she suddenly loses her mother. Because she’s so unwilling to burden her family and friends, she ends up without a home and is stuck living in a tent in the forest. But what she doesn’t realize is she’s on Soma family property, and her life gets even more complicated when she gets caught up in their big family secret! And the secret is…they’re all really hot. Just kidding. Or AM I?

Fruits Basket is a shoujo classic that stormed into my life at a time when I was JUST kind of getting into anime. I mean, back then, a lot of the anime that was being brought over to the States and shoved in our little weeb faces were mostly hardcore shounen and action titles. And here was Fruits Basket.

It had no martial arts. No energy blasts. No “sagas.” It was simply just a feel-good slice of life anime. Which, I wanna say, was probably the first slice of life anime I had ever watched. It’s the kind of anime that you can watch while snuggled up with your girlfriends or bros. Yes, I said bros, because this is an anime that everyone should experience.

It’s OK to cry-watch some feel-good anime with the homies every once in a while. And if your homies don’t think so, cancel them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Fruits Basket 2001

This series was my introduction into the amazing world of Fruba, and what got me hooked initially was how the story incorporated the Chinese Zodiac. When Tohru was younger, her mom would tell her all these cool stories about the Chinese Zodiac and how they came to be. Years later, she’s living with them. In the flesh!

I mean, they were technically all cursed, but, you know. And they’re all really hot. Some girls have all the luck. Oh, and Tohru’s favorite animal from the Zodiac was the cat. Understandable. Who doesn’t love Kyo? Tohru then meets more of the Soma family and ends up finding out what animals everyone else turns into, and it’s all happy-go-lucky sunshine from there, right? WRONG.

Fruits Basket 2001

Another thing I really love about this anime is that while it has a lot of bright and happy moments, there’s also a real story that gets told further along. Like…this anime gets pretty DARK in some moments, which is something you wouldn’t expect jumping into it. But I liked the balance.

I know there are like thousands of bomb new anime that you could be and SHOULD BE watching right now. BUT…maybe take a look at this one in the middle of diving into something new. It’s waiting for YOU to jump right in on the Funimation app. A little nostalgia never hurt nobody.


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