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Fruits Basket (2019) - Sugary Sweet Shojo at its Finest

So, four weeks in to the new season and oh boy has it been good! Attack on Titan started up again, Tate no Yuusha seems to building up to something big, JoJo is still going strong and Kitsune no Senko-san and Hitoribocchi are great for taking a break from the breakneck hype of the season.

But today we’re not talking about a moe show or an intense action show. No, instead we’re talking shojo, more specifically the remake of the 2001 classic Fruits Basket. Now I’ll just have to preface this with the fact that I have not watched the original before, I hadn’t actually even heard of it before the remake came out, so I’m going in completely blind into this show. it’s currently five episodes in, and so far? I really like it.

But before I explain my reasons for liking it, let’s start with a synopsis: the show is about 16 year old Tooru Honda, who after having her mother killed in an accident, is sent to live with her grandfather. She does for a while, but her grandfather suddenly decides to renovate his house, she has to go live with one of her friends. Only problem is, none of her friends have large enough homes to take her in. So instead, she buys a tent and starts living in a forest. Except the forest is private land, and she’s soon found by the owners. After finding out that the owners are part of a family who can turn into the animals from the chinese zodiac when hugged by someone of the opposite gender, she is offered to live with them while her grandpa renovates her house.

It seems pretty out there, and it definitely is. This is one of the few shojo shows I’ve watched which isn‘t a magical girl show, so while the plot description threw me off at first, I was excited to start watching.

The character designs in the original have gotten a lot of criticism, especially for the eyes. And, yeah I agree with that. Just go on MAL and look at the thumbnail they use, the characters look horrifying. The extremely sharp chins and eyes that take up half of the characters face certainly aren’t very pleasing to look at. Luckily, all of this has been fixed in this remake.

As I said earlier, the he show is only five episodes in at this point, so it is a bit hard to make a clear judgement of the it. It's good no doubt, but it doesn't seem to have much appeal outside of its target audience, it's a sugary shojo to its core. But it is a really great feel-good show. The characters are likeable, if a bit unrealistic. The characters personalities are quite eccentric, which makes them a bit difficult to relate to, which generally would kill a show like this for me. However, the hijinks of the characters coupled with the overall visual presentation is good enough in my book to consider this a strong 7/10. What the main crux of the show will be is still up in the air, but I think it's going to include some family drama. How interesting that will be, only time will tell.

So, should you watch Fruits Basket? If you like shojo, then sure. If the genre doesn't tend to be your cup of tea, then there are other shows you should watch instead.

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