Fruits Basket, a modern classic of both shojo anime and manga, will once again be adapted as an anime, set to stream exclusively on Funimation Now in 2019. Unlike the original series, the new Fruits Basket will cover the entire story of the manga.
“We’ve been hearing the question, ‘Will there ever be a new season of Fruits Basket, covering the entire manga?’ at conventions and on social media for years,” Funimation wrote in a blog post announcing the series, “and longtime North American fans will remember that over 13 years ago, you came together to fold over a thousand paper cranes to express your longing for a new series.”
Funimation also revealed two visuals.
Now, almost 18 years later, Funimation is partnering with TMS Entertainment to bring the whole saga to air. Creator Natsuki Takaya will serve as executive supervisor on the project.
The new anime will have an entirely new cast and staff. The new cast includes:
- Manaka Iwami (Tsuki ga Kirei’s Aira Miyamoto, Maquia’s titular character, Tada Never Falls in Love’s Teresa Wagner) as Tohru Honda
- Nobunaga Shimazaki (Waiting in the Summer’s Kaito, Date A Live’s Shido Itsuka, Scum’s Wish’s Mugi) as Yuki Sohma
- Yūma Uchida (Macross Delta’s Hayate Immelmann, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans’ Ein Dalton, Banana Fish’s Ash Lynx) as Kyo Sohma
- Yūichi Nakamura (Fairy Tail’s Gray Fullbuster, The irregular at magic high school’s Tatsuya Chiba, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind’s Bruno Bucciarati) as Shigure Sohma
Yoshihide Ibata (Pikaia!!, FLCL Progressive) is directing the anime at TMS Entertainment. Taku Kishimoto (Silver Spoon, Haikyu!!, 91 Days, Hanebad!) is in charge of series composition. Masaru Shindou (Macross Delta, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) is drawing the character designs. Takaya herself is serving as executive supervisor.
The first Fruits Basket anime, produced by Studio Deen, ran for 26 episodes in 2001. It tells the story of teenage Tohru Honda, who moves into a house owned by the Sohma family — who seem normal at first, only to reveal that they can transform into the animals of the Zodiac. And when they’re hugged by the opposite sex, they’re most likely to become those animals. With Tohru as the only woman in the house, hijinks ensued. But what made Fruits Basket truly great was how it balanced that comedy with some seriously dark tragedy.
The anime never got to the deepest trenches of that element of the series, however. It only covered the first six volumes of the manga; Takaya didn’t conclude Fruits Basket until 2006, after eight years and 23 volumes. Despite its popularity with fans as both an anime and a manga, Fruits Basket remained a one-season wonder.
This is a huge get for the FunimationNow platform, which now serves as the sole home for all Funimation-published series. The company recently cut its ties with VRV and Crunchyroll, two major streaming platforms in the anime space, splitting off to strengthen its own service.